Minimalist Food Photography: Capturing the Beauty of Raw Food | Kate Weybret | Skillshare

Minimalist Food Photography: Capturing the Beauty of Raw Food

Kate Weybret, Photographer & Designer

Minimalist Food Photography: Capturing the Beauty of Raw Food

Kate Weybret, Photographer & Designer

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13 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Your Assignment: Capture 5 Image of a Raw Fruit or Vegetable

    • 3. Mood Boards & Storytelling

    • 4. Choosing Your Subject

    • 5. Gathering Tools & Materials

    • 6. Setting Up For Your Shoot

    • 7. Manipulating Light & Shooting Angles

    • 8. Styling & Shooting Your Subject

    • 9. More on Minimalism & Composition

    • 10. Selecting Your Body of Work

    • 11. Editing With Photoshop

    • 12. Peer & Self Critique

    • 13. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Join photographer and food-lover Kate Weybret in capturing the beauty of raw food! In this short and sweet (or savoury) class, Kate will walk you through the fundamentals of food photography in order to create modern and minimalist style photographs. You’ll learn everything from styling to lighting to the basics of composition. All levels of experience are welcome, whether you’re a seasoned photographer looking for a creative reboot, or a novice armed with a smartphone and Instagram. Basic knowledge of Photoshop and Camera RAW or Lightroom is encouraged for DSLR shooters. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to create a body of work showing just how beautiful food is!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kate Weybret

Photographer & Designer


I am a photographer and designer specialising in branding and identity design as well as travel, food and lifestyle photography.

In addition to brands, I am passionate about sustainable design practices as well as how messages of sustainability can be effectively communicated through design. I have a master's degree from London College of Communications where I spent a year extensively researching food waste in America and how the issues surrounding this topic could be effectively communicated to inform the public.

When I'm not exploring the world with my cameras and sketchbook, you'll find me reading a book while sipping chai tea or wandering a farmer's market in whichever city I happen to live in at the moment.

