How I Shot Sushi and Seafood Photos

Sushi PhotosWe are now accepting guest posts on food photography, food styling and related topics. If you are interested in writing for LFP, go to guest post page for more information.

This guest post and all the photos are from Martijn Smit, who lives in The Netherlands and is a semi professional food photographer and owner of www.culishots.com and www.martijn-smit.nl. In this post, Martijn explains how he shot these “naked sushi” photos and gives background about the thought process behind these wonderful photographs.

How I Photographed “Naked Sushi” and Seafood

Recently I shot a series of food photo’s in a friends restaurant. This friend is one of Hollands better cooks. He worked in several Michelin Star rated restaurant and really knows how to cook AND how to style it.

First we discussed what kind of food he wanted pictures of, especially structure and color was important: Shellfish, meat, vegetables and fruits was it, i.e. everything what’s used in the kitchen.

Sushi Food Photos

I proposed to take a black mirroring underground and a black background which gives beautiful contrast with bright green vegetables and orange color of cooked shellfish.

For the underground I took black plexiglass because it’s pretty cheap, easy to clean and light to carry. For the background I took black velvet. Velvet is the best to get real black backgrounds.

For the lighting I used a simple setup with only 2 monoblock flashheads which gives good effects, especially in combination with the shiny underground.

I used two flashes (I use Elfo monoblocks 600Ws each), one softbox 50x90cm, lifted pretty high as a fill-in light. The second flash had a wide reflector and was positioned left behind the still life table at table top level, for a nice striking light. This is what food pictures gives this typical food photo radiation.Naked Sushi Photos

To achieve a real black background, which was the meaning here, it’s important that the background is at least 1meter from the subject, better is 2m but we didn’t have that space. 1m of distance equals 1 F-Stop so 2 metres of distance results in the background to be 2 stops underexposed. This is a general rule which also goes for portraits photography or packshots.

I wanted to shoot with F16 an 1/125s: 1/125s because of handshaking, F16 because of DOF (depth of field). I shot with a Canon 1DS Mark III + a 70-200 F2.8 @ f150mm. F16 seems to be much DOF but if you use a calculator (http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html) you can see that DOF is only 5cm at this aperture!

This setup requires the softbox to be 1 stop less than the striking light from left behind. So very important is to measure you light setup with a good flash meter, I use a Sekonic 358.

Food Styling for Sushi

First I switch off the softbox, point the flash meter exactly (!) to the camera and light the striking flash. The flash meter will indicate how much light was transmitted by the flash.  As the shutter speed is fixed at 1/125s it will display the F-number in 1 decimal, for example F11,4. This means that you have to lower the flash energy with 0,4. On digital flashes this is easy to set.

As the softbox must be 1 stop lower this one has to be set to F8, same way as we set the striking light. Don’t forget to switch off the striking light otherwise it will influence the light measurement. When this is finished the shooting can start.

Another Sushi Picture

Important with a reflecting underground is the lower the camera is the brighter the reflection is. So pay a lot of attention to composition and point of view. This is not a matter of just clicking, take time to take the best shot and have a nice composition.

For this picture I took the lowest possible point of view. Don’t forget to clean the plate as with this low point of view you will see every tiny part of dust.

If you would like to write for LFP, please go to guest post page for more details.

What Do You Think?

Did you like this post? What did you think about these shots and Martijn’s story of these photos? Do you have any questions? Leave your comment below to get answers.

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.
  • Pingback: Tweets that mention How I Shot This – Sushi and Seafood Photos | Learn Food Photography & Styling Blog -- Topsy.com

  • http://hoosierhomemade.com Liz@HoosierHomemade

    Wow! Amazing! Thanks for sharing!
    ~Liz

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention How I Shot This – Sushi and Seafood Photos | Learn Food Photography & Styling Blog -- Topsy.com

  • http://foodalogue.com Joan Nova

    Stunning! I’m reminded I bought a black tile for that purpose and haven’t made much use of it. Got to dust it off.

  • plop the owl

    Great post and superb photos with tips. all too often beginners or those with a keen interested are left ‘in the dark’ when it comes to setting up shots like these and your post has a lot of useful advice – thanks a lot!

  • Mt.F

    It looks delicious! I was wondering, would you mind if I used your sushi photo for a menu? I’m just trying to find sushi with a black background! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.idealcheese.com/stiltoncheese.aspx Stilton Blue

    I am at a loss for words at how wonderfully taken those sushi shots are…not to mention how it captured my craving for jap food at this time! Great photos..thanks for sharing this!

