I was tempted to make beef empanadas when I saw Peter's Cheese Pies that photographed so lovely. Aren't you amazed that wonderful photos will trigger you to create dish? I always love Peter's photos, as I said time and time again, he is an inspiration.
Food photography has become a passion for me. It is like a message that I want to send across to the audience, the passion that I have, when I push the shutter button. There is an imagination, as well as an expression that I want you to understand. It is my language, for I am not so eloquent myself with words. Through my photos, I am hoping you do know me more. If you care, that is.
Having two homeschoolers and a baby, it is kind of hard for me to really produce good photos. I mean good photos as good photos, not a snapshot I often do these days. The photos that are prepared with every element and are styled to suit the theme with suitable props, careful lighting and perfect composition to produced optimal results.
But no. Preparation for food photography takes time. You need time to do more careful planning on food and styling than you can imagine. I just can't do it in between schooling, nursing a baby, gardening and doing house chores (and, who says I am a wonderwoman?). I have to be happy with snapshots so far, although honestly, I am not satisfied.
I sometimes feel a drawback. I feel I am not developing, nor improving. I am staying put. But, then I come to realize, that at least, I still can practice everyday.
Having an iPhone is a bit of help to catch up with mood and a sense of art in photography, if I may call it. The specification might not meet the ones of digital cameras, but with a little imagination, the photos can be produced beautifully. It is handy and requires less time, less preparation.
iPhone with Camera+ application is a perfect marriage. I have applied this application on food photography, and I think it is quite a satisfaction. You cannot be a 100% perfect, can you? For me, iPhone is a big advantage under the certain circumstances I am in.
Hipstamatic is compatible enough to produce good food photos. Although, it may require much more time to change lens and film to suit your needs and mood, it is still a challenge to make it right. I am still doing trial and error with these lenses and films. As you can see the above photos, they tend to be quite dark. I did them without flash, but used natural light instead.
Anyway, I had a very small time when I tried to photograph these beef empanadas, using my old Canon 400D (I say old, because nowadays, I've been using it since 2007, and by now you are expected to upgrade to the highest specs a digital camera may offer, aren't you?). Just got few shots when my baby was woken up and demanded my ultimate attention ;)
I love using natural light. With a help of a small softbox to lighting on the dark side, I make a move. I put the softbox away from the table, so it will give softer light. I don't want it to be too bright. I also diffuse the light that comes through the window with an old white bed sheet. I don't use a white card this time because I thought it will reflect on the glasses.
Choosing navy blue material as the background, I thought this fits well with the mood of the food and the current season we have. I do not fancy a lot of props outnumbered the primary elements as the point of interest. I quite like to work on Spanish theme, but I will need to do some proper props to achieve this desire, but for now, I have to use what I have got.
I was still not happy with the results. I want to make the background darker than that, to suit moody lighting that is framed in my mind. I know what I could do, but it means I have to do another set up, which means more time to be spent. And I don't have that extra time!
It is not easy being a mother who has dreams or goals to achieve when children are the highest priority, I believe. However, it is a miracle while having them I still can do what I love in a limited time.
The recipe I used is beef empanadas on Dish Magazine, issued 2006.