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 Post subject: Food Photography
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:00 pm 
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Location: California
Does anyone know much about food photography? i'd really like to give a go a at it i just need to purchase some more gear. does anyone have any experience with food photography?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:26 pm 
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Well here's a tip, the key to good food photography, is food that looks good lol. I've seem some food shots that really look pretty bad. Not because the shot was technically wrong, but because the food didn't look appealing. I've seen some desert shots on flickr, and they look very good. I'd maybe get a softbox, for some soft lighting, as well as a macro lens.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:16 am 
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Location: California
In my Entrepreneurship class i wrote a business plan for a food photography business and surveyed some local restaurants and in the end i didn't try it because i felt the start up cost was too high, but recently i had one of those restaurants express interest in hiring a food photographer so i think i might try it. i know a photographer who said he'd lend me a few strobes for my first few jobs till i save up enough to buy my own if i like it.


the place that is hiring me is Troy's BBQ, anyone have any tips for shooting a BBQ? i've read two food stying books but still havent tried shooting food yet.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:11 pm 
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Location: Connecticut
Do you know if you are going to be shooting the food at the establishment? Do you know if you are shooting in the kitchen or the dining room?

If you don't have one, I would invest in a de-shadow box.. You can get one with a pair of halogen lights for fairly cheap from B&H or Adorama. I got my girlfriend one for x-mas since she likes food photography and it does a good job lighting food.

http://www.adorama.com/VRDSB16.html?sea ... &item_no=2

Costs around $50 bucks, includes two lights and a blue/grey background sweep and most importantly folds up flat with a handle for portability and has pockets to store the lights. One advice though, do not leave the lights on if you are not taking photos. They get very hot!

Alternatively, you can build your own de-shadow box pretty cheaply from a cardboard box, some white tissue paper, white cloth for a sweep and some lights.

I took this picture with the aforementioned de-shadow box. I put a piece of white cardboard paper in it to create a white sweep for the background.

Image

One halogen lamp to the left and my sb-600 triggered off camera above and to the right.

If neither of these options are open to you, or if you choose to shoot the food in a more authentic background of the restaurant then I suggest you bring your fastest lenses due to probably the dim lighting of the restaurant and the ability to control DoF and a tripod of course. If you can, make sure they get you the food as quick off the grill as they can because hot food usually makes for the best looking food. Especially for BBQ, you want to capture the juices sizzling from the brisket or the sauce cascading down the ribs.

I would suggest getting some food at home and practicing a bit with it so you can find what aperture settings you like best, what lenses you think you'll use the most and how to set up food for the best lighting.

Good luck and have fun. Make sure they get you a free dinner!

Oh, and make sure the plate is clean. BBQ can be a challenge because of this, so make sure you have some paper towels handy and a bowl of water.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:22 am 
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Location: California
thank you for the reply Syncharmony,

I will be shooting at the establishment and most likely in the dining room.

That De-shadow box is pretty cool but i think he wants shots that show of the atmosphere. Great shot by the way, i hope mine turn out that well. though i will be providing both shots of the building and close up's of the food.

I think with two 500 watt strobes i'll be about set on lighting i might buy a white poster for a reflector. i will be shooting with soft boxes or possibly one soft box and one umbrella.

I'll be using the 40D with my 18-200mm and 50mm 1.8, though if all goes well i will end up purchasing a macro lens.

i would practice at home but I'm no chef and macaroni is about the best dish i can assemble. but i may have to give it a go, but i won't have my lights with me as i am borrowing them.
.
i hope the sauce doesn't get everywhere like you say. i'm sure i'll learn a great deal my first time through. i plan on sitting down with him tomorrow and finding out more about what he wants to accomplish.

thanks for the advice, i will follow it carefully and post some of the shots when i'm done.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:35 pm 
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Location: Connecticut
Sounds great, you have a good lighting set-up there. If they can clear out a section of the restaurant for you to set-up some of those lights, you should be able to do some great things.

Good luck!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:46 am 
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Location: Florida, USA
Don't forget to shoot in RAW!!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Location: California
Finally did the shoot last night, over all it went pretty well i'd say.

the plan was to have him provide background, but that didn't work out so i improvised and shot on this nice wood table. he also provided the dishes which are all different. i learned that you can't shoot light food in a dark dish on a dark back ground something will be incorrectly exposed. and unfortunately i forgot to shoot in raw, i even had it written down drats! i still haven't photoshopped these yet. 500 watt lights are way too much for food photography i was shooting with lights turned all the way down and still shooting at f/6.3. food is messy it was hard because i was always having to wipe my hands off after touching any food. more on my flickr! flickr.com/photos/thomaslowephotography/

IMAGE DELETED

IMAGE DELETED

IMAGE DELETED

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Last edited by Tomis on Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:16 pm
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Location: San Francisco
i like your shots

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:12 am 
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Location: Florida, USA
Nice Light!

It would be better in the first picture, for the hamburger to be in front, the onion rings seem to be the focal point. (unless the main dish in the onion rings and it comes with a side of burger.....) Don't worry common mistake, the second one is REALLY strong.... a little crop and you're done.

Keep me Posted! :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:35 am 
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Location: California
fearless leader wrote:
Nice Light!

It would be better in the first picture, for the hamburger to be in front, the onion rings seem to be the focal point. (unless the main dish in the onion rings and it comes with a side of burger.....) Don't worry common mistake, the second one is REALLY strong.... a little crop and you're done.

Keep me Posted! :D


Thanks for your feedback.

i agree the leek rings seem to be the subject of this shot, i shot 15 subjects and took around 190 pictures so i have several compositions of each shot.
the next shoot i do i'd like to have a white paper background and a larger verity of dishes.

IMAGE DELETED

this is another shot of the same sandwich .

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Last edited by Tomis on Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:58 pm 
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Location: California
I reposted all of them back on after i photoshopped them. MORE ON MY FLICKR!
flickr.com/thomaslowephotography


Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:04 am
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Location: California
Check out my work at:

Troysbbq.net


I have another shoot coming up, one for the same restaurant and also a new restaurant.

I also just bought some alienbees... a 160w and 320w monolights with umbrella/softbox, i havent had the chance to really use them but when i do i'll post pics soon.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:14 pm 
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Location: California
I've had quite a bit more experience with food now... here is one of my recent pieces of work

Image

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM WELCOME!

now that i feel more confident in my work i think i'm going to take a more professional approach at this. I'm still working out the details with a company name and such but hopefully i'll have my business lic. soon!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:24 pm
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Location: Canada
It lacks atmosphere and doesn't make me feel enticed.

It doesn't seem like its smokin' hot like the BBQ logo there.

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