One of the biggest headaches when photographing food and drinks is the amount of lighting available. When I first started working on food-related freelance assignments a few years ago, editors would sometimes ask for photos to go along with the article. Unfortunately, I was such a novice with my DSLR that the photos I took on location (whether it was a cafe, bar, restaurant, or greenhouse) came out too dark for the photo editor to use. Sometimes they sent a *real* photographer out; other times, when the budget was too tight, they made do with PR promo photos instead.
Over the years my on-location shots got a tad better, but never as good as shooting recipe experiments at home, where it's much easier to get natural lighting by the window or get faux bright lighting with a small photo tent.
And so, thank you Manhattan Cocktail Classic, for organizing this cocktail photography workshop and recognizing that there is a need for food and cocktail geeks to acquire skills for taking nice and discreet shots in low lighting. The key word is discreet. After all, the main purpose of going out to eat and drink is enjoying what you are eating and drinking, not getting assaulted with flashes or shutter sounds while someone next to you is overdocumenting their experience.
And of course, low-light techniques be as useful in noodle shops, banh mi stands, and dim sum parlors as in bars.Read More