Depth of field in food photography

My wife makes one delicious apple crisp. The recipe is simple, and with a few substitutions, it’s dairy free because my youngest son has a dairy allergy.

Apple Crisp with Whipped Cream

I must note that in this photo, the whipped cream is obviously dairy, but if you leave that off, it’s as dairy-free as needed. If you are interested in the recipe and substitutions, let me know and I would be happy to send you more details.

After looking at the photos, I came to realize that depth of field is vital to succesful food photography. Depth of field allows you to focus on one dessert, while the other elements of the photo (in this case other dessert settings and some green apples) go to support the overall image. It’s amazing how a little change in aperture can affect the overall feel of a photo, and enhance the part you want the end-viewer to notice.

The photo was taken back in January 2009 using my Canon Digital Rebel XT. It was part of a photoshoot for an article in Wasatch Woman magazine related to food allergies.

~signed, Carltonaut

Hungry for cookies?

It’s amazing how many shots I find myself taking in order to get the one that is just right. Well, the photo of these cookies (which are dairy free, nut free and egg free) is the finished product of what seemed like hours of photographing cookies. The challenge was to not eat them until after I had the shot I wanted.

Cookie anyone?

As a public relations professional, I often work with media outlets to provide story ideas, then help facilitate the story if they like it. This is what led me to photograph cookies. I had pitched a story to a Utah-based magazine, Wasatch Woman, about food allergies. My two sons have allergies, so I became involved with the Utah Food Allergy Network and was looking to bring more awareness to childhood food allergies.

After making the pitch to the editor, I offered to not only place her in contact with some families who are dealing with food allergies, but also provide recipes of treats that were free of certain allergens. She mentioned her photographer was on maternity leave (or something like that) and asked if I could provide some photos. Since they would be printed in a magazine, I felt the pressure of making them worthy of publication.

Cooking them was the fun part. Photographing them was the challenge. I didn’t have any lighting beyond the on-camera flash, so I pulled in a few lamps from around the house to help light the scene. I attached my 50mm, 1:1.8 lens to my Canon Digital Rebel XT, opened up my aperture as wide as it would go and started clicking away.

While I don’t think I’m cut out to be a professional food photographer, it was fun to try something new and see what I could come up with. And it was even cooler to see my photo printed in a publication that was sold in stores across Utah.

~signed, Carltonaut