The holy grail of beverage photography is the ability to sync a flash at a high enough speed to stop the liquid, and beverage photographers have been using exotic and expensive lighting to achieve these results. Beverage photographers have traditionally used very high power strobes, dialed to the minimum power settings to create the shortest flash durations.
Sometimes things just work perfectly, the planets align and good fortune smiles upon you. When shooting food, you are at the mercy of the chef – bad chef = crap photos, no matter what kind of tricky lighting and Photoshop skills you have. A great chef gives you the plate shown here. Chef Michael Brough from the Four Seasons in Costa Rica created this study in simplicity and perfection, riffing on the classic surf and turf and bringing to the party the finest piece of beef that can be prepared.
I wanted to create the “classic” luxury brandy shot with the golden spot background and the glow in the bottle. I also need to test a new lens, camera, and lighting, so with some reflectors pilfered from Peter Lippmann and a sheet of glass for shooting I set up the studio and got to work.
Fashion shoot in Costa Rica for a German company selling American westernwear using Swiss and Argentine models. Jesus, the world is getting to be a small place. We had a great time during the three day shoot despite the blazing sun and heat of Guanacaste. Location scouting was the key to making Costa Rica look [...]
I recently had the opportunity to assist the great Parisian product photographer Peter Lippmann while he was on a shoot here in Costa Rica. Peter was contracted to take some interesting product photos of shoes, but in an entirely different way. He chose to photograph the shoes in trees lit by strobe power at night. Assisting Peter [...]
I adore bouillabaisse. I learned to make a great one years ago from a French chef, have had the real thing in Marseille fresh from the Mediterranean, and now have had the best one ever in the unlikely location of Costa Rica.
I had wanted to shoot his photo for a long time. I do some work at the wonderful Four Seasons Hotel in Costa Rica, and I was photographing a corporate group playing golf and doing various activities and I camped out on this amazing hole and waited for the perfect light and the perfect shot. It was [...]
A young campesina girl studies English with a coloring book at her simple home in Costa Rica. The house, considered old at about 50 years, is a simple wooden structure without windows and with garden fence covering as room dividers. The photo is composed in the style of Emmit Gowin series that was shot in the early ’70s depicting [...]
Sometimes the small and insignificant creatures in Costa Rica can be the most interesting to photograph.
My friend Caroline is beautiful in every conceivable way, and I jumped when given the chance to photograph her. The trouble was, we were in France and I had just a camera and a standard lens and no lighting. I wanted a studio photograph with quality light that was controllable, so we worked smart by waking [...]
This is a simple, and clean product shot that I used to illustrate the price of clean water in Costa Rica. I was publishing a rather controversial local magazine, and the hot topic of the month was sewage treatment. This is a difficult concept to properly illustrate without being nasty, so I chose this approach [...]
“Your agent talks about hot prospects” “Your agent talks about hot prospects, but he doesn’t mean for your condo”. Funny advertisements are a tricky thing. The memorable ones require teams of creative artists and tens of thousands of dollars to execute, the budget variety can often fail miserably leaving the company that is advertising looking the fool. [...]
Food photography, the dark art, made more impossible by shooting sushi on location at the restaurant. Food photography is probably the most difficult specialty in photography; sauces run, meat looks dry in seconds, lettuce wilts, and sushi becomes pale and unappetizing almost instantly.
The allure of the clean white kitchen is inescapable. It is also really tricky to shoot because white walls are a series of gradients that can look muddy if lit improperly. I shoot interiors differently from most photographers in Costa Rica because I generally work in daylight, and do not use HDR photography as it looks [...]
Photographing shiny objects is hard, and working with small sets amplifies the difficulty. When working with reflective items like this watch, what you see is not so much the object, but more what is reflected in the surfaces. This means that all of the lighting on the set must be flawless, and the surrounding area must [...]