I had an absolutely wonderful day yesterday at The School of Artisan Food, learning all about food photography with the fabulous Joan Ransley.  I learned LOADS.  If anyone can convince me that I have it in me to take half decent food photographs, it’s Joan.  She really does have an amazing ability to make this seem eminently doable, her enthusiasm is super contagious.  She’s an absolute inspiration.  I love her.  

As regular readers will know, my food photos are generally awful, but I’ve decided to try and make more of an effort from now on – ha ha!  Here, for comparison, is my photo of shame.  Probably the WORST food photo I have ever taken.  Of Clark Gable’s Devilled Tomatoes – which, you would never know from this unappetising photograph, were actually very tasty…

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So here are a few of my best shots from the day.  One of the things I learned was the three main types of angle for food photography.  The current favourite, overhead:

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a bit wonky, but not bad…

The eye-level:

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the cheese does look good!  

And the 3/4 – although I didn’t take many of these, and I’m not sure this is actually a 3/4…  

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There was another course underway at the school, and the lovely Valentina Harris was kind enough to let us invade their pasta making space, and snap away.  I really enjoyed that.  In fact, I think I liked it better than the “still life” type photography…  I am very pleased with how these turned out!

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As soon as I got home today, I rustled myself up a Steve Allen burger with some home made coleslaw and tried to put something of what I’d learned into a pic.  So here’s something a little better than my usual rushed photos of “food just before being eaten”.  As advised by Joan, I planned the composition a bit before the food was ready.  I was surprised that there was actually still enough natural light at about 7pm to take this, but I think I am really learning about the magic triangle of ISO, aperture and shutter speed.  This has always been something I considered only members of MENSA could get to grips with, but I’m getting a kind of hazy understanding of it now…  

The key for me I think, will be to try and take pictures with my proper camera on a more regular basis, rather than snaps on the iPhone…  This will be the only way it will all sink in I reckon…

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This time around for Steve’s burger, I used Henderson’s Relish (which you can see in the background) rather than Worcestershire Sauce.  This seemed quite appropriate as I’d been in the Sheffield area-ish this weekend.  The recipe for Steve’s burger will be in my next article for eatdrinkfilms I think…  I am planning to do a column about Hollywood burger recipes…

I had such a lovely time oop North.  Thank you School of Artisan Food, and thank you lovely Joan!  Thanks to you I threw caution to the wind and blew £12 on a box of vintage knives and forks in in a junk shop Worksop for “props” on the way back to London.  What about my plans to declutter?  Oh to hell with it!  Some silver polish will have to be purchased…

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