Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Food Shutter Bug Club


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
579 replies to this topic

#61 jhlurie

jhlurie
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,300 posts

Posted 24 June 2004 - 12:53 PM

Actually Toliver, if you want to post the altered versions of my pics, please do.

I had to crop it (because Jason cheated and didn't use imageGullet for the original photo--which is a bit too "long" for what iG allows), but here's the pic. of Ed where I upped the contrast on purpose. Is it better because it brings out those shadows on his face, or worse because it looks more like a still frame from an independant film rather than real life? You decide...
Posted Image
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#62 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 24 June 2004 - 01:16 PM

I much prefer the originally posted picture of Williams. This one seems a bit washed out. The more I look at this picture, the more I think the darkness of the face in the original conveys more of a sense of mystery to the man behind the BBQ. It also seems to project his profound concentration on the task at hand in the midst of the chaos in the background. It is growing on me.

I reserve the right to change my mind and hereby retract my comment about the darkness of the face. :raz:
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

#63 Toliver

Toliver
  • participating member
  • 4,562 posts
  • Location:Bakersfield, California

Posted 24 June 2004 - 01:24 PM

Jon, you're correct, the pics won't upload to ImageGullet due to their large size.
I uploaded mine to PictureTrail and posted from there. I'm not too happy since it looks like the pictures lost something in the translation but they get the point across (I also made them a wee bit smaller in size).
Photoshop's Auto Contrast helped remove the faint "whitewash" of the images.
Here's my side by side of Ed's picture with the original next to my tweak. I did my Layer Mask trick and also gave the background a slight blurry quality to make Ed stand out more. The difference is subtle but his face is brought out more.
Posted Image
This is Auto Contrast, with a little more added, plus a bit of the Unsharp Mask filter to make it pop a little.
Posted Image
Just Auto Contrast
Posted Image
Auto Contrast with a little Unsharp Mask filter to make it pop
Posted Image
Auto Contrast with a little Unsharp Mask filter
Posted Image
Auto Contrast with a little Unsharp Mask filter
Posted Image
Auto Contrast with a little Unsharp Mask filter
Posted Image
Auto Contrast, Color Balance Adjustment, and a little Unsharp Mask filter
Posted Image
Color Balance Adjustment and a little Unsharp Mask filter
Posted Image
Auto Contrast with a little Unsharp Mask filter
Posted Image
And I did nothing to the bean picture because it needed no tweaking...great as is.
Also, I tried to keep all of these images around 100k so they would load a little easier. That may have added a little "graininess" to the images but that's the nature of the compressed beastie.

Edited by Toliver, 24 June 2004 - 01:27 PM.


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'
Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


#64 jhlurie

jhlurie
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,300 posts

Posted 24 June 2004 - 01:30 PM

You should PM Jason. He might want to change out your tweaked versions for those he has posted in the BABBP topic, without the size reductions I mean.

The pulled pork pile picture (wow that's a lot of Ps) is the only one I originally looked at, other than the beans, that I didn't think needed any changes. But Jason was only here for a few minutes, and we spent most of them applying and unapplying various filters on Ed's picture and hating them all. :sad:
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#65 Toliver

Toliver
  • participating member
  • 4,562 posts
  • Location:Bakersfield, California

Posted 24 June 2004 - 02:34 PM

You should PM Jason.  He might want to change out your tweaked versions for those he has posted in the BABBP topic, without the size reductions I mean.

The pulled pork pile picture (wow that's a lot of Ps) is the only one I originally looked at, other than the beans, that I didn't think needed any changes.  But Jason was only here for a few minutes, and we spent most of them applying and unapplying various filters on Ed's picture and hating them all.  :sad:

I thought the pulled pork pile picture (with the checked tablecloth in the background) was too yellow because of the light filtered through the awning. I thought swinging it more towards red made it look a little bit more appetizing.

