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pastameshugana

The Food Photography Topic

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Posted (edited)

A quick make-over. Piece of cake.

 

dcarchCake.thumb.jpg.034f065bc421ffcaaae42c95c8fd8b01.jpg


Edited by dcarch (log)
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Anyone looking for tips should check out James Peterson's blog. He's one of my favorite cookbook authors. Many years ago started doing his own photography, and doing it beautifully.

 

FWIW, I've taken none of his advice. Despite being a fine art photographer by profession, my food pictures are terrible. Studio stuff was never my thing. It doesn't help that plating is my least developed culinary skill. Most drunk people with an instagram account take better food pics than mine. Mayb one day I'll get motivated to learn.

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Much better, I'll have to learn how to blur the background, but I do like how the layers of the cake show through.

 

IMG_2937.thumb.JPG.7c683996bd954e6e52cafdc695232519.JPG

 

Still a lot of brown, but that's an easy fix.

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32 minutes ago, Smokeydoke said:

I'll have to learn how to blur the background, but I do like how the layers of the cake show through

 

What type of camera are you using?

 

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12 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

What type of camera are you using?

 

 My iPhone 6.

 

What do you recommend?

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Smokeydoke said:

 My iPhone 6.

 

What do you recommend?

 

 

Your iPhone will be fine unless you want to bleed cash on a  DSLR.  I have a DSLR which near bankrupted me, but still take most of the photos I post here with my phone.

 

I don't know the iPhone, but I'd guess there is a setting for close-ups. You would have to make sure that what you want is clearly focussed, and that setting should automatically blur the background. It does on my phone but it isn't Apple.

If not, just try every setting. Landscape won't work, but others just might.

Your new picture is  a great improvement on the first . Just always think about the light.

And your cake looks tempting to this old not cake lover.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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13 hours ago, Smokeydoke said:

Much better, I'll have to learn how to blur the background, but I do like how the layers of the cake show through.

 

The term you're looking for is "bokeh." Foreground in focus, background blurred. 

 

Here's an explanation of the basics, and here's an iPhone-specific tutorial

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, chromedome said:

The term you're looking for is "bokeh." Foreground in focus, background blurred. 

 

Here's an explanation of the basics, and here's an iPhone-specific tutorial

 

 

 

 

No! Bokeh is something else altogether. It is "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light". Different from just blurring the background.


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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Fair enough, then. A lot of higher-end phones have been adding presets for this function, and they've been calling it "bokeh" in reviews, so I was misled. Henceforth I'll leave the photography advice to those who actually understand photography. :P

 

 

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The basics:

Depth of field.

 

dcarch

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Posted (edited)

Later model iphones (7-plus and onward) have a "portrait mode." This is a setting that uses gobs of processing power to simulate a very shallow depth of field. It may work by assuming that the thing you want in focus is in the middle of the frame; not sure. 

 

Phones have to do this with digital effects because they have very small sensors, which require a very short focal length lens, which because of physics is going give huge depth of field (unless the lens has a wider maximum aperture than anyone wants to pay for). So the phone takes a picture that's sharp corner to corner, and then throws alogrithms and processing power (and maybe some AI) at the problem. The result is a vaguely convincing simulation of selective focus with a wide-open lens. The few samples I've seen had a bit of an uncanny, processed look that wasn't too appealing. But people will like it as a shortcut to blurring out distracting backgrounds. You'll have to experiment to see if you like the results with food. 


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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IMG_2938.thumb.JPG.fbe4d8ccfa4480547fd7de87209bde47.JPG

 

This is bokeh, what @chromedome was talking about, not bad for a 99 cent app.

I know, I know, with some practice, I could've done it without the app, maybe when I get better at using the manual settings on my camera.

 

This was an awesome lesson. Thanks everyone. I'm going to post on this thread more often.

 

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On 28/11/2017 at 4:31 PM, DiggingDogFarm said:

I have a condition, essential tremor—that Katharine Hepburn thing—which makes it impossible for me to take a photo freehand. :(

It's such a pain to setup a tripod EVERY time I want to snap a photo, so I'm hoping that Anti-Blur Cam and a stabilizing gimbal will remedy the issue.

We'll see! :)

 

2zdxf0w.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Fot those without equipment to stabilise a camera the ‘live’ photo option on an iPhone (I have a 7+ but I think the same feature is on other models) can help where tremor is a problem.  Going to ‘edit’ from a ‘live” photo allows you to see the series of images the iPhone camera recorded and to keep whichever you prefer as the key frame, that which would show if you shared your pictures.  Live Photo’s appear to be very short video clips and while the iPhone software will pick a frame as the key you don’t have to keep it that way.  

 

I am fascinated by small growing things such as lichens and mosses and have been amazed at the definition possible through basic iPhone photos.  I need to improve food photos, while I have stunning (to me) pictures of lichens I rarely manage to capture food with anything like the same quality.

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I just learned that Apple recently allowed app makers access to the raw camera files. This has led to several new camera apps that can all make better pictures than the stock app. I downloaded ProCamera, and will play with it soon. Another app that gets good reviews is Halide.

 

I've never been a big fan of the iphone camera, partly because I feel it's extremely heavy-handed with noise reduction, leading to a mottled, pointilized look at high magnifications. They call it a 12 megapixel camer, but in practice it looks more like 3 megapixels. I assume all the great reviews are in comparison with other phone cameras. 

