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I'm now selling my photos!!!

I now host galleries of my favorite photos @ www.lloydshell.zenfolio.com Feel free to surf over there to see photo's that may have drifted into the darkest reaches of the archives here on Blogspot.

I also have begun selling my photographs when requested, I can handle most sizes and finishes either locally or via my on-line printing service.

Thanks for looking!

Lloyd
lloydshell@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Playing with my food!

I have been wanting to try my hand at some food photography for awhile, I think because it is easier to do than going outside in the winter and finding something to shoot. Warmer too, and tastes better! I finally decided I wanted to make the treat I have been longing for since fall. You see... I love rhubarb... I love it in pie and cake. Yes, cake. So I set out yesterday to make my favorite and then photograph it. That is one of the signs of true addiction in a photographer, taking pictures of ANYTHING!!!

So while the cake was in the oven I set up my table by a southern exposed window and got out the tripod and manual focus 50mm f1.4 (With vintage linear polarizer), all set.... still no cake! Forgot the dang thing takes extra time, due (I think) to the moisture of the Rhubarb, and the fact that it goes into the batter frozen, fresh rhubarb being hard to come by in the middle of winter.

With the time weighing heavily on my hands I decided it was time to get crazy with fruit. Grabbed the colander and threw a few bananas in with some apples and went to work. Looking back I think I should have manipulated the props more, but focusing takes some time and test shots etc... plus that yummy cake was getting closer and needed some icing made. Here is what the fruit did for me:




I'm not entirely convinced I have a future as a food photographer... but pretty darn close to convinced. It is harder than it looks, and the Devil is in the details which you never see until you see it on the screen, and then it is too late!

Here is the result of my labor, yellow cake mix with rhubarb layered in, which doesn't matter as it sinks to the bottom of the bundt pan anyway.

"Naked Cake"

"Dressed Cake" I think the icing fools the camera and the photographer, either that or it just needs a little less light to keep detail in the lighter areas.

A quick note on these next few shots. I used our best china and flatware that we got for our wedding, which usually only comes out for anniversaries and Valentines Day. Why? Because everything else we have is scratched and beat up, I have kids you know!

These were shot with varying apertures from f2.0 to f4.0, my old K mount is pretty good for a 30+ year old manual focus lens, but it is not a super sharp lens at f1.4 and at this close of a focus distance the DOF is ridiculously thin and hard to manage. My main interest was to find a fork position that looked natural. Don't look at me like that! As I have said before, it is harder than it looks, AND I usually try something to figure it out for myself, then research "How to do it" and learn from my screwups. I am sure that somewhere there is a school for food photography, but I cannot think of a more boring way to spend a year... seriously! I think I liked the first the best, but I'm not completely shure!






Figured I would get a couple of the "Cut" and be done. Not entirely satisfied with the look, but I enjoyed the challenge. Hope I didn't make you too hungry, or less hungry....



5 comments:

dawnalee said...

A good place to learn about food photography through observation of the work of regular folk and deciding what you like and don't: foodgawker.com, smittenkitchen, pioneerwomancooks, and links from their pages to other foodie blogs.

Reality is that professional food stylists use all manner of tricks and inedibles to enhance how their photos turn out. :o)

What I know is, these are fun, you had fun, and that cake was yummy! Thanks for sharing. :o)

Frieda said...

Just stick a fork in it...(-:

Tastespotting is another foodie photo place to check out.

Karen said...

This post gave my a good chuckle, Lloyd! I'm thinking cold, gray, bleak Utah winters are getting boring for you, too! First the fruit bowl. I like the placement of the fruit in the third shot. Just more interesting to me. Did you have the bowl placed on a table? It looks like the edge of a table on the left side, but then you can't see it continue on the right side. This is a bit distracting to me and makes the bowl kind of 'float'. O.K. now for that delicious rhubarb cake. One has to disguise the rhubarb with lots of icing, (HaHa), so I definitely like the shot of all the gooey icing pooling on the plate, but I like the angle and close up of the first shot. All the images with the fork are too far away to really look enticing. My favorite shot of all is the very last one. I can see up close and personal, all that texture and yummy goodness, and the 'messy' crumbs at the bottom attest that someone has really been enjoying themselves. Here's a link to yet another local photog's blog who does great food shots and earns her living selling stock. http://nicolesyblog.com/2010/02/10/no-styling-vs-styling/
She is very active in a local photo club. They're having a meeting tonight on studio lighting at the SLC Library at 6:30p if you're interested.)
P.S. Thanks for you comment on 'Redrock Winter'. You are right, the artifacts and halos are not visible on the original image. I have another problem with my blog posts. The always upload lighter than they are on my monitor in Lightroom or Photoshop. I calibrate my monitor often, and when I print hard copies they turn out perfectly, (because I calibrate to my printer's specs), but I always have to reduce the exposure or brightness on images I plan to upload to the blog. I'm wondering if anyone else has this problem?????

Cynthia Farr-Weinfeld said...

Lloyd, I think your food shots came out really well! The color seems to be very accurate and true, which is VERY hard with food photography--now you see why I mostly do natural light, as you did! You can also put up a white sheet over your window to diffuse it and make a giant softbox, and then use a white card (also known as foamcore!) on the other side to bounce the light onto the food's non-lit side, but it looks like you got fairly even lighting. I like your very first fork positioning with the cake slices--I agree, it is very, very difficult to place items in a shot and have it look natural, or have it lead the eye in, as your first fork placement does, IMO. That cake looks fab, BTW--nice work! Keep up with the food photography--it's fun, isn't it? Cindy

Lloyd said...

Thanks all of you for commenting! Cindy, I kind of have a built in reflector for this spot. It is in kind of a little alcove in front of a closet door. It is my favorite spot if I need natural light, though I probably do need to soften it a bit more. Even with a polarizer on I couldn't get rid of that hot spot!

I definitely will need to be working at this stuff more!

Lloyd