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Author Topic: Food Photography with Jamie Oliver and David Loftus  (Read 16263 times)

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« on: February 14, 2013, 05:56 »
+3
Food Photography Master class by Jamie Oliver


They don't really give any tips or anything, more of just watching Jaimie and David in action.  I always liked Jaime Oliver's style and the photography is real and unstaged.  A fun little vid.


« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 06:06 »
0
They make at least 10 stock wordy images, only in the cooking process without any sophisticated sets ( but very good ambient light).  :P

« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 07:14 »
+4
Every time I try shooting food like that, at f4 or lower due to ambient light, 90% gets rejected due to focus "not where we like it". 
Nevertheless, I love shooting food.  It's the only time I get to eat my models after the shoot.

« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 07:54 »
-1
David telling the kit lens is a great lens, right ;D

dbvirago

« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 09:10 »
0
A very white, bright kitchen with a perfect window. I have the white, but it is totally enclosed with a mixture of tungsten and fluorescent lighting. I shoot in the kitchen bouncing light over all that white, then move things to a window or my studio setup for other shots.

I will be buying a clove of garlic this weekend.

« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 09:15 »
0

I will be buying a clove of garlic this weekend.

Expecting Vampires?  ;)

« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 11:46 »
+3
I love their hair at the end of the shoot:)
But yeah, shooting with kit lens in low light will result in lots of "out of focus" rejections, and rightfully so. The thing is, they don't need stock quality - even it the image gets printed in a cookbook/magazine or gets shown on TV screen, the dimensions are not that big, so you can size down from your 18 MP or whatever and it will still look great. So many people don't realize the pain that stock photographers have to go though to get perfect sharpness and low noise levels at 100% resolution for huge files.

« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 11:56 »
0
Yup. If you go and look at "Jamie's Great Britain" it is full of snapshot-standard, bad-lighting-rejection stuff. The point, of course, is that it is intended to look "real", like your own photos look, not "stocky". They use the same approach to the condition of the food, that looks as if it has come out of your kitchen, not from the Ritz.

The look is probably more trad-agency than micro.

« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 12:00 »
+1
I love their hair at the end of the shoot:)
But yeah, shooting with kit lens in low light will result in lots of "out of focus" rejections, and rightfully so. The thing is, they don't need stock quality - even it the image gets printed in a cookbook/magazine or gets shown on TV screen, the dimensions are not that big, so you can size down from your 18 MP or whatever and it will still look great. So many people don't realize the pain that stock photographers have to go though to get perfect sharpness and low noise levels at 100% resolution for huge files.
You are so absolutely right!  Those rejections made stock photographers the shooters with the best eye for detail in photoshop.  I often catch myself removing little logos, making the backgrounds perfectly black or white, or do other typically "stock stuff" for baby shoot clients!

« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 12:08 »
0
I love their hair at the end of the shoot:)
But yeah, shooting with kit lens in low light will result in lots of "out of focus" rejections, and rightfully so. The thing is, they don't need stock quality - even it the image gets printed in a cookbook/magazine or gets shown on TV screen, the dimensions are not that big, so you can size down from your 18 MP or whatever and it will still look great. So many people don't realize the pain that stock photographers have to go though to get perfect sharpness and low noise levels at 100% resolution for huge files.
You are so absolutely right!  Those rejections made stock photographers the shooters with the best eye for detail in photoshop.  I often catch myself removing little logos, making the backgrounds perfectly black or white, or do other typically "stock stuff" for baby shoot clients!

Haha, professional stock deformation.
Well known ;)

« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 12:17 »
0
I love their hair at the end of the shoot:)
But yeah, shooting with kit lens in low light will result in lots of "out of focus" rejections, and rightfully so. The thing is, they don't need stock quality - even it the image gets printed in a cookbook/magazine or gets shown on TV screen, the dimensions are not that big, so you can size down from your 18 MP or whatever and it will still look great. So many people don't realize the pain that stock photographers have to go though to get perfect sharpness and low noise levels at 100% resolution for huge files.
You are so absolutely right!  Those rejections made stock photographers the shooters with the best eye for detail in photoshop.  I often catch myself removing little logos, making the backgrounds perfectly black or white, or do other typically "stock stuff" for baby shoot clients!
And certainly in my experience, food never sell in large sizes. Except as subs :)

oliverjw

  • Microstock Newbie

« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2013, 10:17 »
0
I really liked the video, but I am with everyone here in that I dont understand how on earth you can get that much light in a kitchen without setting up flashes.  I go home and look at my own kitchen and couldn't imagine doing it with the kit lenses I currently own or at an ISO level that would stand the remotest chance of getting accepted.  It really seems as though the lighting in the video had to have some additional sources of light.  Maybe not flashes - but constant lighting.

I wonder if an option for some of us with small kitchens and low budgets is to put halogen work lights on a stand outside of the nearest window to throw some additional light into the scene or to create some additional ambient light.  I know that the light from these aren't exactly the best but they may serve to brighten up the entire scene enough that you could use kit lenses at lower ISOs.  It also appeared that they spent a bit of time using a 50mm on one of the cameras as well, and the DOF on some of those photos did look a bit shallow. 

