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Thread: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

  1. #1

    Default Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    hi all...

    am quite new to clubsnap... i guess i shall do a little self intro (again) in my own thread...

    well my #1 hobby is actually FOOD... and NOT photography.... i love hunting for good food all over the world... and I interested to eat anything as long as it's GOOD..!

    well i only started picking up photography some time last yr after getting influenced by makan kakis..... initially i was using compact zoom (using nikon S4..) then... but in the end i was disappointed most of the time when taking food photos indoors... cos typically there isn't sufficient light to take clear pictures w/o flash... and with flash the pictures are clear but doesn't look nice... and when i looked at my fren with DSLR can take clear and bright photos even indoors... i decided to get a better camera...

    however as i dun want to carry a bulky DSLR around (afterall photography is not really my first hobby) ... i know that with DSLR i wouldn't bring it out often and it'll just remain a white elephant... so i decided to go for mirrorless camera and got an Olympus E-PL2 last year... so whenever i go for makan outings.. i'd bring my camera and snap away at the photos... and i found myself enjoying taking food photos cos it enhances the overall makan experience and having the photos leaves good memories behind... hence started my secondary hobby of food photography...

    for a while i loved the camera as i could take clear photos w/o flash even in not so bright environment... however i find myself wanting for more as i find myself still struggling with blur photos sometimes... and being "street food photography" means that i don't always have the luxury of time to take my own sweet time snapping photos at food... especially when i am with a crowd of hungry ppl all waiting for me to finish my photographing... so in the end i don't always get clear and nice shots of all the dishes... so i wanted to better and faster lens... hence i came to clubsnap to look for 2nd hand lens... and bought the pany 20mm F1.7...

    also another thing about "street food photography" ... there are other factors that makes it challenging to take nice food photos besides the performance of the camera... like angle... choice of background/surroundings etc... so i shall post some of my photos and hope the experts here can give comments and suggestions...

    also... i am a lazy person so the photos i post are all straight from the camera WITHOUT EDITING... i don't bother to do any photoshop... but besides being lazy... my philosophy is also that my purpose is to improve PHOTOGRAPHING skills... and NOT PHOTOSHOP skills (besides.. if over-shopped can make the food look a bit artificial too...)... and also over time i can then compare past photos and present photos and see how much i've improved as far as photography goes... besides... i'm a technical person and have done photoshop before i'm sure i could quickly pick up photoshop skills if necessary... however as this is just as hobby and not commercial photography i won't bother to edit my photos... i won't even put watermark so if anyone wants to kapo my photos for some other use by all means... i see it as my honour that someone likes my photos enough to want to kapo... but still if you do kapo them it's still nice if you could acknowledge the source...

    okay enough of the long intro and boring story... i shall start posting my photos...


    regards,
    wacky
    Last edited by wackykid; 5th February 2012 at 03:20 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    Kabe no Ana @ Serangoon NEX (Shokubutsu 10 area) -- they serve japanese pasta and pizza...


    the interior - pretty nicely decorated...


    seafood yaki-pan pizza


    chicken teriyaki mayo yaki-pan pizza - the teriyaki sauce is pretty nice... loved this pizza...!


    seafood baked rice (i din eat this one so no reviews to write)



    regards,
    wacky
    Last edited by wackykid; 21st February 2012 at 05:11 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    they have twin-set menu where u get to choose 2 diff half-size spaghetti and comes with salad + soup...

    pescatora (assorted seafood) spaghetti (i added the black pepper myself) ... pretty good... the tomato sauce isn't over-powering... so can still taste the prawns and sotong... which are pretty fresh...


    mentaiko kinoko spaghetti... didn't like this as much as seafood one cos is a ted dry... but the mushrooms are nice...


    salad (forgot to adjust white balance here)... errr i'm not a salad person...


    pumpkin soup... i love pumpkin soup..!



    regards,
    wacky

  4. #4

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    onsen tamago meat sauce spaghetti... i din eat this so can't comment...


    salmon ebi cream spaghetti... i din eat this either so cannot comment too..


