blog

  • I got interviewed again..!

    I think this is interview number four for the year. Hilarious! Who decided I had anything to say?

    I think they would have preferred I talked more about food and I might have talked about money too much. Oops. I do like food though.. 

    Go have a read if you like, they asked some interesting questions. It's funny when people cut out bits of your text. I talked about a wonderful surf photographer from Hawaii named John Hook, and they just put "a guy named John Hook is amazing". Oh, go look up John Hook too. 

    Stoked they put my photo of Ross Knight at the top. One of my fav portraits I've ever taken.

    http://www.thefieldguides.com.au/look/kristoffer-paulsen-photographer-melbourne/

  • I wrote something about not being "a knob with a camera" when you're in a restaurant and it was published.

    Check it out, while I was in Bali a few weeks ago I was asked to write some things about taking photos of your food. I seized the oppourtunity to educate people. While my girlfriend was getting a massage I had my toenails manicured (they took my clippers off me at the airport, and this was cheaper than buying more. Why not?) and tapped away on my iphone for half an hour or so.. Check it out. 


    Original link http://www.traveller.com.au/the-worlds-most-beautiful-food-the-prettiest-cuisines-around-the-world-1254ie

    How to take better food photos

    Want to post pics of your meals while you're travelling to make your friends jealous? Professional food photographer Kristoffer Paulsen offers his top five tips.

    1. Lighting 

    Flash. Turn it off. Unless you can replicate the ol' Terry Richardson look, or you're using a DSLR with a bounce head, it'll look awful and you'll annoy other diners. Use natural light. Food almost always looks better with natural light coming from one side (preferably behind). If you know you're going to want to shoot your food, ask for a seat near the window. Natural side light gives texture and contrast, whereas light from above or all around flattens things out and does the opposite. If your shadows are too harsh try using a white napkin to fill the shadows a little (and get ready for the looks). 

    In my opinion, food never looks good under moody restaurant lighting. It looks yellow and awful;  a bad representation of the dish, and insulting to the poor chef if those photos go on social media. If you must take pictures of your food at night with your smart phone, think about getting something like the awesome new Expose light by Melbourne company, Knog. You can side light it and it'll look great. 

    2. Processing

    I almost always tweak my photos with some kind of app before posting them anywhere. This is the same with my professional images from my DSLR, so it makes sense that the images from a phone won't be any better! Spend a few bucks on an app like After Light, VSCO Cam or Alt-Photo and learn how to use it. Think about contrast, white balance and sharpness. It's amazing how even some of the presets in these Apps can bring a dull image to life. 

    3. Respect

    Be sensitive to your surroundings. Don't be the one with the big camera blazing away and forbidding others from eating before you've got "the shot". Leave eating cold food to the professionals (like me!). Eating out is a wonderful thing, and you should enjoy the experience, rather than being a knob with a camera. 

    4. Narrative

    I get wannabe foodies follow me on Instagram all the time, and their feeds are awful. Just badly composed sad brown blobs on big white plates. When I shoot food, I want try to make it look like a memory someone could have had. I want to make it look like you could sit down, grab a fork and eat. It's about the story. Rumple a napkin, hang a fork off the side of a plate. Froth up a beer a little. Drop a bit of salt on the table. The key to creating a story in an image is the human element. Without it, it's just a boring plate of food. Have fun with it!

    5. Technique 

    Things like focus point, aperture and shutter speed are really important if you're using a DSLR or even a point and shoot. If you're shooting from the side, try to focus on the protein. If you want to create a sense of depth, go for a smaller depth of field (f stop number). Never go below 1/60th of a second shutter speed to keep things sharp. 

    There you go. GO FORTH AND NOT BE A KNOB!

  • shooting film and revisiting old friends

    romance

    My girlfriend bought me an old Canon EOS 5 for my birthday this year, and it's so cool. I remember playing with these all the time when I worked in camera stores in the early 2000's. A few friends had them, and even though I was a die hard Nikon shooter back then, I always really liked them.

    Now that I shoot Canon digital, the idea of grabbing one of these lovely old birds has been kicking around my head for a while. How cool would it be to put all my awesome L lenses on an old film body? 

    So anyhow, I got a roll back this week from Hillvale. One of the things I still kinda love about film is that I invariably forget what's on those rolls sitting on my shelf, and this was no exception. I think I shot this roll around early winter. I was experimenting with the cool built in flash and just using my beautiful 50mm 1.2L lens. While the Hillvale scans seem to always have kinda wacky colours (not bad, just wacky and not quite accurate), they always look pretty cool. 

    I love how with film you're stuck with the exposure you got. Things that aren't straight, you're stuck with, and it makes you appreciate them for what they are, not what you're trying to transform them into. It's so funny, the EOS 5 is basically what the 5D digital camera was modelled after, so it's fairly similar to even the current 5D MKIII. So much that when I'm taking pictures, I instinctively look down to check the LCD. But of course, the picture is never there..

    Anyway, here's a few shots I liked.

    Pole

    Shower

    Jack Elias

    What's funny with the above image of my friend Jack, is that I also shot this little shoot on digital. Ironically I processed the digital files almost identical to the ones I shot on the film, months before I even saw them. I should have just shot film. 

    Luke Yeoward

    Kersty and Malky.

    This is our cat Malkmus the day we got him home from the shelter where adopted him. He's a great little guy.

    someone elses dog

    It seems I look for shapes and lines a lot more when I'm shooting film. I wonder why that is?

  • Committing to a Creative Decision.

    Recently I came across a book by Darren Sylvester called Compass Point after I photographed Darren for a friend's magazine called World's OnlyChatting to Darren about the book, he talked about how when he shot the book, he knew he didn't want to do a whole lot of post, so he went and bought a bunch of old school Cokin filters (mostly from bargain bins in camera stores, as they're not popular now, at all) and used them to create the gorgeous images in the book.

    I was really struck by this. Back when we shot film, the creative decision had to be made at the time of shooting. You had to commit; you'd use the appropriate film to create the look you wanted, and if you wanted to use a filter, you had to make the right call then and there. Back then, a filter was a piece of glass you put in front of your lens; not a button you push on Instagram. Once it was on, it was on.

    Now that we shoot digital, the idea of committing to something at the time of creation is becoming less and less talked about. Sure, we select the correct lens for the job etc, but pretty much everything else is done in post. Of course, this allows huge amounts of flexibility and enourmous possibilities, but there's something to be said for making a choice at square one, and seeing it through; limiting possibilites and really honing something. 

    After shooting Darren, I immediately started scouring Ebay for daggy old 80's filters and they finally arrived this week, so of course I made my girlfriend and her mate go stand under out under our magnolia tree while I waved these amazing pieces of glass in front of my lens. So cool. I love the results. I think I made Kersty and Jen look like they're in an all girl shoe-gaze band.

  • Dinner party at home..

    I've been working with a great food stylist lately named Jacinta Moore, and last week we shot a cool story for goodfood.com.au which was in this weeks Epicure. Check it out. Also online at http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/cook/a-dinner-party-for-30-top-chefs-show-you-how-to-cook-for-a-crowd-on-the-cheap-20140816-3dssx.html