Steam rises from a piping hot hairy crab as it is taken from a saucepan and placed into an ice bucket. Once cool, the shell is gently removed to reveal tender crab meat and an egg yolk-like cream. It is cooked perfectly. The delicacy is arranged on an old metal plate alongside a rusty baking tray, the mottled texture of the tableware striking a contrast with the smooth crab shell. A few garnishes, and the dish is picture perfect.
This is a typical setup for Taiwanese food photographer Ben Chen, who has built a career around photographing classic dishes and ingredients. His approach is to establish the food item as the hero subject by playing with colour and light, rather than crowding an image with accessories.
“Photography is the art of light. I think my style is simple, and I like to create contrast by leaving some shadow in a picture”.