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1. Introduction: Hi, Kate Way Bret and I'm a food and lifestyle photographer and graphic designer based in lovely London, England, and Sunny California, which is where we'll be shooting are today exploring the beauty of food from capturing images of Iraq. While I was earning my masters in branding and identity design at London College of Communication, I knew I wanted to create a project within the field of sustainability. Now it's a very broad topic, so of course I had to narrow it down. I had noticed when I first moved to the UK that they really are aware of food waste and do a lot prevented promote awareness about it. When I started doing research on the topic, I discovered that my native home of California is America's most productive agricultural state. This inspired me to create a brand for my final project targeted at Californians to reduce their food waste footprint Result is a fictitious company called leftovers. One of the main brand elements were photographs, a tip of the bits of food we for away, such as the ends of carrots, eggshells, potato peelings, things like that. I had so much fun creating these elements for my brand that I wanted to challenge you to do something similar. So we're going to do today is hopefully gain a new perspective on food and explore it in a whole new way. 2. Your Assignment: Capture 5 Image of a Raw Fruit or Vegetable: I think a lot of people don't notice how truly beautiful food is. I mean, we may notice when food is plated nicely at a restaurant, but I just love going to a farmer's market and seeing hold of fresh, beautiful colors and textures there. So to show us all how truly beautiful is your assignment is to choose one, just one raw fruit or vegetable and photograph it in five images. So your first image will be sort of an overview of what your fruit or vegetable is showing us all of the parts. Or maybe it has a hole, and the other four will show individual parts of different textures and colors and just any new way that you visualize your images to take on any food of your choice. But we're going to stick with the minimalist style, really emphasized. Capture your images whoever you want, as long as you can upload the images. Still sure feel free. Use a DSLR your smartphone film pool, right? Anything. I'm really excited and looking forward to seeing what you come up with, so let's get shooting 3. Mood Boards & Storytelling: No, I said get started shooting. But there are few things need to do to get ready. Of course you need to choose are subject to gather tools, materials. But before we even do those things, I find it really helpful to gather inspiration. And I really think you will, too. So a great way to do this is the mood Board and billboards are visual way of gathering inspiration in one place, and they personally help me to define what my intent is and that ensures that I end up with . He's a body of work. By the end of the shoot, mood boards could be digital or physical. Whatever you find works best for you. I like to do both. Sometimes I'll flip through magazines. Look blog's browse Pinterest, which is a really easy way to gather imagery and save it on one board. You can create one or multiple mood boards for your shoot. They can include or be separated into categories such a color light move patterns, styling, backgrounds, composition whatever you find interesting, helpful. Don't limit yourself to just looking a food, either look at our protection for composition or fashion magazines for color palettes and lighting moves. I found this image in an interior design magazine and a legal incorporate the moon and the light from it. It's got a very open area. Feel to it. I like the neutral colors. There's little pop of green right here that I think is really nice, and I don't feel like you have to do anything like this. Your image could go dark and moody if you want, and that's all up to you and something that hopefully you will discover while you're making your mood board. I've also created a quick digital newborn illustrator of images that I found just on a quick contrition search. This one is more for composition. Well, uses a reference while I'm shooting. If I need ideas, crowded style or composed different elements and my chute. And while you're shooting, don't feel pressure to make your images natural. Report. We're not trying to recreate it. It's just they're kind of a tool to help you out. Once you have chosen your subject and you're playing with your composing it, cutting a inspirational come to you naturally and you may find that things you thought were just are looking so before moving on to the next video we'll choose are subject to gather materials. I'd like you to create a mood board and uploaded to your special projects so we can all see what direction you're going in and offer feedback. 4. Choosing Your Subject: So this morning we went to the farmers market to choose our subject matter. And as you can see, a couple oranges and rainbow chard choosing fruits and vegetables from my subjects. I just look for anything that sparks my interest in Grozny. Pay attention to what you find interesting, because those are the subjects that will be the most fun to photograph for you. Of course, the chart is really beautiful. No two pieces are the same and have a lot of different colors here. I like the veins in the leaves, and I think that would be a very interesting interesting aspect of the vegetable capture for the oranges. I really love this one in particular because of the brain and skin. It goes from a light orange to almost a yellow, and that's going to be a really beautiful feature to capture. This is what I would use for my over over your shot. We'll see when we get into it. I mean one up, using elements for the overview, but this one in particular, a great subject. Jesus, the first indigenous Siri's because it has a long but the defense stand. Really nice section. We focus in on. If your intent is to be more abstract, it would be great on the macro lens to capture that texture. Also, when I cut into it juice, there's a lot more going on here than meets the eye, which is what makes this really great subject an important thing to do when buying your produce to get I say 45 whatever you're going to vote about, because we're going to be cutting in juicing turn things and you're really gonna want to make sure you have enough before you start shooting, because I made, for example. But this orange in half and this orange slices are friends, and I use the sleep. So you just want to make sure that you give yourself, I think, for assignment. Today. I'm going to go ahead and oranges. I love the rainbow chard beautiful, but the oranges have a few more elements to them. Like I said, I hope that you and I think so. I'll save the chart to shoot another time in the next video. You 5. Gathering Tools & Materials: Now I'd like to go over some of the tools that I think will be really helpful for you on this