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Thread: Food Photos

  1. #1
    Rhoads238's Avatar
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    Food Photos

    Hey all,

    Today I was lucky enough to be allowed to shoot the desert menu at a one Michelin star restaurant in NYC. My girlfriend helped me out with that as shes the senior chef de partie, she made and plated the food. I am not getting paid, I just wanted to get some experience in food photography. These photos will be used for their recipe manual as a plating examples. The executive chef will also be sending the photos to the other locations that the company has. I have limited equipment in the means of studio lighting so I was just using a speedlight and a cloud dome. I would really appreciate feedback on these images. I have limited experience with lighting and its something that I really need to work on.


    Gianduja ganache
    caramelized hazelnuts, chocolate dacquoise, blood orange, earl grey gelato

    Food Photos


    Apple tatin
    caramelized apple, puff pastry, smoked caramel ice cream

    Food Photos

    Ginger spiced pear
    whole roasted spiced pear, gingerbread, milk chocolate & ginger ice cream

    Food Photos

    Coconut pudding
    fresh coconut pudding, lime financier, caramelized spiced pineapple, coconut sorbet

    Food Photos

    Exotic fruit plate

    Food Photos


    Thanks everyone,

    Jason
    Last edited by Rhoads238; 15th November 2012 at 04:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photos

    Jason, I really like the angle and the contrasting background used on the spiced pear shot. Nice job.

  3. #3
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photos

    Although I like the ganache, the shadows in the middle forward are a little bit distracting for me. Nice composition.
    Now you have made me hungry!

  4. #4

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    Re: Food Photos

    All very nice shots.

    If this is something you will be dong more of this type of shots take a look at Chris' Cheese. He does an excellent job with lighting of his subjects.

    While browsing Phil's More than human I came across this link about food painting. If I ever take food shots, this is how I would like them to turn out.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-good-eat.html

  5. #5

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    2 penny for the guess..

    Re: Food Photos

    Hi Jason,

    Very good work, much better than mine.
    If I may.. :
    #1. A bit too dark on the right side of Gianduja ganache. Maybe a fill card (or post process)

    #2. That glass closed to plate is in wrong place (imho). Also, the slight angle I don't think it helps (even colours are not on your favor, green with brown.. both recesive colours..)

    #3. Very good image of spiced pear, but with the same as first one ( slightly dark on right side). There is a big difference between pear and ice cream, from texture point of view, looks OoF. Even if is MasterChef creation, you have to put more texture on ice cream, this is why he/she is Chef and you photographer. Also, that slice of ginger... looks wired for me ( a very thin slice of a frog).

    #4. Here you need a polarised filter, and focus stack ? I don't think that plate is helping also. Far objects from background might be cropped.

    #5. I don't think is working like this, at least not for me, for two reasons. First is background, and second how big is that plate ? It is a Exotic fruits fest, give us "the whole fest". Also, there is a difference in luminosity between left and right side, and botom part of plate is too dark.

    I don't know the exact conditions and gear from location, and how much time you have, but food photography is very tricky. You have to spent arround one hour (or more) for each plate, to try different compositions and light set ups.
    Overall, I think you have to put a bit more light. It is a very slow process, and you really need to work those shots

    For me, the first one is very close to "perfect", but all images are very good.
    I hope you will take the filled part of glass, with my comments, and you will get astonishing pictures next time

    Thanks for posting,

    Leo
    PS: speaking of devil....try to avoid empty glases, jars, any transparent recipients in your photos. Also put some colour/white tissue, try with or without ... and so on. Keep up with the good job. Leo

  6. #6
    glenng's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photos

    Thanks for posting some lovely shots of food as I’ am eating my boring cheese & pickle sandwich.

  7. #7
    Rhoads238's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoLeo View Post
    Hi Jason,

    Very good work, much better than mine.
    If I may.. :
    #1. A bit too dark on the right side of Gianduja ganache. Maybe a fill card (or post process)

    #2. That glass closed to plate is in wrong place (imho). Also, the slight angle I don't think it helps (even colours are not on your favor, green with brown.. both recesive colours..)

    #3. Very good image of spiced pear, but with the same as first one ( slightly dark on right side). There is a big difference between pear and ice cream, from texture point of view, looks OoF. Even if is MasterChef creation, you have to put more texture on ice cream, this is why he/she is Chef and you photographer. Also, that slice of ginger... looks wired for me ( a very thin slice of a frog).

    #4. Here you need a polarised filter, and focus stack ? I don't think that plate is helping also. Far objects from background might be cropped.

    #5. I don't think is working like this, at least not for me, for two reasons. First is background, and second how big is that plate ? It is a Exotic fruits fest, give us "the whole fest". Also, there is a difference in luminosity between left and right side, and botom part of plate is too dark.

    I don't know the exact conditions and gear from location, and how much time you have, but food photography is very tricky. You have to spent arround one hour (or more) for each plate, to try different compositions and light set ups.
    Overall, I think you have to put a bit more light. It is a very slow process, and you really need to work those shots

    For me, the first one is very close to "perfect", but all images are very good.
    I hope you will take the filled part of glass, with my comments, and you will get astonishing pictures next time

    Thanks for posting,

    Leo
    PS: speaking of devil....try to avoid empty glases, jars, any transparent recipients in your photos. Also put some colour/white tissue, try with or without ... and so on. Keep up with the good job. Leo
    Thank you for your considered feedback. It is going to be very helpful because I'm really hoping there will be a next time. In all i had about two hours to shoot all eight menu items. With one chance for each plate. All of the plates, except for the fruit plate, have ice cream on them so that also limits the amount of time to get the shot. In all I had about five to ten minutes of work time with each plate.

