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Thread: Food Photography

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    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
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    Default Food Photography

    Any webbies for guides and tips ?? Esp on food photography ?

    i need lots of advice on this.... in the midst of doing a small project on this..

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    go to the food courts and study the pictures, lighting POV.

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    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    go to the food courts and study the pictures, lighting POV.
    i did walk around and studied them for a while. and since the person wanted to be shot in the studio with lightboxes, i think i need some help on that too...

    since i have no experience in studio lighting and shooting at all!! ....

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    foodcourts..hmm..i guess that also depends on the kind of clients/projects you are working with.

    another idea would be to check out restaurants/hotels menus, or take a trip down to Kino's or Borders and read up the food section for inspiration.

    a chef or food stylist on set would help very much, in the arrangement of the food/ingredients.

    if you want to create 'smoke' effect, can go to Cathay's studio equip section and buy a vapor-generating agent for ard 50-70 dollars.

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    props are also very important, eg. utensils, napkins,table cloth. some you might need, some you don't.

    do you require an assistant?

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    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereobox
    foodcourts..hmm..i guess that also depends on the kind of clients/projects you are working with.

    another idea would be to check out restaurants/hotels menus, or take a trip down to Kino's or Borders and read up the food section for inspiration.

    a chef or food stylist on set would help very much, in the arrangement of the food/ingredients.

    if you want to create 'smoke' effect, can go to Cathay's studio equip section and buy a vapor-generating agent for ard 50-70 dollars.
    will be shooting for a frenchman.... i have some experience in arrangment of food. but the problem is the lighting la... lol...

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    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennyong
    i did walk around and studied them for a while. and since the person wanted to be shot in the studio with lightboxes, i think i need some help on that too...

    since i have no experience in studio lighting and shooting at all!! ....

    if u can't get a food stylist, u need to know food styling and the characteristic of the food itself.


    this is one of the hard part.

    suggest u refer the client to a reputed food photographer if u can't handle the job. alot of hawkers rely on their food photographs to make the first impression on customers nowdays in foodcourts etc....
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    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereobox
    if you want to create 'smoke' effect, can go to Cathay's studio equip section and buy a vapor-generating agent for ard 50-70 dollars.

    there's always photoshop for such effect. dun trouble urself further.
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    personally, i find styling/arrangement of the food and getting the right camera angle is the most tedious part of the shoot.

    lighting wise, if you are working with softboxes, you can try placing the main light behind and above the set, or coming from the side of the rear. placing it straight on or 45 degree *generally* isn't a great idea, but then again, there are no fixed rules. fill in with another box from the side, and create highlights, fill in shadows etc with snoots.

    hey, im no expert, and lighting really depends on the kind of food, mood, camera angle etc you want to achieve. but generally the above should work for most kinds..

    be careful of burn-out areas on white plates especially..

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    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennyong
    will be shooting for a frenchman.... i have some experience in arrangment of food. but the problem is the lighting la... lol...
    do u even know where u'll be shooting now?

    if its a studio... then it'll be best if they haf a well-equipped kitchen to cater for food photography.

    otherwise, i'd suggest u doing it on site, at the frenchman's stall or home, with portable lighting system. all french chefs are pretty fussy abt the way their food turns out and look, so u'll be safe and perhaps free from food styling and arrangement. u can always request the chef to do the styling. they are afterall, chefs and have been to some courses in food styling, part and parcel of their being chefs.

    and i mean chefs, not cooks.
    Last edited by Cheesecake; 10th May 2005 at 11:03 PM. Reason: spelling.
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    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereobox
    personally, i find styling/arrangement of the food and getting the right camera angle is the most tedious part of the shoot.

    lighting wise, if you are working with softboxes, you can try placing the main light behind and above the set, or coming from the side of the rear. placing it straight on or 45 degree *generally* isn't a great idea, but then again, there are no fixed rules. fill in with another box from the side, and create highlights, fill in shadows etc with snoots.

    hey, im no expert, and lighting really depends on the kind of food, mood, camera angle etc you want to achieve. but generally the above should work for most kinds..

    be careful of burn-out areas on white plates especially..

    good advice here. hear hear!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake
    there's always photoshop for such effect. dun trouble urself further.
    lol you are right that smoke CAN be artificially generated in photoshop..

    but hey, if you can avoid one less thing to do in post production, why not? very often, for eg, we ignore cleaning a product well during the shoot, claiming we can touch up the dirty spots in photoshop. but end of the day, the one doing it is going to curse and swear, wasting time cloning here and there. worse still, completely missing it or forgetting to do it altogether.

