Jojie Certeza Sydney Food and Landscape Photographer

When you live alone, you tend to fend for yourself, such as cooking. I am not a chef but am a Sydney food photographer. This dish is my version of chicken and vegetable in oyster sauce with a twist of tom yum paste!

As I am not a cook, I tend to make dishes that are easy to create, easy to prepare. This dish is one of those dishes that is very easy to make. Stir fry and you are done! Essentially, all I did was chop the chicken in bite full chunks cook it, add my desired vegetables and then add oyster sauce and a last minute decision to add the tom yum paste. I am not sure why I added that, hey, it was an experiment. It tasted delightful!

Taking the photo

This food photography shoot came with a handful of first times. It was my first time to shoot in all natural light. My first time to shoot from top down and my first time shoot using a bench instead of a table top.

I normally shoot using artificial light, mainly because, it is what I am used to and I find it much easier when you have full control of lighting. During this shoot though, I did not have the time to set up my lighting. I needed to be in another location. Thankfully, this was done in mid afternoon where there were plenty of light.

I ended up using IS0 800, F8 at 1/80 sec. I wanted to get as much details into the shot and hence the F8, at the same time, I needed a good lighting and enough shutter speed as I was using hand held to quickly take food photography. Remember, I was pressed for time so I did not even set up a tripod for it.

Normally, I shoot from a low angle to focus on certain parts of the food or expose the food from that angle. I did try on this occasion and it wasn't quite right. The pieces of food did looked unappetizing at all in camera. They were all mashed up and there was no individual part of the dish that could look good when focused. So, I left my comfort zone and shot the food from birds eye view. This turned out to be my keeper. I had to add props of course so it doesn't look bland, like adding spoons on the side and lemon and photographing the dish on a white bench instead of a table top.

On a note of critique, we are not supposed to use ingredients that isn't part of the dish, as it just doesn't make sense. But I used a lime anyway to add colour and style to my dish. Who knows, squeezing a bit of lime might add flavour to the dish?

Jojie Certeza is a Sydney based photographer. His passion for photography started in 2007 after being introduced by a friend who is also passionate about photography. I have two websites; asimplecreationcom which primarily focuses on food photography and for everything else, including landscape and life in Australia—more like an online diary of just about anything that I might share to the rest of the world.

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