  • http://supersushi.co.il/ סושי

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from.
    Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess
    I will just book mark this site.

  • http://www.culinarychaos.com rick

    It would have been helpful (to me, anyway) to see the lighting set up. Thank you for this valuable information.

  • http://Www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFgZZE_2WhA losing weight

    I have read so many articles or reviews regarding the blogger
    lovers except this paragraph is really a good post,
    keep it up.

  • http://samuraiboards.com/ video baby monitor reviews

    Visit Clash of clans strategy guides if you need more recommendations.
    Your main objective is to travel certain distances and reach
    goals without crashing. We don’t merely sell large quantities of
    a few popular goods like the Pretty Pet Salon franchise.

  • http://oafishhitch4787.yolasite.com beach body workout plan

    Great article, totally what I wanted to find.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6FDUTMe6Bs can women do p90X3?

    Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to
    check out your site on my iphone during lunch break.

    I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed
    at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent site!

  • http://www.wordmetro.com michael kors outlet store

    Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site.

    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal.

    I must say you’ve done a amazing job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Opera.
    Exceptional Blog!

    michael kors outlet store

  • http://daffydunge489.livejournal.com graphic design services

    Awesome! Its genuinely awesome article, I have got much
    clear idea about from this paragraph.

  • http://www.izuimmssamsario84.com Andrew Pelt

    I just want to say I am all new to blogging and site-building and truly loved your blog site. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your site . You certainly come with amazing writings. Thanks a lot for sharing your web-site.

  • http://ihsalpzo.tumblr.com web graphic design

    Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty much
    the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs_mlj6MME4 p90x Results

    Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website
    before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be
    book-marking and checking back often!

  • http://xxxkylierose.com visit xxxkylierose com

    It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people in this particular topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • http://www.cumshotsurprisetgp.com get more in cumshotsurprisetgp.com

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  • http://www.sexovisa.com/12/negra-lesbiana-follando-a-cuatro-patas/ follow this website

    Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  • http://www.albumsexo.com album sexo.com

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously feel this website needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!

  • http://www.hot-porn-site.com visit now hot-porn-site.com

    It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people about this topic, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • http://www.dans-porn-links.com/14/tremenda-cubana-de-la-guarra-de-sunny-diamond/ check page

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude!

  • http://www.spankschoolgirls.com/16/corrida-en-la-cara-de-la-cachonda-victoria-puppy/ great link

    Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  • http://criminallawyerinvancouver.net/ criminal lawyer vancouver

    You made some decent points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

  • http://onsiteplumbingaz.com/ find a plumber phoenix

    Good site you have got here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  • http://www.top20ebooks.com/ ebooks christian books

    This is a topic which is near to my heart… Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?

  • http://www.beyourporn.com www beyourporn.com

    If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

  • http://nudeporngalleries.com nudeporngalleries.com

    Hello! I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for the great information you’ve got here on this post. I’ll be returning to your web site for more soon.

  • http://www.sexo-cam.com see sexo-cam.com

    The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  • http://www.sexoviajes.com visit now sexoviajes.com

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude!

  • http://lesbianporns.net/19/marco-follando-duro-a-lia-m/ great content

    This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

  • Brooklyn physical therapy

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me just as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, nonetheless I truly thought you would probably have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could possibly fix if you weren’t too busy searching for attention.

  • http://www.smutlinxxx.com go to smutlinxxx com

    I quite like reading a post that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  • http://www.fistinginactiontgp.com corridas en la boca

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me just as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I actually thought you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

  • http://www.teennudesite.com view teennudesite com

    Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  • http://nathanemmq.blogspace.fr Gertie

    It’s going to be finish of mine day, but before
    ending I am reading this wonderful paragraph to increase my experience.

  • http://michaelamcgregor.com/members/darinirby/activity/30048/ Cialis Online

    I think the admin of this web page is really working
    hard iin support off his webb page, for the reason that here every information is quality
    based material.

  • Pingback: Calvin Harris Summer

  • http://www.pornoizle9.com/13/corrida-en-las-tetas-gordas-de-mi-vecina/ read page

    May I just say what a comfort to uncover someone who really understands what they are talking about on the web. You actually understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people ought to check this out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you are not more popular since you definitely have the gift.

  • http://www.suessexysites.com see suessexysites.com

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you need to write more on this subject, it might not be a taboo matter but usually people do not talk about such subjects. To the next! Cheers!!

  • http://omahasell.com/ omaha nebraska house buyers

    I was more than happy to discover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to check out new information in your website.

More in how to photograph food (12 of 14 articles)