Even photographing something as simple as a tomato, can be quite a complex task, and a time consuming one, in the digital era we live in. As a professional food photographer I am expected not only to master photography and studio lighting, but I must be an expert image manipulator and photo retoucher too.
Editorial food photography does not require as much ” computer work “, but packaging and product photography are different; images are really examined up close and almost every pixel is somehow altered …. for the better.
The amount of time spent on one single image varies, obviously, depending on the brief; it can be minutes…. or it can be hours !!!
This tomato image ” only ” took 20-25 minutes to come together….
As you’ll notice the whole fruit is pin sharp ( click image to see it enlarged ); this just couldn’t be achieved with one single frame – I had to take 4 frames ( manually changing the focus for each of them ) and stack them in post. I then also cut the tomato out of its original background, and gave it a brand new, perfectly white, background. And i did the same thing with the tomato shadow, to keep things looking real.
It’s a lot of work, not to mention that the tomato itself also underwent an extensive makeup treatment, coming out of it rejuvenated with better skin, more regular shape and enhanced colour.
I could have gone on forever, but I preferred to leave some little imperfections, otherwise things tend to look unrealistic.
Dario Milano is a professional food photographer and food stylist, based in Sydney and servicing predominantly advertising and commercial clients, restaurants and the food packaging industry.
He also teaches regular food photography and food styling workshop in Sydney, as well as in Melbourne and Brisbane.
To get in contact, email email@example.com