The problem in Photoshop with using Auto Contrast or even just the Brightness/Contrast Adjustment tools is that (I think) the choices the program makes when making the adjustments are based upon finding the extremes (the brightest white and the darkest black) and figuring the proper levels for everything in between based on those two parameters.
So if you have someone like Ed over a bright background, any fiddling with the contrast to bring out his dark skin tones and texture will begin washing out everything that's brighter (as you found out).
I end up "fooling" the program by duplicating the original layer and then adjusting the brightness/contrast for the image, concentrating on the area that needs tweaking (Ed's face, in this case) and ignoring how everything else looks. I then add a Layer Mask to the tweaked layer. I fill it 100% black which makes it disappear completely. Then I use the Airbrush Tool on the Layer Mask using 100% white and airbrush his face, making his face on the lighter tweaked layer appear. So in effect, you have the original image underneath with just his face as part of another brighter layer on top of it.

I'll be happy to email him my full-sized tweaking of his images if he wants them.

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'
Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


#66 Behemoth

Behemoth
  • participating member
  • 1,658 posts
  • Location:Athens on the Isar/Athens in the Cornfields

Posted 24 June 2004 - 03:11 PM

You should PM Jason. He might want to change out your tweaked versions for those he has posted in the BABBP topic, without the size reductions I mean.

The pulled pork pile picture (wow that's a lot of Ps) is the only one I originally looked at, other than the beans, that I didn't think needed any changes. But Jason was only here for a few minutes, and we spent most of them applying and unapplying various filters on Ed's picture and hating them all. :sad:

That is an impressive difference, and it is making me very hungry.

Lots of digital cameras now have those functions built in. I was going to post a pair of photos I took last week of some lettuce & nasturtium salad, one with "vivid" setting, one without. In the default photo the lettuce looked kind of grayish blah, but with the boost in color it looked beautiful. On my screen the difference was really impressive, but once I shrunk the photos down to gullet-size it was not as obvious. (The default just looks a little darker). Worth playing with those features though...

#67 heidihi

heidihi
  • participating member
  • 40 posts
  • Location:San Francisco

Posted 24 June 2004 - 03:29 PM

Those BBQ pictures are great!....the touch of extra contrast really helped them pop as well. Nice.

I also really fell for those frozen cherries. I love the unique composition and the woodsy natural browns with the hot red-orange of the cherries.

Maybe we could do a (weekly? or monthly?) thing where someone picks a single food, ingredient, or theme to shoot and everyone posts their shots (cherries, BBQ, ice cream, etc) -- we can compare and talk about all the different approaches (what works, what doesn't) and tackle any technical problems we run into. Maybe a separate thread? Just a thought -- there's nothing like a narrow assignment to get people thinking about everyday things in extraordinary ways.
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
Heidi Swanson
101 Cookbooks
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

#68 hathor

hathor
  • participating member
  • 2,690 posts
  • Location:New York, Montone, Italy

Posted 24 June 2004 - 03:36 PM

Those BBQ pictures are great!....the touch of extra contrast really helped them pop as well. Nice.

I also really fell for those frozen cherries. I love the unique composition and the woodsy natural browns with the hot red-orange of the cherries.

Maybe we could do a (weekly? or monthly?) thing where someone picks a single food, ingredient, or theme to shoot and everyone posts their shots (cherries, BBQ, ice cream, etc) -- we can compare and talk about all the different approaches (what works, what doesn't) and tackle any technical problems we run into. Maybe a separate thread? Just a thought -- there's nothing like a narrow assignment to get people thinking about everyday things in extraordinary ways.

I'd like something a little more focused. I think its a good suggestion!

#69 Toliver

Toliver
  • participating member
  • 4,562 posts
  • Location:Bakersfield, California

Posted 24 June 2004 - 05:42 PM

Lots of digital cameras now have those functions built in.

Personally, I wouldn't use any in-camera settings/functions. I prefer to import the photo into a program like Photoshop and do the tweaking there. I have more control there, plus it's at a much larger size so I can really see the details.
But, if you don't have access to a program like that, I guess having it in the camera is better than nothing at all.

...once I shrunk the photos down to gullet-size it was not as obvious. (The default just looks a little darker).