Regardless, it is really inspiring to see these guys do a shoot in an ambient setting without having to truck a bunch of light stands and adjust a bunch of lights around.

Thanks for posting the video.  Definitely some new ideas are churning in my head.  :-)

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 21:29 »
0
hmm, judging by the sound i'd say that was 1/10 second shooting? even using a 50 and with man hands on the camera, that's pretty good. I can do that in my kitchen, @ f4 1/10 100iso on the 50. but for stock I wouldn't.

Love Jamie, thanks for sharing this.

« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2013, 06:56 »
+1
I really liked the video, but I am with everyone here in that I dont understand how on earth you can get that much light in a kitchen without setting up flashes.  I go home and look at my own kitchen and couldn't imagine doing it with the kit lenses I currently own or at an ISO level that would stand the remotest chance of getting accepted.  It really seems as though the lighting in the video had to have some additional sources of light.  Maybe not flashes - but constant lighting.

I wonder if an option for some of us with small kitchens and low budgets is to put halogen work lights on a stand outside of the nearest window to throw some additional light into the scene or to create some additional ambient light.  I know that the light from these aren't exactly the best but they may serve to brighten up the entire scene enough that you could use kit lenses at lower ISOs.  It also appeared that they spent a bit of time using a 50mm on one of the cameras as well, and the DOF on some of those photos did look a bit shallow. 

Regardless, it is really inspiring to see these guys do a shoot in an ambient setting without having to truck a bunch of light stands and adjust a bunch of lights around.

Thanks for posting the video.  Definitely some new ideas are churning in my head.  :-)


You can't tell from that video how much 'ambient light' is in the room as modern broadcast-quality video cameras can easily adjust the exposure to make it appear much brighter than it actually is. They didn't say that they weren't using studio lighting either. That's because they were but obviously it was continuous studio lighting rather than strobes. Look at the shadows __ there aren't any other than directly below an object (as can be seen with the bulb of garlic). The bright windows at the rear would have been blown out unless they'd have balanced the interior light levels with the outside.

Having said that the studio lighting being used was mainly for the purpose of making the video itself rather than the still images, although they'd have made that job much easier by default.

The modern trend for many food photographers (of which Loftus is one) is to use natural light with the aid of a few reflectors. However he has the luxury of upping the ISO to 3200 or even higher which we can't get away with shooting for microstock. If you look at Oliver's books (I have most of them) they tend to favour the grainy, slightly under-exposed 'rustic' look. Lofthus doesn't normally use a basic DSLR with a kit lens either, more likely a top-of-the-range Hassy.

He's more detail on how he works;

David Loftus Photography Masterclass - Lighting PART 1

aspp

« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2013, 09:02 »
0
The modern trend for many food photographers (of which Loftus is one) is to use natural light with the aid of a few reflectors. However he has the luxury of upping the ISO to 3200 or even higher which we can't get away with shooting for microstock. If you look at Oliver's books (I have most of them) they tend to favour the grainy, slightly under-exposed 'rustic' look. Lofthus doesn't normally use a basic DSLR with a kit lens either, more likely a top-of-the-range Hassy.

And to add ...

Medium format digital backs have poor high iso performance compared with dslrs.

From what I can see he is not using the kit lens for this shoot - other than in the segment where he talks about being able to get in close with it. It looks like the 50mm f/1.4 D to me. It's Jamie who is using the kit lens, on his D3200.

I might be wrong but would guess that these videos are mostly (at least) also being shot using DSLRs rigs.

The number one secret of great food photography (I was told) is - work with great chefs and great food stylists. Most food photography is commissioned and is shot in dedicated kitchen studios with great natural light.

« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2013, 09:43 »
0
You can see from the scene outside that the studio/kitchen is lit to about EV14 (shade on a sunny day). which is seven or eight stops brighter than an ordinary kitchen. So it's hardly a wonder that he can shoot hand-held in those conditions, it would involve something like f/8 to  f/14 and at 1/200s with an ISO of 200 to 400 - guaranteed sharp with reasonable DoF.

The lesson is that if you want to shoot in your kitchen you need to flood it with an awful lot of light.

OM

« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2013, 19:38 »
0
The modern trend for many food photographers (of which Loftus is one) is to use natural light with the aid of a few reflectors. However he has the luxury of upping the ISO to 3200 or even higher which we can't get away with shooting for microstock. If you look at Oliver's books (I have most of them) they tend to favour the grainy, slightly under-exposed 'rustic' look. Lofthus doesn't normally use a basic DSLR with a kit lens either, more likely a top-of-the-range Hassy.

And to add ...

Medium format digital backs have poor high iso performance compared with dslrs.

From what I can see he is not using the kit lens for this shoot - other than in the segment where he talks about being able to get in close with it. It looks like the 50mm f/1.4 D to me. It's Jamie who is using the kit lens, on his D3200.


I might be wrong but would guess that these videos are mostly (at least) also being shot using DSLRs rigs.

