It seems not so long ago when we were young, studying, jobless and with dreams for the future. Add a couple of decades later, today, some of our dreams has come true. My long time friend Voltaire, whom I have always associated as my brother, after a long time career in the food industry, has finally made his call to run his own restaurant.
This year, I was asked to do some food photography. I am Sydney based food photographer but like many photographers will travel to locations to do business. I went to Dinner Plains in Mt. Hotham in Victoria.
Tsubo Restaurant and Bar is an existing restaurant. It was first established by Hamish, another great chef—who is quite known in this region. Like the name, it's a restaurant with Japanese influence with modernised techniques helped this restaurant to become famous. He had to let Tsubo Restaurant and Bar go so that he can focus on his other restaurant just below the mountain, in a town called Bright. This year, bro, bought the business together with his business partner Samuel.
Collectively, these two new operators brings in with them a lot of experience in the food industry. Together, it's about 35 years of experience, creating mouth water cuisine that you and I dine in for.
Tsubo Restaurant and Bar is currently open for trading only during the winter season. Dinner Plains is a very small town after all and it takes about one hour to get there from the bottom of the mountain. It's just feasible to run it during the snow seasons—because it's the only time where the population increases.
The restaurant sits about 40 people—even though, it's has a small sitting capacity in comparison to say, Sydney's beautiful restaurants. This venue here is just amazing. It looks great and with a great chef with 20 years experience in the food industry compliments each other. The food tastes great to least say. Didn't I said he's great chef? I'm not saying that because he's family—he's just a great chef with years of experience.
When I did the photography for Tsubo Restaurant and Bar, it was in June of this year. I stayed at Dinner Plains. Dinner Plains is part of Mt. Hotham—Alpine National Park. I stayed there for about ten days. It was both for relaxation, spending time with my brother and also helping out a tad little bit with the set up of the restaurant. The actual food photography was one day. We shot about 6 dishes all together. Those images were to be used for the website—which was revamped by another family of ours who runs a web developing business called Summit Presence.
Food Photography Lighting Setup
Photography is all about painting with light. A photography of food or any other subjects, regardless of how good the styling is or how great looking the model is and composition can be ruined by poor lighting. Therefore, it's the job of a photographer to present the product in it's best possible way. In terms of food photography, we often say, let the food speak for itself. We'll just capture it and present it.
There are two ways a photo can be lit—natural lighting and artificial lighting. I am prone to using artificial light and the reason for that, I want full control of all lighting so it's at least consistent all through out. I'm not saying, you can't do that with natural light, it works just as effective. It's just a choice of mine.
Using artificial light, normally you would want a main light followed by supporting light. As I only have 2 flashes and I wanted to create balanced lighting, the two speed lights I have were used as main lights. I used a shoot through umbrella with flashes behind them and triggered via (affiliate link) wireless flash trigger. It's a very simple set up and for me, having speed lights, face each other but pointing down toward for food photography creates the result that I wanted.
As a Sydney based photographer, working with a family member creating food photography for his restaurant was quite exciting. We created food photography that he could use for his website at the same time hang out and catch up—because you know, as we get older we get busier with work and families that social life is becoming like a blur.
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