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Food Shutter Bug Club (Part 1)


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#151 Susan in FL

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 11:47 AM

I just read this thread for the first time, and I'm so glad I found it.

I think the best shots I have taken recently are from the Big Apple Barbecue Block party, particularly on the second day, where I got more used to the lighting and shooting conditions. Let me know what you think of some of these that I have "Hand Picked"

Jason, great shots. I have long admired your photos.
I like them all * wherever you are posting, especially on the Dinner thread, but I always wish they were smaller. Each photo, on my computer screen... I just can't take it all in. That makes it hard for me to fully appreciate them.

* LOL, with one exception... That Extreme Black Beans Closeup looked pretty nasty, sort of like it was on it's way down the gastrointestinal track. (I am kidding with you. Please don't take offense! :smile:)

'Course about the large size, I'm just speaking from the point of view of a regular ol' eG member/ amateur photographer. Most of what is being discussed here is going way over my head. However, I'm learning, and I intend to follow the topic now that I discovered it.

For the most part what I am getting out of this is learning what technical options I have when I take a picture, and what effect they will have. I think that is something that most beginners reading this will get out of it, too.


Yes, this is the case for me.

Helenas, I absolutely adore your greens photograph. If I could buy a print to hang in my kitchen, I would. Can I? :smile:
Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

#152 Pan

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:45 PM

People have been talking about "macro." What do you mean by that term, in the context of this thread?

#153 winesonoma

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:52 PM

People have been talking about "macro." What do you mean by that term, in the context of this thread?

Macro is for extreme close-ups. It's a type of lens construction.
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#154 Pan

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 01:11 PM

Thanks. I don't think I have that on my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC33. Its Leica DC lens zooms only to a point.

#155 winesonoma

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 01:54 PM

Thanks. I don't think I have that on my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC33. Its Leica DC lens zooms only to a point.

Macro focus as close as 3.9 inches in wide angle. that's what their website says. I gotta get outside way to much time on computer. Later
Bruce Frigard
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#156 zilla369

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 02:27 PM

Easy, everyone...

Tana was right - most of my photos (taken with a crappy webcam/digicam combo with no preview feature) are out of focus. I pm'd her the same. Although her comments could have been construed as too critical, i decided to take them in the spirit in which i think (hope) they were offered.

Really, the reason i posted them in the first place was a direct response to behemoth's (i think) heartfelt senitment - "hey, am i the only one under the gun, here?"

My eyesight's bad, my camera is shitty. Neither of those will stop me taking pictures. Often i don't feel i have the "perfect thread" opportunity to post them, and i thought this was one. Truly, i was hoping someone would photoshop some of my shots and improve them (although that might be impossible).

As i told tana in my pm, the best shot of my posted series was of me, not taken by me. However, i did compose/direct the shot, along with many others in that project. I think my talents might lie in composition/direction/tweaking, rather than photography itself.

I'd love to post the movie (i have it on VHS) that "Egg Wash" came from. Can i take the video to an editing place (locally, a place called "Video Kitchen") and have them convert it to a digital form on CD, so i can upload them to webspace and post a link?

In closing - i love all the pictures on eGullet. I love viewing them, no matter how amateur, no matter how professional..

Keep posting your pictures, everyone.
Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

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Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

#157 robyn

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 04:47 PM

I know this is a little off-topic, but it would help if everyone posted their addresses and a schedule of what they're cooking and when.  I'm really hungry now.

I'm in Jacksonville FL and sorry I'm booked for Super Bowl week :smile: . So are all the golf courses :wink: . Robyn

#158 robyn

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 05:04 PM

People have been talking about "macro." What do you mean by that term, in the context of this thread?



I think macro basically means close up - like this picture:

Posted Image[/IMG]

But I also think the word is an adjective. So you can have a "macro picture" - a "macro lens" - or a "macro view of economics" :wink: .

By the way - this is a picture of a monarch butterfly arriving from the Mexican migration - which is why its wing is damaged (it's a long flight). Taken with a Kodak Easyshare camera (which is no great shakes). Sometimes the trick is just hanging around until you get the shot you're looking for. Robyn

P.S. Mea culpa. Too much champagne while writing messages. "Macro" is big - as in big lens. A macro lens takes micro photos. Macro economics is the "big picture".

P.P.S. One reason people might not post photos is they don't know how. Took me over an hour to figure out how to do it. I'd be glad to help anyone who has Photoshop Elements - and save them the hour or two of learning curve.

Edited by robyn, 26 June 2004 - 06:40 PM.


