TIP # 1. – FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY: If you are looking to improve your food photography skills and can’t afford working with a food stylist, then you better hone up on your eye for detail otherwise the look of your food will lack a bit of appetite. There is a reason shooters of food photography hire food stylists. They make the photograph believable. The photographer makes it mouth watering. How does he do it? More often than not – he does it with lighting.
TIP #2. – CONTINUOUS LIGHTING: If you use strobe lighting as your main lighting but are thinking of renting ARRI lighting for your next commercial assignment because you feel it’ll give you that certain look strobes lack, you may want to take these ARRI’s out for a test drive before that eventful shoot date. This equipment is a bit awkward, heavy and HOT!. Make sure you rent weighted sand bags to place over the light stands and bring along gloves. And a light meter wouldn’t hurt too. If you are shooting lifestyle, continuous lighting can be great. No waiting for strobes to re-charge. You can fire away fast never to miss those all important male bonding expressions.
TIP #3. – LOCATION SCOUTING: This should be obvious, but if you’re planning on doing a location shoot, it’s best to scout the location first before you shoot. If it’s a paying assignment chances are you’re not going to want any surprises. If the shoot is scheduled to be outside and you’re counting on natural light, then you better know where the direction of the sun is. If the shoot will be inside and you’re going to bring lights, pre-visualizing your shot will help your preparation. And if for some reason you weren’t allow the time to pre-scout a location, then you better come ready for the unexpected.
PHOTO COMPOSITION – TIP #4: Why is composition so important? It’s because the elements which comprises a photograph such as; shapes, tones, colors, and lines, are used in a simplistic manner to not only please the viewer but to pull out an emotional response. All art does this. For the photographer your composition starts with your viewfinder, but visualizing the composition before taking your eye to the camera is a technique one should practice. Once you master seeing three- dimensional forms which end up being flat two-dimensional shapes on your ground glass, you will start to become more aware of what the final outcome of your photo would end up looking like.
LINES OF DIRECTION – TIP #5: Lines of direction helps our minds establish a path that our eyes can follow. In this photo the descending lines of the greenhouses are dissected by the young man holding flowers. The other lines that are eyes see are the ground grass and the dirt path. The portrait of the young man breaks all three lines that converge somewhere in the distance. In the composition the lines also frame the portrait which is in this case the main center of interest.
When composing your photographs see if lines helps your center of interest. Lines also can be found through buildings, streets, and through motion to name just a few.
…To Be Continued