I am getting into cooking and...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by his4ever, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. his4ever

    his4ever TPF Noob!

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    I am really getting into cooking now... and I want to take some great pictures of the food I create or recreate. What is the best way to do this with just a camera? I have no other equipment. Also this might be helpful for when I take pictures of my greeting cards to post online. Thanks. :D
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As with any photography...it's all about the light. I've seen some 'behind the scenes' type of stuff where they were filming and photographing food. To get great images it takes a lot of work with several lights and stuff like that. Although I'm sure you could get above average shots with minimal equipment if you are creative.

    You want to avoid on-camera flash as your main source of light. So that will mean getting another light source. It could be a lamp or two (or three) but keep them the same...don't mix lighting types. You will need to color balance for your lights...which digital, just set a custom WB...with film use filters or film for your light types.

    Something like a light tent may be useful because it will allow you to soften the lights. Or maybe harder light may bring out the texture in the food...if that's what you want.

    Actually, the biggest tip I learned from watching the pros...is that they cheat. Real food doesn't always look the best and it doesn't stay fresh looking as long as we want it too. They use plenty of tricks to make it look fresh and appealing. I don't remember too many specifics...but it's thing like this...
    Use white glue to simulate dripping icing. Brush or spray things with oil to give them a shine. I'm sure you could Google a bunch of tips like that.

    The best way to start may be to find some sample photos of what you are trying to achieve and find out how they were done.
     
  3. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    They cheat big time, use the most fresh/beautiful looking ingredients, undercook everything, glucose sprays etc etc, its harder than it looks. Anyone specialising in this field also have stylists and the shot set up well before the dish hits the table, you'll struggle without decent lighting too as hot lights tend to make the product deterioate rapidly.
     
  4. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I used to do a bit of commercial food photography. I'll second Mike's comment about the light tent. If you actually want to eat the food you are shooting, just plate it up, put it in a light tent and fire away. You will get 90% of what a pro gets. Then you can put it on the table.

    Since you probably don't have a light tent, you can make one easily by using a white sheet that you hang from its center. You can make a hole in it for the lens to see through and then light the tent from two sides if possible.
     
  5. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As you look through illustrated cookbooks, note the careful selection of plates and bowls -- they complement the food. A great soup or stew presented in a ho-hum bowl loses something whether you're dining or photographing. My Lady and I love to cook, and we're always on the look-out for interesting china and pottery. Sources include close-out sales at Ikea, etc. The old saying that the first taste is with the eyes remains true even in this day of fast [and often boring] foods.

    If you're handy [and frugal like me], you can put together an excellent light tent with a pvc pipe framework and a cover sewn up from an old bedsheet. Such a device can easily be taken apart and stored.
     
  6. his4ever

    his4ever TPF Noob!

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    The light tent idea with the sheet should work... I have an old white bed sheet I just replaced and was saving... did not know what I was going to do with it... now i do... Thanks guys.. thanks for all of your advice :D
     

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