#159 edsel

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 05:26 PM

I was going to pipe up earlier, because I thought that the critique from the beginning of Jason's photos was rather harsh.  I still don't feel altogether comfortable in the atmosphere here in this thread, because I'm not sure what people expect.  Are we here to offer friendly advice?  Technical advice?  I'll be the first to admit I'm not qualified to do that.  Encourage each other?  It's what I've tried to do.  This is "The Shutter Bug Club", yes?  The context and grandstanding that it seems to be developing is offputting, in my opinion. 

....

Not once have I ever felt ill at ease while viewing the work of others on this board because of my expectation of a perfect standard from anyone, forum hosts included.  I have no idea what all of the hullabuloo is about.

Well, this topic has come close to being derailed. :huh:

I have been following this thread but have yet to post, and I certainly will not post any of my photos here for comments.

Yikes
:shock:

On the photo-related front:
One thing that I especially enjoy in Ellen Shapiro's photos is the limited depth-of field. (translation: blah blah blah GINGER) :laugh:
What I mean is that the "subject" is clearly in focus, while the foreground/background is attractively fuzzy. The EXIF data, so generously contributed, indicates a small f-stop was used. Again, "blah blah blah". :biggrin:
Seriously, what this means is that the exposure and focus controls on your camera make a difference , and this is understandably baffling to anyone who isn't immersed in the whole photo-hobbiest/professional-experience.
A second thing I love is the reflection (window & wine glass?) in Jinmyo's photo. Adds a sense of ambiance to the scene. BTW, who plated that dish? Was the food airlifted in by aliens? :laugh:

Finally, the white-cake photos could be improved by moving the light source to the side. Someone (was it Linda?) suggested shooting from an angle. It's actually the light-source that needs to be moved: raking across the face of the cake will reveal the texture of the "crumb".

#160 Jinmyo

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 05:43 PM

A second thing I love is the reflection (window & wine glass?) in Jinmyo's photo. Adds a sense of ambiance to the scene. BTW, who plated that dish? Was the food airlifted in by aliens? :laugh:

This kind of stuff just grows on my plates.

At first I thought it was just some kind of weird fungus and I'd scrape it off so I'd have nice clean plates. Then I tasted some. Wasn't bad.

(I like the reflections too.)
"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

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#161 edsel

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 05:59 PM

Jinmyo,
I love weird fungus!
Someone (I'm not going to plow through umpteen pages to see who) mentioned the fork as providing "scale" to the picture. My first impulse was to recommend cropping out everything but he plated food and a bit of the reflected "mysterious stuff". After reading that comment, my thought is to leave the fork in the shot, but move it closer to the plate.
As to the reflections, some have called them "distracting", or something to that effect - I would lean towards tweaking the camera angle to improve the "mysterious" feeling of the reflections. The out-of-focus reflections cause the plate to "float" above the table, and they provide a sense of context. Don't crop them out, refine them!

#162 robyn

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 06:38 PM

Well, this topic has come close to being derailed. :huh:

Agreed. I was a very good lawyer - and I know how to manage money - but I've got tons to learn about photography. Judging from the pictures I've seen here - so does almost everyone else for the most part (with the possible exception of Ellen - who's a professional - and - as a professional - I'm sure she'd admit she's not above learning new things either - when you do something for a living - you either learn - and keep up with everything that's new - or you become an out of date failure).

Anyway - I'm willing to invest a little effort to learn - and to pass on whatever little I know. Is anyone else in that category? If so - I suggest "fruit" as the topic for this week. Two pictures - one "pure" - one "arty". And if the pictures we take are junk according to the people who view them - that will be our cue to go back to the drawing board (I don't think I'll ever be able to take photos of food like the ones I see in food magazines - but I'd like to be able to work at a level higher than "junk").

By the way - I have some pretty bad things going on in my life now - and I find taking pictures of butterflies and flowers and birds to be very soothing. If I knew more about taking pictures of food - I suspect I'd like that too. Robyn

#163 fifi

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 07:11 PM

If anyone can figure out how to resize a batch of photos using Elements please let me know.

Great shot of the butterfly, robyn. You even got it on its host plant. Butterflies try my patience. They just don't listen to me. Dragonflies are just positively rude. :laugh:
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#164 Susan in FL

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 07:20 PM

I don't know... Generally speaking, I think that we should yield to the person who starts a thread, in planning how it evolves.
I'm wondering how Behemoth is feeling about all this: Has this topic lost some of the spirit with which you first started it? It just seems like some, even though unintentionally, have jumped in as if to take over. I'm interested in what Behemoth thinks.
Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

#165 Behemoth

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 07:50 PM

I don't know... Generally speaking, I think that we should yield to the person who starts a thread, in planning how it evolves.
I'm wondering how Behemoth is feeling about all this: Has this topic lost some of the spirit with which you first started it? It just seems like some, even though unintentionally, have jumped in as if to take over. I'm interested in what Behemoth thinks.

