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Thread: I'm hungry...are you?

  1. #1

    Default I'm hungry...are you?



    Original Flickr image(As the colour looks different) - Food photography | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    It's my first time really shooting food photography for a friend besides using instagram to take photos of my meals
    And I read abit up on how to do food photography

    1. in what area is critique to be sought?

    I would like to know how I could further improve the shot to make it stand out even more,
    maybe in my post processing or adding a board behind for the distracting background?
    Did I focus correctly on the main item of the dish?

    2. what one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
    I really do hope it makes the food look appealing and have those kind of really good food menu look which makes you salivate just looking at it

    3. under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
    Basically I was helping a friend to shoot some food photos for a new british bar and she wanted some simple shots.
    This was shot approx 4pm and was placed near the window to make use of the natural light
    The food was straight out from the kitchen and I did some minor arrangements before the shoot and
    added some coasters beneath the plate to 'boost' the plate up alittle as I was using a 70-200 for the shot to isolate it even more.

    4. what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
    Personally I felt really glad for my first Food photography attempt with a really simple setup of just the food, coasters and natural lighting from the window.

  2. #2
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm hungry...are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by JVlarcus View Post
    The food was straight out from the kitchen and I did some minor arrangements before the shoot and
    added some coasters beneath the plate to 'boost' the plate up alittle as I was using a 70-200 for the shot to isolate it even more.
    Why that? As a customer, do you want to guess about what's at the rim of the plate or rather prefer to see the entire dish in it's beauty? It's a picture showcasing the dish, not showcasing a technical study of DOF capabilities.
    Use a DOF calculator and get a setting that leaves the dish in focus, only throwing out the background. Increase the distance to background if necessary, get closer to the dish. Use a lens with shorter minimum focus distance. Try to find a spot where there is no vertical line in the background, this makes it easier to have a smooth (and dull) background, directing the view to the dish.
    EOS

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    Member ntheni's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm hungry...are you?

    Agreed on bro Octarine on the DOF part. More focus on the dish will make it stand out even more.
    Also suggest to use a reflector on the left size as the shadow seem to be quite distracting

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    Default Re: I'm hungry...are you?

    Hi there, thanks for sharing. Since the technicalities of the shoot has been addressed above, I shan't repeat those.

    Since your objective is to make the dish look more appealing and attract the viewer, some care can be made on the styling of the dish. In your shot, the splatter of black pepper all over the rim of the plate didn't seem to help much. The positioning of the items can be done better. The rocket leaves can be better arranged without looking like a mess. And I really couldn't make out what is the blob on the lower right of the plate. To me, food styling doesn't mean adding non-edible stuff like glue, varnish etc. The trick is to be able to spend a bit more time and care to arrange the dish in the most presentable manner.

    My tip is to try to take the shot from different angles, by rotating the plate, and take extra care on the selection and placement of ingredients, props etc. I usually take like 20-40 shots of a dish and then select the best one that represents the dish. Through experienceand practice, your food photos will definitely improve.

    Feel free to visit my Flickr to see some of my food shots...not exactly top notch pro yet, but I hope that someday I'll be there.

    Cheers!
    Family | Health | Happy-ness. . . my Flickr here

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm hungry...are you?

    Another point: as much as I understand people who want to use natural light - but here you have to manage the light to show the dish in the best possible way. So the question is: Is natural light the best choice? I would think that there are better ones. The White Balance could do with a few hundred K to the warmer side.
    EOS

  6. #6

    Default Re: I'm hungry...are you?

    Oh woah.. thanks alot for the advise guys! Sorry about the DoF part.

    I worked with a very minimalistic setup and guess I didn't really thought through well enough. Minor changes were basically perking up the vegetables and moving the fries alittle.

    Checked out both bro's ntheni & LifeInMacro's flickr, different techniques but the food shots are both really impressive! Guess I should've done many more shots from different angles and done more homework up on food photography.

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    Default Re: I'm hungry...are you?

    No worries. Glad to share. The more you read and practice, the better you'd get. That's all to it really. No magic. Happy New Year!


    Quote Originally Posted by JVlarcus View Post
    Oh woah.. thanks alot for the advise guys! Sorry about the DoF part.

    I worked with a very minimalistic setup and guess I didn't really thought through well enough. Minor changes were basically perking up the vegetables and moving the fries alittle.

    Checked out both bro's ntheni & LifeInMacro's flickr, different techniques but the food shots are both really impressive! Guess I should've done many more shots from different angles and done more homework up on food photography.
    Family | Health | Happy-ness. . . my Flickr here

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    Default Re: I'm hungry...are you?

    I think you have good instincts so run with it. There is no need to conform to certain "industry" standards nor "self perceived" standards with photography. Speaking as a professional, there will always be occasions where one would like to try something new, to re-invent themselves or challenge our creativity BUT many factors prevent it. Be it the client or budget or our own laziness it doesn't happen. As for food, unless ourselves or know someone who is willing to prepare, cook and style dishes it's rather hard to 'try it'. Seeing you have such a fine opportunity right now, don't waste it with... you know... the same everyone else shoots. As long as your friend (client) is open to ideas, and you have an understanding of what you want to achieve, whichever composition/technique/lighting you want is perfectly fine. It seems you know the limits of bad photography and I don't think that needs worrying. Your first attempt is already very good, compare yourself with what you've seen and be honest.

    I find the DOF is sufficient. In fact you can experiment with even less DOF + lower angle, especially for (but not limited to) abstract/filler shots. You have to look at the 'proposed' menu too, maybe having all the photos of entire dishes is too much, so you have some photos which entice or tease rather than simply listing ingredients: x1 sausage, x12 fries etc. Your friend won't mind more photos, and the more you can provide, the better options she has.

    Window light is fine, but depending on external factors is a no-no. So better to have a backup ready. But if you're not turning professional or wanting to invest then just keep with window light. Otherwise you need a strobe with large softbox.

    Background, I don't mind some pattern at the back, but it has to be a simple and non-distracting. Right now it looks like a pipe, so get rid of it. Something nice would be like the soft folds of a curtain or cloth, frankly just something which suits this dreamy, tender look you've made the dishes into. I think a standard paper/formica background is pretty darn boring. I hate when clients ask for it. Mood shots are so much more fun to take.

    Styling is really not my forte nor I reckon for many other photographers, but basically the dish should look neat with a certain randomness and the 'hero' ingredient should stand out. Try to spend at least 5min tinkering around with placement etc. Importantly is to clean up the sides of the dish. In proper shoots we usually tell the chef to hold the sauce till we're ready, but for you I think it depends on how involved you want to get. For example, know if the one in the kitchen is a cook or a chef? A chef will normally know more about styling, and make less work for us. But also if he/she is overworked and tired then the dishes will reflect that state as well.

    You have this freedom, make use of it. Don't box yourself in.

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