March 25, 2014

Play with Lights: Food Photography Workshop with Helene Dujardin

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Auckland's weather was gorgeous yesterday afternoon and I was so excited to be able to meet Helene Dujardin at one of her food photography workshops in Auckland, New Zealand.

One important thing I got from the workshop is to play with the lights. Lights can convey different messages on photos if we direct them to what we are going to deliver. Different light setting will give a different message, look, and feel.

Take a look at the sample photo I took during the session. This photo below was taken without any intention to direct lights. The lights spread and come from any direction, including behind me (I was on the other side of the room), but the main light comes from the front.

Notice where the lights paint on this shoot. And compare with these two other photos below.

Can you see it? Can you feel the differences? 

If you can, congratulations. Go on ahead and keep it up at it. If you cannot, then you need to play around with your lighting once, second, third, zillion times more, if you can, to understand it, to get the feel of it, to be able to create different stories or messages. It might sound difficult, but it's not. Go get your black cards and start directing your lights to get different mood. It's all about creativity and imagination. Wake up, get up, and start kicking around. You'll get there eventually.

For me, this is a wake up call. Photographing is not only composition, beautiful styling and excellent props, but also giving messages to the audience through directed lighting. If your lighting is flat, your photo won't look interesting. 

It was a very lovely and important workshop for me. Now I can see clearly where I am going from this on.

I also had a great time catching up with my ladyfriends yesterday, and met Nicola Galloway of Homegrown Kitchen who runs cooking workshop in Nelson and Rebecca Oliver. Here are some photos that I took from my iPhone.

Ponsonby Central, 6 Brown Street,
Ponsonby, Auckland, NZ

Waikanae crab omelette with morsels at Toru Cafe.
The best omelette I've ever tasted.

Toru Cafe
Ponsonby Central, Auckland
Photos I manage to snapshot through iPhone during workshop.

As well as with Helene, I also had a good catch-up with Allison of Pease Pudding.
Pssttt...Alli is going to open her own bakery this coming April.
Come and see her in Kumeu, Auckland!

And more food and drink afterwards with good friends. Thank you Carmella and Boon, Danti and Yessy!

Foxtrot Parlour at Ponsonby Central,
Ponsonby, Auckland

This cappuccino is excellent. Frothy, creamy, and the coffee was excellent!
at Foxtrot Parlour,
Ponsonby Central, Ponsonby

Non-alcohol cocktail "Cherry Bomb"
At Prego Cafe and Restaurant
Ponsonby, Auckland

Antipasto Misto
at Prego Cafe and Restaurant
Ponsonby, Auckland

Baked whole snapper, Risotti ai Gamberi, and Polenta Cakes
Polenta Cakes were awesome, crispy outside and creamy soft inside. We love them!
at Prego Cafe and Restaurant
Ponsonby, Auckland

Short Espresso was super excellent! Strong, thick, and fresh.
at Prego Cafe and Restaurant
Ponsonby, Auckland

Goodie bag from Nourish Magazine
Thank you, Vicki!

My companies for the evening: Carmella and partner Boon-Li.
Thanks you two! X.

A lovely catch up with Danti and Yessy
at Toru Cafe
Ponsonby Central, Ponsonby
Till we meet again!

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