Thanks! ...though I guess I don't really feel a sense of ownership of the thread, beyond being happy if people are contributing and giving useful, down to earth comments. We can do fruit for the first round, with my personal preference being that we ramp it up pretty fast. For myself I would say trying to take the more "challenging" pics and falling flat on my face a few times before I get something I like really forces me to think hard about what I need to do.

As far as meeting my own needs, I have to say even looking at photos I took today compared with ones from last week, I can see a difference. Part of it is learning how to use the new camera, part of it is the very valuable pointers people have been generous in giving.

Which reminds me, maybe I'll go post something else in the dinner thread now :wink:

#166 robyn

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 09:03 PM

If anyone can figure out how to resize a batch of photos using Elements please let me know. 

Great shot of the butterfly, robyn. You even got it on its host plant. Butterflies try my patience. They just don't listen to me. Dragonflies are just positively rude.  :laugh:

Resize like from 4x6 to 5x7 etc. - or some other way?

I have tons of milkweed in my yard. That's how I get the monarchs to pose :smile: . There was a bad migration this year (no one is sure why). So when I got the few travelers who wound up in my yard - I basically sat for hours to get pix of them. I'm not sure this was the best pix - I just pulled it out of several dozen.

I think that one of the keys to photography - unless you're dealing with fast action - like sports - is patience (grasshopper). We have a place near us called the Alligator Farm - which is a world class bird rookery. There are a lot of professional photographers there for nature magazines. They'll sit there for many hours - many days a week - with incredibly awesome cameras - looking to take the shots that will wind up in magazines. If the pros take so much time - who am I am think I can do it faster? Robyn

#167 fifi

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 09:40 PM

I am going by pixels because of sizing for eGullet. My camera produces 1600x1200 pixel images on its highest resolution. That is what I shoot. For ImageGullet I resize to 640x480. But, I only seem to be able to do that one picture at a time.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#168 Pan

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 10:32 PM

I love your monarch butterfly picture, Robyn!

Edsel, the reason I won't post any photo in this thread is that I'm not interested in receiving some of the kinds of responses I've seen here. I do my best with food photography (which I've only started to get even halfway decent at, with my main concern probably being documentation, with composition probably lower down on the list), but in photography, my main interest is in taking cityscape pictures. I might be interested in getting responses to compositional issues in some of those, but I think they're off-topic.

#169 robyn

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 03:51 PM

I am going by pixels because of sizing for eGullet. My camera produces 1600x1200 pixel images on its highest resolution. That is what I shoot. For ImageGullet I resize to 640x480. But, I only seem to be able to do that one picture at a time.

Although there may be a way to do more than one picture at a time - I haven't figured out how to do it either. Perhaps someone who has figured it out can help both of us out. Robyn

#170 mktye

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 05:29 AM

Finally, the white-cake photos could be improved by moving the light source to the side. Someone (was it Linda?) suggested shooting from an angle. It's actually the light-source that needs to be moved: raking across the face of the cake will reveal the texture of the "crumb".

This is what I suspected might help.

I think my biggest problem with food photography is taking the time to get the good pics. It always seems that there are people waiting to eat/taste/serve whatever I am trying to photograph and I feel rushed (and guilty that I'm making them wait).

Thank you and everyone else for the helpful input!

#171 Ellen Shapiro

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 06:40 AM

Time is always the enemy with snapshots. The more you can do to prepare the less suffering you will do when you are in time-compressed shooting situations.

An analogy from underwater photography: it used to be that underwater cameras were always of the manual "rangefinder" variety as opposed to SLRs where you could see the focus. That means you had to dial in how many feet away the subject was before you could photograph it, otherwise it would be out of focus. Very inconvenient since photographing fish is already hard of course because they don't wait for you. So one thing a lot of underwater photographers (not the ones shooting for National Geographic, but the normal people who wanted to get some good photos for posterity) used to do was work with a set focus point. They would decide that the camera would stay locked at 3-feet. They would learn exactly what 3' is. 3' would become an instinct. And then they would swim so as to always be 3' away from every subject. They adapted to the shooting conditions and limits of their camera rather than trying to work against time.

