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Thread: eedwinn's food photography

  1. #1

    Default Delicious food!

    Hi, seeing so many food threads out here, decided to start my own one as well being a glutton!

    Let me start off with the common but one of my fav "Zhi Char" dish!

    Last edited by eedwinn; 9th August 2009 at 07:56 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Popeyes anyone?


  3. #3
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    HI eedwinn,

    I would like to ask you, what is your main objective to post the dishes? For critique or for tryout?

    If it is for critique, I would rate a bad due to the inappropriate composition. Your 1st picture, even with the shallow DOF (Depth-of-field), the background is seriously distracting. A successful / good food photo consist of careful composition, appropriate DOF, good lighting as well as food styling with is upmost important.

    Composition, can be done before, during or after the shoot. Compositon involve the positioning of props and main dishes, and the position of the main dish, to make the main dish its attention.

    Simple food styling, can be done if you are careful with the positioning of the food and condiments as well as props. To do a food styling, is to make the foods as tasty as possible. Using Photoshop, you can patch up food surfaces and defects, so as the food looks flawless.

    DOF is to isolate background from your subject, thus with a point of focus, it can attract viewers to the main features of the dishes.

    With good lighting, you can bring out the rich colours of food and the texture, thus making it as tasty as possible.

    However, I dont see such elements on your first picture. One thing could be done is using Photoshop software or any photo editing software to crop out the main dish from the background - the wallet, glass and background lighting are far too much distracting. The main purposes of photographing food is to give the dish its attention, not distracting it away from the props or background.

    Food is always good to photograph it at 60 degrees or 45 degrees according to your design vision. The 2nd picture, although there is enough lights, the textures are there, the main dish still looks not tasty.

    No offends I hope, everyone has a first time in doing this and that. It takes time to practice and efforts to design a photograph. I believe your next tryout would be much better then your first try.

    Cheers

  4. #4

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by hanqiang1011 View Post
    HI eedwinn,

    I would like to ask you, what is your main objective to post the dishes? For critique or for tryout?

    If it is for critique, I would rate a bad due to the inappropriate composition. Your 1st picture, even with the shallow DOF (Depth-of-field), the background is seriously distracting. A successful / good food photo consist of careful composition, appropriate DOF, good lighting as well as food styling with is upmost important.

    Composition, can be done before, during or after the shoot. Compositon involve the positioning of props and main dishes, and the position of the main dish, to make the main dish its attention.

    Simple food styling, can be done if you are careful with the positioning of the food and condiments as well as props. To do a food styling, is to make the foods as tasty as possible. Using Photoshop, you can patch up food surfaces and defects, so as the food looks flawless.

    DOF is to isolate background from your subject, thus with a point of focus, it can attract viewers to the main features of the dishes.

    With good lighting, you can bring out the rich colours of food and the texture, thus making it as tasty as possible.

    However, I dont see such elements on your first picture. One thing could be done is using Photoshop software or any photo editing software to crop out the main dish from the background - the wallet, glass and background lighting are far too much distracting. The main purposes of photographing food is to give the dish its attention, not distracting it away from the props or background.

    Food is always good to photograph it at 60 degrees or 45 degrees according to your design vision. The 2nd picture, although there is enough lights, the textures are there, the main dish still looks not tasty.

    No offends I hope, everyone has a first time in doing this and that. It takes time to practice and efforts to design a photograph. I believe your next tryout would be much better then your first try.

    Cheers
    Hi Hanqiang,

    Firstly, thank you very much for dropping by and leave comments and I really appreciate the time taken!

    My objective is definitely for critique so that I will be able to learn from the gurus here! I know there are alot of areas which I need improvement on, especially so as I had just started photography less than 1 month ago.

    I guess I have to work on composition more by shooting more, I just don't have "the eye" for it yet. But now I know what I will need to take note of basically, which is to get rid of distracting items in the pictures.

    I guess I will not do any PP as for now, since I'm still struggling to get the basics right. But I'll definitely use them in the near future.

