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Thread: First Attempt on Food Shot

  1. #1
    Senior Member Halfmoon's Avatar
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    Default First Attempt on Food Shot

    Dear All

    This is my first attempt on taking food shot... Totally have no experience, and not sure if this is passable....



    I trying to capture it from an angle, using a single flash mounted on the hot shoe..... Tried a few angle, and thought this look the nicest.....

    Look more like a snap shot the more I look at it now... but thought that it should cover everything so as can see the whole plate....

    Shot at F1.8 with EF 50mm 1.8..... not sure if this is ideal at all either. Wanted to create the effect of blurrness so that people will not see everything clearly.....

    Please give your advice....

    In particular....

    1. Is Lighting ok, or how to improve...
    2. Positioning of the food... is this ok....
    3. Does the food look appetizing??

    Thank you.
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Halfmoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Also, should I use a dedicated macro lens for such shots???

    Thank you.
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    look very unappealing... and the dof just kills the picture...

    i'd prefer a stronger lightsource to emphasize and a better clarity... unless u are saying that the centre piece is all u wanna feature, the rest is just to show face, then u have to focus in a way, the subject is sharp, rest blur, but if its a whole dish, mean everything is important, hence your f1.8 is not good.

    overall, just something cooked, throw onto a plate and take picture... no effort on the food decoration...
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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    hi Bro, looks unappealing because the food has been left open for too long. Veg are too soggy and the fish doesnt look crispy. I know you are also struggling to set the exposure etc. One tip is to have light source as far as possible... I know it's contradicting to 'common' lighting knowledge but good lighting is as diffused as possible.

    Hopes it helps.

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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    hi bro.. i totally agree with the above comments that its unappealling and your photo suffer from lack of contrast... a simple push and pull on Curve makes a big difference... and in food photography, food presentation is one of the key to success.. as in MUA in portrait shot... just my 2 cents...

    i tweaked a bit to add contrast.. let me know if you want me to remove it...


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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    hmm , perhaps u should use a smaller aperture to increase the depth of field so that everything on the plate could be in focus, no use only the piece of fish is in focus while others are blur.

    aesthetic wise, the gravy is uneven, the vegetables are not arranged nicely. maybe next time u can arranged them nicely
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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    sorry for being off topic... but what can you say guys about those photos on TODAY newspaper which features foods... it has really shallow depth of field... most of them are like that...???

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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by elmzarcega View Post
    sorry for being off topic... but what can you say guys about those photos on TODAY newspaper which features foods... it has really shallow depth of field... most of them are like that...???
    they never ask for critique, if they do, i'll tell them straight in their face as well...
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  9. #9

    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Perhaps proper white balance is essential.
    The whole picture has a yellow cast.
    But can fine tune in Ps.
    Anyway, a good try for a starter.
    Keep it up.

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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Don't even use flash.

    Try window light.
    you'd be surprised how many magazine shots of food by pros are shot by window light...
    though some others will use hot lights.

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    Senior Member Halfmoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt View Post
    look very unappealing... and the dof just kills the picture...

    i'd prefer a stronger lightsource to emphasize and a better clarity... unless u are saying that the centre piece is all u wanna feature, the rest is just to show face, then u have to focus in a way, the subject is sharp, rest blur, but if its a whole dish, mean everything is important, hence your f1.8 is not good.

    overall, just something cooked, throw onto a plate and take picture... no effort on the food decoration...
    Hi Del Ctrl Alt

    After looking at it after what you comment... I believe I should have done better..... I agree that shooting it using the f1.8 might not be the brightest attempt on my side..... kind of feel like kicking myself for that..... I thought as salmon was the main course, I went in and focus on the main dish.....

    Food decoration... I have my limitation. But it is a good experience....

    I intended to use natural lighting to capture the ambiance... this has been a driving force for me in getting prime lens, and maybe I taken a step too far.... This has been my style of shooting, capturing the ambiance lighting.... part of the reason for f1.8....

    I hope that I can do a better attempt next round.... Thank you for your pointer....
    Last edited by Halfmoon; 7th October 2007 at 03:28 AM.
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

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    Senior Member Halfmoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by JacePhoto View Post
    hi Bro, looks unappealing because the food has been left open for too long. Veg are too soggy and the fish doesnt look crispy. I know you are also struggling to set the exposure etc. One tip is to have light source as far as possible... I know it's contradicting to 'common' lighting knowledge but good lighting is as diffused as possible.

