Food & Drinks Photography at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Bandar Menjalara

On a moment’s notice, the prospect of sleeping in on a beautiful Saturday morning was once dashed, when I was required to do a food shoot. The food photography session was to be held at Silver Spoon Trattoria, a casual Italian restaurant located at Bandar Menjalara. This restaurant has been opened for the past 2-3 years.

I arrived at about 9.45 am to setup at a corner by the window. I only managed to start shooting after a 45 minute setup, as I was looking for the right spot. Unfortunately, the ideal and convenient spot happened to be right at the entrance to the food store room. We just had to compromise.

The first few items were cocktail drinks, shot simply on the restaurant’s dining table, against the backdrop of a similar colour/texture food store room’s door.

Cocktail drinks at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraCocktail drinks at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraCocktail drinks at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraCocktail drinks at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraCocktail drinks at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraCocktail drinks at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraCocktail drinks at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraCoffee drink at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraHot chocolate and coffee drink at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraHot chocolate drink at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraHot chocolate drink at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar Menjalara

I was using a large transparent 5-in-1 2-metre giant reflector balanced on two C-Stands, through which I shot a monobloc at full power. All these shots were taken at between f/11 – f/16, 1/160 sec @ ISO 100.

On this shoot-thru reflector’s surface area, I strategically spread out some black coroplast to further shape, restrict and define the light’s edge on the sweet spot below. Basically, I was just blocking and goboing the light to help cast the rays at the right spot in the desired shapes of coverage.

For instance, the following image’s slices of lemons were a little burnt out.

Cocktail drinks at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar Menjalara

Instead of cutting the light from above at the reflector’s surface by shuffling coroplast boards (which would have been ineffective), I simply hover a black card within inches of it to camera right, to “suck” light out of it. It was, photo-shopping on the fly, in the real world.

Cocktail drinks at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar Menjalara

The lighting setup explained above could be clearly seen below.

Lighting setup for food and drinks photography at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar Menjalara

A second gridded monobloc on barn doors was scrapping my background, only this time, a brick wall. This ray of light cutting through my frame at the rear added depth and “texture” to an otherwise dull and flat background.

The mentioned coroplast black boards shaped into a tight grid can be seen here below.

Lighting setup for food and drinks photography at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar Menjalara

This affords me the flexibility of moving them around on a floating space above the set, without having to stick in any C-Stand extension arm to flag excessive light. However, as the above example of the lemon demonstrated, this close flagging was of course necessary at times. The cutting of light by floating these coroplast boards above helped define my universal scene. Further shaping is required by flagging in close.

Here’s the resulting picture from the setup above.

Hot and cold cocktail drinks at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar Menjalara

We were supposed to wrap up but the client decided to throw in some food dishes, and eventually, some pizzas as well. Here’s the behind-the-scene setup for the first dish and the resulting image, shot with a stepped up f/5.6 to maintain optimum depth of field, but yet, rendering the background blur enough for separation.

Food dish at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraLighting setup for food and drinks photography at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar Menjalara

The rest of the dishes soon followed.

Food dish at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraFood dish at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraFood dish at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraFood dish at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar Menjalara

Finally, for the pizzas, the brief was to have a bird’s eye view of it. Hence, I had to make a small change to the setup. The central column of the tripod was realigned to enable a top-down shooting orientation. Everything else was maintained.

Lighting setup for food and drinks photography at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraLighting setup for food and drinks photography at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraLighting setup for food and drinks photography at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraSetup for food and drinks photography at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar Menjalara

Here are the resulting images of the variety of pizza (some, not all I suppose) found at Silver Spoon Trattoria restaurant.

Pepperoni pizza at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraPizza at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar MenjalaraSalmon pizza at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Italian Restaurant at Bandar Menjalara

The rather gory salmon head resting on a bed of dill herbs was just something we finally decided to add. Not exactly necessary but still… It was a touch of uniqueness and something a little out of the ordinary. A little quirky, but interesting twist to a seafood pizza with slices of salmon and sprinkle of capers.

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2 Responses to Food & Drinks Photography at Silver Spoon Trattoria, Bandar Menjalara

  1. Krystal says:

    I myself own a restaurant in the UK. Food looks spectacular im soooo gonna need u for photo shoot in 3 months time. need a expert!!! :)
    My restaurant is called Chocolate Heaven.look me up!

    Krystal Alicia Suffaramy :)

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