I am at home right now trying to stay still and heal from some tooth surgery; actually I got two of my wisdom tooth pulled, but the other one had to be cut open and pulled surgically. It is really boring to just heal and eat soup and smoothies, I do not like this at all, I never was very good at being sick, but luckily it will soon be over.
As I received the Arte y pico award from Naomi at Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried, I thought that I might make a post about food photography in general. I am going to give this award to five bloggers whose photography I admire, but please don’t feel obligated about this meme thing at all. This is just my way to say thank you to some people whose photography I feel is inspiring and beautiful.
I would like to give the award to these bloggers in no particular order-
Fxcuisine.com for the unique style in photos, which I would describe as somewhat hard and very stylish.
Make life sweeter because I like the light in the photos and the eye of the photographer.
VeganYumYum for the use of colour; the photographer has such a good eye for colour, it is always inspiring to look at the photos.
Have Cake, Will Travel I am a huge fan of the photographer, I love the clean cut look of the photos, the style is unique.
I would also like to state that these are my thoughts in general, I am not a real photographer and my words should be taken as just that; some thoughts from an amateur.
Food photography is said to be different from other kinds of photography; and I would say that it is true. Rarely do I see a food photographer who has a good eye for regular photos, and vice versa. Some people have a unique eye with food, they have the ability to catch something that makes the food look really delicious, maybe they have some kind of a passion towards their subject and it shows in photos?
As for retouching and food pictures I would say that if you are really good with your camera and you know how to adjust everything by hand to be perfect, and I do mean perfect, then you have no need for retouching the photo. Some, like me for example, who are not that good with cameras have a real need for RAW processing and retouching, but this is an area where a little bit goes a long way; I should know since I almost always go overboard with photos, but I am learning.
It is important to shoot in RAW mode, since it gives you the chance to adjust the lights, saturation and basic things like that. As for the ISO I would say that use 100 if you have a tripod, it makes a big difference. You can see that most of my pictures are shot with a higher ISO, I even use 1600 sometimes, which is really bad and the photos are grainy when using something that high. The reason behind my high ISO is that I have shaky hands and I don’t like using a tripod every time.
The light used in food photos should be natural; you can’t go wrong when shooting in natural light. Direct light is too harsh, so block it with some white paper for example. Try getting the light to come from one side and using a reflector if you like the look it gives. I myself don’t like using reflectors, but I still use one small reflector sometimes. You can use anything that reflects light as a reflector - mirrors and foil for example. The light from the north is the best one in my opinion; use it, if you have the chance.
You can see the difference some Corel use does in photos if you look at the first cat photo which is the finished one; it has been edited in RAW and moved to Corel and then edited there. I use Corel even though I do have Photoshop since I like it more, actually a lot more. It is easier to use and I just feel comfortable with it.
This is the straight out of camera shot. As you can see it has a grey film over it and it is there because I am not so good that I would know how to adjust everything perfectly.
This is after some RAW editing, I adjusted the saturation and a bit of the light, and increased the sharpness.
This the finished photo. I used a layer of hard light with the opacity of 30. Some unsharp mask with the strength of 20 was then used. For the eyes I used unsharp mask with the strength of 100 and then some contrast of 30. Not much editing, but the difference with the first photo is huge.
Some general advice I would give is to use auto contrast and unsharp mask with photos, just those two will give you sharper and brighter photos. Auto contrast will get rid of the grey film in photos in a snap. You can find it in Corel from Adjust->Brightness and contrast->Levels->Auto contrast. In Photoshop you’ll find it from Image->Adjustments-> Auto contrast.
You will find unsharp mask in Corel from Adjust->Sharpness->Unsharp Mask. Adjust the strength, I usually use 20. In Photoshop you’ll find it from Filter->Sharpen->Unsharp Mask.
For really good Photoshop advice you could go to the Pioneer Woman site, Ree also has some Photoshop actions there which are free and really good. The advice given there is simply done and that’s why it is so good, you can understand it even if you are not familiar with all the photography terms.
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