Ever wonder how these dynamic and in-motion food photography captures are made? Do they just toss all the ingredients at once and hope for a nice composition? That would for sure take a lot of time and would not guarantee any promising result as all the ingredients would smash and collide into each other. If that is the result you are going for, you can try it that way. If you’re looking for a clean food photo where you can see each and every ingredient separately, then here is how to do it.
First position the elements and props that will be fix. In my case, that would be the table, the salad bowl and the background which is black in this scenario. I have also placed a couple of veggies on the table.
Second, you will want to set up your lights. There is no right and wrong in terms of food photography lighting, this really depends on your style and the look you are going for. In my case, I was going for something moody and with high contrast that would help define the texture of the ingredients and make them look yummy. If you have specific questions about the positioning and the ettings of the lights in order to freeze the action, you can refer to my previous article where I talk a little more about that.
Now comes the fun (and messy) part. You will select each and every ingredient you would like to have in your photo. Position yourself or your assistant up high using a step ladder ad let go on the ingredient. This will create some random effects on which you will still have control since it won’t be overwhelming. Below, you will see a few of the images of all the separate vegetables.
When you feel you have enough variety of images and you are satisfied with the result, you can stop and start the post processing in Photoshop.
In Photoshop, you will want to stack all the images together and align them. The alignement process is important because even if your camera is on a tripod, the shutter can make the camera shake a little bit and therefor create small positioning shift from one image to another. I will soon make a video to show you exactly how this process works. Now that all your images are stacked,simply use the mask tool to reveal or hide the ingredients you would like to see in the final food photo.
Here is how my final dynamic salad photo looks like
Hope you enjoyed this. As always, if you have any comment on technical question you would like to address, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.
Commercial & Food Photographer: Ali Kay
Studio: Studio Kay
Category: In-motion and Dynamic food photography
Lights: Profoto Pro8