I am not expert at food photography. Let’s get that out of the way. However, I am wanting to learn more about it in the coming months.
I was going to check out a Mexican resturant in Makati City, Philippines called El Chupacabra so I thought I would take the Sony Nex 5T with me some pictures and to do some vlogging.
It was a great place to test the camera because I only had street lighting and what the camera could do. To make it more of a challenge, I am using the Sony 18-55mm kit lens that originally came with the Sony Nex cameras.
How did I shoot the food photography?
It was pretty dark in the restaurant so I tried to sit by the window to get some light coming. It was great to have light coming in from one side and a dark background naturally. Pretty smart move to sit where I did.
The first thing I did was to open the aperture to F/3.5 to get as much light as possible and try and get a little bokeh. I realize it won’t be much at 3.5 but I wanted to try!
The next thing was to set the shutter at 1/200 or so and shoot. It was a failure until about 1/80 of a second.
The last thing I did was play with the ISO until I found the right combo. I ended up pushing it to 3200 ISO. I did not like heading north of 800 by 2 stops but I knew I could make it work in Lightroom later. I love shooting RAW files!
I am sure down the road I will learn more about food photography and look back saying I shot crap but all in all, I am happy! It might not be Joe McNally or Scott Kelby but I will get there.
What did I do in Lightroom?
The main thing I did to the image above was just use radial filters to darken the background even more. I think I took the exposure down to -1 and I push the clarity to about -75 or so.
The next thing was to make another radial filter and invert mask it. This time, I push the light up to +1 and the clarity up to around +65. I also pushed the sharpness to +100.
After doing that, I wanted to make some vignetting on it. I took that to -36.
The last thing I did was use the FREE plugin from the Google Nik Collection called Define to draw some the noise out of the image due to shooting at 3200 ISO. It is a very good plugin to reduction of noise. It is even better at the price of free!
What did I learn?
If I was doing food photography there again with the Sony Nex 5T, I would probably bring a LED light and some baking paper to soften the light as needed. I did not think to bring a small light with me. It is a lesson learned.
Beside that, I do not think I could have shoot it much differently than I did to be honest. How would you shoot it?