Manchester Food Photography

Food photography. The photographic genre that has experienced the greatest change in the digital age. The democratisation of photography with millions now shooting phone photography has seen to that. For some, a meal out isn't complete without sneaking a shot or two before devouring whatever came from the kitchen.

This point and shoot "in any light, in any situation" style has been employed by some well connected individuals who make a good living from photography. Shooting with the lens wide open and simply pushing the food close to the nearest window is said the be "the style" of at least one very big name in food photography. A point and shoot style, delivering almost no depth of field and so often, delivering results that look dingy at best. I have a collection of cookbooks by the same chef who uses a chap to deliver this sort of image, and I wonder if the chef would ever take the same approach to his work. This is the microwave ready meal of the image world. Ping!

Of course, it is easy. It is quick. So why does it have no appeal? Why bother with all those lights and light modifiers. Measuring the output from each light, testing over again - really? Why not just slide the plate over to the window? Well, I just can't do that. I have a need to control what I shoot and that starts with the light!

These humble bangers were shot under the light of three Elinchroms and under an exposure I had pre-determined before the lights even came out of their cases. I can shoot that exactly the same tomorrow, next week or next year. It does not matter if it is sunny, raining or night time. What does matter is that I control the light and can repeat what I do whenever I need to do it.

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