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Thread: Food Photography

  1. #1
    Kittelsaa's Avatar
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    Food Photography

    NOTE: I'm not sure where to post this, but as it's not people or pets, I decided to post it in Nature & Architecture. If one of the mods/admin has a better idea, please move this to the right place!

    Food Photography
    Mussels with garlic garnish, steamed over Imperial Stout

    Food Photography
    Red Curry with Rice

    Food Photography
    Dates wrapped in bacon, with a small glass of Cognac

    Food Photography
    Mussels with garlic steamed over Imperial Stout

    Food Photography
    Mussels with Foccacia

    This was my first time shooting food, so I'm interested in pointers, advice, and critique

    As we were shooting in the chef's apartment, and it's dark outside, I had to create the "natural light" using a studio light with a softbox, four white canvas, and a reflector. The setup is in the last photo. (Shot with iPhone, and really huge as I forgot to resize it...)
    Food Photography

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photography

    Where's the steam?

  3. #3
    Kittelsaa's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Where's the steam?
    I must admit that I never thought of it.

  4. #4
    Mito's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photography

    Why a small glass of cognac? And I hope it was Spanish.

  5. #5

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    Re: Food Photography

    The lighting is really nice as is the styling of the food itself.

    Perhaps the styling was the preference of the chef. You might want to review the style of food photography that is common these days to either make sure that you adhere to common practice or to avoid it. As an example, most food photography today includes silverware, napkins, place mats, tablecloths, other foods or allusion to other foods by including the edge of other plates, glassware, wine bottles, etc. Another popular style is to use a very small depth of field.

    By the way, this forum includes the category of "all other" photography, so you did right to start your thread here. For clarification of the content of a forum, be sure to read the subtitle, not just the title, of a forum.

  6. #6

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    Re: Food Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Kittelsaa View Post
    This was my first time shooting food, so I'm interested in pointers, advice, and critique
    I don't have any of these, Kristian, but you did make me hungry and want to sample the fare.

  7. #7

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    Re: Food Photography

    Once at a coffee lounge, I remember my girl looking at a picture of 'Sizzling Brownie' and saying 'GAWD! I sooo want to eat that thing...'
    It obviously was ordered & when it came on the table, to my girl's disappointment, it looked nothing like it was in the picture. But the picture did solve its purpose, i.e. to entice the customer.
    In food photography I learnt that its not WYSIWYG!
    The food has to be 'Altered' to make it look very tempting.
    I read about it online, & some links were shared here on CiC too. They put different things to enhance the look of the food.. Like making the grilled portion of steak more prominent using a grilling stick & some lubricating oil. So many other things.

    I am sorry to say, but that element is missing in these pictures. The chef can be helpful in this regard.
    You can probably show him some photographs from Stock-Photos & give him an idea..
    Then the clicked food obviously goes wasted..

  8. #8
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photography

    A link that you might want to make is with Frank's Week 42 posting in this Project 52 thread, where he too is exploring the skills required for food photography.

    I have never done it, but remember reading some time ago, that in the case of cooked foods (meats, vegetables) etc., the food photographed is never consumed. To get it to show at its best in a photograph it is only part cooked and then given all sorts of 'treatments' to make it look appetising. Apparently that which we would admire on the plate as we are about to eat, would not make a good image.

    Don't know if this view is 'common currency' and the accepted way of doing things.
    Last edited by Donald; 18th October 2012 at 08:37 AM.

  9. #9
    Coinneachmhor's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photography

    As a first attempt I think you have done really well. Never having done this before, it is disappointing though not surprising to learn the photographed food is inedible (what does that say about us the consumer Vs the skills of the chefs?!). I agree with Mike that a little cutlery or place setting would add to the ambience of the image and I think your lighting technique is very good and a set up I will be interested to try myself for other still life.

    Look forward to the next set of images.

  10. #10

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    Re: Food Photography

    Very good presentation for a first try. I agree that there is a style that is in vogue and those fads may change with the stylist whim. The big productions take hours to set up and photograph one serving of food. By the time the team in ready to take the pic, the food has gone cold and flabby. That is why it is not fully cooked and made-up (read make-up is applied), to look fresh and piping hot. For the every day photographer, if your light and set up is ready, the cook can put the plate in front of the camera and clic, voila!

    This food definitely gets eaten:
    http://veganyumyum.com/2007/01/hand-...cone-cupcakes/
    Its is my favorite cooking website. She explained in the past that the pictures were taken on her kitchen table near the window.
    It is also yumyumyummy!

  11. #11

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    Re: Food Photography

    Kristian, when taking these types of pictures I think its important to understand what you are trying to accomplish. I know amateur chefs who want me to take pictures of their dishes "as if" they are trophies. Others have different motivations for taking food pictures. Whatever the inspiration, I think it is important to understand what you are really trying to accomplish before clicking away. In your food pictures, what were you or the chef trying to say with these photos?

    Karm

  12. #12

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    Re: Food Photography

    Now that I have taken the time to review these images a second time, I realize that all of them are lit the same way. Though the lighting is fine in all of them as I mentioned in my first post, the food itself is not the same. Different textures, shapes, translucent qualities, etc. require at least slightly different lighting to bring out the distinguishing characteristics.

  13. #13

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    Re: Food Photography

    Kristian, accessories! A single plate may be a style you like but I think it more suited to a menu. A concept many chefs try to get across is that food is an experience. The lighting is very good, now build things into the frame that takes it from food to a meal.

    Steam dissipates too fast. Blow cigarette smoke into the food with a plastic straw, spray some with sugar water for gloss, search the internet for "food photographer" and you'll find lots of portfolios for inspiration.

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