Wednesday, February 25, 2015

White Seamless Food

Here is the food shot I have sold more often than any other as it appears on Getty's site; a pepperoni pizza in a take out box.
On one hand this is not surprising but on the other it does give me some irritation.  I have spent a lot of time to hone my food photography, hone my appreciation for sets, prop styling, food styling of my collaborators, pushing the envelope with lighting, composition and color choices… and yet here it is, a cardboard box on white with a drop shadow, oh, its a fine looking pizza and a killer drop shadow which is harder to produce than one would think, but still, it is what it is.
I take solace though, this was not a food shoot, but shot for a Dell Computer ad and I was paid very well that day for creating this now "popular" shot.  So when and if I see another 25 dollar stock sale, I will try to think of it as just a tiny sprinkle of parmesan on my large pepperoni & cheese.  

Friday, February 20, 2015

Using the full potential of Digital in still life


There is something to be said of old school, not vintage, or nostalgia, but true appreciation of what was once and is no more.  Out of progress comes side effects and with the death of silver based photography in the commercial market we now have a digital commercial world.   The workflow of the professional photographer pre-digital was set and consistent, years of looking at polaroids and knowing how it would translate once you committed the exposure to a particular film was integral and crucial.  There was not "fix-it-later" unless you wanted to reshoot it.  Your craft was tied to your experience and your experience ranked you among your peers and your clients.  Your vision was also tied to your methods, to fully express what you saw you had to know your materials and how to manipulate light to achieve the desired effects.   There is something also to be said of new school, the freedom to shoot in almost any light, the plastic quality of a raw image is fantastic. Digital allows a fast flow of captures, fluid and changing yet maintaining image quality…that is if done well.  I see many images that seem to be done too quickly, too quick to capture and move on before the light was tweaked and refined.  Compositions just a tad hurried.  Still life is not a race.  Still life is still.  Allow the composition to speak, do not assert first impressions when deeper waters are to be explored.  It is a subtle thing, maybe not really important in this fast paced world but those that have refined seeing, see it.  I think those photographers with the old school discipline use digital to its full potential.  They know what can be done latter and what needs to be addressed prior to capture. Years of experience makes composing and lighting naturally faster, they use this to lay the ground for a beautiful image. Photoshop just enhances what was captured originally.