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Feast your eyes on the winning shot

Press release   •   Apr 25, 2016 00:01 BST

  • A series of stunning food photography images capture the exquisite, mouth-watering detail of the dinner table close up – all taken on Sony’s full frame, palm-sized α7R II
  • Tapping into the growing trend of food photography, renowned food photographer Hugh Johnson has shared his step-by-step guide to capturing incredible gastronomic imagery
  • 2016 Sony World Photography Awards finalist Peter Dench has also given tips on ‘how to capture an award winning shot’

This incredible photo series displays the immense intricacies of gastronomic photography. It’s a trend that has grown over recent years, with over 178 million images tagged with #food now shared on Instagram. With camera technology offering superb macro capabilities that allows amateurs to capture professional-level detail, the bar for great food photography has been well and truly raised.

There is an art to great gastronomic photography, and following some simple tips can help you achieve a mouth-watering shot. Photographer Hugh Johnson, who has shot for celebrated chefs including Yotam Ottolenghi, Heston Blumenthal and Thomasina Miers has shared his guide to capturing the essence of a delicious plate in a photograph.

  • 1.Make sure you keep things simple! The biggest mistake professionals and amateurs make is over complicating a shot with too much cutlery or accessories
  • 2.Shoot the food at the widest aperture possible. This is when the hole within the lens is at its widest so more light can travel through. By doing this you will soften the background of the shot to give you that pin-sharp focus on the food
  • 3.Speed is key. Make sure you take a picture of the food quickly to capture its freshness and natural glossy highlights. Spraying water is also a great way to spruce up your food if it looks a bit flat
  • 4.Keep your elbows tucked into your body when taking a photo to keep the camera steady and to minimise distortion
  • 5.Don’t be afraid to change the placement and the look of the food – for example meat may look better cut in half to show its pink interior and interesting textures

Hugh used the compact Sony α7R II to capture the delicate detail of fine dining dishes served at Searcys at The Gherkin in incredibly sharp resolution, enabled by the camera’s 42.4 megapixel back-illuminated 35mm full-frame CMOS image sensor. Even handheld, Hugh managed to shoot the exquisite intricacies in sharp detail due to the α7R II’ 5-axis image stabilisation system, which reduces shake and blur.

Images shot on the α7R II included the following:

  • The yolk of the soft poached egg, with asparagus velouté and Iberico ham, was captured in incredible detail using the camera’s Focus Magnifier
  • The stunning colours of ricotta, heritage beets, hazelnuts and ruby chard shot up-close, enabled by its in–body stabilisation feature
  • The crab, melon, sea herbs and avocado dish shot in amazing natural light was previewed first using its electronic viewfinder, allowing Hugh to review the effects of his settings before the shot was taken
  • The mint detail on the Baba Rhum, raspberries and Chantilly cream dish was brought to life using its peaking feature

To accompany the full frame α7R II, Sony has a fantastic range of full-frame lenses perfect for detailed photography. The 90mm macro lens from the current range, or the recently launched 24-70mm and 85mm G Master lenses, can be used in conjunction with the α7RII to deliver stunning, high quality detailed images. Sony also offers the PlayMemories app for both Android and iOS so images taken on the α7R II can be easily sent via Wi-Fi to a smartphone for instant sharing on social networks.

For those who want to capture award-winning photography of food or any other subject, Sony World Photography Award finalist, Peter Dench has the following advice, “To capture an award winning photograph, don’t be afraid. Most people will not mind being photographed, and if you’re nervous or new to photography choose a location where cameras are expected, like festivals or markets. Also, it is essential to be prepared. Know your camera well and have it with you at all times. Finally, make sure you shoot a scene right from the beginning to the end to ensure that you capture the whole event”.

– Ends –

Notes to editors:

Images were captured at Searcys at The Gherkin - under the guidance of head chef Barry Tonks. Dishes captured included:

  • Soft poached egg with asparagus velouté and Iberico ham
  • Home-made ricotta with heritage beets , hazelnuts and ruby chard
  • Crab with melon, sea herbs and avocado
  • Baba Rhum with raspberries and Chantilly cream

The Sony World Photography Award winning images will be exhibited at Somerset House from 24 April – 10 May

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About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $68 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Sony Global Web Site:

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About World Photography Organisation

The World Photography Organisation is a home where photography is celebrated and the art of the photographer is recognised. Working with professional, enthusiast and student photographers alike, the World Photography Organisation provides a global platform across the photographic industry to not only to raise the level of conversation around the subject, but to increase awareness and appreciation of this art form. The World Photography Organisation hosts a year-round portfolio of industry and public events including: the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition and accompanying global exhibition and the World Photography Organisation Student Focus Programme, inspiring and working with the next generation of photographers. It also organises Photo Shanghai and Photo San Francisco, international art fairs dedicated to photography. For more information please visit