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Five tips on making great food pictures with little effort/money (video demo)

StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,399
edited August 11 in EggHead Forum
I've been asked by a few people about what I do to make the food pictures look the way they do ... so I wrote a blog post about it (surprise!).


TL;DR
  1. Plan plated shots in advance with test pictures.
  2. Set the scene some cutlery, side dishes, wooden planks for steaks
  3. A good eye for composition and some advanced planning far outweighs using expensive camera equipment. Heck, most of my recent pictures are shot with an iPhone.
  4. Make the most of natural light, and use cheap daylight bulbs when necessary.
  5. Post-processing using Paint.net, a free software package
Here's a video of some post-processing ... with some awesome background music:



Thanks to @Photo Egg for the use of one of his shots.
Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
--------------------------------------------------------------
| My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
--------------------------------------------------------------


Comments

  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 8,478
    edited August 11
    Great demo.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • fmackenfmacken Posts: 15
    Any chance I could forward mine your way to process? :)
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,520
    Another thing to consider is the temp of the light bulb you're using. I bought a couple of 800 lumen, 60 watt replacement LED Daylight 5000K bulbs at Ace and used them with the spring clip aluminum reflector shop lights. Similar to daylight from a north facing window. Very accurate color representation.

    https://www.acehardware.com/departments/lighting-and-electrical/light-bulbs/led-bulbs/3618949

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • LegumeLegume Posts: 8,926
    Would this work for pictures of razors and soap?
    Austin, TX
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 28,365
    Another thing to consider is the temp of the light bulb you're using. I bought a couple of 800 lumen, 60 watt replacement LED Daylight 5000K bulbs at Ace and used them with the spring clip aluminum reflector shop lights. Similar to daylight from a north facing window. Very accurate color representation.

    https://www.acehardware.com/departments/lighting-and-electrical/light-bulbs/led-bulbs/3618949

    someone pead on that salmon!  seriously, looks like great lighting
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 28,365
    the veggies in the top pic look lonely, like a clique in the desert 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 6,893
    Legume said:
    Would this work for pictures of razors and soap?
    Or anus?

    Asking for a friend. 

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 4,297
    edited August 12
    Great write up, somehow drinking comes into play with my stuff....learned this though from @foghorn today...doesnt make them look,better but ...
    Visalia, Ca
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 8,393
    Another thing to consider is the temp of the light bulb you're using. I bought a couple of 800 lumen, 60 watt replacement LED Daylight 5000K bulbs at Ace and used them with the spring clip aluminum reflector shop lights. Similar to daylight from a north facing window. Very accurate color representation.

    https://www.acehardware.com/departments/lighting-and-electrical/light-bulbs/led-bulbs/3618949

    Nice pics!   I guess you saved enough money burning RO to buy them bulbs.  Lol.   Just messin

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,399
    Thanks folks.

    @Carolina Q good suggestion :). I use the sort of bulb you mention when I can't use natural light. This is my setup:


    The bulbs are 1600 lumen, 30 watt, 6500K. I use two to spread the light, I guess I could use one to do the sort of shot you showed. Using them I can get shots like this:


    In that shot the light source was from WSW, with a bounce card at E to illuminate the cheese and eggs. There is a little over exposure on the spaghetti to the left of the picture, but that's fine, it's not like I'm shooting for magazines. Yet. ;)

    However, in looking at your pics, I wonder if I got 2 x 800 lumen bulbs I would solve some of the OO issues I have. I bought the 1600 lumen bulbs because, well, I didn't know what I was doing at the time. Maybe it's time to experiment a bit more.
    Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
    Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------


  • KayakKayak Posts: 171
    Carolina Q, are you just trying to show color with those photos? I'd want some light on the backsides of those items to reduce the contrast. Maybe a card or second, dimmer light.

    Bob

    New Cumberland, PA
    XL with the usual accessories

  • StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,399
    edited August 29
    @Photo Egg an early birthday present from SWMBO for food photography. She liked the pic of your chicken drumsticks. :D

    Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
    Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------


  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,520
    ... because, well, I didn't know what I was doing at the time. 
    LOL, and you think I DO?! Read somewhere that 5K or higher bulbs would work wonders. Sure seems better to me. Regardless, just playin' around is still better than just pointing a cell phone at a plate of food. 

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,251
    Got any tips for me?


    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • CornholioCornholio Posts: 303
    SonVolt said:
    Got any tips for me?


    Put some sriracha on that..  and next time use a Polaroid for that retro look.  
    Orange, CA - LBGE
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 8,478
    @Photo Egg an early birthday present from SWMBO for food photography. She liked the pic of your chicken drumsticks. :D

    That's an awesome gift. As usual, mine was a pawn shop find.
    Let me know what you think.
    It's a tiny camera and slippery. 
    I do shoot in program modes most of the time and wish you could limit the wide aperture as it likes to go wide open @1.8 and this sucks at times. Exposure comp dial on top is excellent.
    Buy a spare battery.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • SaintJohnsEggerSaintJohnsEgger Posts: 1,633
    Crap. First it was an Egg, Then the FlameBoss. After that it was all the CGS stuff I had to buy. Now I have to go buy special lighting and cameras to take pictures of my cooks.

    When will the money spending ever end? Or will it ever end?

     =) 
    Marshall in Beautiful Fruit Cove, FL.
    Large Egg 10/16 MiniMax 04/17
    Unofficial BGE MiniMax Evangelist
    Facebook Big Green Egg MiniMax Owners Group


  • StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,399
    edited August 30
    SonVolt said:
    Got any tips for me?


    Needs some steak to balance the picture. :D
    Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
    Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------


  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 13,372
    Crap. First it was an Egg, Then the FlameBoss. After that it was all the CGS stuff I had to buy. Now I have to go buy special lighting and cameras to take pictures of my cooks.

    When will the money spending ever end? Or will it ever end?

     =) 
    Bend over, here it comes again.

    They don't call it the "BIG GREEN" Egg by coincidence.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,399
    YukonRon said:
    Crap. First it was an Egg, Then the FlameBoss. After that it was all the CGS stuff I had to buy. Now I have to go buy special lighting and cameras to take pictures of my cooks.

    When will the money spending ever end? Or will it ever end?

     =) 
    Bend over, here it comes again.

    They don't call it the "BIG GREEN" Egg by coincidence.

    Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
    Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------


  • SaintJohnsEggerSaintJohnsEgger Posts: 1,633
    My son is the photographer in the family with the professional Canon, all the lenses and the drone etc. I guess I could bribe hi. No pics...No eat.

    Off now to see what eggcessories I need to buy with the money I just saved.  :)
    Marshall in Beautiful Fruit Cove, FL.
    Large Egg 10/16 MiniMax 04/17
    Unofficial BGE MiniMax Evangelist
    Facebook Big Green Egg MiniMax Owners Group


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