Food photography is an art…and not an instinctive one at that. After I viewed a food photography how-to by Joe Glyda on KelbyOne, I was astonished to learn that pancakes are sprayed with Scotchguard to keep the syrup and butter from soaking in, that a steamer wand produces the steam off “hot” vegetables and other “steamy” foods, and sometimes the milk splash shooting out of a bowl of cereal is plastic! If I’d known some of the things I learned on this video when I was photographing food for the Famous Mo’s website, I would have done things a bit differently.
That being said, and fresh off my experiment with water drops the other day, I had in my mind something I’ve seen in many wine and beverage ads: an incredible splash as the liquid hits the bottom of the glass. Let me just say that my bottle of wine is very well aerated! I kept pouring it back into the bottle (using a funnel) so that I would get the best effect. I learned that I need to improve my “studio” lighting (two Ott lights in front of a white trifold board supplemented by an off camera speed light setting on the kitchen granite) and I need to perfect my pouring technique. I didn’t start this experiment until well past the time I normally pour myself a glass of Zinfandel and was so intent on what I was doing that I didn’t pour myself a glass until after 8PM, about the same time I ate a bowl of microwaved lentil soup that was not particularly blog-worthy, given what I now know about food photography.
But, rest assured that this is the real deal! Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage Vines Zinfandel was my model this evening. And I must say, it is pretty good! I think I bought it at Costco. I have much more experimenting to do on this technique and I’m sure there are “tricks of the trade” that I should learn but I was pretty happy to get a “crown” in the glass. I also did quite a bit of processing to remove the weird shadows that appeared because of my inadequate lighting and to get the high-key effect I was after.