One hungover Sunday in my house we watched the documentary film BlackFish, purely I think because it was on Netflix. Its a film about Killer Whales and how they have behaved in captivity, it focus’ around one specific whale, Tilikum who has been involved in the deaths of three trainers at various marine captivity centres. Where the animals are trained and used as entertainment for the crowds. There has been quite a bit of controversy about the angle the film depicts over the reasons as to why the deaths have happened. SeaWorld, who have Tilikum at their Orlando marine park, refused to be involved with the film and have hit back at the director Gabriela Cowperthwaite for his representation on the issue of keeping these animals in captivity.
I got one of my housemates to proof read the cards – I always find it better to have a fresh pair of eyes for this kind of thing. This turned up a few spelling mistakes which were easily corrected. Through out all stages of this project I have been getting first hand opinions from students, at this stage the comments were about colour schemes and changes that could be made to make text easier to read (the yellow on the pizza card) as well as making sure colours complimented the food – this is why the burger card is now blue, to allow the sweet and sour to be an orange (red and orange were too similar).
Produced one of the recipe cards for a crit, because I knew they would all fit the same format with slight changes dependent on the different amounts of text involved in the recipes and the different ‘top tips’ I was providing.
Having written out my own recipes for each meal I then set about following them and cooking each meal.
Before I began cooking the meals I set up the shoot space so that everything was ready to go as soon as the meals were done. I did this on advice from the BBC Good Food and the Digital Photography School websites, where they both say to act quickly when photographing food as things like meat can dry out and herbs can start to wilt (although I did not use any garnish because that does not cater to my audience). They all say it can be helpful to have oil to brush on meat or a spray bottle with water in to counteract the affects of studio lighting. I managed using the room light and carefully placed desk lamps which do not produce as much heat as professional studio lighting does so this wasn’t a measure I felt I had to take. I also took a series of test shots with empty plates to check the lighting and exposure and make sure the camera was set up appropriately.
Wrote myself a shopping list, using BBC Good Food recipes for Burgers and Wedges, Curry, Sweet and Sour and Pizza as inspiration. These were the takeaways I originally ordered, I think this is a good starting point for some recipes. I do not plan on following the recipes from BBC Good Food, using them as inspiration to write my own instructions, for example their recipe includes making the burgers but I know that a bare minimum of students would even consider this. But the website is a good source of information for me to use as guidance, then translate into a more student friendly format.
I have decided to use a sort of Top Trumps theme for my recipe cards. I am going to use InDesign to make them, this is a new piece of software for me, so I will have to find my way around and probably watch some tutorials. I am confident though because I feel capable with Photoshop and Premiere Pro – I have also used Illustrator a bit before too.
I went out and collected some recipe cards, I know supermarkets have started offering them recently. Mostly they can be found at the entrances to their stores – some have them near certain products to help customers see what they can do with the food they’re buying. In Leeds I had the most luck in Sainsbury’s in town, couldn’t find any in Morrisions (also in town) or the Tesco Express opposite Leeds University – very popular with students due to its location.
I thought it would be a simple and interesting experiment to capture what went on in my student kitchen. I was made aware of this camera and firmware that the university photography studio have that can be set up to capture time lapse photography. I was please about this because I had previously discounted this form of photography because I myself didn’t have the technology to do it.
Having been dissatisfied with my images of food and after a crit I researched some food magazines and other food imagery for ideas and inspiration to see how the images were taken.