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Food Shutter Bug Club


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#541 Prawncrackers

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:32 PM

May I submit these to the panel - A study in Brown Crab...

I took the first photo off the cuff really, just before scrubbing these two hen crabs clean and dispatching them with a skewer. They were all tensed up and looked like they knew what was coming. Anyway I took one shot, light wasn't great and they were still moving a little, hence the shot was a little soft:
Copy of 20110606a.JPG

I don't usually do much post-processing, maybe just the odd brightening here and there but I thought this shot looked interesting. So I decided to apply some sharpening and up the contrast. It really surprised me how it made these creatures pop out of the picture. Especially the hairs on the legs, you really get a sense of the texture of the shell, don't you think?
20110606a.JPG

These crabs were destined for linguine, but that's one thing I find tricky to get right on the plate/in the bowl. I made this dish twice in the past week and just can't decide which is the more appetising presentation and gave the better shot. The first dish had the linguine wrapped around a carving fork and placed carefully in a cheffy way into the bowl. This one was taken with flash bounced off the ceiling:
20110606c.JPG

The second was taken with natural light and here the pasta was just dumped into the bowl for a more natural look:
20110610c.JPG

So what do you think? I can't decide which shot I prefer, I'm not really that happy with either. Will a smaller or differently shaped bowl help perhaps, and is there anything else I can do with long pasta to get a better composed shot?

#542 dcarch

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:04 PM

Prawncrackers, those are excellent photos and plating. Since aesthetics is subjective, I would have done things slightly differently, but that does not mean what I have done is better than yours.

dcarch


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Changed the perspective to remove edges of sink to have less distraction. Made crabs a tiny bit lighter so they can standout more.

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Corrected color, made roes more translucent, made crab meat show up better, added more green sprinkles.

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Rotated picture 2 degrees clockwise. Took out bread in the back because it is unindentifiable, Made roes more translucent. Made greens fresher, and remove some brown at upper left hand corner. Also, made crab meat show up better.

Posted Image

Edited by dcarch, 13 June 2011 - 02:37 PM.


#543 Holly Moore

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:19 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. Really like the idea of tilting the camera, or rotating and cropping to achieve the same effect.

As to the fries showing - normally I would, but this was a special situation. Pub and Kitchen had just introduced their Churchill Burger - it was the first in Philadelphia to use La Frieda ground beef. I wanted to just show the burger and hide the fries. As I recall I ended up using a picture where the burger and bun were split open.

I just grabbed this pic because it was an easy one to crop to varying degrees.
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#544 SobaAddict70

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:37 PM

May I submit these to the panel - A study in Brown Crab...

I took the first photo off the cuff really, just before scrubbing these two hen crabs clean and dispatching them with a skewer. They were all tensed up and looked like they knew what was coming. Anyway I took one shot, light wasn't great and they were still moving a little, hence the shot was a little soft:
Copy of 20110606a.JPG

I don't usually do much post-processing, maybe just the odd brightening here and there but I thought this shot looked interesting. So I decided to apply some sharpening and up the contrast. It really surprised me how it made these creatures pop out of the picture. Especially the hairs on the legs, you really get a sense of the texture of the shell, don't you think?
20110606a.JPG

These crabs were destined for linguine, but that's one thing I find tricky to get right on the plate/in the bowl. I made this dish twice in the past week and just can't decide which is the more appetising presentation and gave the better shot. The first dish had the linguine wrapped around a carving fork and placed carefully in a cheffy way into the bowl. This one was taken with flash bounced off the ceiling:
20110606c.JPG

The second was taken with natural light and here the pasta was just dumped into the bowl for a more natural look:
20110610c.JPG

So what do you think? I can't decide which shot I prefer, I'm not really that happy with either. Will a smaller or differently shaped bowl help perhaps, and is there anything else I can do with long pasta to get a better composed shot?



I would've been satisfied with either shot but the 2nd one is more (to my eye) aesthetically pleasing. And also more food-pr0n worthy, as if the photographer was a professional, shooting for a food magazine.

Choice of bowl is important. I recently went to BBB (Bed Bath & Beyond) and got a couple of deep pasta bowls. I eat pasta A LOT, so I'll be using them almost exclusively over my other serving bowls.

The difference is striking. There's more "white space" which in turn, puts more emphasis on the content of the photo. It also means I don't need to do too many close-ups, unless that's the effect I'm going for.

Contrast this:

Posted Image

with this:

Posted Image

to see what I mean.

With dcarch's "corrections", I prefer the pic where he or she made the roes more translucent. In that pic, the roe is the center of attention and the first thing my eye gravitates towards.

#545 nickrey

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:48 PM

Prawncrackers, I liked the shot where you wrapped the linguini around the fork. I just would have taken the bread out of the shot.

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#546 Holly Moore

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:59 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. Really like the idea of tilting the camera, or rotating and cropping to achieve the same effect.

As to the fries showing - normally I would, but this was a special situation. Pub and Kitchen had just introduced their Churchill Burger - it was the first in Philadelphia to use La Frieda ground beef. I wanted to just show the burger and hide the fries. As I recall I ended up using a picture where the burger and bun were split open.