    I am not too sure about lighting though. Please enlighten me more on this part if it doesn't take too much of your time. Does good lighting just mean that there is bright light to show the texture of the food? So if it's so, can I just use flash in dark area to be considered good lighting?

    I will take note of the 60 and 45 degree angle to take the food. No offence taken, I will post some more pictures which I took today. Hopefully it will be an improvement over the previous 2 pictures.

    Cheers and have a good weekend!

  5. #5

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    take your time to improve bro.. everyone has to start off somewhere..
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  6. #6

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Giving it another shot!


  7. #7
    Member tainted's Avatar
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    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    what aperture was this taken at?
    DOF seems abit thin.
    A question to help you abit.
    What do you want your viewers to focus on?
    The meat or the carrot?

    If you know what you want your viewers to focus on you can get away with a thin DOF.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Giving it another shot!

    Hi eedwinn,

    It seems cleaner now. I certainly see some improvements. The photo is now cleaner. However, The dish is a bit out of focus, seems to me the carrot has more focus than the meat itself. But the dish is now better, try to crop the photo a bit.

    The dish is too dead ctr, a beginner's error, but after cropping should be fine.

    Try to set a square cropping.

    Continue to shoot more and you will improve.

    Cheers
    Last edited by hanqiang1011; 22nd June 2009 at 08:40 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by tainted View Post
    what aperture was this taken at?
    DOF seems abit thin.
    A question to help you abit.
    What do you want your viewers to focus on?
    The meat or the carrot?

    If you know what you want your viewers to focus on you can get away with a thin DOF.

    Aperture was at F4.0

    Does thin DOF means that my DOF is too shallow? I did set my focus point on the meat (the part with the long bean).
    Last edited by eedwinn; 22nd June 2009 at 08:41 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Aperture was at F4.0

    Does thin DOF means that my DOF is too shallow? I did set my focus point on the meat (the part with the long bean).

    looking at your EXIF, it could be due to handshake as your shutter was half second

  11. #11
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Aperture was at F4.0

    Does thin DOF means that my DOF is too shallow? I did set my focus point on the meat (the part with the long bean).
    Thin DOF means your area that you want it sharp and can see more clearer, is less. Aperture for product shooting is best recommended at f8 to f11. Once you got the nice angle you need, take a few exposure, then slowly move to other f-stop to play around with DOF. Thus a simple product might take an hour or more to finish.

    What camera are you using? DSLR or Digital point & shoot? I suggest using manual focus mounted on a tripod, in this way, you can do selective focusing on your viewfinder or LCD screen. If no tripod, only can hand held, you should use an one-point focus to lock the part you want it 'sharp' then recompose, lastly shoot. All this you should do it simultaneously.

    If hand held, your shutter speed should more be less than your focal length of the lens you using, to minimise hand shake. EG: Focal length you using is 50mm, your shutter speed cannot be lower than 1/60 of a second.
    Last edited by hanqiang1011; 22nd June 2009 at 08:53 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by hanqiang1011 View Post
    Hi eedwinn,

    It seems cleaner now. I certainly see some improvements. The photo is now cleaner. However, The dish is a bit out of focus, seems to me the carrot has more focus than the meat itself. But the dish is now better, try to crop the photo a bit.

    The dish is too dead ctr, a beginner's error, but after cropping should be fine.

    Try to set a square cropping.

    Continue to shoot more and you will improve.

    Cheers
    Thanks hanqiang! I am definitely more motivated to improve and get better shots from your words. Hmm, I always thought in food photography the food is always in the middle?

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    looking at your EXIF, it could be due to handshake as your shutter was half second
    Yes I guess so, the lighting there was pretty low so I had to set a slower shutter speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by hanqiang1011 View Post
    Thin DOF means your area that you want it sharp and can see more clearer, is less. Aperture for product shooting is best recommended at f8 to f11. Once you got the nice angle you need, take a few exposure, then slowly move to other f-stop to play around with DOF. Thus a simple product might take an hour or more to finish.

