Food photography class at the Gourmet gannet, Muriwai

(more examples available at and )

The inaugural food photography class for food bloggers took place last weekend at Muriwai at the gourmet gannet workshop  All partcipants all found it useful , but had particular concerns that I thought I could address further in this post.

The basics of cameras is always a good place to start, and some of you found apertures and shutter speeds confusing. Simply put : With the aperture , the higher the number the smaller the hole and the smaller the whole the more there is in focus . With Shutter speeds the higher the number the faster the shutter speed and the better ability to stop fast motion. So if you are pouring cream or sauce in a picture , you might want to consider this. The two are interrelated so in any given amount of light  they need t0 be adjusted to get the correct exposure , and then creative decisions taken as to  whether you want more in focus or you need to stop movement for some reason – or if you are hand holding the camera you will need the fastest shutter speed you can use to make your details crisp and sharp. If you need to acheive a small amount o focus then a wide aperture and a fast shutter speed need to be used.

In focus with detail

To increase or decrease the sensitivity to light of your camera you can use the asa /iso setting . the higher the setting the more sensitive the camera is to light , but at the cost of a degradation in the image quality , but this will depend on the model of camera, and the bigger the camera the bigger the chip and pixels and the more ability to gather light and produce a higher quality image. So an SLR is better than a point and shoot in this regard.

Tripod – Use a tripod if possible , its so much easier if only one thing is moving around. Its not just to keep your camera still , but it can be an important tool to aid composition.

Different light sources – we looked at the difference between tungsten and daylight , many of you were concerned about how you might photograph your food in winter and the shortage of daylight hours to work with. Remember your camera has a tungsten light switch which allows you to use indoor light , if using conventional tungsten bulbs , if using fluorescent, we looked at how to balance the lighting with a grey card using the raw file settings on your camera, .we can do this with jpegs as well within some programs like the Canon digital

wide apeture,soft focus background

professional pro we were using . ( free with your Canon SLR ) its also possible in Adobe lightroom and Camera Raw amongst other computer  programmes.  Some programmes also allow you to shoot directly to your computer , very useful for a better assessment of your images.

tungsten light , camera with daylight setting

tungsten light , camera with tungsten setting















the light as it appears to the camera, very cool and blue



after correction with grey card balance

Reflectors- a basic reflector, white or silver , can make all the difference to lighten shadows and create attractive highlights on the food. We also looked at using a black reflector to deepen shadows and get  a more ” rembrandt painting” style of effect.


with black reflector

with white reflector


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One thought on “Food photography class at the Gourmet gannet, Muriwai

  1. Thomas

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