I just grabbed this pic because it was an easy one to crop to varying degrees.


Actually I used both on eGullet.
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#547 Blether

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:12 PM

... So what do you think? I can't decide which shot I prefer, I'm not really that happy with either. Will a smaller or differently shaped bowl help perhaps, and is there anything else I can do with long pasta to get a better composed shot?


Overall, I prefer the first plated pic to the second. I think the reasons are (1) the natural lighting in #2 is too harshly one-directional for the way you've posed & framed the shot, and (2) because the first pic presents the pasta and the bread, both.

As for the plating, I do like the carving fork trick, and you made a great job of getting the food into the plate without extraneous smears or drips - or you wiped well, who knows ? :smile:

I suspect the flash-from-above flattened the roe: and perhaps the depth-of-field-squeeze was a little excessive in this case, losing too much of the bread ?

#548 Prawncrackers

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 03:09 AM

I think the bread in both shots is what I don't like about them. They're difficult visually to compliment with the long pasta. Although trust me taste wise they are probably my favourite element of the dish. As with chicken i'm a dark meat man. The problem with me is I like to get everything i'm eating into the shot but maybe with dishes like this I should have the bread on a side plate.
I like the twist of pasta too after a little more analysis, but the first dish was a smaller starter size so easier to plate neatly. Ok bigger carving fork and bigger bowl required. Thanks dcarch for correcting the colour on that one, I knew it was off but not by that much!

#549 Dakki

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:49 AM

I bet this is a silly question but I'll ask anyway: Do you get better results taking the photo at the camera's highest resolution, doing post at that resolution and then shrinking for uploading or by taking the photo at something close to the final size and doing post at that resolution?
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.

#550 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 01:01 PM

Higest possible rez, downsampling for posting. That way the photo can be used in print media if it turns out, and you've got a lot more flexibility and whatnot while editing as well (fewer digital artifacts, etc.)
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#551 Dakki

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 03:43 PM

Thinking about upgrading my camera, from a Canon PowerShot A590IS. Needs are fundamentally vacation/party and food snaps, and size is definitely a consideration, as even the current camera is too bulky for me. (The old camera will go into semi-retirement, taking photos at the workshop for QC paperwork BS).

Currently I'm considering the Canon S95 and S100. The wider lens on the second one is pretty tempting, so I think I'll go with it unless I find the S95 at a good discount.

How does eG feel about higher-end pocket-sized cameras?
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.

#552 Keith_W

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 05:30 AM

Hi Dakki, a few years ago I would only shoot with a DSLR. These days I feel that pocket sized cameras are nearly as good. Remember: it is the photographer who takes the picture, not the camera. Every photographer has to learn to live with the limitations of themselves or their equipment. However, many think that the limitation is with the equipment, rather than themselves. If you know what you are doing, you can shoot superior pictures with the most humble P&S camera - better even than a novice with a DSLR.

I use an Olympus XZ-1, which is an enthusiast camera in a P&S body. It can go up to ISO 3200 (but in reality you wouldn't want to go above 1600), it has an F/1.8 lens, it has manual controls, and an accessory hot shoe. I don't know about the Canon S95 / S100 but as long as it has a decent lens and sensor it should be fine.

Edited by Keith_W, 26 December 2011 - 05:33 AM.

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

#553 Dakki

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:38 PM

Ended up with the Nikon P300, if anyone cares. From what I gathered from online research, it has a smaller sensor than the competition (meaning, apparently, less control over DOF) but is better in low light situations. Also the price was pretty hard to beat in the category. We'll see how this goes.
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.

#554 SobaAddict70

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:07 PM

Hi Dakki, a few years ago I would only shoot with a DSLR. These days I feel that pocket sized cameras are nearly as good. Remember: it is the photographer who takes the picture, not the camera. Every photographer has to learn to live with the limitations of themselves or their equipment. However, many think that the limitation is with the equipment, rather than themselves. If you know what you are doing, you can shoot superior pictures with the most humble P&S camera - better even than a novice with a DSLR.



Fully agree.

The camera I use is a little dinky thing from five years ago, and it still turns out photos like this:

Posted Image

#555 Dakki

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:15 PM

Your photos are always nice, Soba. I think Prawncrackers also uses an older pocket camera, with impressive results. Those of us without the "magic touch" are cursed to take mediocre photos no matter what kind of gear we use, alas.
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.

#556 SobaAddict70

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:21 PM

Your photos are always nice, Soba. I think Prawncrackers also uses an older pocket camera, with impressive results. Those of us without the "magic touch" are cursed to take mediocre photos no matter what kind of gear we use, alas.



I don't believe that for a second.

Page back through my food blog (the one linked in my signature) to the very beginning and you'll see some really cringe-worthy photographs. Some which use the word that dare not speak it's name, for example. ;) (hint: 5 letter word, begins with "F" and ends with "H")

If I have a magic touch (thanks for the compliment btw), it gradually developed over time.

edit: bolded for clarity

Edited by SobaAddict70, 05 January 2012 - 03:24 PM.


