Food photography session with Dario @ Food Pixels

Cherries, donuts, and tea

A few weekends back, I got a chance to participate in a food photography class taught by Dario from Food Pixels. The class was organized on the 2nd level of The Light Room, in a small street just off Elizabeth St in Melbourne CBD. The atmosphere was small and cozy and I got a chance to explore something I like! A good way to enjoy the weekend!

I suppose the content of the workshop was not entirely new. Technical information and tips on composition and styling can be found in books and various places on the internet. What really valuable was the hand-on approach. With limited space and time, Dario did a good job in organizing practical activities so everyone got a chance to explore their camera, and food photography.

Some tips I learned from the workshop :).

{Controlling your light}

Natural light or strobe, the key is control. With natural light, this means to choose the “right time” to shoot, which can be tricky. Sometimes the light can be very strong, so diffuse and even double diffuse the window is recommended.

Controlling light also involves the understanding of light sources. Say your main light is big window. But how other windows or lights in the room affect your food? Should you block them out? Or involve and control them?

{The discovery of artificial light}

I was skeptical about using artificial light at first. You know, most sources teaching food photography emphasize on natural lighting. But with artificial lighting, there is control and the ability to create different lighting mood that draw viewers in.

Did I tell you that I love the first photo? The shadow and highlight of the photo create such a perfect lazy, casual mood.

The drawback of artificial lighting is the cost. The rule has it that the larger the source of light compared to your subject, the better. Decent flash system is not cheap at all. The one I am looking at costs close to A$1000. So I ask myself, do I really need it? (Yes…. And no….lol)

{Props add personality}

Worn-out, vintage pieces will never go out of fashion and add a home-feel touch. Food memories, the sweetest kinds, often come from the home. I like Dario´s reasoning here.
Props can be hard and expensive. And I discover something called prop hire shops! I have not explored these options yet, but a Google search yields some promising results.

{Practise with cheap but interesting ingredients}

This advice is perhaps more relevant for those who are interested in building their portfolio. Look for things that are unusual and interesting. Practise with simple subjects with different lighting and styling…
Photo with herbs, and… instant noodles

Instant noodles and herbs

{Lighting and texture}

Again, on lighting. Dario drew my attention to its relationship with the texture of the food, background and props. In particular, how the light is reflected and bounced upon these subjects? Cherries will reflect the light differently from cauliflowers (the former yields highlight on their skin). Taking note of these small details will help to improve the photos, avoiding flare and unintended highlighting area in the photos.

Playing with artificial lights (combination of soft boxes and grid light?)

I guess there are more an more I can write about the workshop. Like how lovely everyone was! I hope there will be more intensive workshop, focusing on artificial lighting, for me to learn and practice!

31 Responses to Food photography session with Dario @ Food Pixels

  1. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Lovely clicks! That Photography session must have been highly interesting.

  2. La Table De Nana says:

    I love the warm shots too..Very beautiful..

  3. leaf (the indolent cook) says:

    Sounds like a great workshop! Thanks for sharing the tips. I really should learn more from the resource I have at hand – my boyfriend is pretty good at this photography thing.

  4. Johanna GGG says:

    that top shot is amazing – thanks for sharing some of your learnings – sounds like a great workshop and I already love your photography so much that I would love to see where you can take it

  5. OohLookBel says:

    Your photos are very atmospheric. Love the clarity of the pic with the noodles =)

  6. pickyin @ LifeIsGreat says:

    Absolutely love the cauliflower and instant noodle shop. Can't believe I had to miss this one. Glad you enjoyed yourself Anh, and get well soon!

  7. Pam says:

    What a great class. I would love to learn hands-on tips like that!

  8. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    Great recap — LOVE your ramen photo and will be featuring it in one of my weekly favorites posts :)

  9. Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic says:

    Beautiful shots! I'd love to attend one of his classes sometime, too.

  10. Jennifer (Delicieux) says:

    Looks like a really great workshop. Gorgeous photos Anh! I absolutely love the photo of the instant noodle soup.

  11. Blue Fruit says:

    All these photos are stunning – so you obviously learnt the lessons well! Especially love the noodles in the bowl. Something so ordinary looks so amazing!

  12. Lisa H. says:

    I so love the first shot too…

  13. Faith says:

    What a great workshop! Thanks so much for sharing what you learned with us.

  14. SavoringTime in the Kitchen says:

    This must have been a fabulous experience! I love that first shot too.

  15. chinmayie @ love food eat says:

    Looks like so much fun! I would love to participate in a workshop like this!

  16. Vanille says:

    Great shots Anh ! The workshop seems to have been very interesting and helpful. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  17. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    Thanks for the re-cap. Sounds like it was a really great day!

  18. Tanvi@SinfullySpicy says:

    How Lucky Anh!! You got to learn from the expert himself..thanks for sharing few tips with us.

  19. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Ohhhh thanks for sharing what you have learned with us! I am starving for new photography knowledge and I greatly appreciate this! Is your ramen photo really an instant ramen? Wow it doesn't look like that at all!! I want THAT instant ramen now… haha.

  20. Yasmeen says:

    Thanks for sharing what you learned, Anh. Looks like a wonderful session and a huge learning experience.

  21. Monet says:

    What a great experience…and what great ideas! I would love to take one of these workshops/classes. Thank you for sharing another lovely post, my friend. I hope you are having a bountiful Sunday–good food, good company. Much love from Austin and many blessings!

  22. Jo says:

    Anh, I love every single photo and the workshop sounds so interesting. I too have strobe lights but hardly ever use them now. I shoot entirely with natural light and it's always in the late afternoon.

  23. Nic@diningwithastud says:

    That first pic really is great. I love Darios styling and would love to do one of his courses. You've inspired me :)!!

  24. edith says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  25. WizzyTheStick says:

    Lucky girl..what an awesome workshop.

  26. Mai says:

    Did he talk about how to shoot at restaurants?

  27. Gourmet Getaways says:

    I love all the photos you have produced, it looks like a fantastic class!

  28. Lizzy says:

    What a wonderful workshop! Just gorgeous photos~

  29. Ha says:

    Love the photos. Thanks for sharing this Anh

  30. Junia says:

    this post is AWESOME. i'm trying to learn more about food photography, but i still am learning how to use my DSLR. i literally point and shoot, hoping to get a good shot! lol.

  31. marla says:

    Excellent post…I am about to embark on the well needed investment of artificial light & I have not a clue where to begin.

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