I love my blog, I love everything about it: thinking about it, preparing for it, doing the cooking (of course!), and then …….. taking the photos.
Photography has now become a passion of mine. It wasn’t before: typically, I took photos only when I went on holiday. But with the blog, there was this slow realisation that hello! photos were important here! Now, I absolutely love it! I am so fortunate to belong to a fabulous photo club here in Istanbul where everybody is enthusiastic and supportive. We have such fun with it – who wouldn’t be a photographer in such a colourful city as Istanbul? The photographic opportunities are endless for we have not only the city but the history and the archaeology and also the FOOD!
I see that I haven’t posted for a week, a whole week, but the reason is that I was wrapped up in a food photography course for three of the days. It was really great: we were 5 with Murat who is a professional food photographer with Time Out, and also Cenk from Fototrek who is, I can say, our photo club mentor in many ways.
The upshot of the course is that light (and shadow) is everything and ideally one should have a designated dark room equipped with extra lighting and special flashes not to mention diffusers and reflectors! The lasting result despite not having all that is that it was very exciting and motivating – I love learning about new things and this was very stimulating!
Just some quick examples of what we learned and photographed with lots of help from Murat and Cenk:
|a variety of cookies with different lighting: if you look closely you can see that the bottom|
picture is better illuminated, the background is not so intense , the shadows not so pronounced
From there we went to strawberry tartlets! Murat had bought them in Kadıköy on his way to the studio in the morning so the strawberries had lost a little of their initial freshness. Not to worry, he said, we’ll use a little glycerine to restore the shine!
|inviting strawberry tartlets|
Then it was time to learn about photographing drinks and that was incredibly interesting:
|it’s all about creating an effect|
Take two glasses: fill to the brim with ice cubes and wait for condensation to start. Pour in the liquid, in this case, the red one is a real drink but the blue one is a cleaning product, I think it was camsil!! The effect Murat wanted was contrast. Those glasses looked sensational. But the best thing was the reflection which is not a reflection: instead those 2 glasses are balanced on top of 2 more upturned glasses. It’s all an illusion but oh so effective. If the ice is melting too fast, spray the outside of the glasses with fine drops. Light from the back with a diffuser. The overall effect is amazing! We were all entranced.
If only we could achieve that at home!
And then finally Cenk nipped out to the next door lokanta and bought a takeaway lunch, asking specially for everything to be packed separately and the köfte to be only half-cooked!
Then Murat acted the part of the food stylist! He first made a mould with the rice, then artfully arranged everything else around it. The main point was the meatballs which look mouthwatering due to the fact that they weren’t cooked all the way through!
|don’t you think the köfte look delicious? – it’s because they’re half-cooked! this way the texture is shown to full advantage|
Apparently that’s the trick with meat.
I mentioned that I had been totally incapable of taking decent photos of kıymalı ıspanak/ spinach with mincemeat – it looked ghastly, one big mess, and they both laughed. Apparently, not surprising. So what was I supposed to do, I asked? Cook the spinach and the mince separatedly was the answer. Assemble the dish bit by bit ..hmmm.
Different backgrounds, use of different colours, arrangement of the different foods and plates or bowls, shapes, and of course, above all, LIGHTING!!! That is the bottom line!
Don’t know how I can manage that because of course I cook and we eat! I can’t hang around styling the food to this degree, I am not a professional.
But it is all fascinating stuff and certainly something to think about when taking pictures of food.
I loved this course, it was an eye-opener in so many ways!