shoot. So let's start with the basics. You'll, of course, need a cutting board and a knife or two. I have a chef's knife here and a paring knife. The paring knife will be especially good for getting the skin off of the oranges. Or I can peel it off with my hands for a different look and texture, just giving myself some options there and some tools to work with a great thing For people who will be shooting indoors with a window as their light source is parchment paper, you can use it to cover up the window for really nice, diffuse quality of light. We're going to be shooting outdoors today. It's a little bit overcast, so that's giving us that same diffuse quality and the nice off shadows you would get with parchment paper over a window. Of course, you may not want softer shadows. You may want a more dramatic mood with contrast the shadows and harder edges, but that's completely up to you. That sort of what could be achieved by shooting under direct sunlight in the middle of the day or late afternoon for longer shadows. I really love these eight clamps. They're super helpful in any situation. The possibilities are really endless with them. What? I like to use them for his propping up phone board, which is also an essential on any shoot. I haven't in white and black, and I use it to control my light to bounce light to create shadows to deepen shadows. And what we can do with these a clamps is clipped them to the phone board to stand them up . If you don't have an assistant, ate clams are your best friend on a shoot. Last but not least, I have a set of reflectors. This one is a diffusion panel that will unfold to a pretty big size. If you have one large enough, it can be used instead of parchment paper to cover up your light source and soften your light. This one is a double sided reflector with golden silver material. Each side will change the color of the light, depending on the mood. You want gold warm up the image and silver will cool it down, and I also have a black cloth. If I want a darker, moodier feel, this will be great as a backdrop. Or it could be used to block light to dark and overall image and to deepen shadows. So I think that about covers everything we need so we can start setting up for a shoot. 6. Setting Up For Your Shoot: So now we're gonna talk about our shooting location, A few things you want to look for our first of all, identifying your key light. So we're shooting outside. I love working with natural light. I think has a really beautiful element to it. Luckily for us today, I'm a little bit overcast, so it's like having a giant soft box and sky. So what we're gonna get is a very, very soft light in the soft shadow all around. We're here. We've got some trees behind us, so that's gonna create a bit of a shadow. And when I'm gonna show you guys, that's kind of how to manipulate your light a little bit in the next video. But we'll be using our bounce cards to kind of create more highlights and creates a more shadows and deaths. Another thing that a lot of you will probably do is shoot with a window as your key light source. So what you're gonna want to think about is where is that like coming from? And what kind of mood do you want to create? So way have our orange right here. If our window is behind the orange, it's gonna give us a strong backlight, and what that will do is kind of wrap image and will be kind of a more romantic type of feel. A little it will really create. It'll cast the shadow in the front, so you'll have to think about that versus having the window on the left or the right of your subject, which will create a bit more of a shadow on a bit more contrast. So you have one side of your subject in light and one in shadow, and you want to move around. You might be shooting with the table that you could move. That would be great. It'll make you more mobile. It will allow you to move your key light source. Remove your subject in relation to your key lights, or so you'll be able tow direct where that like it's gonna be. And we're going to do that with the from from today. Another thing you're going to think about is your background. So I'm shooting on this really great marble table. I am going for more of a light and airy feel today. Some of you, some of you will see in the first pass of the assignment I did. It was very dark and moody. I photographed some leaks on a darker background and going to go a little bit more light airy today. So I'm gonna shoot directly on this table, something that you'll be able to dio find your own backgrounds, which is really fun. The best advice I have for that is to go to salvage yards. You can get old wooden doors, you get slabs of marble slabs of granite and you want to think about that when you're kind of doing your mood board and your shot list What you want that background to be. So we've identified our shooting location. We have our light source, which is our big soft box and sky. The nice, diffuse light. We have our subject matter. You have a background, and next we're gonna talk about manipulating light, and we're gonna start shooting 7. Manipulating Light & Shooting Angles: So we're gonna get started shooting now. I'm gonna start by photographing this orange is a whole. I'm not 100% sure yet that my overview image will be just orange intact. May take a lot of elements put together in one image to make that I just love any of this so much. I love that Iranian on there. So I'm gonna photograph, despite first and as mentioned before, there's not a lot of directional light happening right here. So what I'm gonna do is take my black and set it up with a plan to just give myself a little bit more shadow on corn just to create a little bit more contrast. I think it'll make things more trusting. Another really hopeful tool that didn't mention before. Have a step stool. It will help you get higher to get those really high angles. Yes. So, while you're shooting, keep in mind that you could do this from any angle you really want. I'm gonna be doing my shoot from a high angle, and I'm gonna keep that consistent across each image just to have a cohesive body of work before you shoot. Maybe play with a few of the pieces of your subject. See what works for you. Kind of what you want to do. You can shoot it from a highlight angle, A low angle. You could do the whole shoot with macro lens. I'm getting really close and finding those nice textures of each of the pieces. Just keeping in mind that we're gonna go for a minimalist style for a shoot. I just wanted you guys to see the difference between those two shots. I just took one with the black from core on the left and one with it behind the subject. This is with it on the left so you can see the shadow kind of coming in right here. And we've got a lot of open light there. And this is that behind, so you can see how that brings the darkness. I work down in the image quite a bit, so I want you guys to really play with your light. And your light source is where your shadows are. Just to see how it affects the mood of your image. 