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Food Shutter Bug Club (Part 2)


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55 replies to this topic

#31 David A. Goldfarb

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:40 PM

Much better. You might experiment with some asymmetric compositions. The bowl doesn't have to be in the middle of the frame, though that's certainly one option.

#32 dcarch

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 01:19 PM

Yes, pretty good.

I don't normally do partial shots, but in this case I agree with Goldfarb.

Also slightly enhanced the garnishes.

dcarch

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#33 SobaAddict70

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:07 PM

Or, take extreme closeups where the food fills the frame. Remember, you don't have to include the whole serving dish to convey your vision.


I do try this, but it's not always so appetizing, especially with stews, curries and so on - there's just a big mound of food and you don't get a sense of the scale. At least in my experience so far.



You could always try photographing things head-on.

Like so:

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beans.jpg

Okay, perhaps not a good suggestion, but you get the idea.

#34 patrickamory

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:06 PM

Right all of these have been from above. I get it! Will try some of those. Thanks again people :smile:

#35 dcarch

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:43 PM

You hear this all the time, “ I am sorry about the quality of my photos, they were taken with my cell phone.”

In reality, a cell phone’s camera is a very capable optical device. I have used my cell phone to take pictures for many of my past posts here. Used properly you will be amazed what a cell phone camera can do.

All the following pictures were taken with my cell phone.

Pictures of my dish of gulf shrimps with fiddlehead fern and beet stems.
  • Picture C – Elephant garlic. Giant gloves, (compare them with the peppers), not a bad shot?
  • Piture D - a macro shot of strawberry seeds.
  • Picture A – a macro shot of a single brown rice.
  • Picture B – a macro shot of two sesame seeds, one black and one white.

Macro shots were done by putting a magnifying glass in front of the lens.

Two important things will get you very good pictures with a cell phone camera:

Good bright lights and steady tripod.

dcarch



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#36 chezcherie

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:54 PM

what type of cell phone are you using? photos look great. what are the silver handled things in the first two photos? they look like forks, but i see the bamboo skewers seem to protrude from them--skewer handles??
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#37 Jenni

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 11:49 PM

It's probably completely true what you say - with bright lights and a tripod I'm sure a mobile phone camera can do fantastic things. The thing is though, when I'm using a mobile phone for food pictures, it's usually when I'm eating out (maybe on the street or in a restaurant) and I want to take a photo discretely. Quite frankly, whipping out a big SLR, or even an ordinary little digital camera, would make me look like a complete lunatic. I don't even want people to know I'm taking a pic with my phone, I just pretend I'm knocking off a text or something.

My current phone camera takes ok pics, but I'm thinking about upgrading because I do spend a lot of time taking food snaps on my phone in this way. Does anyone here have any suggestions for a phone with a superior camera? I hear the latest offering from HTC is supposed to be pretty good in this area.

#38 Prawncrackers

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:42 AM

Jenni, amongst our (eG) company you would not be considered a lunatic if you took a portable lightbox out in a restaurant, attached a white light, asked a waiter to plug in whilst you got your tripod out and clamped your phone to it; all to demonstrate how you could take a great photo with your moby. Not insane at all, just on the eccentric side of obsessive! What's wrong with using a discrete little compact camera in a restaurant? I use a little Canon S95 and it's great for those low light situations, with no flash it takes pretty decent pictures. I don't think any camera phone will come close to it's performance, not for a few years yet anyway.

#39 Jenni

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:14 AM

Prawncrackers, that kind of thing just doesn't happen in the sort of very casual and basic places I usually eat at here in India. Not in mid range places either. It would attract a lot of unwanted attention and I would feel very uncomfortable. Perhaps in very posh restaurants, but even then I think it would be regarded with great amusement by all staff and other diners nearby. And on the street? Forget about it. May as well carry a sign that says "I'm rich and foolish! Please relieve me of some of my wealth!"

I don't expect a mobile phone to take photos as good a proper fancy camera. I don't expect my photos to be the best of the best! But I spend a lot of my time seeking out good eating places, especially of the non fancy kind, and as part of my reporting back I do like to include a basic photo of what I ate, whenever it's possible. I don't want to attract a lot of attention and make people feel uncomfortable, so my standard method is to use my mobile. Mobiles are not eye catching and exciting, they don't make people stop to see what you are doing. I like the method, I just need to get slightly better equipment and I know it's available because at the moment I'm using a comparatively basic phone camera.

#40 Prawncrackers

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:51 AM

Ah right in that situation yes you want to be as discrete as possible, i thought you were living in this country. The new Sony Experia phone has a 12MP camera now but it is quite large. From all reports the camera is fantastic.

#41 dcarch

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:59 PM

what type of cell phone are you using? photos look great. what are the silver handled things in the first two photos? they look like forks, but i see the bamboo skewers seem to protrude from them--skewer handles??


