Food Photography Masterclass with David Loftus

Food Photography Masterclass with David Loftus - Learn Food Photography and Food Styling

In this special post, we share lessons from one of the most famous food photographers in the world – David Loftus. David is a food photographer who works closely with Jamie Oliver.

This post will be specially helpful to someone who is new at food photography. In very simple language, David will teach you some aspects of photography like none other. These short videos are a good starter for anyone wanting to get into food photography and doesn’t know how to start.

Let’s begin this masterclass.

What Makes a Great Food Photograph?

Do you know the answer to that question?

A photo that makes the viewer say I want that… that’s what a great food photo is. We’ve talked about what’s make a great food photo when we discussed how to read a photograph.

David shares his post photo shoot process and talks about a magazine story that he is photographing. Some good bite sized nuggets in this video.

Aperture and Depth of Field

Aperture is important for getting appropriate depth in your food photo. The wider your aperture setting, the shallower (or softer) your depth of field will be.

In this first video, David shares how aperture impacts depth of field. David demonstrates this concepts using a boiled egg.

The wider your aperture is going to be, the faster the shutter speed required for allowing right amount of light. Notice in the video (1:52 mark), the focus is on only short distance and everything else is soft and out of focus.

Similarly, if you close the aperture, the speed is “opened” or reduced. Now, with this, (2:10 mark) when more light is coming in through the aperture, focus is spread to larger depth. The background starts becoming distracting in this.

Take a look at this, in the following video.

In this video, did you observe what David says right before he starts shooting? Did you notice how he started shooting the photo?

We’ve discussed what every aspiring food photographer needs to know. If you don’t know this, click here and read it now.

Composition and Food Styling

In the next video, David teaches how to work with food stylist and simple compositional tricks for making better food photos.

David’s food stylist styling designs the plate from a certain angle and place. This is important to understand that in most cases, a dish will look good only from the same angle it was prepared from. Watch the video to learn more.

Have a problem with tilted bottles in your photos? David shares a cool trick to fix it. This involves coins. Check out the video.

Distracting backgrounds? Add a plan background that creates a horizon or horizontal line in the photo and notice how that changes your photo.

Click play to watch the video

How can you use these food photography composition tricks? Have you used similar tricks in food photo shoots?

Cameras for Food Photography

David talks about his camera and in a very simple language talks about his professional camera. He also talks about two camera that are used for food photography. Watch the video and below this video, take a peek at the list we’ve created.

Cameras from the Video

In the video above, you’ve seen three types of cameras that David uses. Below is the list of different type of cameras used in the video.

  1. Medium frame – While David does not specifically share his camera type, here is one popular medium frame camera. If you have never come across any medium frame camera, take a look at this. Do you see how much they cost? and what they look like? Here’s the link again.
  2. Point and Shoot Camera – David shows how point and shoot can be used for food photography. Here’s our favorite point and shoot.
  3. The last one – If you didn’t catch this in the video – here’s the last one! Surprised???

Food Photography Lenses

In today’s last video David talks about lenses. He tends to use prime lenses and also uses tilt and shifts. Macros is also something he uses for food. Wide angles typically don’t work with food.

David also shares a tip on getting close on cheap. Close up filters and extenders – Put them on your lenses and you can get close with those. If you don’t know what extenders or extension tubes for close up are, take a look at these.

In past we’ve looked at popular food photography lenses. David talks about some common lenses. He talks about this one for it’s versatility. And this is second choice.

More Masterclass Videos

In second part, we talk about lighting and tricky food photography. If you liked this post, sign up below to get similar posts as soon as we publish them.

 

Did You Learn Something New?
Don't Miss The Next Food Photography Tip
Get food photography tutorials and tips in your email as soon as we publish them. Get information about food photography workshops and workshop notes.

Comments

  1. Seen this videos some time ago and shame there is only few of them. They are very inspirational!

  2. Thank you for sharing this information. Am a huge fan of David’s work.

  3. Will there be more videos? I have seen these too on youtube…

  4. What kind of photography language is this?
    “The wider your aperture is going to be, the faster the shutter speed required for allowing right amount of light. Notice in the video (1:52 mark), the focus is on only short distance and everything else is soft and out of focus.
    Similarly, if you close the aperture, the speed is “opened” or reduced. Now, with this, (2:10 mark) when more light is coming in through the aperture, focus is spread to larger depth. The background starts becoming distracting in this.” Does the writer know any photographic principles and how to write them down?

  5. I watched the first video where Mr. Loftus explains the difference between a wide(large) opening like f2.8 and a small opening like f9. (The larger the number the smaller the opening and the smaller the opening the larger the number). Than he explains what happens when you use a smaller opening or as we often call it a larger number f stop, the image of such a small or larger opening in your shutter can best be shown by a lens leaf shutter. He says that a smaller opening like f9, as compared to a wider opening like f2.8, lets in more light.
    It is not the f stop of f9 that lets in more light, but the slower shutter speed as a result of using a smaller aperture, or f stop in order to match it to the first exposure of a wide opening and a longer timed shutter speed. I think Mr. Loftus had an unfortunate ‘freudian’ slip.

  6. Hi – great blog. I think the reason why David loftus doesn’t tell us what camera he’s using is because it doesn’t matter and it might put a beginner off to know that a top quality camera will set you back 20,000. It’s more about the lighting, the best light being from a window.

    So forget all the equipment talk – concentrate on the light.

    Thanks for a great blog from the Gideon hart food photography studio in London. http://www.gideonhart.com

  7. Silvia Cocco says:

    Hello,
    How can I photograph chocolate?
    How do you get the effect of the chocolate shiny?
    I would like to photograph the chocolates as those of Perugina or Lindt and the like.
    I await answers and advice,
    thank you very much
    Silvia

  8. I just want to tell you that I am new to weblog and really enjoyed your web page. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You actually have good well written articles. Regards for sharing your blog site.

  9. Dry skin and hair, burning dry eyes, scanty urination,
    constipation, lack of perspiration and fatigue are all signs of deficient Yin.
    madhunashini ordinary course of general health improvement in a diabetic and protects the nerves,
    heart, blood vessels, eyes and kidneys. It is possible to treat
    cough with simple natural remedies without using any prescribed medication.

  10. Aw, this was a really good post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t manage to get anything done.

More in tips (2 of 10 articles)