Student Shoot: Soup Photography
Well Leah and I were whispering to each other, thinking about creating a place setting, as if you were dining.
Using the soup here, gotta get kind of a handle on some of the acquirements we can use here.
Okay, do we have a ladle?
Because we're looking at this soup.
There's a ladle over there, we can go grab one. Here it comes, thanks. Would you like a big ladle or a little ladle?
Big, here's your ladle.
So what do you think, Leah?
Um, something table top-y. Oh, I like that.
This one? Okay, I think this light one.
You want to disconnect this? Because I'm not sure how to do that.
What do you think? You think it's a little too rough?
Yeah. Or maybe this one.
So as we said earlier, Pam and Leah are going to do a, they're going to do a tripod shot. So they're going to set up for, tripod.
Correct, right, so they're going to set up a tripod shot. So they're going to choose what they need to do to get that ready.
Alright, so this is go...
ing to be our tabletop.
So while they're setting up, we have a question from Annie and Eric. So a couple of different people are asking, could you define and talk about what negative space is and how you use it in your work?
Ah, good, okay, well negative space is the space that is created around the objects that you're photographing. So it's the things like when we're looking at the bread and cheese shot, it's the empty spaces around things. And for me aesthetically it's uncomfortable when I don't see like balanced negative space in an image. So yesterday when we were talking about that cracker shot, and then we were also talking about that shot with the calamaris and lemon wedges, where it was just kind of objects on black. You can look at an object or a photograph or something like that where you're looking at what's in the foreground, like the objects themselves, or just the spaces in between them. So it's like that kind of trick thing where you look at something from one perspective and then you look at it from another perspective and it looks like something else, that's where negative space really comes into play. And that's what, I think, it's also about visual comfort, and I think a lot of people are more visually comfortable when you can see a balance of positive and negative space. Positive being the things that you're photographing. Negative space being the things behind it. Plus when you're choosing a beautiful surface like they did, you want to be able to see it. You want it to be able to come through. So I think that's where we're at with negative space.
Fantastic and can you talk a little bit about which shapes go through your mind when you're doing your styling? Triangles or circulars or squares, or does it depend on what you're shooting?
Um, you know, that's interesting because I do think in terms of how things are shaped and creating shapes around. I have a tendency to think more like circles. I like kind of concentric circles, things that lay over one another. And I kind of compose in circles. And I think maybe that's because I mean the shape of our frame is rectangular, but I think within the rectangle, you know, a series of circles. Plus in food so much of the food is circular. The plates are very circular. You have a lot of circles with glasses and other things. And then the other objects that we place in are the complimentary pieces to those. So that's, I think, I would probably say circles first and then everything is kind of a compliment to that. Bowl and spoon kind of thing. So how are you guys doing? Where you at?
Good, we're looking at the bowl shapes and wanting something a little more shallow. But we have what we have.
And this is too big.
So we're going to see what we get with that.
That's not bad though, that's not bad. I know what you mean though, with wanting to get away from a deep bowl.
And I don't know if we should maybe fill it more because right now we've got that much of.
I think you probably have a little bit more room to put more in there without it starting to look like you have way too much. One of the tricks that I do with certain things when you have, let's say you don't have enough soup to fill up that bowl or let's say you want to go with that other bowl because it's a little longer and wider. What I might do is I might fill that space with something else, like flip another bowl upside down. Create, and then pour the soup over the top of it. So like underneath all this soup is that bowl taking up space.
So there are times when that actually helps.
Yeah, it's thinking outside of the box. What can I put inside, yeah.
Yeah, exactly. I mean just how you can fill the space without really affecting the image.
Get a little swoop.
Is there any rosemary that's cut?
Can we pick from that, yeah.
Rosemary and the fresh herbs that are going the set are definitely there. I think those fennel fronds are also probably nice for garnish.
Thank you, wow, that's great.
You got a couple of nice options there for garnish.
And then we were going to do maybe a glass of white wine if it's possible or we could improvise. Oh perfect.
There's another glass, those glasses, yeah.
I'll take one without the water marks in it for right now.
So are you approaching this any differently from based on what we were talking about earlier? What are you thinking about right now?
Um, a lot.
No pressure at all.
No pressure. Well I think we were talking about having the lights coming through here and just having some objects that the lights can be luminous through some of the objects. And then, you know, the soup obviously is going to have some reflection. But we just wanted to have, with the tripod, sort of be this angle.
So maybe at this height.
Towards it, and just giving a portion of this, so it's just sort of a suggestion of this is your place setting where you're eating, instead of it being a full frame.
Great, that's cool.
So we'll see what happens. So maybe a just a bit of the spoon coming in. I'd say that's maybe.
A little too big.
That's what I'm thinking.
That's a good call. The thing that we notice about this studio and what we're working with here is because, like we talked about earlier, with the frosted light, the frosted glass with the light coming in, this is really balanced, clean white light.
It's amazing, yeah.
And you do obviously, you know, you can manipulate that any way you want to add more shadow or add more light, but this is actually pretty well balanced in here, and it looks good. So far I think the shots that we've taken here look pretty good.
There was a question earlier from Slanger Photog, who asked, does Andrew find the current light a little too even? Would you typically create more contrast?
It's funny that you are saying that because while I was watching them build this, and I don't want to give them any tips or whatever while they're working, but I already kind of envisioned how I would shoot that. And it's a little different than what they're attempting because my style would include a little bit more hard shadow, and I would probably shoot it from maybe a different perspective than they're shooting it, but that's my style. That's not necessarily right or wrong. The idea is that I would probably put a big black card right on this side of the table and deaden out the light going that way. Okay, well if you do that, then that's cool, but the idea is I would be shooting it from a different vantage point. So yeah I think for certain things this balanced light is great because I don't have to manage the highlights, meaning I have to deaden out something. What I can do is add shadow to this and create a really moody effect. So I don't find it problematic, but I definitely would be a little bit shadowy in how the way I do it. Because, you know, I'm a shadowy figure.
