I am part of a brand new start up photographer's co-op called Insidious Tomatoes. It's a silly name, but the concept is completely serious. Traditionally photographers have either been freelancers or worked through an agency. A photographer's co-op is a new idea, where the members form a co-operative nationwide network. It's a brand new concept, and we're basically making up the concept as we go along, so we'll see how it works out in the real world. It's a great group of photographers, all of whom have participated in a year-long training program.
As part of putting up the site, we were all given the assignment to produce a 'tomato shot' for the site's home page. It's fascinating to see how differently photographer handled the same assignment. Some when for super high production levels, with extensive post-processing. Other's went for humorous or surprising angles.
My style of food photography tends towards the clean, simple and dramatic, with a minimum of props, so I ran with that.
I wanted a simple, classic look, with an emphasis on the redness of the tomatoes. To enhance the color of the tomatoes I opted for a solid black background. I decided against using any props in order to make sure the attention was focus solely on the tomatoes. Going with a very simple lighting setup (one or two lights) also enhanced the dramatic feeling of the image.
Here are the selects that I produced for the shoot, in the order I shot them.
As you can see, I started out more complex composition-wise and worked my way toward simpler and simpler compositions, until I was left with a single tomato, seemingly floating in space, dramatically lit by a single light against pure black. That's the image I went with for the site's home page.