Food Photography with the Olympus Pen-F

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About Budi Permata

"I started taking photos in 2014, using a smartphone. It was one of the best cameras on a smartphone, a Lumia 1020. My passion is Food Photography and Landscape too. I started using the Olympus cameras from 2016 onwards, after changing a lot of brands and then I stick to Olympus and those are the best cameras I’ve ever used."

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Hello Budi! Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
Hi there! My name is Budi Permata, also known as @budztapte on IG. I started taking photos in 2014, using a smartphone. It was one of the best cameras on a smartphone, a Lumia 1020. My passion is Food Photography and Landscape too. I started using the Olympus cameras from 2016 onwards, after changing a lot of brands and then I stick to Olympus and those are the best cameras I’ve ever used.

Although you also have an Instagram account dedicated to Landscape, the vast majority of your work is about Food Photography, right? How did this interest start?
Yes, I started to photograph landscapes. The first time just for fun, going with friends in photo trips and took some amazing landscape photos. Then I changed to food because everyday we must eat and take some coffee every morning, then I tried to capture the coffee latte art and food around the coffee shops and restaurants, and that’s my routine everyday.


From Fuji to Sony, Nikon and finally Olympus, you have used a lot of different cameras in the recent years. What are you finding on Olympus equipment that sets them apart from the rest and how do they help you evolve in your work?
Yes, I have tried various brands of cameras starting from Fujifilm, Sony and Olympus. After that a Nikon and, at last, I stayed in Olympus. What I like the most is the image processing from Olympus cameras and its lens, with small size but performing the best results. Especially because with the minimum focus distance I can focus and shoot very close to the object. And auto focus is very fast. Also the fully articulated LCD screen allows a very comfortable position for high angle or low angle shots, and this I never found in other cameras.

What’s your current cameras and lenses setup?
Currently I use the Olympus Pen-F with the M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 lens, and sometimes the M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 too.

You have been using a lot the Pen-F + M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 combination. Is this a perfect match for your kind of Photography?
Yes, this is the perfect combination for taking almost all of my food photography. The 17mm is wide enough for taking some pictures of flat lays setups.


By looking at your portfolio it is impossible not to notice the care you give to the lighting. Can you share the secret of how you do it?
I’m always trying to find available light sources, like windows And sometimes I use some extra continuous light, like Aputure, just a small one to fill in the shadows.


In a succinct way, could you describe step by step the essential elements to make a good photograph of food, from the preparation of the dishes to the composition, lighting and props?
Well, the first thing you need for a good food photograph is good setup for the dishes and props you want to use. For the composition I always use the rule of thirds and finally I often shoot with a 45 degrees angle.


A cup of coffee and a camera are elements that often appear in your photographs. Are they two of your passions?
Yes, my passion is taking some good latte art and sometime I’m out of props, so I just add some camera for props, haha! The Pen-F retro looks makes it perfect as a props on my picture, next to a cup of coffee.


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