Still Life – Recipe – Preparation

Brief
A4 portrait shot of recipe ingredients in a single image.
No humans.
Assembled dish does not need to be included, but may be if desired.
Lighting must not be ambient. Must be controlled lighting, either at home or in the studio.

Recipe ideas
I want my shoot to be relevant to a recipe I can actually follow. I compiled a list of some of my favourite dishes, and some stereotypical Scottish dishes to consider.

Peach iced tea – peaches, orange, tea bag, loose leaf tea, mint, lime, sugar, raspberries.
Lemon meringue pie – lemon, orange, raspberry, flour, eggs, sugar
Scones – butter, milk, egg, flour, sugar, raisins
Cullen skink – (too many ingredients)
Haggis, neeps & tatties with whisky sauce (too Scottish)
Cranachan – berries, eggs, cream, whisky
Macaroni cheese – because who doesn’t love mac n cheese – macaroni, milk, flour, butter, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, salt, pepper (too yellow)

Of the recipes shortlisted above, the peach iced tea appeals to me the most, with the lemon meringue pie and cranachan my back up ideas. I like the bright sharpness of fresh fruit and berries and I think they present a lot of playful opportunities. Additionally, the variety of textures, colours, and nature of the ingredients will hopefully add an element of depth to the final image: sugar cubes, orange and peach slices, and loose tea leaves.

I already have an idea in my head of how I want to set this shot up, tweaked from this basic sketch:

This is why I study photography, not fine art

I had the idea of fruit and mint leaves falling into a colourful teacup, surrounded by tea leaves. I want to shoot against a blueish purple backdrop with some texture, but not so much as to distract from the subject matter. I like the whimsical feeling this stirs in me, and I’ve tweaked it into a more three dimensional idea. I want to shoot from above, and have the ingredients spiralling into the teacup. I would rather do this physically than in post-production. We’ll see how it works out…

Completing Part 1 of my research into food photography gave me an opportunity to reflect on my approach. I think I’ve spent too much time trying to plan the shoot, but I need to just start trying things out. This includes shooting against a range of backdrops. I like the impact of orange on blue, but limiting myself to such a palette could be limiting to the creative freedom we have for this assignment.

Plan for Mon 30th Sep
Trial speedlight/portable studio lights at home
Source tea cup
Trial compositions
Trial different lenses: 18-24 mm; 50 mm prime; 18-55 mm; and >100 mm
Notes on above to be added to this post.

Published by Ash Lyons Photography

Scottish photographer. I like wildlife, rugged landscapes, people, and their stories.

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