Wednesday, February 07, 2007


On my recent post, Fuji Magic at PhotoWorld 2007, I highlighted how fortunate I was for have taken advantage of Fuji’s Photo Clinic offer in which I was given invaluable advice by Ariel Tresvalles and Bobot Meru on how to further develop my skills in photography. Many fellow shutter bugs I had spoken to about this rare opportunity expressed regret for either not knowing about it, or simply ignoring it altogether

However, fret not, for there is another ongoing opportunity being conducted by Mark Floro through the auspices of i-Mag Magazine’s online forum.

Mark, besides a master photographer in the advertising field, also teaches at PCCI in Makati City. He is among the few Filipino professional photographers who had taken formal photography classes in the states — College Art of Design in California).

He also excels in food photography, and along with his wife, Linda, a food stylist, they have been working together as a team for quite some time now. They were recently featured in i-Mag’s issue Number 2 in which Mark commented, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a wizard of light or a guru of Photoshop. If the food arrangement does not look perfect or have that ‘tulo laway’ appetite appeal when the shutter is pressed, no amount of light magic, or digital editing will save the shot.”

Anyway, remember this picture of kutchinta which accompanied my previous entry, Dolor's Kakanin?

Well, I posted it on i_Mag's
Sugar Free Forum and asked for Mark's critique.

He responded that it was overall a good shot:
nice highlights on food; the compostion was good; the color was pleasant; and it has a good appetite appeal to it.

Furthermore, Mark thinks
the food arrangement could have ben made to appear more simplified in a natural way. He also feels somewhat uneasy with the rear items with the way they lean. As for the grated coconut on the plate, Mark claims it as debatable; that, his wife, Linda, a food stylist, doesnt like it, but he does, in a way.

There was also that white empty
space on the right side. He suggested that I should either rearrange the items or add some prop(s) so as to fill it. Mark also thinks the first piece should have been changed, for it appears to have a thumb print on it. Finally, he would much prefer to apply selective focusing on the first and second pieces instead of the second and third, which I have done. He then suggested that I reshoot another plate of kutchinta and then show to it to him again.

How could I refuse that offer? That is very much like having an ongoing private lessons with a master!

Told Mark that I never really realized how intricate food photography can be with its many subtle nuances to be carefully observed and considered; that arranging a food shot is as critical and demanding as creating a still life composition. Indeed, those suggestions that Mark had made could
definitely make the subject (kutchinta) even more appetizing and the entire picture more appealing. And yes, I do intend to reshoot another plateful of kutchinta.

So that was my very first lesson in food photography. Thank you, Mark. You are a true sage.

By the way, food arrangement is not the only subject that you may want to present for Mark's critique; it can be a landscape or portrait. What's more important is that there is Mark Floro who will give it his time and honest opinion. So please, take advantage of it.


Labels: ,

posted by Señor Enrique at 3:12 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about arranging the kutchinta on banana leaf instead of a plate, then drizzling them just a bit with grated coconut...?

Hehehe.. just saying my piece. :)

February 07, 2007 4:45 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ok, Rhoda. Now that you've mentioned it, we will expect you to take that shot and present to Mark. Come on! It'll be something fun to do, and a good way to kick start your photography lessons (with one of our country's masters to boot,too).

If I can do it, so can you! And remember that ... hehehe.

February 07, 2007 4:51 PM  

Blogger Sebastiane said...

That's one good lesson!


Well, too bad we do not have sages here. Hehe!

I will be waiting to see more of your photos Kuya!

February 07, 2007 7:12 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Are you serious, Kyels? There are no photography workshops where you're at?

Dominique James, a leading local celebrity portrait and fashion photographer travels to certain Asian countries to conduct photography classes. Perhaps, they can arrange for at least a week-long program for Malaysia.

Thanks, Kyels!

February 07, 2007 7:20 PM  

Blogger christine said...

Hey I know Ariel! Small world. I met him while I was still working for Digiprint ( And thank you for sharing your informal lessons with us. I love how he critiqued it in detail. Does he offer any courses in food photography? I would be very interested.

February 08, 2007 12:22 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


“tulo laway”

This clearly is a Bisayan term, so I am curious:

Is he Bisayan?

February 08, 2007 3:31 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow, Christine! You know Ariel? And you worked at Digiprint? Small world, indeed!

