Food And Property Photography Cumbria

February 28th, 2024

Food And Property Photography Cumbria

food and property photography cumbria

The King William IV Inn is located in the tiny village of Kirksanton, just north of Millom in Cumbria. After recently taking over the premises and quite an extensive refurbishment program, I was asked to photograph the premises and their food.

When tasked with this kind of job, I tend to shoot the property first for a couple of reasons. I can start earlier, allowing me to get a “feel” for the place, and the kitchen staff have time to get organised.

The King William IV has a number of rooms for B&B, which is where I started.

property photography cumbria

My technique does tend to vary, depending on the property. My general technique tends to be straightforward bracketing, based on manipulating the shutter speed. I find five exposures at a full stop difference gives more than enough latitude for detail recovery in both highlights and shadows. This gives a wider dynamic range to the finished blended image.

My base image settings were 1/8th sec f8 ISO800 and at 12mm. Now you may raise an eyebrow at those, but I’ll take you through it. 1/8th sec is unlikely to stir any questions, as it’s pretty standard in property work, and it was certainly a little darker in the room due to a smaller window. ISO800 is pretty standard again, and once again, it was required due to the darker room. However, I don’t doubt the f8 and 12mm is possibly cause for concern amongst any experienced property photographers. Well, I point out I use the Olympus/OM System, you’d likely be nodding about now.

Due to the sensor size (Micro Four Thirds), f8 has similar depth of field characteristics as f16 on a full frame camera, and f16 is considered the de facto aperture for the required depth field. Obviously, f8 is two stops brighter than f16, and that helps enormously in property work. And the 12mm focal length? It’s down to the same thing. A 12mm focal length on a Micro Four Thirds sensor gives an equivalent angle of view as 24mm on a full frame system and will give a nice wide view, without causing obvious distortion. These are just a couple of examples regarding the advantages of the Micro Four Thirds systems in property photography, and I cover it in more detail here.

Regarding the exposure settings for the full sequence, the ISO and aperture remained the same, and the shutter speeds were 1/32nd, 1/16th, 1/8th, 1/4th, ½ sec

property photography lake district

This is the same bedroom and using the same five image bracketing technique, although it was obviously brighter with facing the window. The base shutter speed was 1/40th sec, which seems a huge difference when compared to the previous image, but I had also opened the aperture to f4 to create a focused area on the towels etc.

property photography barrow

And the downstairs restaurant area. Again, the same technique and much brighter due to the patio doors that lead to the garden area.

property photography ulverston

And another.

So, let’s move on to the food.

food photography cumbria

I do like close up images of food, and particularly from the potential client’s viewpoint. I find the overhead food imagery far less appealing, and certainly less emotional pull regarding getting clients through the door. However, as it’s a current social media trend, and who hasn’t seen their table neighbours waving their phones over their food in a restaurant, then it’s likely to continue to be asked for by my clients. A more in-depth look at the trend can be found here.

I’m sorry. I’ll push my soapbox to one side, and we’ll continue with the subject of food photography for The King William IV Inn. I placed an ELB 500 immediate left to me, and raised above the table, firing through one of those folding 80x80cm softboxes. The output was set to 1.0 (Equivalent to 12Ws). The accent light was a second ELB 500 firing through a gridded 18cm standard reflector, placed opposite and raised just outside the framed area. The output was set to 0.1 (Equivalent to 7Ws).

This gave me a really nice reflective accent along the sausage and also seen further back on the bacon. This provides the food with a freshly served feel to the image, making it more appealing and will often invoke comments from viewers about the image making them feel hungry. If you mange to do that, then you are certainly on the right track to attracting potential clients to book tables.

The camera was the Olympus E-M1X with the 12-40mm f2.8, and I particularly like this combination for food photography, as the lens has remarkable close focus abilities, not to mention all the other advantages I’ve mentioned here.

Camera settings were 1/160th sec f5.6 ISO200

food photography lake district

Same lighting setup and camera settings, although I utilised a silver sided card to reflect light into the burger, under the bun. The bun was causing a fair bit of shadow, and the accent light just didn’t come around the burger far enough.

food photography carlisle

And of course, you really can’t ignore the Cumberland sausage!

My food photography portfolio can be found here, and my property photography portfolio can be found here.