Over to You
Doug Landon takes advantage of Florida’s outdoor fairs to satisfy his appetite for mouthwatering food photos…
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I’ve always been interested in photography and did a little bit back in the film days. However, it was a hobby, and I couldn’t afford the money or space for a developing lab. When digital technology finally came to photography I knew it was my chance to fulfil a long-held desire. The books and photos I was studying made it apparent that a point-and-shoot wouldn’t handle my photographic aspirations. At that time the popular enthusiast D-SLR was the Nikon D70. I purchased one and have never looked back.
As Nikon has upgraded its camera range, I’ve upgraded mine. I sold the D70 to upgrade to the D90, and then upgraded to a D7000, which is my current camera body. The wonderful thing about Nikon cameras is that they retain a good portion of their value and always seem to have a solid resale market.
My photography interests are varied. I like portrait work as much as landscapes, and action photography as much as studio. I’m always looking for anything that might make an interesting subject. In westcentral Florida, where I live, the time to do things outdoors begins in October and runs through to March. During this time west-central Florida
Space and shooting locations are limited… flexibility is key, so a flash unit for fill-light and a good mid-range zoom are a must
hosts numerous outdoor fairs, festivals, art shows and the like. And there’s always food. Lots of food. Most people love eating, as do I. But for me, the food appeals as much to my photographic hunger as it does to my stomach’s hunger, and it’s almost always the case that the food vendors prepare their food in full view of the patrons.
Capturing attractive food shots at fairs can be a real challenge. There simply isn’t the opportunity to pose, light, and do other things to make the dish look like it belongs in a cookbook. Space and shooting locations are limited and people are everywhere. The vendors are generally not in the mood to pose as they’re serving customers. Flexibility is key, so a flash unit for fill-light and a good mid-range zoom are a must. It can often seem like trying to capture action at a sporting event, even though the food itself doesn’t move.
The light sources are generally a mix between sun, shade, and various types of artificial and neon lighting. Depending on the vendor location, the food might be in bright sunlight or shade. The golden hour has no meaning because the vendors’ trailers and trucks are generally stainless steel and highly polished, which means bright reflections from sunlight of any kind. In fact, a low sun sends light into the vendors’ trailers and usually creates hard shadows, whereas a high sun keeps the trailer interiors in shadow, so correct exposure with a little fill-flash makes for a more pleasing photo.
Over the years I’ve managed to capture a good variety of photos of the food offerings. I can testify that the food is as good as it looks!
01 Dip IN Nikon D90, Nikon AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 1/1250 sec, f/8, ISO400
02 All th e Trimmings
Nikon D7000, Nikon AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO400
03 Heaven on a stick
Nikon D7000, Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO100
04 Get th e check
Nikon D7000, Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO280