Monday, December 3, 2012

Cook Night

So this week I went out to photograph a friend's cook night. This was in the spirit of reality TV cooking shows, where the guys divide into two groups and have to cook as many tasty dishes as possible within the time limit.

So I ran around for a couple of hours trying to capture people  and all the cooking action going on, holding my camera in one hand and a flash on a short extension pole in the other.

In this kind of situation the 17-50 lens is invaluable, as it lets you take wide shots of everyone, and sometimes take interesting angles (for example, from the direction of the stove and up at the cook) or go to 50 mm for a portrait over the length of the table.

Anyway, here's a selection of the night's best shots:

The place is in Rishon LeZion's industrial area, with these guys having a couple of cook - challenges a day. Here is a link to their website.

 I started out trying to set two flashes on either side of the room. But then I would have needed to control them manually (the second flash has no power control) and that was a bit slow. Even if I only played with the aperture and left them on constant power, I would have a hard time finding the right flash power on the move.

Also there were quite a few difficult angles, and I constantly switched between the two groups and so putting the flash in one place was not a possibility.

That doesn't mean I would reduce to shooting with on-camera flash! I took the central shaft off my tripod (a SLIK sprint pro II I recently got) and stuck the flash at it's edge. Then I tried to get good lighting waving the 30cm pole in my left hand while I took pictures with my right.

Since a lot of the walls were white I dialed up the TTL to +1 EV and let the camera figure out what flash power to use. I shot at f/5.6 because that is where my lens starts getting sharp and at 1/60s to get a little ambient. I shot everything on ISO200 since the flash didn't look like it was having a hard time. If I was shooting longer distances or with higher ceilings I would definitely got to 400.

Making (surprisingly) tasty parve desserts. You can see that just holding out the flash to my left already makes lighting a lot better.

I love this: people taking pictures of people taking pictures of other people.

Some of the food as it was being prepared... 

Burgers are ready! 

Boss chef commenting on the food and deciding which group won (surprise: it was a tie).

If you think it is a strange coincidence that I get myself invited to all these food-for-photos events than you are right: "I will take pictures for food". Hmmm I should really get a cardboard sign that says that. 

I do hope next week will have more of the same. God forbid I actually pay for dinner! 

A link to some more photos from the event on my facebook page

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