    overall ratings: not something i'd specially travel from far away to eat... but if already in the area i'd recommend this place... so i'd give it 4/5...


    regards,
    wacky
    Last edited by wackykid; 21st February 2012 at 05:11 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    Wheat Baumkuchen @ Toa Payoh Central... saw this recommended by InSing... went to try it...


    they have set meals costing between $3 to $5... add $1.20 for drinks and add $2 for a plain baumkachen...


    i had a lava set... which is ramen noodles + jap curry with carrots, potatoes, chicken and lettuce... $5 for this excluding drink/baumkachen... love the curry...! comes with a runny egg too... love the runny part although the egg is not flavoured... but it's still better den ordinary hard boiled egg...


    selected the classic baumkuchen... a bit like kuay lapis except it's taste more butter... less oily and feels healthier...


    overall ratings: taste-wise i'd give it 4.25/5.... but considering the pretty affordable price... i'd give it 4.5/5 for the noodles....


    regards,
    wacky
    Last edited by wackykid; 21st February 2012 at 05:13 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    Seafood Paradise @ Defu Lane

    Happy CNY...!!


    Paradise Prosperity Salmon Yusheng -- HUAT LA...!!





    regards,
    wacky

  7. #7

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    crisp-fried prawns tossed with salted egg yolk - loved the salted egg yolk...!!


    steamed marble goby with supreme light soya sauce... loved the fish... fish is very fresh... and soya sauce not too salty...


    auspicious assorted vegetables... consists of beancurd skin... mushrooms... lettuce... carrots... and wat seems like noodles...??


    fried rice with chinese waxed sausage served in lotus leaf...



    regards,
    wacky

  8. #8

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    fried man tou (for the creamy crab sauce)...


    the highlights of the day... creamy crab!! the creamy sauce seems to taste different from the singapore flyer branch... this one is more pepperish... but it's good...!


    nice big claw...


    desserts... chilled aloe vera with lychee in lemongrass lemonade... like this desserts too... very refreshing...! better if it were slightly less sweet...


    overall ratings: 4/5 for the food.... 4.5/5 for the butter crab....


    regards,
    wacky
    Last edited by wackykid; 21st February 2012 at 05:14 PM.

  9. #9
    Member ntheni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    Hi Wacky,

    Great to see you have started your thread
    Just a few pointers from a newbies :P

    IMO your DOF for the pizza & seafood baked rice a bit too thin. May look better if you can set your aperture lower.
    Many of your photo seem to be under expose from my monitor (Don't know is it because of my lousy monitor ) Will be good if you can pump up a bit of exposure.

    Alrightly, I leave the rest to the other expert here. Hope to see more of your food intro here!!!
    Last edited by ntheni; 5th February 2012 at 11:03 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    bedok corner food centre (opp bedok camp)

    the BEST cheng tng in singapore... the stall can sell ONLY cheng tng for over 70 years... and everytime u can see ppl queue up for it... says alot about the stall...


    normal bowl is $2 (below) ... if u wan extra ingredients is $3... personally i always order the $2 one cos i find if i order the $3 one... the tng too fast drink finish b4 i finish the ingredients... the ingredients used are all very nice....... the tng is also very refreshing... not too sweet... it's especially nice to drink on a hot day...! i actually like that they use crushed ice instead of shaved ice... u can then drink the tng w/o mixing up with the ice...


    overall ratings: 5/5... BEST chng tng in singapore...! what more can i say...?? DIE DIE MUST TRY!!!

    this hokkien mee stall quite famous:


    i love HKM...! but i prefer the more eggy kind... this one is kinda different from the usual HKM... it's more on the sweet side... it's not bad... but my fav HKM is still tian tian lai @ toa payoh lor 1...