So, size does matter. :hmmm: :laugh:
Another thing I thought of is the Gamma setting on everyone's monitors will make a difference on perception. Everyone will see something different...in the original picture, some won't be able to make out Ed's face at all, some will see it perfectly. I surf eGullet using my calibrated monitor here at work so I saw a lot more than I would have on my consumer grade monitor at home.
I guess you just have to aim for the middle ground and hope for the best.

edited to add yet even more verbosity

Edited by Toliver, 24 June 2004 - 05:45 PM.


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'
Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


#70 Jason Perlow

Jason Perlow
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 13,490 posts
  • Location:FL

Posted 24 June 2004 - 06:12 PM

Here's some I took of dinner Rachel cooked tonight:

Posted Image

Chicken Mole Poblano, with Mexican rice and Refried Black Beans

Posted Image

Extreme black beans cloeseup
Jason Perlow
Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters
offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | My Flickr photo stream

#71 hathor

hathor
  • participating member
  • 2,690 posts
  • Location:New York, Montone, Italy

Posted 24 June 2004 - 06:17 PM

Wow..those are extreme close ups. Not really sure what you are trying to 'do' with these pictures. They are so close that you almost don't know what you are looking at. Particularly the bean picture..that could be any number of things.... :blink: Are you going for appetizing? texture? I would like more of a 'frame', meaning a 'frame of reference' for the photos. Some sort of contrast.
Aside from that...I'm starving and that meal looks mighty good! :biggrin:

#72 tanabutler

tanabutler
  • legacy participant
  • 2,798 posts

Posted 24 June 2004 - 06:22 PM

Yeah, I don't the extreme close-ups, either, especially when they're not in focus. The one with multiple items is impossible for me to put in context.

I can understand a certain kind of art; say you're so close to a strawberry that there are only seeds and red and the shiny, dimpled flesh. That could be pretty, in an abstract but still recognizable way.

But beans? Mooshy beans?

I like the sesame seeds, though I can't exactly tell what they're on top of. At least they're distinct.

#73 Jason Perlow

Jason Perlow
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 13,490 posts
  • Location:FL

Posted 24 June 2004 - 06:41 PM

Okay, well, the composed picture of the food on the plate is actually a cropped version of this one:

Posted Image

I decided to crop it because I didnt like the way the white of the plate was showing up.

Tough crowd. No more pics for you!
Jason Perlow
Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters
offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | My Flickr photo stream

#74 jhlurie

jhlurie
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,300 posts

Posted 24 June 2004 - 06:43 PM

The extreme close-up works for some foods and not others. For Black Beans... no. For the BBQ Beans in the previous series... yes. Ditto for the miscellaneous pulled pork pictures.

I think the question is whether or not it's a texture we actually want to see close up.

As for the focus, it's mostly an issue with the beans because I don't think there was a distinct element to focus ON.

The Mole Poblano? I think a straight shot from above might have worked, perhaps back enough to see the plate in the frame, but not beyond it.

EDIT - Okay, uncropped that was almost what you did, but from an angle I don't think was right. As for the plate? Maybe a different color plate? Black perhaps?

Edited by jhlurie, 24 June 2004 - 06:44 PM.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#75 Jason Perlow

Jason Perlow
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 13,490 posts
  • Location:FL

Posted 24 June 2004 - 06:46 PM

The extreme close-up works for some foods and not others. For Black Beans... no. For the BBQ Beans in the previous series... yes. Ditto for the miscellaneous pulled pork pictures.

I think the question is whether or not it's a texture we actually want to see close up.

I think they look cool. You suck.

Okay Lurie, YOU get yourself a digital cam and start taking pics... :laugh: Lets see how well you do!
Jason Perlow
Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters
offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | My Flickr photo stream

#76 jhlurie

jhlurie
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,300 posts

Posted 24 June 2004 - 07:00 PM

Hey, you gotta take the knocks with the praise. You've got to be pretty happy with the comments on the previous pictures.

The non-closeup of the Mexican meal is better than the extreme-close-up, it just could be even better yet the next time. Part of the problem, may in fact not even be how the picture was taken but the subject. Can you take a good picture of beans like that? I'm not sure it's possible.