8. Styling & Shooting Your Subject: So for the purpose of the class, we're keeping our shoot style as minimalist. And what that means is we're going to really be focusing on the beauty of the food rather than is styling it with props, towels, knives, forks, spoons, something else that you may see a traditional food photograph. So we're really focusing on the food on the background. So right now I am photographing my orange slices, and I'm just trying to arrange them in an interesting style, something that will lead the eye through the photograph in a kind of engaging way. This is something you can really play around with composition, as mentioned before when I spoke about mood boards. Um, look at design elements. See how so designers use leading lines. Teoh Constructive sign. Imitate something like that. You look at patterns. Feel free to create patterns with your elements, but again, just keep. Keep the image to, um, the same type of element for image. So don't mix the orange slices with the orange peels. But orange peels would be a great thing to take advantage of. Teoh. Create design out of a pattern, so please keep down. Make sure to keep checking in the back of your camera while you're shooting to make sure that everything is where you want it in the frame. Sometimes it'll look different between what you see and what the camera sees. Just make sure to keep talking as you're shooting. I want to really encourage you to play Starling. Consume, intimidating but not being afraid to move things around and to zoom in and out to try different crops is how you'll be able to tell what's working in a composition and what is it. Take a lot of photos and try multiple compositions for each piece of your subject, because when we edit our body of work together at the end, you might find that one composition works better than the other and the overall looking feel. 9. More on Minimalism & Composition: for those who are newer to photography, I'd like to talk a little more about minimalism and dive a little deeper into composition. Minimalism is a style characterized by extreme spareness or simplicity. What we want to do is highlight the subject by eliminating anything non essential to the subject. This is why we're using props for this assignment. It's also why we're focusing on one part of the fruit or vegetable per image, except in the overview shot. In keeping with a minimalist style, I'd like to encourage you to keep your background fairly neutral. I recommend using a solid color or something with a slight texture that complements the subject but won't distract from it. Multiple colors or patterns on your background will distract the eye when looking at the photo composition is important because it emphasises the subject or mood oven image and makes it both easily understood and aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. In essence, composition gives elements in an image purpose. There's a lot to be said about the rules of composition and art, so I'm going to just touch on four basic ideas that will help you the most With this assignment. Leading lines the rule of thirds repetition and symmetry, leading lines or lines and shapes within a photograph that helped lead the eye through the image. They give my direction in and out of a photograph, rather than them darting back and forth within an image, which can be confusing and unsettling for the viewer. Fork and the curve of the plate are both leading lines in this example that I can come in from the right and follow the fork out at the bottom left, or can come in at the top left and follow the curve of the plate out of the bottom, left the line of the fork intersecting the curve of the plate doesn't break the curve line or distract the I because both lines lead the eye out of the photo at nearly the same point . This image has very strong lines, leading the eye down and out the bottom. The strong vertical lines on the road are what lead the eye down. The horizontal lines in the top left portion of the photo actually leave the I to the vertical lines, helping draw the eye downward to the road and out of the composition. Another type of waiting line is an S curve. It could be seen commonly, and landscape photography that includes a winding road or in the curve of a body in portraiture. In this image, the curve of the building gives a variation of an S curve. The rule of thirds is a way to visually dissecting image into a three by three grid, which helps you place points of interest within the frame and visually balance the overall image. The use of negative space within the rule of thirds helps to achieve that balance. Negative space places emphasis on the subject and gives it breathing room, providing the viewer's eye a place to rest in. The image balance can also be achieved through multiple points of interest in a photo. Achieving this balance is more of a feeling than a defined compositional element, like the rule of thirds is different from symmetry in that the image doesn't need to be the same on each side. This type of balance can be achieved with the second point of interest that counters the main focal point and provides a little more weight within empty spaces. You can see in this image that without the bird. It feels very bottom heavy, and I gets lost in the sky in the top 2/3 of the image. Symmetry is used to bring a sense of harmony and unanimity. It could be horizontal, vertical or both. In some cases, repetition and patterns can be seen within symmetrical images. But patterns and repetition don't always mean an image is symmetrical. Both of these types of compositions can create a calming effect because the viewers I will know what to expect next. Repeating the same types of shapes or lines within your image creates a pleasant rhythmic flow. You could break repetition and pattern to by adding a point of interest that is out of place. This catches the eye off guard and can make an image more visually interesting. As I'm sure you noticed, images can have more than one compositional characteristic, so look for ways you can combine them. This image, for example, has letting lines and repetition of shapes. I hope this helps everyone understand the assignment a little more and maybe gives you a few new ideas on how to frame and style your subject. When you're done shooting, I'll see you in the next section to talk about postproduction workflow 10. Selecting Your Body of Work: Now that we're done shooting, I want to take you guys through my postproduction workflow of editing photos and deciding which ones will be included in my work, so hopefully it will help you out when you're doing your editing. So I used Adobe Bridge in camera raw, but light room is also a really great tool for processing photos. I've just always sound that bridge is better for how I work in California files. But do whatever works best for you. After I've imported the photos to my computer, I started by just taking a look at everything I shot so