Still life or food photography

One of the things I like being part of a local camera club is that you are more or less forced to think about certain subjects you normally would have ignored or haven’t thought of at all. Our club organises a small internal competition each year around 5 different subjects. One of those for this year is Kitchen, kitchen table, utensils. Each member interprets this subject in his or her own way, of course, and it’s always fun to compare each other’s interpretations afterwards. There are no further rules that apply to the kind of work that is to be submitted, other than that it have to be photographs, of course.

For this particular subject, I started with a kind of strobist approach. I experimented in the kitchen with pots and pans while cooking food. With a piece of black paper as a background and an off-camera flashlight to accentuate the steam. Although, they were OK, I didn’t think they were very strong and convincing.

First strobist experiment

I definitely didn’t want to take the more or less standard food photography shots you see in food magazines everywhere. So, no macro shots, no extreme depth of field. You probably know the kind of shots I’m talking about here. I defined the type of shot I did not want to take fairly well. But what about the pictures I did want to take? I don’t know exactly why, but somehow still life paintings from the 17th century came to mind. One evening I simply played with a composition and lighting in the studio and I must say I was rather surprised with the results.

First still life attempt

To be honest, I felt quite encouraged with the first attempts. I didn’t like the allblack background, though. I mean, black was OK, but I felt it needed some structure. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the following evenings I continued with my still life food photography in the Dutch Masters style. Here are the results.

As always, I’m more than interested to hear your thoughts. For those considering to take similar photos themselves, I will publish a link here shortly to a description on what I’ve done to get the above results. Enjoy!

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