Perhaps that can be a future eG photo challenge, if we hold contests (and maybe we should).
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#77 hillvalley

hillvalley
  • participating member
  • 1,787 posts

Posted 24 June 2004 - 07:12 PM

I frequently find it boring (even annoying) when people take these "flat" looking shots where there are no apparent differences in focus.  So I like your shot, at the very least as an experiment.

To me, the only thing which disturbs it is that one branch that reaches up right under that berry with the yellow bit on it.  I don't know... in a "natural" environment is it okay to do something like reach out and break a twig off, or does the photographer have to be totally passive?  :laugh:

I like playing with different centers of focus. With the clarity of pictures today you can really play tricks with the eye.

Because if you're seeing what I'm seeing, it's like a ghostly finger is reaching up for the berry. Your eye can't help but go there.


I wish I could say that was on purpose, but I'm not that good :smile: I have no problems moving a branch out of the way, or arranging a shot as long as you're not picking the flower or breaking the branch in the process. Here are a few more from that same series.


Posted Image


Same shot with different cropping

Posted Image


Posted Image
True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.
It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,
but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

#78 Jason Perlow

Jason Perlow
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 13,490 posts
  • Location:FL

Posted 24 June 2004 - 07:14 PM

I like the composition of the last shot the best.
Jason Perlow
Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters
offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | My Flickr photo stream

#79 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 24 June 2004 - 07:29 PM

While Jason is pouting...

I actually found my notes from when I took that macro course with Wendy Shattil and Bob Rozinski in Rocky Mountain National Park several years ago. The one thing that I underlined several times was: "When planning a shot, the first thing you need to have in your head is what the goal of the shot is. In macro, deciding on that goal is more complex than just about any other type of photography." I recall that they used mushrooms as an example. There was a field with just a bunch of clumps of mushrooms. Each student had to take several shots, each with a stated goal. (They were then developed overnight and critiqued the next evening.) Here was my list.

General shot - Goal: just mushrooms in a field. Not much more to do with that. Not really macro. Where else could you go with that? Not far, unless you introduce another element like a butterfly or something.

Moving in - Now one mushroom just about fills the frame. Goal: capture the dew on the cap and the striated texture of the stem but keep it in the context of a mushroom in a field. A few blades of grass are showing.

Closer - One of the mushrooms is slightly tilted. With some contortionist moves and groveling in the dirt, I get some of the pattern of the gills. Goal: show the gill structure in an artsy and pleasing way. But it is still recognizable as a mushroom.

Closer still - Break off the cap and turn it upside down. The sun is still low. (They got us up early.) I am able to get a few pleasing compositions of abstract studies in beige and brown with some lighting up of the gill edges. If I didn't tell you it was a mushroom, you might not guess. Goal: abstract pattern. I don't care if you know it is a mushroom or not. Well, I might care if I want to demonstrate that there is beauty in the details and you need to pay attention.

I am going to guess at Jason's goal with the beans: A study of amyloplasts in grease, hopefully lard. :raz: Actually, the texture does come across.
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

#80 tanabutler

tanabutler
  • legacy participant
  • 2,798 posts

Posted 24 June 2004 - 07:44 PM

Jason, I do think your dinner shot was better panned back some. Without the plate to give it focus, the textures, in my opinion, were a little gruesome. :wink:

I have a question, and I mean this very respectfully. Do you wear glasses or otherwise have impaired vision? Because the beans and other shots aren't really in focus--a very slight camera shake might also be the culprit. I've got better than 20-20 for up-close vision (and good contact lenses, by golly), and I'm just distracted by things that aren't crisp, just as I'm distracted by fingerprints on my monitor or my eyeglasses, when I wear them.

There's no way to ask that question without seeming callous, but it's an honest and valid point that, to me, is really important. I've seen a lot of photos on eGullet where people use a macro to no avail. I never know if it's because they're just willing to show their dinner for the sake of showing it, which is fine in a casual thread like "What we ate for dinner." Or is it because they believe the shots are in focus? There was a thread recently doing some kind of important documentation of an event, and so many of the pictures had either a motion blur or were just plain not in focus. I anguished.

