Some food images shot with the Olympus OMD EM5-2 in the high resolution mode (40 megapixels). Shot at Cantine Restaurant in Austin, Texas.

My friend, James, and I have been working on a video for an Austin restaurant's website. We shot lots of kinetic footage on our first day, both using handheld EM5.2 cameras and a box full of different lenses. Our footage, while technically similar in terms of color palette, etc. couldn't be more different stylistically. I stay on scenes longer and I shoot more conservatively. He shoots with much narrower depth of field and moves quickly. In the end both styles work well together to moderate the whole piece. The second day we went back so I could shoot high res stills of some of the food while James shot video of the same set ups. 

I felt that I had recently mastered the hi-res feature in the camera so I chose to use it for all of the non-moving imagery. I switched back to normal settings when shooting subjects like the "wine pour." 

As with the first day of video I brought along a box of lenses for the cameras. Some were older manual focus lenses from Pen FTs while some were newer. The most used lenses (by me) were the Sigma 60mm, the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 and the 40mm f1.4 Pen FT. James seemed drawn to longer focal lengths and shot with stuff like the 70mm f2.0 Pen FT and even a Nikon 105mm f2.5 ais. 

At the end of the shoot the restaurant manager asked me if I would shoot the community table near the back of the restaurant and I was happy to comply. 

I went back again today for lunch and had a great meal with my super-tech friend, Amy. She's an electrical engineer and it's a joy to understand the latest technology through her eyes. As we were having lunch I was watching out of the corner of my eye as another photographer and his assistant came through the door to shoot the food and make a little slider enhanced video.

Their methods, location selection, etc. were much different than the ones I made but I guess that's what makes this job so interesting...

At any rate, here's the stuff we shot on our afternoon of food photography:

The Cantine Salad.

Rotisserie Chicken.

Salmon, cauliflower, capers and tomatoes.


The community table.

Cocktail shakers at the bar. At the ready.

Used in the high res mode the colors are exemplary and the endless detail makes post processing a breeze. I'm warming up to the EM5.2. I can hardly wait to share the video with you and am amazed that you can now buy such a talented camera for only $900. 

The world of work is changing with every new toy.


Anonymous said...

Curious how you would compare the results of the hi-res mode in the Olympus with the results using the Nikon 810.

John Krumm said...

Seems like the high res images would be useful for zooming and panning on a still in a video.

Anthony Bridges said...

Really dig the rotisserie chicken photo. Nice use of color and lighting.

Edward Richards said...

When you do these in restaurant shoots, do you use a food stylist or do you shoot just as it comes out of the kitchen? Do the chefs style the food or is ready to eat? I am thinking about things like seared raw steak and the other things that are done in the studio to make the food look better.

Mike said...

So, would you use the high res mode for enhanced detail or for an extended dynamic range? I'm also curious how it compares to the D810/610 when used in this way.

mlougee said...

Great stuff, I wonder if you'd be willing to allow one (or two) of the shots, which you feel *best* utilize all those pixels from the high-res mode, to be downloaded, so that we can p'peep to our hearts content?

Oh, and one more thing... I'm really anxious to see a few of the video eg's, since the video+audio will truly capture the excitement and energy of the restaurant.

ODL Designs said...

Hey Kirk,
Lovely food shots, I think I will leave my kids with the grandparents and take my wife out for a nice dinner :)

An interesting exercise to really appreciate the colour of the HR mode is to convert the backup ORI (change the tag to ORF) and look at the colour transitions, they really are exceptional.

I am also glad Olympus made sure the HR mode doesnt get treated like SIGMAs foveon files, which nothing opens, but works with every piece of software I currently use.

alexander solla said...

I cant tell you how much I get from reading your posts, Kirk. It has been years of reading nearly everything you write... and I am still finding more and more to learn. Thank you!

I just photographed four dishes for a restaurant last week and then saw this post. After looking at my images again, I am reassured that I am heading in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

I've shot food for years and looked at food images for at least as long. There are a lot of "technicians" out there but you are a master. Well done.