Just your normal Blackberry cell phone camera.

Those are skew holders. They hold two skewers so that food will not flop around.

dcarch

#42 Dakki

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:18 PM

I believe dcarch could take great photos with a shoebox, a pewter plate and some bitumen.
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#43 et alors

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:03 PM

My iphone got beyond scratched, and I started using my Nikon 1-- and the quality of photos went up, I think partially because it's nicer to hold.

These are all from a recent Manresa trip-- love advice/critique

I've been thinking of composition more, and I really prefer ant's eye view to documentation view


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DSC_5459 by Box and Arrow, on Flickr


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DSC_5456 by Box and Arrow, on Flickr

How do you capture clever plating tricks?

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DSC_5449 by Box and Arrow, on Flickr

or action shots?

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DSC_5467 by Box and Arrow, on Flickr
take it before, during, after?

Waiters are remarkably patient these days.
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#44 Holly Moore

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 12:26 PM

My trusty Canon SD800IS is starting to have issues - like I broke off part of the dial on the back. Figure it is time to investigate today's crop of pocket cameras. I use mine mostly for restaurant and restaurant food shots for my site and for twitter and facebook; tote it in my pocket most days. Looking for a replacement that is rugged, good in low light without flash and has good white balance.

Also wondering if, instead, I should just update my iphone. Mine is about two and a half years old and I'm not satisfied with pics from it, but the latest versiion seems impressive.

All guidance is welcome. Thanks.
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#45 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 12:54 PM

Et Alors - the composition of the first shot is lovely, but the second (for me at least) is suffering because there's too much white ground competing vs. the food itself. Here's what I'd do (apart from white balancing etc) - pull the focus inwards to really feature the food. I get the sense that you were conflicted between showing the entire plate (it is a nice piece of tableware) and the food itself; in those cases I always go for the food, since it's generally the point of the photo.

So this:
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Becomes this:
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#46 Dakki

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 08:29 PM

My trusty Canon SD800IS is starting to have issues - like I broke off part of the dial on the back. Figure it is time to investigate today's crop of pocket cameras. I use mine mostly for restaurant and restaurant food shots for my site and for twitter and facebook; tote it in my pocket most days. Looking for a replacement that is rugged, good in low light without flash and has good white balance.

Also wondering if, instead, I should just update my iphone. Mine is about two and a half years old and I'm not satisfied with pics from it, but the latest versiion seems impressive.

All guidance is welcome. Thanks.


Coincidentally I researched cameras with almost the exact same requirements in December of last year. Ended up with the Nikon Coolpix P300. Not a camera guy so proceed with caution.

This camera was initially suggested to me as a lower-cost alternative to the Canon Powershot S100, which was my first choice, based on the advice of people who -are- camera guys. The S100 is supposed to offer serious photographers the same quality and control they get from a DSLR, in a pocket-sized package. Having played around with an S100 since then, I feel the P300 not in the same category:

-P300 does not save RAW images, S100 does.
-P300 has smaller sensor compared to S100, resulting in less control over depth of field.
-P300 has less control immediately available to the operator, compared to S100.

On the other hand, it does offer a lot more control than other comparably-priced pocket cameras and low-light performance is IMO better than the S100. In fact I don't think I've seen a camera that takes better photos in iffy light.

The case that came with the P300 was a disappointment. I think it must be "generic Nikon pocket-sized" rather than made for this model. However, 15 minutes at a Best Buy netted me a perfectly good case for under $10 USD. Other than that, the accessories are pretty much what you'd expect.

Another feature I wanted was a short lens; one of the shortcomings of my old camera was that I often couldn't get everything I wanted into a frame with landscape-type photos. On close-up photos, however, the short lens gives you somewhat disconcerting results at first. This is easily avoided by using a bit of zoom. It's also fun to faff around with for artsy shots.

The P300 uses a proprietary battery rather than AA or AAA. You can get a spare (I did!) but recharging is done in the camera body, so you'll be out of luck if you forgot to recharge the batteries at the hotel and run out of juice right when you could get a fantastic shot of the Nepalese Royal Guard on parade.

Overall I think it's a very good camera for taking quick snaps in situations where you might not have the greatest control over light, but you might miss the fine control and RAW capabilities if you're used to a DSLR.
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#47 Holly Moore

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:52 AM

Thanks. Am checking out the Nikon P300.

I was leaning towards the S100 but there are numerous customer complaints on both Amazon and Canon Store site re lens error with lens not closing and blurry pic - comments about quality control issues. Wondering if I'm smarter going with a S95?
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#48 Holly Moore

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:16 PM

Fickle is as fickle does. Am spending way too much time researching this. Now I'm liking the DSC-RX100 which is coming out in July.

Edited to add, looks like you need to click through an advertisement to see the review/preview.