With food photography you can do the same thing. You may find that you primarily shoot the exact same composition over and over again: a plate that is X number of inches from the camera, in indoor lighting . . . you get the idea. You may find that there are a few manual settings on your camera that are best for this shot. Remember them. Keep your camera set that way. Voila, every shot like that comes out better with no extra work during the shot. It is all a matter of photographic mise en place.
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#172 Toliver

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 10:36 PM

If anyone can figure out how to resize a batch of photos using Elements please let me know.

fifi,
I don't think Photoshop Elements has a batch processor. I've sent away for a copy of the program and should receive it while on my vacation (where I am now). I will be able to give you a better answer/confirmation once it's been installed.
I know for a fact that Photoshop CS does have auto batch processing, as well as Actions which are recordable scripts.

As for cropping and keeping the ratio (which you mentioned in an earlier post) I think that's an "eye" thing. Of course, you can always cheat and use a program like Photoshop to open a blank 4"x6" project window, copy and paste your photo into it, then size it and position it until it looks good...a sort of "faux" cropping.

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Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
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#173 phaelon56

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 09:06 AM

I am going by pixels because of sizing for eGullet. My camera produces 1600x1200 pixel images on its highest resolution. That is what I shoot. For ImageGullet I resize to 640x480. But, I only seem to be able to do that one picture at a time.

Although there may be a way to do more than one picture at a time - I haven't figured out how to do it either. Perhaps someone who has figured it out can help both of us out. Robyn


If you're using Windows Pix Resizer freeware resizing utility. It's freeware and does batch resizing - easy to use and very effective.

If you have a Mac... here's what one of my Mac geek buddies suggests

Depends on what "flavor" of Mac you have... OS X or OS 9, etc.

GraphicConverter is an excellent program for manipulation of images
in many ways - resolution, size, cropping, mild editing...

Best bet is to visit: Version Tracker select the
"platform" (eg. OS X, OS 9, Windows, etc) and then enter the search
phrase "convert".  You'll get a lot of hits for non-relevant things
(convert HEX to Binary), but many image converters...free and
otherwise... will appear.



#174 mrbigjas

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 10:15 AM

For resizing, the fastest, smallest, easiest and free-est program I know of for Windows is Irfanview. It's not the best for image manipulation, and it's no photoshop, but for quick batch processing, I have yet to find anything better.

#175 naguere

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 10:20 AM

A good size to go for for internet purposes is:
600 pixels
72 dpi.
Keep your full sized images on your computer, in case you want to print or have them put in to photo format.
Who cares how time progresses..

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#176 fifi

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:27 AM

Thanks, Owen. That Pixresizer is "da bomb".
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#177 phaelon56

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 01:56 PM

I'l be the next victim. I don't have any current food pics to discuss but now that I finally produced a real rosetta pattern on one of my recent latte pours, it seems a good time to discuss. The first pic is more or less uncropped and has no adjustments of any kind.

Posted Image

The next is with some brightness, contrast and color adjustments done but also a bit of touching up for things like espresso spots on the cup rim, marks on the cutting board etc. (I know it's anal but that's the way I am and I can live with it :biggrin: )

Posted Image

The reddish color of the espresso's crema is difficult to capture without manipulation - I think I've done an okay job of getting that aspect. I need input on composition and also some suggestiosn for how to eliminate the sheen of the reflected light on the foamed milk. This was shot with diffuse natural light - no flash and no artificial light. I still see reflections that are troubling and wonder if there's a simple solution. perhaps a sheet of frosted drafting mylar taped to the window to diffuse the light? Any and all suggestions appreciated.

Jason - one thing I have noticed on both yours and Rachel's pics from time to time - some of the outdoor shots have a bluish cast and others don't. I'm wondering if your camera has been inadvertantly left set to the artificial/incandescent light setting when that occurs?

Like others, I am also enjoying this thread and finding it very helpful

#178 fifi

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 02:12 PM

I really like what you did with that shot. But I am not sure I agree with you about getting rid of the reflections. I kind of like them. The light is obviously directional as indicated by the shadow from the cup. I think the reflections are true to the subject and help define the texture. To me, the directional light with the refections and shadows says "good morning".
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#179 robyn

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 04:06 PM

I am going by pixels because of sizing for eGullet. My camera produces 1600x1200 pixel images on its highest resolution. That is what I shoot. For ImageGullet I resize to 640x480. But, I only seem to be able to do that one picture at a time.

I was getting my picture software in order on my new computer today. There's a "Batch Processing" command under "File" in Photoshop Elements. Check it out. I think it does what you want. Robyn

#180 fifi

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Posted 01 July 2004 - 12:10 PM

Whoo Hooo... Found it.

Thanks, robyn.

(Why didn't it come up with the search thingy.)
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose