Welcome to your first assignment!
Because there is a lot to take in this first week, we are going to keep it fairly simple and concentrate on styling with one ingredient. This isn’t a cookery course so concentrate on something you can buy, that will sit whilst you play around and practise with it. I suggest small fruit like apricots, plums, or an array of heritage tomatoes, exotic mushrooms, fresh picked herbs, if you use something like tomatoes or apricots, experiment with having some cut open as well as the whole fruit.
Keep styling simple but consult the colour wheel if you need colour inspiration and decide if you are having a light, bright scene or warm, moody scene and choose your props accordingly. If you have a choice of backgrounds to work with, go for something with texture, crumpled linen, worn wood, rough tiles, slate or stone. This will give instant depth to the image. Avoid anything laminated or shiny or flat.
Wash any fruit beforehand and at the finally stages of the image creation, you could try adding droplets of water for another texture, it might also catch the light and add yet another layer to the image.
Story: One raw ingredient
Light: Natural side light
Camera Set Up: Overhead, Portrait - use a tripod if you have one
Styling Tip: Fill the frame or J / U shapes
Colour Tip: Use the Colour Wheel if you are stuck with what colour will compliment your ingredient
Props: Textured background, tile, wooden surface, crumpled linen. Paring knife, chopping knife. Sifted flour, cracked black pepper, sea salt, lemon zest (other appropriate ingredients that will compliment your chosen Hero Raw Ingredient)
Before you even start with the food, go through these set up steps.
Turn off any artificial lights!
Place your background (be that table, tile, wooden surface, linen table cloth) adjacent to your side light. Remember we are using natural side light in this assignment, this means the light will come in from either the left or the right and fall off causing shadows on the opposite side of the light.
Set up your camera, if you are using a tripod (which if you can it will make this process so much easier and quicker.) We are taking a portrait image.
Put something on your background to take a test image so you get your settings right before you start – you may of course need to adjust this once you set the scene but if it’s almost correct before you start it’s just quicker. This is particularly important when working with food that won’t sit for very long.
Have a reflector ready (be that a pro one or tin foil!) so you can experiment with bouncing light back in if you feel you need to.
I’m now going to walk you through how I created this image, following the brief above.
Story: The beauty of pappardelle
Light: Natural side light
Camera Set Up: Overhead, Portrait. Canon 5D Mark III, 24-70 Lens, a tripod, settings Aperture F/8 Shutter Speed 1/25 ISO 200
Styling Choice: Filling the frame, with irregular gaps and negative space
Colour Wheel: Complimentary colours, with the blue shifted to a grey blue
Props: Textured tile, plain flour, black pepper, sea salt, lemon zest
My Set Up:
the camera on a tripod set up alongside the window. Lots of lovely side light coming in but I’m using the curtains to block the additional light from the side window panels.
All my ingredients are ready to use on the side.
Yes I use my handbag as a counter weight to stop the tripod toppling over! You can invest in weights or a sandbag but I find this way works for me!
Now over to you! Do share your final images or process in the FB group or save it for your final four critique