And Andrew, where would you put the black board?
The black card would be, okay, I'm just going to demonstrate just for, I don't want to interfere with what they're doing. But my black card would go right here. I would deaden out the light on this side. And of course I'm going to block them out, so they can't take their picture.
Um, I guess you want to look in the camera. I'm just struggling with the depth, how much we have on the table.
So you want to go higher?
So if I was doing this, just you know, first thing the shot and then just seeing how the elements come together in the frame, and then just start to move things around.
I like the styling, and I like the way you pulled the gray and the silver from the bowl underneath in the with the rag. I think that's really nicely complimentary. And I think that the colors from the inside of the bowl and the tabletop also compliment one another. That's a really nice job of kind of putting that together from a stylistic perspective.
At first I was thinking red because just to balance with the color of the soup, but then with like just giving that patina of the plate underneath.
It's great, really nice. It's a really nice composition.
Do you want to take a look?
I'm concerned, I don't know if it will work or not. I'm not sure about the spoon.
Yeah, the spoon just needs to. Spoons are tricky.
Yeah, the direction.
To pull you into the frame or not.
And we do have a little fun tak like if you need to put that in an awkward position. Okay, and you guys have five minutes. You guys are up to your five minute mark.
Five minutes left?
The composition is great. I'd be interested in what.
We're just balancing back inside the room?
Yeah, and it's also minimizing the distracting reflection on the wine.
Do you want to block a small fit here and then?
Okay, so do we have the small black cards?
And we've got some clamps here for you.
Unless you like that? To me the reflection is distracting.
Yeah, go for it. I can hold it.
I'm not sure if we'll be able to.
I would take a test shot first. You can't just trust your eyes. You really got to see what the camera is seeing. Because sometimes what you see with your eyes is really a little bit different from what you're going to see in the camera. So I would work off the test shot first for sure.
Mark three has a lot more points to choose from.
Now you have your trigger release there too, if you don't want to.
Now what are we, what is the first thing that is a little weird about that?
The spoon's cut off to me.
No, it's the fact that it looks like it's going to roll off the table. Right, it's a little bit crooked, so the first thing you need to do is adjust your camera to make sure, and then you can start to worry about how to adjust your light. Because I think your camera is kind of off kilter, and it's kind of creating this awkward thing. And the thing about your spoon, your spoon is nowhere to be found. It's kind of lost on the backside.
And it might not even need a spoon. I mean sometimes these shots you just want to take that out.
Go ahead. I don't think that spoon.
It's not happy.
No. I don't think I have it adjusted enough.
I'm also thinking getting down more.
Yeah, I'm not liking the reflection on the spoon.
Just take him out.
You've got yourself squared away better.
For sure, the spoon's in a weird space like you said.
So I think a shallower depth of field.
And getting really down into.
Coming down here we're just going to get, maybe we can darken and put something back there.
Just slide a black card in behind it.
You want a big one or a small one?
I don't know, big.
Is the back of that one black that you're holding?
No, it's white. I thought we had a black one.
Yeah, we have a black one.
Oh, it's right behind you.
Yeah, I was hiding it again. There you go.
Is this a 50 or a 100?
That's a 50.
So we got any response on what we're doing here, and do we have a question that we want to talk about real quick before they finish up?
Well I do want to mention that the entries for the Facebook contest are rolling in from all over the world, right. So we've got people from Germany, Oman, Ireland, Korea, Israel, Columbia. These are like tons of photos from all over.
From showing us your lunch, so we really want to thank you guys out there for doing that. And please, keep them coming. We want to see your lunch.
That's excellent, great.
So there were questions about, from Fashion TV in Singapore, with regards to highlights on soup.
So it was kind of a double question talking about soup. How do you decide to have highlights, especially on clear soup, or do you need to create highlights on clear soup? Um, I guess the soup surface. Do you want highlights all the time? Or how do you prevent the soup from looking oily?
Well I think that you do, it's not, I wouldn't say anything is all the time, but the idea is that sometimes when the soup is a little oily, you may want to use the idea that the light will hit that oil or the liquid to kind of give you a highlight that you can work around and make it look more appetizing. But I would say highlights and soup kind of go hand in hand. Anything liquidy, you want to play with your highlights and use them to create depth and dimension. Because if anything, if you move around to the other side of your table, you probably are going to find that it flattens out, and then you don't have any dimension. So I think that's the key, is that the highlights are the thing that gives you depth and dimension in your image and makes it seem like it's three dimensional, instead of flat and one dimensional. So that's for sure. I think you guys have got about a minute to go.
That's all we need.
I'm liking what going with the suggestion of the wine glass coming off, just move the napkin.
Now with only a minute, we can't play much more.
Yeah, you're getting there. I would, let's play with that one more time and just see, see if we can get something like, just make, take a shot and see if that helps. That's not my favorite spoon. It's a little shiny and stuff and that's not, you can't control that, but just from compositionally, I would like to see what that looks like. Yeah, fog it up. Yeah, I mean we're getting there. You know what if you had more time obviously I can tell that if you had more time you would play with this and move it around a lot. I think it's pretty interesting the way you decided to deaden out the light on this corner, and that was that highlight that we talked about earlier and the thing you identified right away. But then you realized it wasn't going to work with your shot from this perspective. So I think, you know, I think under the gun you did a really good job. And like I said, I think that the strength of your composition was that you picked out some really great things to style with. And it looked, and the food looks good in the bowl. And I think you did a great job, so excellent. (applause)