Foodography Session : Biscuits Story

By Wednesday, September 9, 2009 57 Permalink

It’s Ramadhan, when Muslims do Puasa (Fasting) for a whole month. Good food becomes an interesting concern for Sahur and Berbuka (break-fasting). It inspires me to make a photo composition that imitates a relaxing break-fasting session. People said that we should eat light, warm and sweet snacks while break-fasting.

A while a go I had a foodie photographer gathering with May Irianti and Teddy Widhi as mentors. I learn a lot from them. So this is it, I try to apply what I’ve learn. I usually take food photograph in a resto with defined surrounding, and it’s the first time I conduct a foodie photo session with my very own pre-set environment :-B

Propping and Composition

Propping, also known as property setting, is an important part of foodie photo session .A friend of mine, Pak Glein Sitto, sent me a Sago Biscuit from Maluku (Moluccas). Actually he refers it as ‘Keripik’ (crackers) but I recognize it as Biscuit. Sago (or Sagu) is a major staple food for peoples in Papua and Maluku.

I put those biscuit as a stack. As a man in a little tiny house, I don’t have appropriate table utensils, so I put those biscuit on a plastic glass lid instead of a plate. Tips: don’t be too neat; zigzag placing and some small crumbs can be interesting.

Next, we need a table. I stole my brother’s unused TV table :))  I love it because of its wooden texture. It gives warm and relaxing ambience (malu)  A coffee cup will enhance the whole concept. I tell you what, that black cup is a bonus from Pepsodent whitening tooth paste! Ha ha… I arrange the cup as a background behind the biscuits.

See, it’s very simple and they cost me almost nothing.

Lighting

If I said earlier that I try to imitate a break-fasting snack session, it doesn’t mean that I really have to take it on the evening right? :P I planned to use available natural light so I woke up earlier in the morning and set it all for just 5 minutes and start shooting. 7am sunlight was quite perfect that day.

How about the light direction? Imagine a clock dial. The biscuit is on 12, the camera is on 6 and the glorious light is on 2. Avoid direct light into the camera. Sadly, I don’t have a reflector to fill the shade part on my subject.

Sunlight, it costs me nothing but extra spirit to fight my laziness to wake up early :D

Camera Setting

I use a budget DSLR camera, the Canon EOS 1000D. I set to Manual mode and put a nifty-fifty 50 mm f/1.8 lens. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say that you must get a DSLR. Most images on this blog have been captured with the ultra slim Canon IXUS 75 pocket camera. Use a tripod if possible; it helps you to prevent camera shake and produce tack sharp photographs.

For this session, I used f/2.2 and f/3.2. Don’t get confuse with this setting, the point is: I want to make the image focus on the biscuit and the background (coffee cup) should be out of focus (blurred). So, I need a a wide aperture (indicated with small ‘f’ number). A macro mode on automatic pocket camera will help you to accomplish such images. Don’t forget to set your ISO setting as low as possible to avoid noise and grainy texture.

Post Editing

It’s the fun part. Image which comes directly from my camera is pretty dull and lack of contrast. Adobe Lightroom helps me to spice up my photographs. I applied ‘Old School’ preset to emphasize the warm atmosphere and kinda remind me to 80’s look. Leveling up the temperature and contrast will also work good.

I shoot total 34 photos for this session and pick only 5 of them. I explore from different angle, object arrangement and lighting direction. That’s what I like from foodography, the object will not feel mad or tired no matter how long we shoot ‘em :))

Photography is an art, so I think there’s no such thing called right or wrong. So, this is my style, you could improvise and have it your way. Have fun..  (peace)

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