Edited by Holly Moore, 18 June 2012 - 02:02 PM.

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#49 Dakki

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:45 PM

I swore off Sony before they even emasculated the PS3. /hipster

Regarding the P300's low-light capabilities: This photo was taken in an extremely dark living room. Most of the light was coming from a rather dimly lit kitchen (you can see the fluorescent tubes reflected in the window) or from a single weak bulb outside (you can see it illuminating the leaves, I think). Anyway, look at the child's face; that's illuminated by the smartphone her daddy is holding. This thing practically has night vision.

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Colors are pretty wacky but in this light, I'm not complaining too loudly. Nothing you can't fix in 2 minutes of photo editing, right?

Edited to add: Yeah this isn't the world's best pic but I'm just trying to illustrate a point, etc.

Edited by Dakki, 18 June 2012 - 01:47 PM.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#50 Prawncrackers

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 02:06 PM

Fellow Shutterbugs, I bring you two shots of this morning breakfast; a short stack with candied bacon and smoked ice-cream. Yum!

The usual set-up for me, a flash gun bounced off the ceiling. The first shot came out exactly how i wanted it, everything nicely framed and in focus:

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The second shot was a bit soft, i must have been moving and the only thing in focus seems to be the very tip of the bacon. As the first shot was what i was looking for I left it at that and got stuck in before the pancakes got cold:

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Loading these shots onto my pc, I brightened them up a little and I couldn't help but to love the second shot more. It's one of those situations where my head says the first shot is better but my heart says the second. There just seems to be more "emotion" in the second, more a feeling that I want to eat it again. I admit the colour temperature is slightly warmer in the second but that can't be the only reason that the first seems now more cold and clinical in comparison.

So questions are: which do you prefer and why; and how do I actually recreate something like the second in future because it was a complete fluke!?

#51 patrickamory

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:13 PM

It's interesting, Prawncrackers, I find the first photo more toothsome. I generally tend to like warmer, more blown-out food images, but for some reason the sharpness of the first photo really gets my appetite going. Maybe it just says "crispy bacon" to me.

#52 dcarch

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 04:27 AM

Those are very nice photos, nothing wrong with them.

I do have some personal preferences, because they are just preferences, they are not that important.

dcarch


Rotated the picture 2 degrees clockwise. (May be 3 degrees would be better)
Enhanced contrast a tiny bit
Enlarged the backgrond so that the picture is less crowded

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The bacon is more interesting than the pancakes, they are not recognizable as bacons.
Enhanced contrast
Made the background a little darker

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Edited by dcarch, 17 September 2012 - 04:47 AM.


#53 naguere

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:04 AM

Those are very nice photos, nothing wrong with them.

I do have some personal preferences, because they are just preferences, they are not that important.

dcarch


Rotated the picture 2 degrees clockwise. (May be 3 degrees would be better)
Enhanced contrast a tiny bit
Enlarged the backgrond so that the picture is less crowded

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The bacon is more interesting than the pancakes, they are not recognizable as bacons.
Enhanced contrast
Made the background a little darker

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What a pity we don't have a 'Like' button.

Anyway dcarch, I am well impressed.
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#54 Prawncrackers

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:25 AM

Yes I forget we have serious bacon addicts on the forum! Thanks dcarch, i should have crossed the rashers over the other way to show them off better! You know i didn't want the focus to be on the bacon but on the pancakes. I really like the pleasing appearance of the stack especially the top of it under the sheen of the syrup. I supposed this is what food stylists get paid to do; maximise the visual appeal of every aspect of the shot. .

#55 liuzhou

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:41 AM

Is it my spectacles ( I think not), my computer screen (ditto) or what, but most a lot of the photographs here just seem plain out of focus. And if you can't focus your camera, you aren't going to get any better.

#56 pep.

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 02:03 AM

I recently started a food blog (it's in my signature, but unfortunately German language only) and well, what's a food blog without food porn? So in a few weeks I went from knowing nothing at all about photography and an old IXUS 60 to a Panasonic TZ25 (ZS15 in the US, I think) to an Olympus E-PL2 with some nice prime lenses and at least some theoretical knowledge about what I'm doing. Of course, theory and practice are two decidedly different creatures ;-)

Anyway, here's some stuff I've done at restaurants in the recent weeks:


10-Gedeck.jpg

4-Kochsalatvelout%C3%A9-small.jpg

10-Ochsenschleppragout-mit-Pasta-und-Eie

These are all taken under restaurant lighting conditions in the evening, ISO and therefore noise is a bit high, but I do find them usable at least on screen. The focus point on the last one is not quite where it should be, but I liked the shot of the ox tail ragout inside the pasta too much to discard it.

 

Host Note: The current food photography topic can be found here


Edited by heidih, 01 October 2013 - 01:46 PM.