    (i hate the bright yellow tables there... makes the photos look too warm...)

    overall ratings: a bit too sweet for my taste buds... plus the rather grumpy service... so 3.8/5... rather overated HKM if u ask me...


    regards,
    wacky
    Last edited by wackykid; 21st February 2012 at 05:17 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    Quote Originally Posted by ntheni View Post
    Hi Wacky,

    Great to see you have started your thread
    Just a few pointers from a newbies :P

    IMO your DOF for the pizza & seafood baked rice a bit too thin. May look better if you can set your aperture lower.
    Many of your photo seem to be under expose from my monitor (Don't know is it because of my lousy monitor ) Will be good if you can pump up a bit of exposure.

    Alrightly, I leave the rest to the other expert here. Hope to see more of your food intro here!!!
    thanks for ur comments... but i have a dilemma sometimes... i like having more bokeh effect in the background so higher aperture would be good... plus i sometimes have problems with not so good lighting resulting in under exposed photos... which also suggests to use higher aperture to capture more light... but having large aperture sometimes just end up having too thin DOF... which i agree too... so how to solve this dillema (w/o resorting to photoshop)..??

    btw do u do any exposure correction using photoshop normally...? and what F value do u usually use for ur shots..?


    regards,
    wacky

  12. #12

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    from RWS malaysian food street...

    KL hokkien mee... loved the hokkien mee... they use thick udon like noodles... which is makes it interesting... the crunchy lard bits are sinful and addictive...!!


    overall ratings: 4.5/5...... loved the HKM... would give it 5/5 if the lard is fried until the fragrance seeps into the noodles as well...

    penang chendol... this has to be my FAVOURITE chendol in singapore now... i like them using large Japanese red beans... which are sweeter and firmer than the usual beans... they also gave generous amounts of gula melaka and coconut milk... only complaint i have is... NOT ENOUGH TO EAT...!! but for $2.50 at a place like RWS... there is nothing much i could complain...


    overall ratings: 4.5/5...... would give it perfect 5/5 if the quantity is a bit more...!! :P


    regards,
    wacky
    Last edited by wackykid; 21st February 2012 at 05:20 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    this prata shop is rated 4.5/5 in ieatishootipost... i dunno how come it rated so high... cos i'd rate it at most 2.5/5... or 2/5 considering the price...

    i ordered 1 egg and 1 mushroom cheese prata... and it costs $4.5 already.....


    nvm if it's slightly more expensive than your usual coffee shop prata if the prata is really nice... but the prata is NOT crispy AT ALL... it's like eating heated dough... i love my prata hot and crispy unfortunately....... also the gravy here is strange... it's not like the usual curry... it's gluey and kinda sweet and lacking of spicy taste... i think i'd prefer the usual coffee shop prata... at least i think most of them would be cheaper than this...


    overall ratings: 2/5... curry that doesn't taste like curry... prata that taste like lump of heated dough... when factor in the price i'd give it 1.5/5 only....


    regards,
    wacky
    Last edited by wackykid; 21st February 2012 at 05:21 PM.

  14. #14
    Member ntheni's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wackykid

    thanks for ur comments... but i have a dilemma sometimes... i like having more bokeh effect in the background so higher aperture would be good... plus i sometimes have problems with not so good lighting resulting in under exposed photos... which also suggests to use higher aperture to capture more light... but having large aperture sometimes just end up having too thin DOF... which i agree too... so how to solve this dillema (w/o resorting to photoshop)..??

    btw do u do any exposure correction using photoshop normally...? and what F value do u usually use for ur shots..?

    regards,
    wacky
    Bokeh very tempting right lol
    IMO for food photography bokeh is better to use on background rather than surrounding of the food ( that what I learned from the bro & sis here lol) understand that most restaurant have low lighting so have to use higher aperture but higher aperture doesn't mean no bokeh hehe now I mainly use around f5.6 for my shots. (depend on lighting also) as for the exposure I will shot and check if my exposure is ok then set it again but still will do some pp after that.
    Btw a lots of your photos not shown leh. Maybe you like to try using Flickr to host?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    Quote Originally Posted by ntheni View Post
    Bokeh very tempting right lol
    IMO for food photography bokeh is better to use on background rather than surrounding of the food ( that what I learned from the bro & sis here lol) understand that most restaurant have low lighting so have to use higher aperture but higher aperture doesn't mean no bokeh hehe now I mainly use around f5.6 for my shots. (depend on lighting also) as for the exposure I will shot and check if my exposure is ok then set it again but still will do some pp after that.
    Btw a lots of your photos not shown leh. Maybe you like to try using Flickr to host?
    huh...?? how come not showing...?? which ones not showing...?? i try to view on another browser... all the pics are showing ley...

