I've always been told that it wasn't polite to play with my food, but never been told that it wasn't polite to photograph my food.
I think discovering Pinterest and all the pretty food photos I've seen being pinned on various boards has a lot to do with it.
I began shooting simple food shots at first, a small piece of chocolate in an egg cup brightly lit with sunny, natural light in the background or pears and shadows on a dark and rainy day. Just one or two pieces of food and a simple set, nothing fancy. Lately however, I've begun venturing out of my comfort zone and been adding props and artificial light and getting more fancy with my set ups. At times it's frustrating to have to work so hard to get the image in my head in front of my camera, to make it come to life, but it's so rewarding when that image finally does take its first breath and I can sit back and say, "Hey! That's exactly how I pictured it in my head during my run this morning!"
My morning runs are when the creative juices start to boil and overflow, cooking metaphor totally intended.
Tuesday I did my first "pour" shot of pouring chocolate syrup over a small bowl of vanilla ice cream. To get the exposure correct in camera, I wadded up some paper towels and stuck them in the bowl I was going to use, got my settings adjusted, took a few shots and then scooped up the real thing and began pouring away.
But let me back up first and say that the hardest part of the shot was setting up the background. I wanted to use the light that was coming in from our south facing storm door, but in order to do that I had to position the "set" with the ugly backdoor as the backdrop. After some scrabbling around in my office closet, I found a board that was big enough to stand in as the background, except it listed to one side, so I grabbed the sports photography book that I'm reading and a magazine and propped up the board with those two things so the board was straight. But now there were heavy shadows coming in from the left side of the frame, so it was back to my closet and more rooting around till I found my white reflector, put some clamps on each side down towards the bottom of it to make a sort of stand, got it balanced just right (and didn't breathe in that direction for a couple minutes), then, and only then, did I actually begin taking pictures.
I think in the future though, when I do this again, I want more of my hand in the picture. It looks a little odd to me to see a pitcher of chocolate syrup floating in the frame. I mean, I know that chocolate is magical, but sometimes a little human presence is needed.
But what a good and very chocolatey sundae this turned out to be!