The number one secret of great food photography (I was told) is - work with great chefs and great food stylists. Most food photography is commissioned and is shot in dedicated kitchen studios with great natural light.

Yep. Camera looks like a D3 with fixed focus 50mm (?) f1.4 except at the end when he picks up the D3200.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2013, 22:59 »
0
I think I object to the term "masterclass".

« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2013, 00:51 »
0
Yeah, and I'm confused by the two "master classes" - should food be shot in a kitchen with massive, flat, daylight balanced lighting or should it all be done on a table next to a big window, with just a reflector to make everything happen?
In any case, I never rated Oliver's books for the photography; it's a distinctive style with very heavy shadows that aren't very flattering to the food but does have a bit of the holga/instagram look to it.

« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2013, 04:32 »
0
 Do not complicate:
"on a table next to a big window, with just a reflector"
IMPORTANT: window must be DIRTY  ;)

aspp

« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2013, 14:55 »
0
David Loftus also did the photography for Rachel Khoo's book Little Paris Kitchen.

I think his naturalistic style perfectly communicates the authenticity and simple informality which modern food is so much about. I really like his pictures.

Yeah, and I'm confused by the two "master classes" - should food be shot in a kitchen with massive, flat, daylight balanced lighting or should it all be done on a table next to a big window, with just a reflector to make everything happen?

Most food photography is commissioned and is shot in dedicated studio kitchens. Natural light is very much in vogue today. Studios often have large ceiling windows. That studio kitchen in the video is at least several floors up the building. I would guess that there are windows in the ceiling. And with those white metro tiles it must be almost like being inside a soft box.

oliverjw

  • Microstock Newbie

« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2013, 18:14 »
0
You can see from the scene outside that the studio/kitchen is lit to about EV14 (shade on a sunny day). which is seven or eight stops brighter than an ordinary kitchen. So it's hardly a wonder that he can shoot hand-held in those conditions, it would involve something like f/8 to  f/14 and at 1/200s with an ISO of 200 to 400 - guaranteed sharp with reasonable DoF.

The lesson is that if you want to shoot in your kitchen you need to flood it with an awful lot of light.

With the amount of light required, would it be worthwhile to utilize florescent work lights or halogen lights to elevate the amount of "ambient" lighting levels in your kitchen?  I suspect doing something like that with my current kitchen would be just shy of a nightmare...  Row homes aren't exactly the most forgiving places to photograph. 

« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2013, 12:35 »
0
David Loftus also did the photography for Rachel Khoo's book Little Paris Kitchen.

I think his naturalistic style perfectly communicates the authenticity and simple informality which modern food is so much about. I really like his pictures.

Yeah, and I'm confused by the two "master classes" - should food be shot in a kitchen with massive, flat, daylight balanced lighting or should it all be done on a table next to a big window, with just a reflector to make everything happen?

Most food photography is commissioned and is shot in dedicated studio kitchens. Natural light is very much in vogue today. Studios often have large ceiling windows. That studio kitchen in the video is at least several floors up the building. I would guess that there are windows in the ceiling. And with those white metro tiles it must be almost like being inside a soft box.

Why do you think it is several floors up? What difference would that make? It looks to me as if it opens onto a back yard.

Natural light has been a particular obsession of food photographers forever. Some even proclaim that any attempt to use flash is bound to fail and make food look greasy. I put it down to a lot of them never learning to use flash properly because it was so often so easy to use daylight. Light is light. An expert can make flash look exactly like daylight coming through a window, it's about handling the direction and diffusion. But it's a skill, and apparently one that a number of food shooters (and I am not talking about Loftus) haven't bothered to learn.

aspp

« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2013, 13:41 »
0
Why do you think it is several floors up? What difference would that make? It looks to me as if it opens onto a back yard.

If you watch the video carefully, especially as they are shooting the finished dish, you will see that they are not at ground level. You can see down through the window. See at 2.10 for example. And in that frame you can see two walls - the low wall dividing the garden from the property behind which would normally be about 2 meters - and a much higher wall dividing them from the adjacent property. My guess is that they are on the 2nd or 3rd floor (depending how you describe these properties). The difference that makes would be to the angle of the light and the amount of light reflected from the buildings behind. Obviously the level they are at would also affect the practical likelihood of there being windows in the ceiling.

Natural light has been a particular obsession of food photographers forever. Some even proclaim that any attempt to use flash is bound to fail and make food look greasy. I put it down to a lot of them never learning to use flash properly because it was so often so easy to use daylight. Light is light. An expert can make flash look exactly like daylight coming through a window, it's about handling the direction and diffusion. But it's a skill, and apparently one that a number of food shooters (and I am not talking about Loftus) haven't bothered to learn.

I guess that like garden photography it is down to trends. I certainly think that people today tend to want food photographs which look informal, naturalistic and rustic. I also strongly suspect that the best way to create the effect of great natural lighting is to use great natural lighting.

« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2013, 14:51 »
0
Yes, you're right (on both counts) but the problem with great natural light is that it isn't always laid on.


 

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