Posts made in July 2011

Food photography

July 29, 2011 10:00 am HKT No comments

20110729 Food photography

There are always “Rule no. 1…Rule no. 2…” under “Tips for Photography” when you are browsing on the Internet, scanning for shortcuts and stuff for shooting. And I am always questioned on my way of blogging about how to shoot this or shoot that. But fact is I am not always following correct or orthodox photography methods. That is because I often work things out by intuition, which turns out to be more fun and innovative, if you don’t mind me using that word.

I insist that “fun” is the key word, because photography is not a science, although the apparatus is made through scientific means, so to speak. Try going to the library and picking out books on photography. You’ll find that the skills, the demo pictures printed in the last decade, will make you jump out of your seat! I say that rules are not gospel truths because things change. Creativity means more than principles. But of course you should know the basics before you “innovate.”

Last time I talked about some low-key food photography, I showed you the photo of Nanxiang brand steamed bread I took in Shanghai. I chose to get a shallow depth of field in that scenario. But what I show you now is a photo of hotpot with a deeper depth of field. This shot is done with the Triopo LED light panel that my assistant held above the dish. You really have to do a few test shots to find the perfect angle of light direction. And regarding the focus, since I decided to show all the food with sharpness, I chose a smaller aperture coupled with ISO 800 to make things work.

Photo 2 is a bit different, since I went for the shallow depth of field effect. These are spring rolls that I enjoyed in a Shanghai restaurant. The thing I like about this photo is the contrast between the lit area and the dark area. You can also find the “contrast” between the focused and unfocused parts of the photo. In fact, you can easily get the bright and dark contrast with this LED light panel by directing the light more to the front part of the framing so that no unwanted light will appear in the foreground; then that part of the photo will be in a dark zone. But you have to bear in mind that there may be flare as a result, so it is advisable for you to always get the hook on the camera.

20110729 Food photography - 1

20110729 Food photography - 2

Photo 3 and Photo 4 were taken in the famous Fairmont Peace Hotel of Shanghai. This cozy cafe was not crowded with customers, but what I saw inside were all ladies. They were all dressed up and nice looking. And you can see a model-looking lady waiting for her take-out at the cashier in Photo 3. The cakes looked nice in that kind of lighting — another food shot I got here.

20110729 Food photography - 23 20110729 Food photography - 4

20110729 Food photography - 5

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM 1 1 1 1 1
LED lighting Triopo LED Light Panel 1 1

The Bund

July 27, 2011 10:00 am HKT No comments

2011 The Bund

I walked along the Bund of Shanghai around 5:00 PM this day. This was the fourth time I had been around this area. There hadn’t been a single day recently with the sunlight I needed for a beautiful sunset shot. But the “artificial light” fixed on the buildings there provided me with good scenes to shoot.

The Bund’s beauty is artificial, but it is also living proof of capital abundance. Every time you point your camera to the scene, you wonder why there are places that constantly have money pouring in while other places are neglected. And if you’re concerned about our environment to any extent, you might also wonder how much money, or to be exact, how much electricity, is used in all those lighting appliances. I am not an active advocate in environmental protection or conservation, but I’m still puzzled by the cost of all that artificial beauty— beauty at the expense of human resources.

2011 The Bund - 1

2011 The Bund - 2

2011 The Bund - 3

2011 The Bund - 4

2011 The Bund - 5

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM 1 1 1 1 1

Creating different looks for your model by a mixture of lighting drills

July 25, 2011 10:27 am HKT No comments

With a mixture of lighting setups, Alex finds the ways to reveal the colorful characters of his model.

Product link

Bike trip

July 22, 2011 10:00 am HKT No comments

20110722 Bike trip

I took these photos outside a church in Shanghai’s Xu Hui district on a Sunday morning. People were either worshiping in the church or busy shooting pre-wedding photos under the sunny sky. But there were a couple or two that were happily preparing their bike trips around the city. They included the parents and their kids, both around age 1 or 2, but they seemed to have a solemn face not commonly seen at this age. The family inevitably drew the attention of a passerby, a local woman that found the kids so interesting that she followed the bike along the road.

The black motorbike and its sidecar here is such a classic, and it’s more eye-catching with the two kids inside. The family in this vehicle just arrived at the entrance of a restaurant and they were ready to join a buffet party. I was happy to be invited to the party too, where I enjoyed a long lunch and a big beer.

20110722 Bike trip - 1

20110722 Bike trip - 2

20110722 Bike trip - 3

20110722 Bike trip - 4

20110722 Bike trip - 5

20110722 Bike trip - 6

20110722 Bike trip - 7

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5 Photo 6 Photo 7
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

City of energy

July 20, 2011 10:00 am HKT No comments

20110720 City of energy

It is common to find people from different countries in a city like Shanghai. In this place called Xintiandi, local people and tourists enjoy their long lunch at the sidewalk cafes. It is also quite common to find the “to see and to be seen” phenomenon in such a place. So you see beautiful people walking around, turning their smiles to photographers in front of them. And some friendly people at the cafe seem so accustomed to cameras and flashes that they even put on a show or something to draw your attention. Shanghai people have a busy life, I guess. They are energetic and they love their city. So you can find graffiti that says “Be strong Shanghai” to cheer up the local people. Shanghai kids are, of course, the apples of their folks’ eyes. It’s really a place that astonishes you in a positive way.

20110720 City of energy - 1

20110720 City of energy - 2

20110720 City of energy - 3

20110720 City of energy - 4

20110720 City of energy - 5

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM 1 1 1 1 1