Yes, Mark Floro conducts a seminar on food photography at PCCI.

Here's the basic info

With the fast growing number of food establishments and products, the demand for food photographers has never been greater. In this intensive two-day workshop, food photographer par excellence Mark Floro will guide you step-by-step through the range of lighting and photographic techniques used to make food look great in photographs.

What will be covered

* Equipment needed
* Lighting for food photography
* Omnibus lighting for food
* Sculptured lighting
* Different styles of photographing food
* Bringing out color and texture
* Lighting for drinks
* Finding a good food stylist
* Tricks to making food look appetizing
* Problems and treatments in photographing food
* The business side of food photography

Who should attend

This two-day workshop is for photographers who either want to specialize in food photography, or simply want to broaden their repertoire.

Go to this URL for more in fo:

Good luck, Christine!

February 08, 2007 6:29 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm not sure, Amadeo, but I'll ask him. Mark has sort of used that phrase as his trademark.

When asked by i-Mag Magazine how he'd like to be remembered, he said, "Boy, that looks like a Mark Floro 'tuloy laway' lighting setup."

So, he might, indeed, be a Visayan :)

February 08, 2007 6:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once saw on TV the way they photograph food and dishes for magaznes like Good Housekeeping - very interesting. A lot of the dishes are fake, i.e., the steaks are browned with a welding torch to evoke that grilled look :) There's an art to faking dishes ! But the neat part is the photography which somehow transforms fake and presents it as elegantly real :)

February 08, 2007 12:00 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, BW! Sometimes they have to fake it in order to come up with a mouth-watering shot.

From what I was told they use mashed potato for ice cream, but with food coloring; the real ice cream melts too fast, especially under the hot lights.

Fascinating, indeed!

February 08, 2007 1:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really? They fake it sometimes? Mashed potato for ice cream...ummm... makapag-experiment nga.

I love playing with food presentation kahit tuyo lang ang ulam, nagagawa kong magmukhang masarap. LOL ! But with photography - guess I have to really learn it.

February 08, 2007 1:53 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I really wouldn't be surprised if by the late summertime, you, Rhoda, becomes a member of our photo gang here, though in Manila. But, you can be our point person for our photoshoots in Pangasinan and Baguio ... hehehe!

February 08, 2007 1:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, sure, Eric! Be glad too. I stayed in Baguio for seven years - study, graduate then work. Lots of memories... :) Though it's not quite the place anymore that it used to be during those times. Now you smell fume scent instead of pine.. Sad. :(

February 08, 2007 2:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

its one of the best way to learn, to shoot and have it reviewed by expert, yan sana ang purpose ko in photoblog but the readers are so nice, they are afraid to criticize, too polite to tell an honest opinion :)

February 08, 2007 4:44 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ok, Rhoda ... deal then. One of these days, we'll arrange a group photo shoot in Bagui and you'll be our designated guide :)

Went to Baguio two years ago and was simply astounded by the changes -- very crowded now, huh? Burnham Park was unlike as I remember it as a kid.

February 08, 2007 4:52 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I agree with you, Iskoo. Your friends may not want to offer you their honest opinions about your pictures. Better you take advantage of this online photo clinic from a master. Check it out! You have nothing to lose, actually :)

February 08, 2007 4:55 PM  

Blogger christine said...

You're the best! Thanks for the info. :) And yes, I worked for Digiprint for about a year and a half when it was still in its infancy stages. Have you seen the branches around? Digiprint is one of LBC's subsidiaries. I've been with LBC for 8 years now. :)

February 08, 2007 5:15 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I haven't tried Digiprint services, yet, Christine, but I'll give it a try.

Your food layouts on your site are mouth-watering enough. I can imagine how even more salivating your photos will become after our having attended this food photography workshop.

Good luck!

February 08, 2007 5:40 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Christine: Correction -- "after your having attended..."

February 08, 2007 5:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting bit of information about the fake food used in food photography. The kuchinta photo, by the way, looks yummy! If the objective of the photo is to make it as mouth-watering as possible, then for me that goal has been achieved. But then again, I'm not a professional photographer. :)

February 11, 2007 8:19 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Kathy! I, too, was fascinated when I learned there was more to taking pictures of foods for publishing than realized. It can be a big production, indeed!

February 12, 2007 11:29 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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