Food Photography Class at The Essential Ingredient

I attended a food photography class today at The Eseential Ingredient in Rozelle and I learned two things:  you can definitely tell I didn't know what I was doing in my prior food photographs, and there really is a need for this blog. The class had 12 people and only 3 guys, including myself! Come on, gentlemen, we can do better than that!

Apologies in advance, the description of the class said to not bring any camera equipment so I actually took these on my iPhone so they're a bit blurry. Irony, I know.

So the class started with some basic techniques with proper lighting and a simple muffin (again, this was on my iPhone so not good at all, really). 

It was really cool to see how such a simple setup (except the lighting rig - but that can be recreated using much simpler equipment) could produce such great photos. We played with plating and props - adding a fork or newspaper to create very different effects. I'll post the actual photos we took once they are emailed through to me but my crappy iPhone photo at least shows how the scene was assembled.

We then spent time arranging and photographing some great, fresh produce that would likely be part of a superb soup. We also discussed the 'story' we were trying to tell - most likely an Autumn dish designed to create a sense of warmth. It's the details that count - we actually spent 10 minutes discussing the best type of cutting board for the shot!

After finally agreeing on the story and proper scene we moved to our camera setup and took some shots.

To finish, our chef, Travis, created a great scallop dish with a saffron glaze and we spent about 30 minutes taking all different kinds of photos from many angles. It was really interesting to see each participant take some shots and add their personal style to what was being produced.

In the end, it was great fun and I highly recommend it for all keen cooks. Not only do you learn good photo techniques you also get an appreciation for plating and creating the 'face' of your dish for best presentation. It was very hands on, as you can see.

Next time I go to a class like this I hope to see many more Gourmet Males!