This image is from a shoot I did to create some promo images. I often have to create what’s called test images to make promotional material to get new work.
These images are showing the weathered wood surface that I found at a wood salvage yard in Los Angeles. I go over how I found those in detail in that post.
A lobster bake is a traditional New England thing to do in the Summer. Usually it will have corn, potatoes, shrimp, clams, and muscles. I chose to do my lobster bake with corn, clams, potatoes, and fresh herbs.
I live in Los Angeles and I really miss all the seafood we have back East. It’s very expensive to buy lobsters out here. These guys were $19.00 a lb. The place I got them from said the bad storms back East are creating a lobster shortage out here. Very unfortunate for us all, if that’s actually true.
It’s safe to say I love any crustaceans, especially clams. I simply steamed these with white wine and butter for 5-7 minutes and they were perfect.
I didn’t have a food stylist or a prop stylist on this one. So while I was boiling the large pot of water, I soaked the clams to get the extra grit out of them. Those critters spit out a lot of stuff while I was soaking them.
I had three colors of New Potatoes, yellow, red, and purple. I also used yellow corn, not white as it shoots nicer.
I cook lobster a few times a year, usually if they go on sale. These guys were on the smaller side as they were so pricey.Most of my friends are not comfortable cooking them. I try not to think about it. I put them in the fridge to chill them and this stops them from being too active. And they do not scream when you put them in the water. I have no idea how that myth started.
I boiled these for about 8 minutes in salted water. They turned red within a few seconds. They say it’s an instant death, I hope so.
While the water was boiling for the lobsters, I boiled the potatoes and corn. The last thing I did was steam the clams.
I always use fresh herbs for garnish. I coated the potatoes with olive oil then mix in the chopped Italian parsley. I also used the Italian parsley on the clams. It really dresses them up.
I used a charcoal starter to put grill marks on my lemons. See how stupidly short the cord is? I pre-heat the iron as you see here, then, to use the damn thing you have to plug it into an extension cord.
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You have to be careful with this thing. It gets piping red hot. If you don’t have one of these, you can always use a grill pan– just make sure the ridges in the grill pan are raised at least a half inch so you can get a nice sear on your food by pressing down on it. Cast iron ones work great. A lot of food stylists use the large two burner grill pans.
The enamel metal plates, napkins, and placemats are from Crate and Barrel. The silverware is from ebay – I bought a huge batch of antique silverware, 30lbs to be exact and these were in that. The fishing net I found in a store on ebay as well.
This is the shot I used for the post I did on the wood surface. I love this wood, it really looks like an outdoor table that’s been there for years.
For my commercial jobs, I always emulate natural light in the studio. This way, I don’t ever have to worry about losing light, or the color temperature shifting on me.
This shot is with mixed lighting. I’m using daylight strobes with tungsten light.
The tungsten light is shooting through a cucoloris. I made mine from foam core. My exposure is about 1/4 of a second long for the tungsten light, then while the shutter is open the flash will go off so I get both light sources in the same shot.
The shot above is with just the tungsten light so you can see what part it’s doing with the light.
My studio has white walls, white floors, and a white ceiling. The light is bouncing all over the place, just like natural light does outside, however I’m totally controlling it 🙂
The big black stand the camera is on is called a Foba stand. It’s a monopod and it weighs about 150 lbs. That never leaves the studio.
The cable coming down from the camera is the tethering cable connecting the digital back on the camera to the computer.
My camera is one they don’t make any more. It’s called a Fuji 680. The 680 is referring to a film format that was 6cm x 8cm on 2 1/4 roll film. I used this all the time in days of film. It’s an awesome camera. It’s a big boy and you can not hand hold this thing as it’s too heavy.
The Fuji lenses for this system are beautifully sharp. I troll around on ebay often buying used parts and lenses from Japan. Originally, this whole system would have been over $25,000. I put my system together with four lenses, three camera bodies, and loads of accessories for about $3000.
I’ve converted this camera to take my Phase One digital back on it, so it’s currently one of my main digital systems.
I shoot for ad agencies mostly, and they expect very large files, so with my Phase One digital back I can give them files that are 150mb.
So there you have it. My love for lobsters was the inspiration for this photo shoot to make promos for Andrea and then of course, I had an awesome late lunch when this was all done.
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