    What camera are you using? DSLR or Digital point & shoot? I suggest using manual focus mounted on a tripod, in this way, you can do selective focusing on your viewfinder or LCD screen. If no tripod, only can hand held, you should use an one-point focus to lock the part you want it 'sharp' then recompose, lastly shoot. All this you should do it simultaneously.

    If hand held, your shutter speed should more be less than your focal length of the lens you using, to minimise hand shake. EG: Focal length you using is 50mm, your shutter speed cannot be lower than 1/60 of a second.
    Wow, I didn't know a taking a picture will go through such long process!

    I'm using DSLR , thanks. I will take note of this method and try to use it the next time round. I've read about the rule about 1/focal length. It just slipped my mind that time and indeed I still have much to learn and remember. Thanks for the tips and time once again.

    Cheers!

  13. #13
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Thanks hanqiang! I am definitely more motivated to improve and get better shots from your words. Hmm, I always thought in food photography the food is always in the middle?



    Yes I guess so, the lighting there was pretty low so I had to set a slower shutter speed.



    Wow, I didn't know a taking a picture will go through such long process!

    I'm using DSLR , thanks. I will take note of this method and try to use it the next time round. I've read about the rule about 1/focal length. It just slipped my mind that time and indeed I still have much to learn and remember. Thanks for the tips and time once again.

    Cheers!
    Subjects are not neccessary to be in the middle. Use the rule of third.

    You can still place your subject in the middle, provided that the subject is facing you at an angle, and the subject has to fill up your viewfinder up to 70% to 80%. Thus portrait is best taken vertically and fill up the viewfinder 70% to 80% rather than a horizontal picture in the middle with gaps on the side.

  14. #14

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Here's another one, appreciate all C&C! I think this shot isn't that good though, but I'm posting it up nevertheless (DOF too shallow).


  15. #15
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    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Here's another one, appreciate all C&C! I think this shot isn't that good though, but I'm posting it up nevertheless (DOF too shallow).


    u are improving...

    but still more to learn.. u do not need to put the whole dish into a photo... crop them in a way that wat is the subject..

    This photo's subject is the prawn is focus n sharp
    If i were u, i crop it tighter with the 2 prawns which are laying side by side.. the right 1 is not necessary.
    Qns: Look at the background, the edge of the table etc, how u feel abt it?



    Thats my point based on the objection on this photo ..
    Last edited by sgfreestyler; 29th June 2009 at 11:22 PM.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by sgfreestyler View Post
    u are improving...

    but still more to learn.. u do not need to put the whole dish into a photo... crop them in a way that wat is the subject..

    This photo's subject is the prawn is focus n sharp
    If i were u, i crop it tighter with the 2 prawns which are laying side by side.. the right 1 is not necessary.
    Qns: Look at the background, the edge of the table etc, how u feel abt it?



    Thats my point based on the objection on this photo ..
    Thanks for the tip sgfreestyler! I've followed what you said and tried cropping the picture. Do you think this is better?


  17. #17

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Hahaha...
    Poor thing. I think you should post in the critic folder. Thats the right folder to get critics.


    Regards
    D3s / D3x / 18-55 f3.5 - 5.6 / 55-200 f3.5-5.6 / 50 f1.8

  18. #18
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    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Thanks for the tip sgfreestyler! I've followed what you said and tried cropping the picture. Do you think this is better?

    ya .. is much better

    keep on shooting. look at how other ppl shoot.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Thanks for the tip sgfreestyler! I've followed what you said and tried cropping the picture. Do you think this is better?

    Please take note of the black dot or stain or whatever it is. It is in the foreground and side of the plate and THOSE ARE distracting. You want ppl to notice your food but yet the impurities spoilt the show.

    Composition wise, is improving but yet the stains are a BIG NO.

    You are doing well, need to practise more.

  20. #20

    Default Re: eedwinn's food photography

    Wow, thanks for the tip! I really don't even take note of that myself. Really still have much to learn from you guys. Thanks!

    I'll post more when I get the chance to. Cheers!

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