    and... wah... F5.6 so high...?? to think that i bought pany 20mm F1.7 prime lens to get the larger aperture over my kit lens... which is only F3.5 max... does that mean that i could just rely on my kit lens instead of the pany...?? then at least with kit lens i have flexibility on the focal length...


    regards,
    wacky

  16. #16
    Member ntheni's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wackykid

    huh...?? how come not showing...?? which ones not showing...?? i try to view on another browser... all the pics are showing ley...

    and... wah... F5.6 so high...?? to think that i bought pany 20mm F1.7 prime lens to get the larger aperture over my kit lens... which is only F3.5 max... does that mean that i could just rely on my kit lens instead of the pany...?? then at least with kit lens i have flexibility on the focal length...

    regards,
    wacky
    I can only see the HKM
    I do shoot at f2.8 at time. Really depend on how you want to shoot it. But I don't shoot below F2

  17. #17

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    The food looks delicious but just my 2 cents worth, the colors of the photo seems all a bit too dull(dark), might be better if it looks brighter as it will make the food even more appetizing! But.. nonetheless, its making me drool !
    Serene Fotoworks Facebook Page :) | with my <3 Canon 600D

  18. #18

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    Quote Originally Posted by ntheni View Post
    I can only see the HKM
    I do shoot at f2.8 at time. Really depend on how you want to shoot it. But I don't shoot below F2
    are u using the app to view...?? cos i see that i only got problem viewing the image when i using the app on android.. i would see the unregistered domain imageshack image instead of the pic... but as long as i am on full browser on PC... no problems at all...


    regards,
    wacky

  19. #19

    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    Hi Wacky,

    Great effort and thanks for sharing your review. If you don't mind, a few humble inputs:


    - as mentioned by bro ntheni, do watch out for the exposure as some look under-exposed. It's great to have nice bokeh but too thin a DOF doesn't really work, it can't portray the subject properly. As to what f. no to shoot really depends on many factors (like how close are you to the subject, how much of the subject do you intend to present, the size, the background and so on), the best way is to shoot in multiple (of different f) and choose the best. The low lighting does sometime limit the use of small apertures, you can do stacking of photos taking from diff focus point.

    - (most) prime lenses have advantage over the kit lenses (usually sharper) so even if you don't shoot at its largest aperture, it's ok. I do shoot with 30mm & 50mm f1.4 for food but I seldom use anything larger than f3.2.

    - white balance; I see most of your photos are taken in auto WB and some are very off. This can be easily corrected in post processing. I do understand it's best to have it right straight out of cam but if it doesn't, no harm correcting it. Apart from making your shots right, you can also make them better (adding contrast, vibrancy, cropping, cloning and so on). You can improve your photography skill and believe me, post-processing will not hinder you in anyway. Do not shy away from pp.

    - the composition; you can work on it too. There are many good read on food photography online, you can google for it.


    Finally, there maybe some harsh comments along the way but please take them with a pinch of salt and keep shooting (and sharing). You will only get better

    Cheers....
    Last edited by asthio88; 8th February 2012 at 02:23 PM.

  20. #20
    Member ntheni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another newbie learning to take food photos (+ food reviews)

    Quote Originally Posted by wackykid View Post
    are u using the app to view...?? cos i see that i only got problem viewing the image when i using the app on android.. i would see the unregistered domain imageshack image instead of the pic... but as long as i am on full browser on PC... no problems at all...


    regards,
    wacky
    ahh...now I can see when I use my office com :P Can't see from my lappy last night

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