I have been spending a lot of time of late looking at www.cookandeat.com a food photography blog set up by a local Seattle lass called Lara. She did an article a while back now about photography equipment for shooting food, and it got me thinking. Lara and I got chatting, and she recommended some changes to my setup.
First off, I have been shooting using my 20mm prime, which is something I bought ages ago for the work that Danika and I did on www.mattikaarts.com . Sure, this lens is great for architecture, but rather pants for food photography. She isn’t the only one to recommend the 50mm 1.4F prime Canon lens, in fact it seems there is a general consensus in the photography world that this is really the first lens you should buy (or the 50mm 1.8F which is a fair bit cheaper).
The second problem I have always been plagued with is lighting. The new kitchen helps, it is generally much brighter, however it is still overhead lights, halogen or otherwise. Lara recommended the Totopak light system on her article mentioned above, for shooting when daylight is not an option. I have to agree with Lara, whenever you can use natural light, you really should. The results look far more, er, natural. However, with Seattle in the winter, that is often impossible – especially since I do most of my cooking in the evening.
So, I broke down and got the 50mm 1.4F prime, and the toto light system. I tested out the lens at a kids party a month ago (a friend was gracious enough to lend it to me for the weekend), and I was hooked. The DoF was awesome, the bokeh perfect. I was hooked. I spent a month convincing myself that this lens and light would be a tax right off this year (if the cookbook gets published..). So screw it I thought. An amazon gift card for Christmas also made this decision easier!
I can be rather impatient at times, especially with delivery. However, this kit was expensive enough, so I wasn’t about to blow more cash on next day delivery. To cut a ridiculously long story short, the gear arrived today.
Yes, I wanted to wag off work early, and play with camera equipment all day. A day of meetings pretty much got rid of that idea rather fast though.
So we rushed home (Danika had an art class tonight – perfect!!!! I can play with camera gear :D), I fed Drake, and got him to bed in record time (good lad), and started to setup the new kit.
Just the lens and this light are going to help my photography a ton. I still have to get used to a new lens, and using a light setup that is a bit alien to me, but the early results (above) are promising. Yay for Lara from CookandEat.