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Thread: Cookery still life

  1. #1
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Cookery still life

    Hi there Ladies and Gents,

    I have stepped out side my comfort zone to have a go at photographing still life and still trying to tell some type of story.

    As I am madly preparing Lasagne for dinner I decided that the ingredients may be a good place to start.

    C&C most gratefully encouraged and needed :-) ... Remember if P&P is required all I have mastered so far is crop and convert to B&W, so dumb it down for me please


    Cookery still life
    Lets cook Spaghetti by Soozie_Lou_B, on Flickr

  2. #2
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Cookery still life

    Just reliased I missed putting the cob loaf in the shot. What is a good Italian meal without bread ?? Dohh

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    Re: Cookery still life

    Hello Soozie,

    These are things that in my opinion might improve the image. The spaghetti or the image is leaning to the left so levelling off might help. Spaghetti is also fairly central and I would probably either take picture in portrait or crop to that, rather then landscape. Would accommodate the height of spaghetti better?
    That would also allow the picture to be cropped more tightly on the right hand side. Just my thoughts and I hope they are constructive and helpful.

    I quickly did this edit below to give a visual idea of what I mean.

    Cookery still life


    Cheers for now

    Gary
    Last edited by oldgreygary; 21st September 2012 at 10:47 AM. Reason: added example of possible edit

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    Re: Cookery still life

    Looking forward to the next dinner invitation!

    My biggest weakness in the types of photography that I do is setting up controlled images such as this one. Having said that, I would like to see the pasta as a background item that helps fill the frame. I would also like to see the wine bottle, glasses and corkscrew together or at least the wine bottle and glasses together, as it does make sense that the corkscrew is with the other utensils.

  5. #5
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    Re: Cookery still life

    Nice shot. Love the colours and content. Do you think a little crop of the black lifter and other implements on RHS might help? Make it all just a little less busy and help concentrate on the prime subject? I found that these implements tended to draw my eye away from the spaghetti, cheese, tomatoes and the nicely arranged backdrop of fresh green herbs. It all seemed a bit busy. For me, the placement of the background bottle, glass and mortar and pestle did however add to the overall balance and composition. These comments of course are just my personal opinion and deserve to be treated as such.

    You have presented a wonderful 'story' and I am sure many of us, having seen it are about to invite ourselves around to your place for a fabo meal! So, apron back on and get cooking Kiddo!

    Okay, one last thing. So, you forgot the bread? Well, I guess you were so busy preparing such a fine repast you didn't have time to 'loaf' around!
    Last edited by ucci; 21st September 2012 at 10:58 AM.

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    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Cookery still life

    Hi Gary

    Thanks so much for responding. Your comments are indeed helpful as I have not attempted this type of shot before. Unfortunately we ate most of the "props" tonight so I will have another go soon.

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    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Cookery still life

    Hi Mike,

    To clarify the positioning of the pasta, it is central because this will be an entry into a photo competition. The theme of it is spaghetti, so the attempt I was making was to tell the story of how the modest noodle becomes a meal by adding all the other elements. The judges hinted that they would like to keep finding little things in the picture that aren't blatantly obvious - they called them "cookies", hence the positioning of some of the other items (some are not noticed straight away, like the chilli hiding in the spaghetti or the wine bottle and glasses hidden in the background).

    Do you think I managed to tell this story?

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    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Cookery still life

    Hi Ken

    The colours turned out well. I am amazed that they blended so well on screen actually. As stated to Mike above, the implements are there strategically, however, if you don't think they work I could remove them.

    Being so close to me you could mozzy up the highway and have made it for dinner as a typical Italian dinner is taken later than us Aussies :-)

    The cob loaf tasted wonderful anyways regardless of not making it into the shot :-)

  9. #9
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Cookery still life

    Quote Originally Posted by Soozie B View Post
    Hi Ken
    As stated to Mike above, the implements are there strategically, however, if you don't think they work I could remove them.

    Being so close to me you could mozzy up the highway and have made it for dinner as a typical Italian dinner is taken later than us Aussies :-)


    :-)
    Not for me to pontificate on the implements removal. It is your picture and your story. I just put forward a suggestion for your consideration.
    And funnily enough I would mozzy down from Seymour to Melbourne.
    The enjoyment of fine Italian food transcends time restraints. It is not something to be simply 'scoffed' because we have arrived at a proscribed meal time! It is to be savoured, irrespective of the time of day. Okay, so I adore Italian food!

  10. #10

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    Re: Cookery still life

    Your image tells the story but I think Gary's crop tells the story better.

    To be successful in a competition, you will probably need to tell your story creatively, not just tell your story. I would still consider placing the pasta in the rear and gathering the other items around and in front of it. You could position everything so it's clear that the pasta is the subject and that everything else is subordinate to it. You could also use a limited depth of field that places only the pasta in focus. Limited depth of field is a very popular style these days in images of food published in magazines and recipe books.

  11. #11
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Cookery still life

    Touche Ken

    I do get the ups and downs of the highway all backwards. I am originally a Wodonga girl so should have known better!

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    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Cookery still life

    Mike I will replenish the ingredients that ended up being ingested tonight and have another go tomorrow.

    Thanks so much one and all for helping with the composition. I am assuming that the light (natural only) was ok, as I did take note of the time I shot this, and, if the goddess is willing I will have the same or very similar conditions tomorrow

  13. #13

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    Re: Cookery still life

    You have nice, soft shadows, probably created by an overcast sky. Don't hesitate to use white foam core or even aluminum foil to reflect some light into areas that need it. You could wrap some paper towels around a piece of cardboard to achieve a certain amount of reflection.

    If you want to simulate a late afternoon sun not obscured by clouds, use a warmer white balance, perhaps fine-tuning it with subtlety in your post-processing rather than being limited to the settings in your camera.

  14. #14

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    Re: Cookery still life

    Another idea: To help set your image apart from your competition, consider using whole wheat pasta, spinach pasta, or anything different from the norm.

  15. #15
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Cookery still life

    Funny you should mention using different pasta Mike. I went looking for the wheel pasta the other day to use as an added prop (this pasta must be used as a stipulation but we can add extra.

    If you recall my wagon post from the other night I was going to make that the backdrop and sprinkle the pasta wheel in front of the spaghetti. Sadly tho, I couldn't find it any any of the 6 supermarkets I went to.

    I will look at adding some different pastas for texture and originality in the new set up tomorrow

    Thanks for the input

  16. #16

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    Re: Cookery still life

    Thanks for giving me reason to look up wheel pasta. I realize now that I have seen it but I don't remember knowing what it is called.

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