The differences between food filming and photography are day by day becoming more evident as Mendip Media gets to grips with both creative video and photography in its studio.
Both forms of filming require similar inputs to get the perfect image; great looking food, stylish presentation, precision lighting and the right lenses but … and it’s a big BUT …
… the photographer has the advantage of only (and I say only guardedly, because I know how much work goes into it) having to take an image one frame at a time, whilst the videographer has to take thousands of frames of the same object under the same lighting conditions before being able to make adjustments.
If this all sounds very technical, it’s not really.
It’s common sense, but it puts food videography at a disadvantage because the benchmark for food video is always nearly always a photograph of some gorgeous food in a beautifully lit surrounding.
The transition for photographers and food designers who primarily style for photography to creating food videos is a sharp one.
And for clients the learning curve is even steeper.
Much of the art of video, whilst it lies in creating the very best reproduction of the filmed object, is in narrative that works along a timeline. Whilst there’s no denying that a photograph can tell a million stories, it doesn’t have a beginning, middle and end.
A classic line from a graphics agency client about a video we were filming was ‘don’t worry too much about the stain on the counter we’ll get rid of it in post’. Whilst photographers can air-brush a single frame in Photoshop without too much fuss, a video editor must deal with thousands of frames (1500 frames every 60 secs) to achieve even a small change in the colour, light, look of a sequence.
This fundamental distinction between the two film forms, video and photography, has become a stark point of differentiation for us as we continue to learn about how to create the very best food videos and photographs.
But it’s fair to say that video and photography, whilst they may derive from a similar creative and technical root, are different species. They might sometimes converge and mutate, but largely they remain governed by separate rules.