    Hopes it helps.
    Hi Jace

    Will it help if I use a soft box over the flash instead??? Will it look better??? Such as lumiquest soft box???

    I wonder why the veg look poor, as it shouldn't....

    As far as possible...... Ok... I was bouncing the flash upward..... But maybe it did not provide enough power.... and brightness.....
    Last edited by Halfmoon; 7th October 2007 at 03:31 AM.
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by elmzarcega View Post
    hi bro.. i totally agree with the above comments that its unappealling and your photo suffer from lack of contrast... a simple push and pull on Curve makes a big difference... and in food photography, food presentation is one of the key to success.. as in MUA in portrait shot... just my 2 cents...

    i tweaked a bit to add contrast.. let me know if you want me to remove it...

    Hi Elm

    Lack of contrast..... One thing I do not deny, I REALLY need to brush up on my post processing.....

    What is a MUA portrait????

    It is all right to leave the edited image there.... I have no problem with that.... I just feel that your edited image look too orangy to me.... Maybe I have not yet understand the food photography part....
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Halfmoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by IONSOON View Post
    hmm , perhaps u should use a smaller aperture to increase the depth of field so that everything on the plate could be in focus, no use only the piece of fish is in focus while others are blur.

    aesthetic wise, the gravy is uneven, the vegetables are not arranged nicely. maybe next time u can arranged them nicely
    Hi ION

    Thank you. I have not notice this part..... I'll try to be alert to these in future.....
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by chvictor View Post
    Perhaps proper white balance is essential.
    The whole picture has a yellow cast.
    But can fine tune in Ps.
    Anyway, a good try for a starter.
    Keep it up.
    Hi Victor....

    the lighting condition is not the best, and it was in the evening..... it is tungsten lighting..... so that explain the yellow cast.....

    Taken in the natural lighting environment with a bounce EX 430.

    I will try on Post processing... but I have a question... all our perception is different and naturally, the edited image is also different for different individual right... does this contribute to individual styling....

    Also, thanks for your encouragement.... I'm just starting........
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltzar View Post
    Don't even use flash.

    Try window light.
    you'd be surprised how many magazine shots of food by pros are shot by window light...
    though some others will use hot lights.
    Hi Keltzar

    Yes... I notice that the pro lighting is mostly bright and sharp.... Thought that they used soft box, and studio lighting....

    What is hot light??? Is it a spot light???

    Maybe can try window lighting if have chance the next time.....
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Halfmoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt View Post
    look very unappealing... and the dof just kills the picture...

    i'd prefer a stronger lightsource to emphasize and a better clarity... unless u are saying that the centre piece is all u wanna feature, the rest is just to show face, then u have to focus in a way, the subject is sharp, rest blur, but if its a whole dish, mean everything is important, hence your f1.8 is not good.

    overall, just something cooked, throw onto a plate and take picture... no effort on the food decoration...
    Hi Del Ctrl Alt

    After looking at it after what you comment... I believe I should have done better..... I agree that shooting it using the f1.8 might not be the brightest attempt on my side..... kind of feel like kicking myself for that.....

    Food decoration... I have my limitation.

    I intended to use natural lighting to capture the ambiance... this has been a driving force for me in getting prime lens, and maybe I taken a step too far.... This has been my style of shooting, capturing the ambiance lighting....

    I hope that I can do a better attempt next round.... Thank you for your pointer....
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Halfmoon's Avatar
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    Default My personal review

    Things to REMEMBER

    I should have taken and focus on the whole dish instead on the main course.

    Lighting should be brighter, and maybe a brighter location will be better, or natural lighting....

    Food Presentation must be improved.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Once again, I would like to thank all critique.....


    I'm just wondering...

    Is macro and macro flash important for food photography????

    Feel that this could help improving the image to some extend..... especially the macro flash.....
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

  19. #19

    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...hotograph+food

    Halfmoon, there's a lot of materials and references available on the net. Take some time ... a lot of time to read through it and I'm sure you will be able to pick up a lot of valuable pointers.

    Your 50mm f/1.8 is a good start, and if you learn to use it skillfully, you may find that you may not need anyother lens, at least for now, or unless you want to shoot food commercially.

    As for using flash or artificial lights for food photography - it's kinda complicated, and can get very expensive because you need the highest degree of light control - often right down to controlling an exact amount of light, the quality of which and its characteristics down to a 1 or 2 cm space on the dish, and getting that kind of control may call for a huge amount of accessories, especially generic and specialised stands, clamps and light modifyers. Some photographers use as little as 2 or 3 lights, some use as many as 5 or 6 or more. It all depends on the shoot requirements. Shots that require a background restaurant setting also incorporates elements of interior photography whereas a close-up menu shot has more lienient requirements.

