Isn’t that what your mother used to say? Well around here, we’ve decided NOT to listen!
Recently I have been all fired up and inspired to play around with food photography. I think no matter what you’re interests or specialties, it’s always good to stretch your boundaries and learn new skills.
So I was lucky enough to spend a few hours playing in the studio with Helene Dujardin. She is a well-known food photographer and writes a fantastic blog called Tartelette. She also wrote a book Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling. While she was here she gave me a few quick tips and we were off and running. It was fantastic to spend time in the studio shooting with another photographer! That doesn’t happen often enough.
Just a couple of hours with Helene and I was HOOKED! And I’ve been dreaming up new things to photograph ever since. In fact, I’ve already been back in the studio playing with my food… again.
So far one of my favorite things about photographing food is that I always have a willing model. When I feel inspired, I can get to work!
Take a look below at some of the fun I’ve been having! What do you think? Does it make you want to play with your food too?
How was your Independence day? All of the 4th of July celebrations reminded me that we recently had a Summer Celebration of our own here at Tanya Boggs Photography. We like to have an event every month or two. What can I say, we like to throw parties!
We grilled up some burgers and chicken and hot dogs and served cold beer and wine (and juice for the kids.) And what’s a summer party without potato salad. I even pulled out the onion dip and Ruffles. I haven’t had onion dip and chips since I was a kid, so it was such a treat that brought me back to my parents BBQ parties.
Of course we had fantastic fun in the studio goofing off in front of the camera, and we even gave away $100 gift cards and one lucky winner received a free portrait session!
Check out some of the fun below. Doesn’t this make you want to join us next time?
Switch your flash off. It’s not going to help you in this shooting situation. And set your ISO to 100. This way you won’t get a lot of digital noise.
If you have do not have manual controls on your digital camera, just make sure the flash is off and use the nighttime mode if one exists. Many digital cameras today even come with a specific fireworks setting! But I’d use that as a last resort.
If you have manual control options, follow these tips and experiment!
Yesterday I talked a little about aperture. When you are photographing at night, more important than aperture is your shutter speed!
Shutter speed controls the speed at which the shutter opens and closes. How slowly or quickly the shutter is released allows more or less light in to expose the image. For night shots, use a long exposure! It allows you to expose in this low light situation and helps to incorporate the movement of fireworks.
What shutter speed should you put your camera on? Try 1″, 2″ or 4″ seconds. Press the shutter just as the firework is about to explode. Experiment! But don’t keep your shutter open too long. It won’t take much to over expose your images.
Shoot in manual mode (M) and turn off your auto focus. You’ll have more success if you use manual focus.
Why manual focus? Because auto focus can be tricky in low light situations! And once you’ve found the focus, you won’t really need to change it – especially if you use smaller apertures like f/11 or f/16 which increases depth of field. (Depth of Field is a fancy way of saying “depth of focus”. Your aperture is one of the factors that control depth of field: how much or how little is in focus.)
Why manual mode? Because YOU can choose what the correct settings should be. (More about this in tomorrow’s tip!)
Do you know how to use your camera in Manual Mode (M)? Or do all those dials elude you? Would you like to learn what all those controls do, and how you can be more in control of how your photographs look? Comment and let me know. I can start to blog some tips and lessons if people are interested!
As Independence day approaches, let’s talk about photographing fireworks! They can be a difficult subject to capture with your camera. I’ll give you some helpful tips over the next few days to help with this tricky shooting situation.
Tanya’s Tip for FIREWORKS #1:
One important thing is to STEADY your camera. Some of this weeks tips will require you use your camera manually and it needs to be stabilized.
In some cases, if you don’t have a tripod, you can try leaning against something for extra stability and secure your elbows against your body or on a stable surface. You can also try to find a surface to place the camera on. But for the extra long exposures that we’ll be using for fireworks, a tripod will be best!
Love this image from a recent event. Sometimes we all deserve to be Queen for a day!
Tanya Boggs Photography loves to help you make your party a hit with a Photo Booth. We’ve got all the equipment and can even print your images right there on site if you’d like. Or if you prefer a high quality photograph, we can post them online for your guests to order. Either way, the laughs will continue for years to come!
To all of our clients and many supporters, we wanted to say thank you for a wonderful year. As with any year, 2011 has been full of ups and downs. But most importantly it has been an exciting year of new opportunities, new frontiers and new beginnings. And 2012 is shaping up to be even better!
We have so many new and exciting things coming up. We are updating and revealing our new website in the next few days! We are moving into a new studio space in a couple of weeks at 255 St. Philip Street in downtown Charleston. We have some fun events and new products we will be introducing shortly. And so much more! Make sure you continue to check back to keep up with all of our exciting new adventures.
Thanks again for all of your love and support! As we roll into a new and exciting year that is filled with possibility and opportunity, I wanted to share the following quote I was reminded of last night as I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button(again).
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”
Tell me you’ve heard of Fitz and the Tantrums! If not, it’s time you did! And if you haven’t seen them live, well, it’s time that you did that too! This band really knows how to put on a show. They’re not about the lights, and it’s not about the glam. This group is about soul, passion and heart. And when they arrive on stage, they bring so much energy you’ll be movin’ and groovin’ in a hot minute!
Fitz and the Tantrums came through town for their second appearance in Charleston, SC as part of the Southern Ground Music and Food Festival. Tanya Boggs Photography had the honor of being there to capture some of the funky soul of this great up and coming band. Yes, there were plenty of other bands there. Train, Eric Church, the Zac Brown Band, but this one stood out among the rest! Great music, amazing performance. Keep your eye out for this group. You’ll want to catch them next time they’re in town!
To get a taste of their music visit their Facebook page. And for more information on their Fall Tour Dates take a look at their website.
Try photographing the same subject in different lighting conditions and you will get dramatically different results! The images for this post were taken along the Ashley River at Lowndes Grove Plantation, a popular spot in Charleston, SC for events and celebrations.
Dawn to Day to Dusk… As an assignment, shoot the same subject throughout the day at different times. Try to place yourself at a similar location and frame the subject in the same way each time you return to photograph. Shoot at dawn, as the sun comes up. Come back about 2 hours later and shoot the subject again. Photograph at midday, 2 hours before sunset, and again as the sun goes down. If you can’t fit it all in one day, you can space it out over time.
Notice the dramatic difference in your results as you photograph at different times. In the morning and in the evening the light is much warmer and often softer. The light at midday is cooler and more blue and if the sun is out and bright, then the light is more harsh and often unflattering for portraits.
Have you photographed something at different times and found that you preferred a particular image over another because of the lighting differences? What is your favorite time of day for photographing?