I can't bring myself to post photos that are out of focus or otherwise marred unless I note the condition and apologize for it. Does that make me anal, or just an asshole? :unsure:

Anyway, it might seem trivial, but it's deceptive. Any lack of focus should be deliberate and artful.

Just my .02.

P.S. It's pure torture to have to scroll by all that BBQ when this thread loads. I'm starving. You people are meeeeeeeeean.

#81 tanabutler

tanabutler
  • legacy participant
  • 2,798 posts

Posted 24 June 2004 - 07:59 PM

Closer still - Break off the cap and turn it upside down. The sun is still low. (They got us up early.) I am able to get a few pleasing compositions of abstract studies in beige and brown with some lighting up of the gill edges. If I didn't tell you it was a mushroom, you might not guess. Goal: abstract pattern. I don't care if you know it is a mushroom or not. Well, I might care if I want to demonstrate that there is beauty in the details and you need to pay attention.

This is the kind of thing that I love reading about. You're seeing something with new eyes, which makes us see it that way, as well.

#82 Jason Perlow

Jason Perlow
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 13,490 posts
  • Location:FL

Posted 24 June 2004 - 08:09 PM

I do wear glasses Tana and I have poor eyesight. That being said, the pictures look like they are in fairly decent focus to me.

Camera shake with the 5700 is a huge problem. Its a large camera with a big front heavy zoom lens and the unit does not snap a shot as soon as you hit the button, which has a deep depress. It also focuses poorly in low light. Apparently these issues were corrected on the 8700, its successor.
Jason Perlow
Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters
offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | My Flickr photo stream

#83 jhlurie

jhlurie
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,300 posts

Posted 24 June 2004 - 08:33 PM

I can verify that Jason's camera has a real big problem with camera shake. It's almost a miracle that he got the shots at the BABBP that he did.

(stop pouting, Jason!)

Now whether or not he sees the focus problem AFTER the fact in the finished product is different. He's got fully corrective lenses on then, he's not holding his head away from the camera to compensate for glasses--it could just be a natural perceptual thing as I implied before. With the texture of those beans, for example, how COULD you be sure of the focus?

Skipping on over to the berries shots... the last one really is an interesting study in NOT being afraid of "blurriness". It's a neat focus trick--a similar kind to what you might see in a movie where they switch up a foucs to imply movement with a still camera. That's not exactly what's happening here with a single frame, but there's definitely a sense that you are somehow "peeking" in at something. There's more of a sense of... I don't know... intimacy?
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#84 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 24 June 2004 - 08:57 PM

I will jump into the fray. I am using the example of a shot I took of lard. The goal of the shot was simply instructional, a demonstration of what various lard products look like, the color being the most important. I was not really after any artistic nuances. The only concession to "art" was to deliberately choose my butcher block table top because the color fit and I tend to like monochromatic color schemes. The light source was natural.

Rip away.

Posted Image
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

#85 Behemoth

Behemoth
  • participating member
  • 1,658 posts
  • Location:Athens on the Isar/Athens in the Cornfields

Posted 24 June 2004 - 09:27 PM

Now whether or not he sees the focus problem AFTER the fact in the finished product is different. He's got fully corrective lenses on then, he's not holding his head away from the camera to compensate for glasses--it could just be a natural perceptual thing as I implied before. With the texture of those beans, for example, how COULD you be sure of the focus?

This is something I was wondering about -- I have been taking my photos with my glasses off. There is a little dial on the front of the camera that supposedly compensates for my vision impairment. Anybody know if I am doing the right thing here?

I liked the last berry shot the best, too. Reminds me of chinese paintings.

For the black beans -- I mean, its just hard to make that kind of dish look good without some form of garnish. Why are canned black beans always so much more glossy, anyway? This question has always haunted me. Hey, at least they liked some of your photos.

I like Heidi's idea of focusing on one subject, though this thread seems to be picking up a little steam which is nice.

#86 jhlurie

jhlurie
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,300 posts

Posted 24 June 2004 - 10:52 PM

Linda, the only problem I can see with that photo is glare, off several surfaces. The composition certainly looks fine to me.
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#87 zilla369

zilla369
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,244 posts
  • Location:Louisville, KY

Posted 25 June 2004 - 12:03 AM

Let me voice here my support for a "single food subject" ongoing photo contest. That sounds like a fantastic idea.

