Need advise with Food photography

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by TonyUSA, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hello,

    My friend asked me this morning if I can take photos of the foods for his restaurant. It is a Chinese restaurant. I will be using Canon 5D mk3 and I guess I need to buy or rent Canon 100mm 2.8L Macro lens. Please advise on equipments such as lens, lighting, technique, and etc. that I should know. By the way, I am about to buy one Xplor 600 monolight and maybe I can use it with this project.

    Thank you,
    Tony


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  3. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  4. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you,
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    MAKE SURE you have plenty of depth of field when doing food shots. At close distances, you NEED to get things into focus,so do not be afraid to stop down to f/16. Without tilt and a lacking a camera with movements, a lens like the Canon 45mm T/S would be the one I would rent. Otherwise, stay BACK a ways with the 100mm macro, and then crop a bit later, at the computer, to get your final compositions. There's no need to be too close to the food when shooting.

    If you have a tripod, you can use it to help you shoot better shots; by keeping the framing stable, you can shoot a shot and review it, then make changes as needed, ensuring that you do not crop off needed parts, or that you do not have unwanted elements in the pictures.

    Again: this is close-range work. DO NOT shoot at wide apertures like f/4 or f/5.6! You need things IN FOCUS! Stop the lens down to get deep depth of field; the backgrounds will be far enough away that they will defocus naturally.

    As a beginner, you are taking on difficult work. If you do not have good lighting conditions, the photos will look poor. There is a need to style the food, to "dress" the plates well, and properly. The food needs to look good. Many restaurant owners will not understand this, and will often not devote more than a minute toeach plate, and as a result, the pictures might turt out badly. You really DO need to figure out how to get at least 6 inches of DOF for a plate of Chinese food, so think 100mm lens from 8,9,10 feet away, then crop the final image from that. Watch your backgrounds!
     
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  6. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you so much, Derrel.
     
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  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Buy or build a light tent. You can buy a competent one for $20. Then buy a couple of lights of whatever kind you want to light the tent. That is the easy way to do it.
     
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  8. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you, Fred.
     
  9. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Tony, If you had read some of the articles that are linked to you would have a good idea of how to shoot great food photography. One of the first steps for what your friend wants is to tie it to his restaurant. It doesn't take much. it can be as simple as putting the food on one of the dining tables, counters etc. if they have a particular pattern or design. This is an excellent beginners article on photographing food. The Serious Eats Guide to Food Photography

    Food photography is an excellent situation to shoot tethered to a laptop. You get a great visual of your composition before you trip the shutter and can make visual changes. Think of it as a digital version of the Polaroid back. Shoot in the restaurant when it is closed and shoot fresh food. That means the chef needs to cook as you shoot. Food can quickly loose it's luster. Since this is for a particular business this is no time for food tricks. You want to represent their food.

    Before you start, know the foods. Go to the kitchen during the rush hour and look at how they plate the various dishes that you will be shooting That way you have an idea of how you can capture their food at it's best. Nothing pisses of a diner more than seeing a photo on the menu or wall of a luscious looking burger with a small salad of lettuce and slices of freshly picked red tomatoes on it only to be served that burger with a single slice of half ripe tomato and a wilted piece of lettuce.
     
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  10. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you, gryphonslair99.
     

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