 

Being able to shoot raw should allow for much more control, and probably image quality improvements, at least some of the time. On my professional camera it would never occur to me to use a format besides raw. 

 

I use Lightroom as my raw converter / jack-of-all-trades photo library organizer. There are other choices that I'm less familiar with. There must be some free options. Many serious photographers believe that PhaseOne's Capture One is the best in terms of quality. I find the workflow maddening so I don't use it. 

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I use PureShot as my iPad camera app.  I love it.  With Lightroom I can transfer .dng files to the computer and open them in Photoshop.

 

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I got another doozy.

 

This is Diana Henry's Chicken Forestiere. It is delicious. It looks like dog vomit. Halp.

 

IMG_3029.thumb.JPG.dc6d9b65b8cf718ede73dc6e07a71613.JPG

 

I'll start, the bowl selection was so so wrong. Maybe something more not so busy?

 

But what else can I do? The dish must have mushrooms. The sauce is an off-putting white.

 

I am at a loss. It's a shame too, because it's such a delicious dish, perfect for sharing.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, Smokeydoke said:

I got another doozy.

 

This is Diana Henry's Chicken Forestiere. It is delicious. It looks like dog vomit. Halp.

 

IMG_3029.thumb.JPG.dc6d9b65b8cf718ede73dc6e07a71613.JPG

 

I'll start, the bowl selection was so so wrong. Maybe something more not so busy?

 

But what else can I do? The dish must have mushrooms. The sauce is an off-putting white.

 

I am at a loss. It's a shame too, because it's such a delicious dish, perfect for sharing.

 

 

 

 

I'm no expert on anything other than eating!  xD

But, I think, the plate distracts—that's not to say it's a bad looking plate.

Try a white plate, adjust the white balance to match the plate.

Maybe up the saturation a bit.

Some dishes don't lend themselves well to food styling.

Having said that, I think you'd get a much better picture if the  ingredients were better defined—it's easy to identify the onion and the mushrooms, but the mushrooms would look better just slice, not cut-up so much.

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Posted (edited)

Like DDF said.

 

dcarch

 

IMG_3029.JPG.91d0f4edc9fb7b0d2a8064854bad66a4.thumb.JPG.a28337c3b987115101f3ae88dca682dd.JPG5acc3c8295f28_IMG_3029b.JPG.91d0f4edc9fb7b0d2a8064854bad66a4.thumb.JPG.0d655e3ad3f0c05917abfd7219de0d70.JPG

 


Edited by dcarch (log)
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@dcarch What program did you use?

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Thanks everyone. Definitely a different bowl would've helped.

 

I'll try cooking it again, maybe make the sauce with one set of mushroom, then strain, they replace with fresh mushroom scattered on top. With the onions, I'll strain and toss.

 

Or I can just write it off as one of those dishes that won't photograph well.

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2 hours ago, Smokeydoke said:

Thanks everyone. Definitely a different bowl would've helped.

I'll try cooking it again, maybe make the sauce with one set of mushroom, then strain, they replace with fresh mushroom scattered on top. With the onions, I'll strain and toss.

 

Personally, I wouldn't bother using a separate set of stunt mushrooms just for the sake of a photo. Maybe just position a few of the more recognizable slices or quarters towards the camera.  

 

2 hours ago, Smokeydoke said:

Or I can just write it off as one of those dishes that won't photograph well.

No matter what you do, that dish is rather monochromatic so it's probably not going to win any beauty contests.  Searching for photos of this dish from others, the one in this blog post and also this one are most appetizing. Both photographed the dish in the pot with a sprinkle of parsley like you added.  This other one seems to demonstrate some of the challenges you faced getting a good photo on the plate.

Even if a picture is worth a thousand words, your colorful description of monochromatic dish like this may bring it to life better than a photo!

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17 hours ago, gfweb said:

@dcarch What program did you use?

 

Corel Draw.

 

dcarch

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Posted (edited)

So, if you're going to use natural window light to illuminate your subject, you're going to want to do a few very inexpensive things.

 

1) Get yourself some tracing paper to place between the window and the subject. This will act as a large diffusor, making the light and shadows softer and more pleasing.

2) Get yourself a large piece of white foam core. Cut the large sheet of foam core into two pieces using an Exacto knife (or razor blade or some such) and tape the two halves together with clear tape so that you can set it on the table in a "V" formation. You place this "V" card at the opposite end of where the natural light is coming in from the window to "bounce" light back into the food. This is most effective for tall foods, such as the cake posted at the top of the page.

3) You'll need to be sensitive to the time of day/quality of the daylight coming in through the window. This will affect the color temperature of the image. Cloudy/overcast days can throw a different color temperature than sunny days during the middle of the afternoon.

4) You'll want to minimize any other lighting falling on your subject (such as interior room lights, televisions, or monitors). If you don't, you can actually get multiple color casts on different parts of your image (blue-ish coming from the window and yellow-ish coming from incandescent interior lights).

5) Buy yourself a "gray card" from a photography store (or online from someplace like Amazon / B&H Photo / Adorama). This will make setting your camera's custom white balance easier (if your camera supports that feature), or if your camera doesn't support custom white balance, you can take two exposures of the food in question, the first with the gray card placed in front of the food and the second without the gray card. Once in your photo editor of choice, you can set the white balance point using the first image and then copy those settings to your second image.


Edited by tino27 Spelling. (log)
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