    Look through some of the links for more opinions on equipment, techniques and styles. Often, one photographer believes that a particular way is the best, and may not be open to any other style or technique. I would always advise beginners to read about as many styles and technques as possible, and try out different ones to see what they feel comfortable with, and what works for them/in a given situation, or for a particular project.

    As for the food itself, look carefully at the works of other photgraphers in the links. Again, you will find a fairly wide range of styles and that's simply because different customers in different places have different reauirements, not because one is better than the other, or one is right and the other wrong. In the larger markets like Europe, the US and Aust, there are various schools of thought, all of which produce some of the world's most appealling food photographs, Donlt fall into the self-limiting trap of believing that there is only one way to do it 'right' - be it styling, lighting or shooting techniques. Editorial work - the most creative and free of constraints usually work with very shallow depth of fields, and interesting or unconventional angles and settings to create and convey a lifestyle or mood, whereas catalog or product packaging work often requires that the entire photograph be sharp.

    One issue that directly affects the photograph perhaps more than anything else is food styling. It takes a lot of knowledge and patience to get it right. That's why there is a seperate and specialised profession called food styling, but you too can learn a few basics that will make your shots better. Just do some research and remember: there are no short-cuts to hard and smart work in this area because food photography is revealingly cruel of any deficiencies in styling and technique.

    Enjoy your journey.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 7th October 2007 at 04:41 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Halfmoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Attempt on Food Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...hotograph+food

    Halfmoon, there's a lot of materials and references available on the net. Take some time ... a lot of time to read through it and I'm sure you will be able to pick up a lot of valuable pointers.

    Your 50mm f/1.8 is a good start, and if you learn to use it skillfully, you may find that you may not need anyother lens, at least for now, or unless you want to shoot food commercially.

    As for using flash or artificial lights for food photography - it's kinda complicated, and can get very expensive because you need the highest degree of light control - often right down to controlling an exact amount of light, the quality of which and its characteristics down to a 1 or 2 cm space on the dish, and getting that kind of control may call for a huge amount of accessories, especially generic and specialised stands, clamps and light modifyers. Some photographers use as little as 2 or 3 lights, some use as many as 5 or 6 or more. It all depends on the shoot requirements. Shots that require a background restaurant setting also incorporates elements of interior photography whereas a close-up menu shot has more lienient requirements.

    Look through some of the links for more opinions on equipment, techniques and styles. Often, one photographer believes that a particular way is the best, and may not be open to any other style or technique. I would always advise beginners to read about as many styles and technques as possible, and try out different ones to see what they feel comfortable with, and what works for them/in a given situation, or for a particular project.

    As for the food itself, look carefully at the works of other photgraphers in the links. Again, you will find a fairly wide range of styles and that's simply because different customers in different places have different reauirements, not because one is better than the other, or one is right and the other wrong. In the larger markets like Europe, the US and Aust, there are various schools of thought, all of which produce some of the world's most appealling food photographs, Donlt fall into the self-limiting trap of believing that there is only one way to do it 'right' - be it styling, lighting or shooting techniques. Editorial work - the most creative and free of constraints usually work with very shallow depth of fields, and interesting or unconventional angles and settings to create and convey a lifestyle or mood, whereas catalog or product packaging work often requires that the entire photograph be sharp.

    One issue that directly affects the photograph perhaps more than anything else is food styling. It takes a lot of knowledge and patience to get it right. That's why there is a seperate and specialised profession called food styling, but you too can learn a few basics that will make your shots better. Just do some research and remember: there are no short-cuts to hard and smart work in this area because food photography is revealingly cruel of any deficiencies in styling and technique.

    Enjoy your journey.
    Dear Dream Merchant

    Thank you for your very informative, inspiring post.... I did read a bit, and I guess it come to one conclusion.... do not limit yourself..... there are more than one way of doing the same subject....

    I guess our individual differences give rise to what we call individual styles, and that is the difference.... and who ever like your style, pay you for it???

    I am not earning money through photography, but hope to have an opportunity.

    Guess I will try to expose myself to more images, and try to absorb and create my own style....

    Once again, thank you for your link, and it is very inspiring....
    Art is perception; Perception is art.

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