As the rambunctious 2016 political campaign winds down to a tumultuous end and the title starved Cubs and Indians are playing for Baseball World Champion it is fitting that this week’s assignment was about beverages.  The assignment was to capture a frosty cold beverage and a splash shot.  Both are inherent with all sorts of challenges.   I quickly discovered  when shooting a cold beverage you must:

  1. Light the cap and light the label.
  2. Light the liquid from behind so it appears bright and refreshing not dark and muddy.
  3. Create soft reflections that highlight the shape of the bottle so that it doesn’t look 2 dimensional.
  4. Spritz the bottle with a combination of glycerine and water (50-50) so that water droplets will not dry up during the shoot.
  5. Shoot against a complimentary background on plexiglass to add interest.

beer for blog.jpg

And the splash, OMG!  I threw strawberries in water, lime wedges in water, Oreos in milk, strawberries in milk – the list goes on and on.   I forgot about the ice cubes where I missed the entire glass.  The kitchen was a mess! Here are a couple of the hits and misses:

Lessons learned here are not to pursue splash photography. OR more positively my splash photography needs work!   Credits to my assistants who kept me going and more importantly kept me laughing and dancing.  🙂

For this assignment I seriously needed a little Los Van Van: La Boberia and La Maquinaria, two of my favorite songs.

shooting food . . .

is not as easy as it looks.  4th assignment was to shoot 3 images from the same meal – home cooked or restaurant meal.  This presented all sorts of challenges.  So many that I may not post the dreadful before images.  🙂  Challenges were:

  1.  First problem, I enjoy cooking when I have tons of time (like a long weekend with nothing to do)  That never happens.
  2. The food you cook has to look good.  What looks good on the dinner table does not necessarily look good on camera.
  3. Shooting food that looks good, e.g. sushi has to look good by the time you transport it to the studio, rearrange it a million times, and light it.
  4. Poorly styled, poorly lit food does not look appetizing.  The primary objective of food photography is to make you hungry.

It took three shoots and over $100 worth of sushi to get these shots.

Thanks to the sushi chefs at Kotosh Restaurant in Lomita for providing the sushi in the 2nd shot below.  I routinely got an order to shoot and an order to eat.  🙂

Below are my three shots – appetizer, entree and dessert:


Loving Video by India.Arie  and Ordinary People by John Legend right about now.

Product Really?

Hard to imagine I’m going to spend a semester photographing watches and toasters, but I’m gonna’ give it a try.  Plus it’s required.  🙂  Much to my surprise the first assignment was athletic equipment.  Hey, I’m athletic, this should be a perfect fit.  Two shots:  one product hero shot and the other shot with a model on location using the product.  Model!  I’m all over it.  🙂

I chose boxing with the intent of capturing the gritty intensity of the  sport.   Luckily, I was able to snag wrestler, boxer, long distance runner, MMA referee, David Magallanes, between training sessions to pose for me.  Here are the shots.



Streaming The Best of Sam Cooke:  You Send Me, Only Sixteen, Wonderful World, Cupid.  The compilation contains most of Sam Cooke’s most well-known hits from 1957 to 1962. Serious old school!  🙂