#557 Prawncrackers

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:52 PM

Dakki I've been using a low-end Olympus DSLR for over 5 years, most of the photos I post have been with that camera. I should have read this thread earlier because I actually bought a Canon S95 a couple of months ago. It's a genuine pocket sized camera that takes quality food snaps and I'm really happy with it. Here are some photos of a recent meal at The Ledbury using the S95. It was at lunch time on a murky overcast day and as we were sitting by a window there were some issues with the white balance but as you can see the camera took some really good shots. Only a little post processing was required, up the brightness a little and I always like a little more saturation. The third shot down of the the skewered pigeon heart and wings shows the great DoF of the f2.0 lens:

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
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#558 Dakki

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:11 PM

Dammit Prawn your stuff makes my best efforts look like something a 6yo with a Fisher-Price camera would take.

What is your opinion on the Nikon P300, if you've tried one? Do you have any particular tricks you can share for getting good food pics with a handheld camera, in less than ideal light (as you'd find in a snapping pics in a restaurant environment)?
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.

#559 dcarch

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:33 PM

Great photos Prawncracker (the food ain't bad either LOL).

When selecting a camera, besides everything else, you need to consider focal length of the lens system. Professionals use long focal length to get that natural look. You can't get better perspective using wideangles.

For instance, one is more natural looking:

dcarch

Posted Image

Posted Image

#560 Prawncrackers

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:52 PM

You've got a very keen eye and great techinical knowledge dcarch, I would never have realised the distortion of that picture. To me it's a tin of petit fours but to the photographically trained eye it's wonky!

#561 Prawncrackers

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:58 PM

Dakki I really don't have any ground breaking insight i'm afraid, i'm a happy snapper like you. Just keep your hand still and squeeze that shutter gently!

#562 Dakki

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:02 PM

Pretend you're talking to a Martian who's never seen a camera before. What do you get with the longer focal length? Can you get a longer focal length using optical zoom? Will that have other effects (such as, exaggerating camera shake)?
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.

#563 dcarch

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:11 PM

Pretend you're talking to a Martian who's never seen a camera before. What do you get with the longer focal length? Can you get a longer focal length using optical zoom? Will that have other effects (such as, exaggerating camera shake)?


Short focal length (wideangle) lens has what's known as Spherical aberation, or, wine barrel effect. You never use wide angle lens for potraits. You end up with pictures of gigantic noses.

Long focal length lenses will require a tripod, or spend $10,000 for a very fast lens.

dcarch

Edited by dcarch, 05 January 2012 - 06:13 PM.


#564 Dakki

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:18 PM

Aha!

What's a good length to start at? Does it vary by lens? Would you expect to see this spherical aberration in a lens installed on a pocket camera or are we talking about specialized lenses for DSLR's here?
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.

#565 Dakki

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:19 PM

And, could you get around that by shooting a wider pic and then cropping the edges?
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.

#566 C. sapidus

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:23 PM

Pretend you're talking to a Martian who's never seen a camera before. What do you get with the longer focal length?

Welcome to our planet, I hope you come in peace. :wink: Longer focal lengths will “flatten” the picture and yield narrower depth of field (less of the picture in focus). dcarch and prawncrackers give good examples of these effects. For more, see perspective distortion (photography) at Wikipedia.

Can you get a longer focal length using optical zoom?

Yes

Will that have other effects (such as, exaggerating camera shake)?

Yes. Get a beanbag, set it on a solid object (upside-down pot?), and rest the camera on the beanbag. That should eliminate camera shake.

Edit: drat, y'all type way faster than I do. Shouldn't have stopped to help elder son with his college essay . . .

Edited by C. sapidus, 05 January 2012 - 06:25 PM.


#567 dcarch

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:27 PM

There are no rules. A SLR camera allows you to play with different lenses.

with computer designed aspheric lenses and better glasses of index of refraction, they are doing better to minimize distrotions. For food photos, a perspective correcting lenses can be useful, but they don't make that kind of lenses much anymore.

dcarch

#568 Dakki

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:28 PM

Thanks, C. sapidus. I think I'll spare your puny planet, for now.

Is there any way to get that flat, narrow DOF besides using a longer length of focus, such as manipulating aperture and/or shutter speed?
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.

#569 SobaAddict70

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:33 PM

Pretend you're talking to a Martian who's never seen a camera before. What do you get with the longer focal length? Can you get a longer focal length using optical zoom? Will that have other effects (such as, exaggerating camera shake)?



a tip, from someone who does not use a tripod...

when you hold your camera, form two sturdy supports on the bottom of the camera with your thumbs, similar to that of an inverted "V".

obviously this technique isn't for everyone. in my experience, it eliminated the "shake" effect completely.

#570 dcarch

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:38 PM

The shakes!

Press the camera tight against you forehead, Set the camera on self-timer. Takes longer (3 seconds on mine) almost completely eliminate shaking.

dcarch