that I have a general idea of what's there. Then, when that's done, I'll quickly, quickly go through again and delete the obvious knows. And those will be shots that I first people have multiple exposures up, and I'll be able to tell right away which exposure to keep also, maybe how shop a few different compositions so I could just go back and forth between the compositions and see which ones which one. I think it's looking better on the third past. I really start to think about what shops like and which ones I don't so as I go, I label my selects, which are the ones I like best, so I could be them all together at the end. If I really shot a lot of images that day, it might be necessary to do this process lots or twice more. But I think this time will be good enough for us today, and I'm not trying to find my Final Five right now. I'm just looking at contenders for the final body of work, and that's what you end up, including multiples of the overview shot because I already know I like a few different versions of that shot. Okay, so when I'm down to the final few that I like, I'll go ahead and select all of them to view on screen so I can see how they're working together and is mentioned before, regardless of which ones make it to the Final Five. I really like to eat. I have upon screen moment, so now I'm going to open up camera raw and do a quick about it. First, I'll select all the photos and doing overall white balance correction and then just go through to see any of the shots in quick exposure adjustment. These problems are looking a little intense on the color to me, so I'm just going to bring this operation down a little bit. Teoh, calm down the overall feel of the image, and I'll take this operation down a little bit on this image is what I think, all right, I think those are looking pretty good now. Before I processed the images and save them into format. I'm going back into bridge to do one last pass and decide which my final five. As I said, I have multiples of the review shot, so I'm just going to select the other four. I know I'm definitely using and switch back and forth between the possibilities for the overview to see how the images all work together. I think this one is definitely the winner, so I'll go ahead and open up Kamerad to process images so we can put the finishing touches on in photo shop in the next video 11. Editing With Photoshop: All right, let's get started. Photo shop. The first thing I always do is out of contract. Curve this in. It doesn't need a lot because the refuse like we worked with me. Everything pop to begin with, but I'll bring up the highlights a little dark in the shadows a little, too. I feel like the red and yellow tones and the image are just a little too vibrant. So I'm going to do saturate the image by about 15 points. And when I make a new adjustment, I like to go back and turn the adjustment layer on and off to see how it affected the image . And I think I'll bring up the highlights on my contrast curve. Just a touch more. Okay, lets good. So I'll say that out so I can apply the adjustments to the other images. What I'm going to do next. It's just select the layers from the first photo and apply them. Teoh the other images so I can just like these layers and dragged him from the first file to the second file and we'll have a look at the before and after well said so I'll see you out I'm just gonna go ahead and apply those adjustments. All of these images. Then we can go through one by one and see if they unity further adjustments. I think I want crop it on this one ever so slightly. The space on either side of the slices doesn't feel quite balanced to me, so I'm going to take a little off the left side. Now that's feeling a little top heavy. So opening the cop crop down a little bit, okay? Looking good. The background on the supreme. It seems a little red to me, so she knew tries it. I'm going to add a new hue saturation adjustment layer and slept just the Red Channel using the eyedropper tool and take the saturation down quite a bit. Then to bring the color back in Genesis Friends, I'll take my brush tool and paint with black onto the mask of the adjustment layer so the color shows through. I'm not trying to be too precise about this, but I did make sure that my brush was feathered so that there aren't any obvious hard edges in the mask. That's looking good. I just think that out now. I already know I'm going to do something a little different with the orange slices because I use Cara Cara oranges with the red centre for all the images. But this one, and you can see that the flesh on the inside of appeal isn't the same color. So again I'll add a hue, saturation adjustment layer and in the Yellow Channel, I'm just moving the huse later, until I get the right shade of red and then with the layer must selected all press coming and I or control I on a PC to invert the mask and the same with the Supremes. I'll paint back in where the color to appear, but this time I want to paint with white. For those of you who are new to Photoshopped, a good thing to remember about masks is white reveals and block conceals. So I'll take the saturation down on that just a tiny bit and check my porn after. And I think I will just my contrast curve ever so slightly her. It's cool, so that's it in photo shop. As you can see, you don't need to do too much sugar photos. What most of those needed was just a slight contrast curve. No special color checks needed. Um, but now I made my final edits. I just want to put the images side by side on screen so we can see everything is working together. And there we have it in my body of work of pieces of the orange. 12. Peer & Self Critique: So now that we have our assignment all shot I would love for you guys to upload your project still shares that we can all check it out. I'll be around to offer feedback. And I hope that everybody will look at everyone else's projects and offer constructive criticism while you're doing that. Please keep in mind that this is a learning ensuring community, so keep it nice. Just keep it constructive. Um, offer great feedback for people. And I'd love for you to do a self between Well, upload your best in your worst photograph. Maybe tell us why you like your best photograph what? You think it's working. And in your worst photograph, let us know what you don't think. Works may be your worst photo. You just overexposure you under exposed. Maybe you don't like an element. Just it's a good way. Teoh, analyze your own work and see where you're going. Rather where your going rate 13. Final Thoughts: just to wrap up. I want to say thank you so much for taking my sculpture. I've had a ton of fun today photographing and show you guys what? I know. If you have any more questions, leave a message on the comment board. I'm your help. Be sure to take your peers, help each other out. Constructive criticism, just, you know, have fun and challenges. Owns. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with. Thanks.