    To start I had another go with the Gianduja ganache.

    Food Photos

    For next time I hope to buy one of those reflectors to help fill in some of those shadows. This time i dodged everything on the right side of the image. I didn't want to over do it though and end up with a noise problem. I also dodged the shadow on the tuile in the center slightly.

    For the tatin do you think the blue background would have worked better? I only had the setting of the dining room to work with. The blue background was the booth at the table I had set up on.

    On the pear I think having that reflector would have benifited here as well. I wanted to show the roundness of the pear by having a slight shadow on one side.

    Food Photos

    So I had another touch with the dodge tool to lighten those shadows some. Although I don't think there is much i can do about the lack of texture on the ice cream at this point. It would have been nice to have another speedlight to scrape across the surface of the ice cream. Also I agree that it may be slightly out of focus.

    A polarize would have been nice for the pudding. I hadn't really even considered using one for this. But then again i also don't have one for the lens I was using. The reflections were really fighting me on this one. The plate is how the dish is served so that wasn't something that is in my control.

    I found the fruit plate to be the most challenging. The plate itself about 16 inches long. The light was gone now outside, i was shooting near a window, so I used the small overhanging light for the table. I didn't like the results I was getting with the flash set up i was using either. I also found the plating to be very difficult to compose into a shot.

    Thanks again for your feedback. It will definitely help me a lot for next time.

    -Jason

  8. #8

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    2 penny for the guess..

    Re: Food Photos

    Jason,

    Glad if I can help. Two hours for 5 plates is more than challenging, at least to me.
    Do not consider as reflectors only proffesional stuff, andy white/silver surface can lit a bit the scene, (aluminium foil is so good for this and should be plenty near by kitchen. Also A4 white copy machine/printer paper).

    If you don't mind, I did a very quick PP on first image, to give you a better hint about I'm talking about. It is far from being the perfect PP, but can give you a better clue. I will delete it if is unaprpropiate.

    Food Photos

    For second one, pear looks very good, but I really want to do something with the right side of image. Don't know yet what......

    Thanks for your posts and effort,

    Leo

  9. #9

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    Re: Food Photos

    I don't think the blue background would be appropriate for the Tatin, Jason. The brown of the table top works for me as a background. I would suggest you don't have the green slodge of whatever it is across the plate though as my first glance gave me the feeling I should sprinkle salt on it rather than eat it. (My apologies to the chef).

    - Keith

  10. #10
    Rhoads238's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoLeo View Post
    Jason,

    Glad if I can help. Two hours for 5 plates is more than challenging, at least to me.
    Do not consider as reflectors only proffesional stuff, andy white/silver surface can lit a bit the scene, (aluminium foil is so good for this and should be plenty near by kitchen. Also A4 white copy machine/printer paper).

    If you don't mind, I did a very quick PP on first image, to give you a better hint about I'm talking about. It is far from being the perfect PP, but can give you a better clue. I will delete it if is unaprpropiate.

    Food Photos

    For second one, pear looks very good, but I really want to do something with the right side of image. Don't know yet what......

    Thanks for your posts and effort,

    Leo
    Leo,

    I don't mind at all. Its always useful to see how other people would handle a photo in post production. I like that you corrected the issue on the right side of the ganache. I think it looks a little over processed but I get the idea of how it should have looked if I had managed to get more light onto that area of the dessert. Next time I will purchase a reflector, not that I don't think that aluminium foil won't work (I'll be trying it at home though) but I want to look the part of a pro. They loved the photos so much that they are going to use some of them for their social networking pages, not just the recipe manual and chef's portfolio as I had originally thought. I was ecstatic about this because they usually use their pro food photographer for this. Thanks so much for your feedback I will be putting it into practice next time and hopefully I'll really be producing good shots then.

    They also want to use me for last minute shoots and smaller projects. Only next time I will be getting paid! Which is a huge first for me. But I have no idea what to say as far as a rate goes. I know that I am very far from the level of a pro so I shouldn't even be any where close to that. And I want them to want me to come back again and again as they change their menu often. So any thoughts on that would be great.

    -Jason

  11. #11
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Food Photos

    Hey Jason,

    Congratulations on the successful shoot.

    A while back I shot some hoity-toity silver and china that I had come into just for giggles.

    The silverware was, of course, like firing a flash into a mirror.

    So I set up a flag. In this case I held a white piece of foam board over the top of the plate a couple of feet above it. A piece that was bigger than the entire plate. You could also try a black piece and see what that will do. You might even use paper, but the foam board was stiff which worked well.

    By doing this I found I could control what was reflecting and managed to get a halfway decent look to the reflection. And the reflection covered the entire plate so that the reflection wasn't so spotty (if that makes any sense).

    I thought this might be something you could try if those reflections are giving you a hard time. The reflections you see on the silverware are the foam board and the reflections on the plate are the silverware. A lot of times you can't do away with unwanted reflections but sometimes you can at least control what they may look like.

    Food Photos

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