Student Shoot: Bread Photography
Through all of the things that we've already worked on with our students, the styling, the cropping, the shooting, and the camera settings, they've seen the way I work and we have set here ready for them. So the next step is to let our studio students here get an opportunity to put some of this stuff into practice and also if you're at home, we're asking you to do the same. So we have four pairings and these are the assignments that you're all gonna have. Steve and Kristen and are gonna attempt an overhead shot. Pam and Leah are going to do a tripod shot. Paula and Kate are gonna work handheld and then Lee gets to be my partner, and we're gonna work on a table level shot and what's incorporated into a table level shot, why it might be different than some of the others, is we are stick to one particular perspective and we need to build around that perspective. So those are our four pairings and our first group that are gonna come out and work and they're gonna have about 15 minutes to p...
ut together a spectacular food shot are Steven and Kristen. So welcome Steve and Kristen onto the set. Come on guys. Now my job at this point is provide emotional support. So you are on...
We're both Nikon shooters, so we might be struggling.
Okay so we got a couple of Nikon shooters. I'm a Canon shooter. So what I'm gonna help them with and if they weren't I would helping them just with the controls. But for the most part their own. So they're gonna pick out their props. They're gonna pick out the food they would choose to shoot from an overhead perspective, get everything setup and make a shot and they got about 15 minutes to do it. You're on.
Okay, so we're gonna go with this piece of--
If anybody has any questions along the way, while we're working, I'm happy to answer those questions. Of course you picked that one out.
So should we talk about what we're gonna do?
So what we decided was a bread and cheese shot and I guess we'll get started.
Sounds good to me.
So we chose this piece of wood 'cause it's aged and dark and contrasts the bread. So do you wanna just start?
Okay, cool. Get that little olive oil thing.
We should look through the camera and see how we--
One of the things I didn't talk about as somebody pointed out to me afterwards was, that being able to select your focal point in the camera. So that's an important component of the way I was shooting before and the way you're probably gonna need to shoot here. Now when you look through the viewfinder of your camera you have all these little dots, and then when you kinda highlight one of 'em you can move it around. Where you would like that to be is right on your subject where you want your focal to be. So you can adjust that by pushing the button that has that little icon on it that looks like a whole bunch of little dots. You push that button, that icon, and then by using the wheel on the back of the camera and the wheel on the top of the camera, with your index finger and your thumb, you can adjust that so that it's right on where you wanna it to be. So if you have any trouble with that, 'cause you're a Nikon shooter, I will help you make that adjustment or show you what to do, but that's exactly what you should be doing by climbing up and getting a look through that camera.
I thought that we could use two pieces. Like have one of them broken and one of them not.
So this is already broken. Do you wanna break the cheese? I can just do some prepping.
Slide a little closer.
Now again, I'm gonna reiterate that when Steve is getting up on this ladder, that ladder is adequately sandbagged so that it is safe for him to climb up on the ladder. Because the last thing you wanna do is knock the food off the table. I mean the last thing you want to do is hurt yourself.
I caught that.
You caught that, good I'm glad. I hope the audience caught that. The other thing we do a lot in studios, whether it be a food studio or anywhere else, is if we have cables floatin' around, they have enough slack to move, but we also tape them down to the ground with gaffers tape, because it's important to understand that.
Down, mm-hmm. Down, down, down, okay stop.
That make for a good cheese board?
And I'm thinking what we could do is put a little piece a tape on either end of our frame so we know where to keep our...
That's a good a idea.
To keep our shot within.
I'm gonna make a fresh break.
And we gotta down, just a tiny bit more.
Okay and let's see. We're seeing probably about right there.
Is where the center of the frame is gonna be?
No that's the edge.
That's the edge.
Okay that's fine, I want that to be cut off anyway.
Yeah, just about a half inch out from that.
So if you could what they're doing is they're marking their frame. They set the camera and now they're gonna mark the frame so that their shot is locked in. With being on a tripod--
Further to the, further out.
They have the opportunity
Further out, further out,
to do that.
further out, further out.
Further out. Further out, further out, oh come back. Right there. There's just a hair of it in frame. But I think, where did it go over here?
'Cause yeah I wanted it cut off.
When you're ready.
All right, I think that's good so. About right there.
I'm gonna get some oil.
You've gotta talk us through what you're doing.
We're just creating like, you know the traditional cheese, french bread and cheese experience I guess, with the olive oil. And did you wanna get some cracked pepper?
Yes, so our thoughts are the cheese on the cheese board with some cracked break and some olive oil--
And other condiments.
Would you like to do the honors.
We can try that.
I'm gonna look and see what this looks like so far.
I think I would like a wider grain.
You can take it off too.
Let's start here and see what that looks like.
That's good that you're testing that out.
I want it tighter. When I think bread and cheese I think cozy, intimate, close. That's kind of my thinking.
And so we'll add a little bit in here too. Less is more.
Oh yeah, I like that. Did you wanna try a cloth?
Have you guys established your hero for this shot? Is it gonna be the bread, the cheese? You talked about that?
We haven't, no.
I mean, I definitely, like for me when I'm shooting, like artisan breads and stuff, I really like to accentuate the shadows, and so I mean I definitely think that's the main part of bread and cheese.
What do you think Steve?
I like, you know shadows certainly give dimension so that's an important part of the composition.
Would you like to find a place for the cloth?
Can we make this like a reality show where we have clock like right over you guys? (audience laughs)
Iron Chef, Creative Live.
