Capturing motion has always been a passion for Mike Tsang, but it was a love affair with food that helped create a unique perspective on gourmet photography.
We chatted with the Instagram prodigy about his delectable and dynamic stories.
I grew up using disposable cameras. As a family, we’d take pictures of our adventures and then put them into photo albums. I remember I had my own camera and was really nervous taking photos because there were only 25 pictures on a film. So, I would only snap when I thought I had the perfect shot.
I bought my first DSLR camera when I was 25. I used it to document my day-to-day life, making memories and showing the world my point of view. My friends and I would go on photography adventures. We’d find abandoned buildings and spend hours capturing the little details and textures of the urban landscape.
I love finding beauty in unexpected places, and then sharing it with the world.
Originally, I wasn’t a food photographer; I preferred to capture street and lifestyle stories. I wanted to shoot the urban side of London, and was particularly interested in capturing the essence of darkness in a building.
It wasn’t until I met my girlfriend that I started shooting food - she’s a massive foodie. She taught me everything I know about food. That’s when I started mixing street photography with food photography.
When growing up, I loved making things move. I used to make flipbooks, they wouldn’t make much sense but they’d have a small story – maybe someone flying a kite. For me, it was about creating motion. From then I wanted to create motion for a living, so now I’m a motion designer. It’s this background that’s been incorporated into my photography. I like to photograph things that are hard to capture, like freezing time.
My girlfriend and I will start by choosing somewhere to eat. Then we’ll go to the area and I’ll shoot the journey to the restaurant or food stall to get a feel for the atmosphere.
I also film regularly. I find recording inspires me - I notice motion that I could then try and capture as a static image. From there it’s quite spontaneous. It’s also emotional too, you have to follow your instincts a lot and feel when it’s the right time to shoot.
I shoot in manual because I feel as though I get maximum control over my stories. I can control the lighting, shutter-speed and aperture. I like to shoot in raw because then I can take my images to a Lightroom and edit them if I want. My stories tend to come out quite moody, which I think is a hangover from my street photography, abandoned building past.
When I’m aiming to freeze motion I shoot in manual and then f/1.0 when trying to focus on a specific element. In terms of shutter-speed and aperture, I tend to flick through until I find the one that I like.