I have had this tutorial in the drafts folder for some time, somehow I forgot about it. But here it is and I hope you enjoy it.
The initial photo session was intended for capturing samples for the “Diffusers and Reflectors” section of Yummy Pics, my photography book. (The section begins on page 46 and ends on page 48.) After capturing the photos there was nothing left to do but eat the juicy orange. The scene, lighting, camera and tripod were all set, so I turn my snack into a styling practice session. My goal with each exposure and nibble was to see how I could capture a different angle or a way of styling each shot. Below are the results.
I set my camera to the remote timer and grabbed my wireless remote control so that I wouldn’t have to keep going back and clicking the shutter with each exposure. On a side note, I really recommend having a wireless remote control for times when you will need to keep touching the food. That way you don’t have to keep cleaning your hands or get the camera dirty.
The orange was already in place, as were all the camera settings, from the previous session. I only added the small paring knife, not a great shot so I continued.
As you can see, in the photo above I cut out a wedge. Cutting into the orange caused one of the leaves to fall so I left it where it fell. If you purchase fruit/vegetables with their leaves or stems attached take advantage of it as it’s great for photos. The leaves and stems add colour and make the fruit/vegetable more realistic. Did you notice the juices underneath the orange? It was so juicy so the the liquid ran down the sides of the cutting board. This is great because, again, it captures reality and gives interest to the viewers eye.
In this shot I cut an additional slice off the orange, added the knife back and recomposed a bit. Angling the orange wedges gives a sense of depth to the photo. Compare this photo to the previous one, what do you think?
Trying out different angles is very important. I know many of us get stuck in certain angles that we become comfortable with, but we must push ourselves to move around. Using a tripod will really limit you because it tends to stay in one place and it’s difficult (a pain) to keep adjusting it. So, don’t use a tripod unless you really need to.
In this photo not only did I adjust my angle but I also moved in for a closer view. Don’t forget to move in closer and show off the details in what ever it is you’re shooting.
After munching on the two orange wedges I placed them back on the cutting board and adjust the angle very slightly. Not bad, but I think I prefer how the photo looked with the whole wedges. What do you think?
Not being entirely satisfied I turned both the orange and strips on their sides. It makes an interesting look, as it’s not one commonly shot.
For this penultimate shot I sliced off a couple more wedges, rearranged them and the peel slices and turned the orange around. I only had one orange so I tried to get a bit creative. The napkin I was using to wipe my fingers had a very pretty pattern so I added it to see what the photo would look like.
After the previous photo I continued to eat the whole orange. I wanted to see how stacking the peel slices would look. I tried a few different setups but the one you see it the best one.
In my book I wrote a small section titled “Messy Is Beautiful” (page 86), and it’s about seeing beauty in a messy setting. The so-called mess gives the viewer a deeper sense of reality; because just like in eating an orange, cooking and eating can be messy.
When I look at this last photo I can see that the orange was juicy and I imagine it’s sweet taste and scent — I can almost taste it. The photo makes me crave an orange every time I look at it. Making our viewer’s mouths water or noses tingle by just looking at one of our photos means the photo is a success.
Tell me, what do you feel when you look at the photos?
For more free tutorial please visit the Tutorials page.