The Big Cheese: Another Platypod success story!

Words by Platypod CEO / Inventor Larry Tiefenbrunn
Edited by Eryka Bagwell

"What I really want to see in a food image is something that makes my mouth water, so my goal in this food session was to give the same type of view as someone sitting near a sun-lit window in a restaurant, taking a bite-size portion of the omelette on a fork, and holding it about 2 inches away from their mouth. To quote my dear friend and Platypod Pro, Rick Sammon, 'If you think you’re close enough, get closer.' "

"First, let’s talk about composition. Nothing moves the eye around a photo as well as diagonals. I have several layers of diagonals in the blurred background going from lower left to upper right, crisscrossing the fork and the slice of omelette coming in from upper left and moving down toward my mouth, implied just below the camera."


"I used two Platypod rigs for this photo. On the right-hand side, one Platypod eXtreme is clamped to the table to support my camera and Platyball, held sideways for a vertical composition atop a Platypod Handle. To simulate tall window light, I reflected my diffuse LumeCube Panel Pro off a bounce card on top with the variable color temperature set to 6500°K giving a cool blue sky light ambience. The sharper LumeCube single cube light runs at a fixed 5600°K for a slightly warmer light on the slice. I was able to control the brightness of each light via their respective LumeCube apps on my Smartphone."

"Since almost all the light is coming from the right rear, and above the food, the front left side of the food doesn’t quite get enough light. I used large, bounce card to reflect light back onto the plate, and a small pocket mirror to give a kick of light back on to the slice and fork giving very natural fill to the shadows. The placement of the reflector card above the plate was largely dictated by its reflection off the fork. If you don’t have something bright to reflect off a flat metal object, that utensil will go black and vacant. When photographing metal, proper reflections, are of utmost importance to get the shot."

"The last thing to do before shooting is actually preparing the food. During my set up, I used a substitute of a yellow vegetable and a piece of cheese on a fork as stand-ins for the omelette. Cooked food should not be left out too long prior to the photo shoot or it will go cold, dry and unattractive."

"The bite-size piece of omelette is held in place on a fork, supported by a Platypod mini super clamp attached to a gooseneck, which is then attached to an elbow. The combination of gooseneck and elbow allows for fine-tuning the position as well as more gross movements respectively. These were mounted directly in one of the holes on the Platypod eXtreme. I placed the heavy duty rubber feet of the eXtreme downward (to avoid slipping), and I kept off the sharp spikes with the included protective rubber caps for safety."

"Food photography is always an interesting challenge and loaded with problem-solving but with patience and adjustments, the results can be quite rewarding."

BTW, my omelette recipe:

  • Two whole eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese, as desired
  • 1 tablespoon “everything but the bagel” spice mix
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried onion chips
  • 1 to 2 slices, yellow cheddar cheese
  • 1 to 2 slices, American cheese

"Either melt butter butter or spray Pam onto a nonstick frying pan. In a bowl, beat together, everything (except for the cheese slices)."

"Pour everything into a medium to large frying pan and place half slice pizzas of cheese along the equator, line of the omelette. Once the omelette is fairly firm, start folding over about 1½” at a time to form one long spiral crêpe.  Plate and enjoy!"

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