A-Z Food Photography Project – H is for Herring

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com

11/29/2015 • A-Z Food Photography, Food Culture

Well the A-Z Food Photography Project keeps on going, this time I have chopped a bunch of herring fillets to create a H, all to make it through the full alphabet. Check out H is for Herring.

So I have reached the H and it turned out to be an H for Herring, this one was quite hard and the result was not even close to what I had planned, but I guess that is all part of the learning process in this project. Learning lessons in food photography is one of the goals with the project and so far I’ve been learning new things for each letter. H is for Herring was not an exception.

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com Food letters, food alphabet a to z food

H is for Herring

I chose the herring early, first I was considering making Hot Dogs or Ham but using whole fresh herring seemed like it would work better visually. Unfortunately I ran into some problems early on. First of all when I went shopping for herring there were no whole herring to be found so I had to use fillets instead. Those look ok but not as cool as the whole fish. Hopefully I can think of a whole fish to use for another letter.

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com Food letters, food alphabet a to z food

Shaping a H using Herring

Time for shaping, here’s a lesson learned. Shaping slippery fish fillets into a H is not that easy. First I had to find a good looking H. I searched through some fonts and found two alternatives, a small one and a more classic H. After trying to cut and shape a H for a while and even finishing one I wasn’t that happy with the result.

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com Food letters, food alphabet a to z food

The problem was that the fillets are not even on the backside, this means that if you cut one piece it will not “stand” straight. Some pieces fall to the side and showing too much of the meat instead of the silver skin that I wanted to show.

So after a while I went in a completely different direction and cut cubes instead. Then I simply arranged these small herring cubes into a H. Worked out ok I think but it would have saved a lot of time if I tried this from the start. And saved some herring as well.

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com Food letters, food alphabet a to z food

Background and material

On the previous letters I’ve used black and a few other colors. For the H is for Herring I decided early to use metal. In my garage I had a sheet metal that is just the right size. But to make the arranging easier I also used a plate of glass on top, this way I could use a paper H underneath and also change background if I was not happy with the metal one.

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com Food letters, food alphabet a to z food

I have also set up a better place to take the photos. Before I’ve used my kitchen window that is great to use and gives great lighting. But since I live in Sweden and this time of the year it’s very dark most of the time I get very limited to when I can photograph. So I have invested in some photography lights, two softboxes with daylight lightbulbs and a table now happily live in my house. This setup with probably be used for many future projects as well. Anyway this is what I used to make the final shot, so I excluded the things I used for the first photos that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.

  • Herring fillets
  • Glass, one big square piece
  • Sheet metal, one big square piece
  • Tripod
  • Camera
  • Two softbox lights
  • Knife
  • Patience

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com Food letters, food alphabet a to z food

Lessons learned making H is for Herring

A few lessons learned this time as well. Over all things are getting easier but there are still things being learned.

  • If you chop herring in room temperature for a few hours, things will get smelly
  • Using glass is great for arranging, however it leaves reflection that can be hard to get out. Best thing would be to have surfaces that can be cleaned even if this means it will be harder to make the letters.
  • Artificial lighting is great, should have invested in that years ago.
  • H is a boring letter, there are very few good looking H’s around.

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com Food letters, food alphabet a to z food

About A-Z Photography Project at Ateriet

A-Z Photography Project is a photo project here at Ateriet and at Instagram. The idea is to photograph each letter of the alphabet and let it represent one food or something edible. I am making the project for fun and to hopefully improve on my photography skills.

You can follow the project on Instagram under the tag #atozinfood where some of these photos will be published from our Instagram for Ateriet that you’ll find at @AterietFood.

Feel free to share and contribute and come with critique about this project, just send us an email, leave a comment or connect on social media.

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com Food letters, food alphabet a to z food

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com Food letters, food alphabet a to z food

A-Z Food Photography Project - H is for Herring - See them all at Ateriet.com Food letters, food alphabet a to z food

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