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Food Photography With Television Chef Jamie Oliver

David Loftus has been working with food television star, Jamie Oliver, for over 15 years taking dynamic imagery of the culinary masterpieces that Jamie creates in his kitchen. In this behind the scenes video David is shooting with the Nikon D4. In a few short cuts Jamie is also seen trying his hand at taking his own food shots with the Nikon D3200. It seems that the chef has some pretty nifty skills wielding not just a pot and pan, but a DSLR, as well. Who's shots do you think came out better, David's or Jamie's?


One of David's and Jamie's greatest tips to food photography is speed. In a setting where the fresh ingredients can quickly turn sour, or in an instance of a hot steaming dish it can turn cold rather fast.  In Jamie’s words "the best shot in the world is 45 seconds of time… the boss in the room is the food".


Via: ePhotoZine

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W van de Kletersteeg's picture

No strobes? Anyway, I like the duo. They seem great together. Although I know for a fact that this little BTS video is heavily directed and serves as a Nikon commercial. Job well done :)

BDWT's picture

Check out his instagram, he's got some decent pics and recipes on there too.

Grzegorz Januszko's picture

This is Nikon D4 + ???  Is this old Nikkor 50mm 1,8 ???

apollo's picture

It's D4 but I think it's old 50mm 1.4 AI-S

Nice guys, ok commercial.

William Zhou's picture

Abuse your high fps, and overuse a shallow depth of field. Yeah, that'll do it.

Albert Zablit's picture

I guess you've never taken two or three shots in a row as a safety bracketing measure (focus could slip, no time for another take...).

William Zhou's picture

I've never ripped off 5 frames just to shoot garlic being smashed, either. How many frames do you think were needed?

Odee Williams's picture

 You're so fast and accurate that you can time the exact millisecond to get the fast moving hand in the precise position with the garlic with a single shot?

James Robertson's picture

Yet here you are, criticizing this guy on a forum while he's out there rocking his career and shooting in the kitchen with Jamie

Andre Goulet's picture

Touche! Well said.

Seshan's picture

You need the shallow depth of field with most of those pics, there is too much stuff in the background of the kitchen, you would lose focus(not camera focus) on the subject and be distracted by the background.

William Zhou's picture

Actually, the majority of the shots that were shown did not require a shallow DoF because the background wasn't in it. Rewatch the video. A lot of them were blown away with a shallow DoF when that wasn't even needed. 

Odee Williams's picture

It doesn't really matter what you think is required or not. He can shoot it how ever he wants. That's his job. He's a professional photographer. You're just some dude complaining on a website.

William Zhou's picture

You're right. What was I thinking...


David Leyland's picture

I hate to say it but your colour balance is out and the food looks like fast food!

yup, colour is definitely off and some shots are too busy.

 I appreciate constructive criticism. I understand what you are saying about color not not about being busy? My customers love my work and that's great for business, but I want to get better so any constructive criticism is welcomed.

Don't hate to say it! I appreciate constructive criticism. I understand what you are saying about color not not about being busy? My customers love my work and that's great for business, but I want to get better so any constructive criticism is welcomed. 

Marko's picture

When Auto mode fails, you just hold your flash down by hand :) 2:19

James Darden's picture

Nice.  Looks like things move fast and furious.  I've never been in a kitchen that has that kind of light.  Pretty much all the kitchens I've been in have one tiny window with little or no direct light.  It's usually reflected from a building next door or some kind of wall.  Those that might have any small of part of direct light, it's usually evening light or it doesn't last long at all.

Pixyst's picture

The scene was lit for the video, hence continuous lighting. Since the light was already adjusted, there was not need to add strobes to the mix.

Paul Davies's picture

These photos in the video dont make him look like a good photographer. Another questionable BTS video

Mark Fletcher's picture

And yet, if you've read any of the multitude of books that have got his photographs in (i.e. Jamie Oliver recipe books) you'll know that he's incredibly accomplished and the quality of his work is excellent. Just goes to show, really.

Louise Docker's picture

He can't be too shabby, he has been photographing Jamie's food for 15 years so he must be doing something right. Give the guy some credit for his work.