    use it, but not abuse it. it's a tool, but not excuse for laziness

    just sharing my humble opinions

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    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereobox
    lol you are right that smoke CAN be artificially generated in photoshop..

    but hey, if you can avoid one less thing to do in post production, why not? very often, for eg, we ignore cleaning a product well during the shoot, claiming we can touch up the dirty spots in photoshop. but end of the day, the one doing it is going to curse and swear, wasting time cloning here and there. worse still, completely missing it or forgetting to do it altogether.

    just sharing my humble opinions
    yupz, point noted.

    just sharing what i know...
    u don't need smoke all the time for ur food photos. most often than not, it serves as a distraction to the main subject if it ain't projected in the right way.

    certain food requires artificial smoke. most don't.


    u can save urself the S$70. just buy a pack of cigarettes and a straw.
    lit up a ciggie, inhale and blow into the straw. u'll get smoke. now, if only u know how to apply this effect to ur main subject.

    cigarette's smoke is preferred more because of the way the smoke forms.
    its no joke.
    Last edited by Cheesecake; 10th May 2005 at 11:16 PM.
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    Senior Member scud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake
    yupz, point noted.

    just sharing what i know...
    u don't need smoke all the time for ur food photos. most often than not, it serves as a distraction to the main subject if it ain't projected in the right way.

    certain food requires artificial smoke. most don't.


    u can save urself the S$70. just buy a pack of cigarettes and a straw.
    lit up a ciggie, inhale and blow into the straw. u'll get smoke. now, if only u know how to apply this effect to ur main subject.

    cigarette's smoke is preferred more because of the way the smoke forms.
    its no joke.
    ur suggestion of using cigarettes is a good alternative.
    and the best part is that u need not to worry abt the food getting cold.
    but the most tricky part (if any) is the sizzling hot sauce (where sometimes we can see some bubbles) being created if the sauce gets cold.

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    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scud
    ur suggestion of using cigarettes is a good alternative.
    and the best part is that u need not to worry abt the food getting cold.
    but the most tricky part (if any) is the sizzling hot sauce (where sometimes we can see some bubbles) being created if the sauce gets cold.

    good pointer too!

    add on...

    best is to have the food served fresh, straight from the pan,wok... just after it has been cooked. abt 70% cooked, depending on the characteristic of the food itself. some food looks better fully cooked, most don't.

    food changes state once it cooled down.
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    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
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    will be working in a studio, with western dishes.

    from reliable sources, seems like theres 3 other photographers who are short-listed for the job.

    but he is looking for young talents. so prolly i think onli...

    so looking for suggestions...

    its good exposure though...

  17. #17
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennyong
    will be working in a studio, with western dishes.

    from reliable sources, seems like theres 3 other photographers who are short-listed for the job.

    but he is looking for young talents. so prolly i think onli...

    so looking for suggestions...

    its good exposure though...

    all the best!
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

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    Senior Member scud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake
    good pointer too!

    add on...

    best is to have the food served fresh, straight from the pan,wok... just after it has been cooked. abt 70% cooked, depending on the characteristic of the food itself. some food looks better fully cooked, most don't.

    food changes state once it cooled down.
    another thing to take note if u are not allowed to use cigarettes, make sure u only shoot when the sauce are poured onto the food. the steamy hot smoke is best taken at this time. mistakes are no-no as probably there will be no more retake or reshoot.
    so, before u shoot, make sure u get all the settings correct.

  19. #19
    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scud
    another thing to take note if u are not allowed to use cigarettes, make sure u only shoot when the sauce are poured onto the food. the steamy hot smoke is best taken at this time. mistakes are no-no as probably there will be no more retake or reshoot.
    so, before u shoot, make sure u get all the settings correct.
    YES this is the one... the big problem... lol.... the settings will have to be done a few hours before the actual shoot to get the correct lightings and settings..

    but all in all, 2molo i will see to what are the decisions being made ...

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    Senior Member scud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennyong
    YES this is the one... the big problem... lol.... the settings will have to be done a few hours before the actual shoot to get the correct lightings and settings..

    but all in all, 2molo i will see to what are the decisions being made ...
    aiyo, why there is headache?
    there is lightmeter. every studio photography has it.
    u just need to know how to do arrangement or presentation of the food.
    the rest leave it to lightmeter.

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