And now, i submit a few of my photos for improvements by others. I think i compose most shots fairly well, and i can crop/sharpen/blur with the best of the Photoshop masters, but i'm crap at changing highlights and color spectrums.

Larger shot of my avatar:

Posted Image

Portrait of some egg yolks:

Posted Image

People and salads:

Posted Image

"Egg Wash", a shot composed for a Baking II project:

Posted Image

Preparation for ice carving - i really liked this shot because of the reflection of people in the window glass at the top:

Posted Image

So, yeah - have at it. Make my shots pop, folks :cool:
Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

#88 tanabutler

tanabutler
  • legacy participant
  • 2,798 posts

Posted 25 June 2004 - 12:47 AM

Shot #4 ("Egg Wash")--what a witty title. It's also the most interesting, visually, because of the retro feel of it: "A housemaker uses her Kenmore for making salads!" I love the composition, and it's interesting as hell. Every bit of it is clever, or mysterious enough to make me think of it as clever, even though you might have felt quite pedestrian when you did it.

Note: this is the only photograph that is in focus.

The first shot: the wall is in focus, not the bottles. If it were the other way around, I would love it. The red bottle is just gorgeous. The varied heights are also compelling.

Egg yolks: completely out of focus. Sorry to say, ditto shots #3 and #5.

I don't know what to say. Focus is elemental. Without it, what is photography?

I have 20-400 eyesight, which means I'm nearsighted (sighted for what is near). But I am a little worried about the collective eyesight of eGullet. I know I ruined my eyesight from reading in poor lighting. Ask my Memaw. (Use a Ouija board.)

I still have decent contact lenses (Acuvue dailies, pretty cheap but also thin and comfortable); I've worked on a computer for close to two decades. My work requires me to be able to discern a pixel three feet away. I can do it.

This isn't equipment or technique or anything. Things are either in focus or they aren't. I took a bunch of stuff tonight, trying to learn the complex buttons and dials on my camera. Let me come up with a few samples of what did and didn't work.

The things that are blurry do not work. Surely this isn't some wild theory? Don't good photographs have to be in focus?

#89 bleudauvergne

bleudauvergne
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,235 posts
  • Location:Lyon, France

Posted 25 June 2004 - 02:02 AM

Maybe we could do a (weekly? or monthly?) thing where someone picks a single food, ingredient, or theme to shoot and everyone posts their shots (cherries, BBQ, ice cream, etc) -- we can compare and talk about all the different approaches (what works, what doesn't) and tackle any technical problems we run into. Maybe a separate thread? Just a thought -- there's nothing like a narrow assignment to get people thinking about everyday things in extraordinary ways.

I would like to participate in this too. :smile:

#90 bleudauvergne

bleudauvergne
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,235 posts
  • Location:Lyon, France

Posted 25 June 2004 - 02:18 AM

I will jump into the fray. I am using the example of a shot I took of lard. The goal of the shot was simply instructional, a demonstration of what various lard products look like, the color being the most important. I was not really after any artistic nuances. The only concession to "art" was to deliberately choose my butcher block table top because the color fit and I tend to like monochromatic color schemes. The light source was natural.

Rip away.

Posted Image

Fifi - That is some beautiful lard. It fills me with "what if's".

1) I love the little pots and I wish you had chosen a way to give them more weight while at the same time addressing the lard comparison. My instinct would have been to try arranging them within the frame of the photo itself rather than introducing the plate as a background field - because the plate itself as a background distracts from what should be the focal point of the picture and does not add any useful information. It complicates what could be a very stong graphic image. Try putting them on newspaper, plain white linen, or even something dark to serve as a rather neutral background.

2) The way the lard captures light is a very good indicator and a great way to illustrate the contrast and comparison between them. I would experiment and shine light different angles to try and illuminate the lard from behind and make it glow. Also, what does the lard look like through the side of the pot? Worth an investigation.

Love the lard.