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Hapster or other camera aficionados

rtt121rtt121 Posts: 434
How do you take such great food shots?

I don't have a great SLR but I do have a Casio EX-F1 that is amazing for high speed (240 fps) video.  It also has manual settings for aperture, shutter speed and iso... so I feel like i should be able to take decent food pics. I just don't.  Of course I could be wrong and I don't have the right equipment.

Any advice would be great!

Comments

  • cazzycazzy Posts: 6,255
    edited May 2013
    I don't take amazing food photos, but I can offers some advice.

    Try to use angles.  Your subject (food) right smack in the middle of the frame isn't always the best approach.  Granted, I'm a little more loose with composition with food portraits than anything else, but I still think about. 

    Tell a story with your photo...you see alot of people setting up a nice table setting.  VI for one takes fabulous photos.  Travis usually has some type of beverage in his photo.  Just things that draw you into the dining experience that some people don't think about.  Hap is a pro, so he always has a trick up his sleeve to tell his cooking story.  I love his cigar and drink pics!   :P

    Try to change up your pic scene here and there.  Outside, inside, on a deck rail, etc.  Heck, I saw someone recently put their plate in a tree.  

    Lighting helps!  If you have to bring over a lamp to brighten up your area, do it as it helps.  

    Use good technique when you hold your camera or get a tripod (they're cheap and make a difference).  Judging by the pic you posted of your egg, your camera looks good enough...you were just shaking a bit.  You also don't need a DSLR to take a great photo...I took this with a $125
     point and shoot:

    image

    Just keep working at and you'll get better.   :)
    Just a hack that makes some shitty BBQ...
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,584
    I'm struggling with this issue too.  I do a lot of nature photography (even won a few contests) but food shots are a different challenge.
    I think a big problem I have is the lighting.  My dining room has incandescent light coming from above, there's a side light and skylight that bring in sunlight, and then neon lights in the kitchen.  
    A lot can be done with reflectors too, but when I've been smelling smoke for X hours and its finally plated, the photography artiste in me gets hungry too... 
    :\">
    _____________________________________________
     
    I Know Why The Egged Bird Sings.
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • MrossMross Posts: 293
    You guys pics are amazing. By the time I plate food I have had enough adult beverages that I can't hold a camera steady.
    Duncan, SC
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 434
    edited May 2013
    Thanks @cazzy

    Some good advice.

    The picture of my egg / egg were with my android believe it or not.

    I teach golf for a living and use my casio once and awhile to show people what they are doing that they do not feel.

    The pictures I take of landscapes in auto mode are fantastic.. but I know it can take good food pics if I know what to do.  I have a great tripod.

    I am the golf pro / webmaster / merchandiser / asst gm / f&b marketer at a private golf club and I often try to take pictures for the website "dining room" tab.  None have ever looked as good as this short depth of field on a fork as you have above.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 6,255
    I googled your camera and it is more than adequate.  Are you using it on auto or manual?
    Just a hack that makes some shitty BBQ...
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 434
    Well for my landscape shots I use auto.

    For my videos I actually am good at tuning in manual.

    For food shots I cant really get auto or manual settings to pop.
  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,954
    @rtt121 You teach me how to play better golf I will personally figure out how to take good pictures then pass that knowledge on to you.
    :))
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • hapsterhapster Posts: 5,316
    rtt121 said:

    Well for my landscape shots I use auto.

    For my videos I actually am good at tuning in manual.

    For food shots I cant really get auto or manual settings to pop.

    Best way to learn is to shoot in manual if your camera has that setting. Will teach you the relationship between apature, speed, and exposure.

    Post work has become a much bigger part of it with digital.

    Google "rule of thirds" to get some info on composition.

    Thanks for all of the nice comments
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 434
    @Scottborasjr

    PM me for my email.  Send a quick a video over face on with your worst club. Free lesson month on bgeforum.
  • hapsterhapster Posts: 5,316
    With food or macro shots, depth of field is important because it really draws the eye to your subject.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 6,255
    edited May 2013
    Okay, I'm looking at your manual and your camera has Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority.  To start, I would use Aperture Priority and control how much depth of field you want.  Lower the f/stop, the less DOF you have, the higher the f/stop, the more DOF you have.   I'm unsure if it allows you to set the ISO, but if it does, I would try to shoot at 100 unless you want to add noise to your pic.  If the shutter speed automatically drops to less than 1/30 or something you're not able to hand hold, pull out your tripod.  

    Also, set your white balance to match wherever you're shooting.  It should help a lot, assuming you don't have lighting conditions like Botch.
    Just a hack that makes some shitty BBQ...
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 434
    Thanks @hapster

    I took a photo class back in high school and if I took one thing away it was the "rule of thirds"

    I guess I need to screw with it more in terms of settings for aperture iso and shutter.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 6,255
    edited May 2013
    hapster said:
    With food or macro shots, depth of field is important because it really draws the eye to your subject.
    I can't wait till I get my macro lens.   :D
    Just a hack that makes some shitty BBQ...
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 434
    @cazzy

    Awesome.
     
    I will start here next time.
  • Fred19FlintstoneFred19Flintstone Posts: 4,402

    This is what I use.  It's a homemade pinhole camera.  It's not for everybody, but it works for me.

     

    image

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 434
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,436
    If you can get my slice consistent, i will buy you whatever camera you desire. Hell, I'll hire Annie Liebovitz to capture your cooks. 
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 6,255
    rtt121 said:
    @cazzy

    Awesome.
     
    I will start here next time.
    Cool, but as Hap said...manual should be your long term goal.  In the end, you are smarter than the camera and manual gives you complete control.  

    For now, when you use AP, see what the camera does to your shutter speed when you raise and lower your f/stop.
    Just a hack that makes some shitty BBQ...
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 434
    @travisstrick if your talking about your brisket.. which you probably are not... I recommend a really sharp knife.

    If you are talking about your golf ball moving away from you by accident.  PM me for my email and send me a face on video.


  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,436
    I'm talking about when I swing outside to in EVERY TIME and create a mega slice. 
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 434
    already got you fixed sir.

    Just send it over and ill show you why.
  • Firemedic183Firemedic183 Posts: 171
    A great rule of photography is...take a picture of what you are taking a picture of. In other words, don't be afraid to fill your frame with the subject you are photographing. We don't need to see your counter that the plate of food is sitting on, just the meal on the plate. Another tip I read from a renowned photographer, Scott Kelby, is to slightly tilt your camera to make it appear that your food is slipping off of the plate. Hope this helps and makes sense.
    Persistence and determination are omnipotent!
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