So how long have we been on set so far?
I'm gonna move that.
And I can see that white, yeah.
I'm anxious to see what this is gonna look like.
So once you've kind of established your composition, what is gonna be your next step, once you're comfortable with your composition. What do you wanna do next?
Well we're work on our camera settings. I think ideally we're initially thinking that we want to pick a wide depth field so will move the f-stop.
Everything in focus.
Okay, up to about eight. And so what camera settings are we on now.
I don't know, but I think we need more bread. I can give you a tip what we're here. We're at f-4.5.
And what's the shutter speed?
So I think we need a slower shutter speed. Probably like one one hundredth is what I'm thinking at like f-7.
Remember now, because you're on that stand you can slow down your shutter as much as you need to. So if your aperture is your priority, find your aperture and don't worry about shutter speed.
So we'll check the light meter.
Then you're fine.
Cloth, maybe around the color.
I think a different color, maybe a rust.
So you're thinking that maybe you're all too neutral here.
So you wanna pull some color into it. I'm glad you did that, because as I was looking at your set, I was thinking maybe some red would pop it out and that's exactly what Kristen went for.
[Female Audience Member] And you guys, just so you know, there's always comments and input from the internet if you need any of that?
So what we hearing? Let's hear it.
They're thirst for some red wine.
So everybody, oh some red wine, oh okay.
Oh yeah, we could do wine too. Suppose we could pull in wine.
We do have some wine here.
Well how about that.
Only if I can take a sip.
Okay, hold on.
So now what did our meter read? (multiple people talking)
What is your hero? What do you wanna focus on?
I kinda wanna get a little closer. Like bring this down just a little bit so that we're cropping.
What do you think about the bread?
It's really nice of you guys to you know, share this with (drowned out by laughter). I'm really happy that you guys are doing the hard work.
And actually you could bring that glass of wine right in here.
Oh wait, no, this one's mine. (audience laughs) You guys got five minutes. So I wanna see a couple of frames before that five minutes is up, so let's...
No I don't like the wine? You...
Here's an extra glass just in case you have friends.
I'm gonna defer to you since you were up there.
Okay, well let's try that. What do you think about the light? Do you think it needs more contrast?
I think it's looking okay, but one thing I might do is so that in that the bread is cut this way, if we tear it such that--
A little diagonal.
Let's get that away from our...
Still wanna take in the frame.
I think just hair. Maybe like an inch and half or so. Yeah. A little more. Okay right there. I like the crumbs too, I think we could do some crumbs.
Yep, okay we place that.
And then maybe some, just crumbs right there.
Ah, you probably have about two and half minutes to get some frames in there, so.
Okay (gasps) sorry. (audience laughs)
Not to be the guy who's tick, tick, ticking the clock, but...
Hey, you get an hour normally.
This is true.
I will say Adventuresome Kitchen, who is our 11 year old viewer, says that looks amazing guys.
Oh he does? Well I just took it sorry.
Well we might have gotten two.
Okay, I'm gonna tell you something that I think is definitely gonna effect your shot. You're wearing all black. (Kristen laughs)
Oh right, so I'm making a shadow.
You are creating shadow with your shirt. So think about that when you're working that the idea is if you are close to your table, you are either gonna give light or shadow to it.
So you're wearing a lotta black, so that wow, we have a shot.
So is there anything about that--
I don't like the rag at all.
You don't like the towel?
Well I just don't like the cropping.
Okay, what I would say is certain things that always kind of tend to bother me, if you don't mind, I'm gonna make one little adjustment.
If you see...
Where this and this are kind of touching and overlapping.
It's very fussy.
I like to create a little bit of negative space between everything and maybe that alone. And you brought the wine and the wine's not in your shot.
I took it out.
Oh you took it out?
So maybe squeeze off another frame.
Now I see the green, and I don't know if that's just the monitor.
It's the monitor.
I don't like that.
Oh you took on your composition. (Kristen mumbling) Okay, so now we just created a little bit more negative space around that.
And then you're still not happy with your towel.
I think we can probably go tighter as well.
Yeah, I do too. Okay, so
Just a hair.
Bring it down a little bit.
So that that corner is not so fussy.
It's gonna wanna go up.
All right, so now we don't know where we are.
Yep, come down a little bit.
There we go.
We'll just let that go.
Just shoot it.
And then she can reframe that. 'Cause I know the pole moved.
Yeah I like that a lot better.
So tighter is better.
How are you feeling about the towel now?
Much better that it's cropped a little bit better.
Okay, all right, terrific.
So I mean, obviously you're kinda out of time at this point, but I think for 15 minutes and you created, does what you put on there, and what you see on that screen, is it what you imagined?
We could always improve. I mean, you know.
Well I mean in general, is it what you imagined?
Yeah, yeah, I think it definitely conveys this sense of you know the bread and cheese and just the breaking of bread.
I think you did a good job. I think with the time allotted you got some nice frames.
How's the internet feeling about their frames?
They're feeling good. There was questions about about thought process around having too much much props or too many different items in food styling. Like what is your, when the image is too busy, what is your thought process on that?
You know, quite honestly that is really a matter of aesthetic test, and I think from frame to frame you might decide one way or the other to be either more crowded and a little bit more busy or something that's a little sleeker and less crowded. So I think it's a matter of taste. And honestly when you talk about art, a lot of times it is a matter of taste. So it could be one or the other. All right, I think we're ready for our next group. You guys did a great job.
Thanks very much. (audience applauds)