About the Photos

Shrimp in a Pouch with Lemon Mayonnaise-9

I began shooting the photos on this blog in 2011 with a Canon 7D.  In January 2012 I upgraded to full frame with a 5D Mark II.  I use a tripod and take as many pictures as possible in natural light, although this is New England, so I almost always use off-camera flashes for cooking shots in our kitchen, whose natural light ranges from dim to Stygian.  If Jody’s chopping vegetables near a window I crank the ISO up to between 800 and 1250 and shoot wide open.  I rely on three lenses: a Canon 24 – 105mm F/4 IS L; a Canon 50mm F/1.2; and a Canon 100mm Macro F/2.8 (the non-L).  Once in awhile I pull out my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 ii for a finish shot.  Lately I’ve been playing around in the kitchen with an inexpensive Sigma 50mm 2.8 macro, which I’m learning to love for it’s facility: it’s a macro… it’s not a macro… it’s a macro….  I love my gear, and would probably run out and buy the new Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 if I had a little more cash on hand.  Canon, are you listening?

That said, great photographers take great pictures with the gear and the light they’ve got.  I got my start with a half-dozen online courses at at The Perfect Picture School of Photography.  To the extent that the pictures work, I give credit to what I learned in both of Ron Goldman’s Food Photography offerings, and to Rick Friedman’s off-camera flash workshops.  To the extent that the photographs don’t work, the fault is due to what I learned–and then forgot.

©Ken Rivard  Use and/or duplication of photographs without express and written permission from Ken Rivard is strictly prohibited.  Photographs in reference to The Garum Factory content may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ken Rivard for the photographs, and to The Garum Factory for written content, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  For requests regarding commercial use of photographs or photography rates, please contact me at: drbuoux@gmail.com.

39 thoughts

  1. Everything starts by eyes… Your photographs are amazing! And then, you can’t believe but I can feel their smells too when I read your recipes… They are not only so beautiful photographs, they also seem so delicious. Inspiring me to cook them. Thank you Ken, with my love, nia

  2. Ken, your photos are absolutely stunning. The light always looks perfect! I will be back too ogle the food & photos…Keep it up!

  3. Your photoes look so wonderful! and I’m so impressed all picutres you took in the kitchen. Now I’m strugging with lights in my kitchen.. it is now easy to handle properly.. hopefully I will learn to do it somehow! Thank for sharing!

    • I STILL struggle with the light in my kitchen (it’s relatively dark). However, I have picked up a couple of tricks along the way. Almost all of the kitchen photos are taken with a flash–photos of ingredients and plated food are almost always with natural light. When we started the blog I tried using longer exposures in the kitchen, high ISO and a tripod, but cooking moves so fast it wasn’t very successful. So I switched to a flash, but then I often had three different sources of light hitting the food–tungsten, light coming through the windows, and flash–if you look at my early kitchen photos they often look too yellow or blue. It’s very hard to get the lighting right in post-processsing on a photo with multiple different sources of light. Now I put a CTO gel over my flash, which changes my flash’s light to tungsten; and I set my camera’s white balance to tungsten. This means I’m only dealing with two sources of light when I process the photos later. It makes it much easier to get a useable shot. Good luck. Ken

      • wow!! It’s not enough to say just thank you…. I really appreciate that!! now I’m a beginner of photography so honestly I can’t understand 100% what you said.. However! I am working on it! and I will keep it in my mind! here again! Thanks……

  4. Just recently found your website and enjoying the combination of photos, unique sharing of recipes and food adventures. As for the photos, fabulous. For fun I take pictures of food that inspires me (with whatever is at hand, including blackberry or iPad). The other day I lucked into a perfect picture in my kitchen with natural light of whole fish preparation which was so satisfying. Thanks for the beautiful photo posting which are as satisfying as the the food itself.

    • Sure you will! The photos in our first blog posts are embarrassing to me now, but everybody gets better. There’s a photo in Friday’s post showing the flash setup we now use in our dark kitchen. Our kitchen isn’t actually as dark as it appears in the photo, but I had to drop the exposure so everyone wasn’t blinded by the flashes going off.

      • My house is old and dark, which doesn’t help. Can’t wait till the temperatures rise so I can photograph outside. I’ll just have to fight off my dogs!

  5. Ken, you are one very humble guy, and, one very talented photographer in the making. As a commercial photographer for almost 30 years I know talent when I see it and it’s a joy to tell you, you’ve got it! While you and I know that good camera gear helps, the real magic in an image comes from the person behind the lens. And with food photography it’s not just the technical things like camera settings, but equally, if not more so, it’s the layout of the food and the overall composition. And you are already doing exceptional work. It will be a joy following along on this blog not only to discover some new recipes, but to enjoy the beauty of your images.

    • Hi, Rick–What a generous comment! Clearly you weren’t looking at some of our early posts. :-) I appreciate the encouragement. I love taking photographs and relish every extra opportunity to try to extend my experience outside of a kitchen. Life handed me a plum recently in the chance to go to Haiti. Pics to follow soon. Ken

  6. One thing I love about WordPress is that it shows the most recent posts (and on your blog, your most recent images) first. We all have images from early in our photography that we can shake our head or wish we’d been better “then.” What’s most important though is how we’ve grown and the skills we’ve learned. And, you’ve done, and are doing fabulously. I will definitely be on the lookout for photos from Haiti when you return. Rick

    • The Haiti post is up today. Among other things, it includes a link to a Haiti set on my Flickr account, a set that resides cheek-by-jowl with some VERY early photos. Ha! It keeps me humble. Thanks. Ke

  7. I’m really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?

  8. Your photos are amazing. As I was browsing through your homepage my tummy was literally craving for all the delicious food you have captured perfectly. Excited to be following your food adventures!

    • Thanks. Glad you’re enjoying them. You, by the way, seem to have a very interesting life in Croatia. Jody and I have been offered some biking opportunities there–now we’re going to have to look more closely. Thanks. Ken

      • yes Croatia is good for biking. There are also island-hopping cruises you can do, where the ship supplies bikes, which you can use when you stop in every island and destination every day. Looks like a great holiday.

  9. This blog is absolutely STUNNING. Truly some of the best food photography I’ve EVER seen. Thank you for sharing, I’m very excited to be following you :-)

  10. You’ve done a great job with your photographs! Your blog is definitely one I will look forward to visit when looking for inspiration. I have been using a Canon 600D until I upgraded to a 5DMark2 six months ago. It changed my world, as the cliche goes. The lens I use most of the time, especially when shooting for a magazine, is the 24-70mm f2.8. So versatile.I also have the cheap 50mm f1.8 which I’ve outgrown. My question to myself right now is ‘Should I get a 50mm f1.2 or a 100mm f2.8 macro?’ Any suggestion?

    • I was just about to leave comment on your blog – asking if you took the shot of the bolognese with a 24 -70. I think you’ve answered my question. The 50 1.2 is a fabulous lens, and good for food. I used to use mine a lot, but to be honest I use a much less expensive Sigma 50mm macro now just because of the greater versatility it offers. You might want to ask yourself what else you’ll be using the lens for (besides food). As a portrait lens the 50mm 1.2 is controversial. It distorts a fair amount in close-ups, but for full or half – length it’s great. Do you use your other 50 now? Great shots on your blog, by the way.

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