Food Photography

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Joined Nov 5, 2007
I keep getting emails from the U of U "Lifelong Learning" department, which used to be call Continuing Education. Anyway, they offer classes on a vast array of subjects. So the discussion in the January challenge about how I would like to take better, more appealing photographs of my efforts prompted me to check out this program.

Sure enough, an email from back in December highlighted just what I was looking for!

"Food Photography: An Introduction"

Monday evenings, from January 7th through February 4th.

Oops. Well, I bet something similar will pop up again soon.

mjb.
 
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Joined May 28, 2015
I think its well worth attending such a class but its important to know who its aimed at. Serious food photographers will have some sort of mini-studio set up with specialist lighting (which can be table-top) so that they can shoot at any time of day, regardless of weather. Most of us cooks and chefs wouldn't be interested in doing that - its time consuming and means you probably aren't going to be photographing the food you just cooked for dinner. By the time you set up and photograph it the food has gone cold!

It depend how far you want to go down the professional route - so its wise to check what the course is going to cover.

Other skills on such courses should include plating techniques and dressing the background etc. which is useful for anyone who is photographing food.

For many of (myself included) using a smartphone camera is the simplest option. There are 4 top ranked smartphone cameras (its easy to search for that) and well worth investing. A really good digital camera will also give good results and is more flexible if you want to do depth of field shots and other effects. Phone cameras have their limitations but they will deal with much lower light levels than a digital camera.

I used to use a digital camera but now use a Samsung Galaxy (S7) smartphone for most of my photos with better results than I achieved with a Pentax. The S9 is supposed to be even better. I'm very fussy about plating and even use Q-tips to remove tiny splashes!

One thing I do think is worth doing is using some kind of post-production on a computer so that you can crop and adjust images slightly - it makes all the difference. Photoshop is what the pros use but there are others. I use the built-in Photo tools on a MacBook Pro.
 
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Most of my pics are taken with my Galaxy S8. It is a nice camera. Back in the day when I was an active mountain climber I got into photography somewhat, still have a camera bag with what was back then many dollars worth of 35mm SLR stuff, and thousands of slides of various trips.

But now I am just looking to improve the pictures I post here and on Facebook. I do rudimentary cropping and resizing on my computer, nothing fancy. For you hardcore nerds I am a UNIX guy, use gthumb on my Fedora box.

Basic lighting is where I think I could make the biggest improvements in the quality of my pics. Better light bulbs in the kitchen ceiling fixture might be a good start!

mjb.
 
861
537
Joined May 28, 2015
Most of my pics are taken with my Galaxy S8. It is a nice camera. Back in the day when I was an active mountain climber I got into photography somewhat, still have a camera bag with what was back then many dollars worth of 35mm SLR stuff, and thousands of slides of various trips.

But now I am just looking to improve the pictures I post here and on Facebook. I do rudimentary cropping and resizing on my computer, nothing fancy. For you hardcore nerds I am a UNIX guy, use gthumb on my Fedora box.

Basic lighting is where I think I could make the biggest improvements in the quality of my pics. Better light bulbs in the kitchen ceiling fixture might be a good start!

mjb.
Re lighting then I can only advise that daylight is your best friend. No ceiling lights will give you a good result. You need specialist photography lights, stands to put them on etc. As you have a Galaxy S8, can I ask if you have set it to maximum resolution and HD? You should be getting good results if you have.

Re lighting - apparently the Galaxy S9 has a better camera which is particularly good with low light. I will get one when prices go down a bit!
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
Soooo
For this month's cooking challenge I am going to use my SLR.
The battery is on charge.
Let's see if it makes a difference
Daylight would be good. Maybe I should start eating my dinner at lunch time ;)

Most of our indoors light is yellow(ish) to attempt to keep the insects away. Not so good for photograpy though
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
I tried gimp a couple of years ago and didn't like it.
I actually have lightroom, just haven't gotten around to using it yet (only have had it for 2 years or so).
I generally just use irfan view
 
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