Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots - Pearsoncmg

53 Pages · 2011 · 17.46 MB · English

  • Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots - Pearsoncmg

    Food Photography:




    Great Shots

    Nicole S. Young Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

    Nicole S. Young

    Peachpit Press

    1249 Eighth Street

    Berkeley, CA 94710


    510/524-2221 (fax)

    Find us on the Web at www.peachpit.com

    To report errors, please send a note to [email protected]chpit.com

    Peachpit Press is a division of Pearson Education

    Copyright © 2012 by Peachpit Press

    Associate Editor: Valerie Witte

    Production Editor: Becky Winter

    Copyeditor: Scout Festa

    Technical Editor: Rich Legg

    Proofreader: Patricia Pane

    Composition: Danielle Foster

    Indexer: Valerie Haynes Perry

    Cover Image: Nicole S. Young

    Cover Design: Aren Straiger

    Back Cover Author Photo: dav.d daniels

    The illustration elements featured in this book are ©iStockphoto.com/Patrick Wong.

    Notice of Rights

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means,

    electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the

    publisher. For information on getting permission for reprints and excerpts, contact [email protected]

    Notice of Liability

    The information in this book is distributed on an “As Is” basis, without warranty. While every precaution

    has been taken in the preparation of the book, neither the author nor Peachpit shall have any liability to any

    person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by

    the instructions contained in this book or by the computer software and hardware products described in it.


    Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed

    as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and Peachpit was aware of a trademark

    claim, the designations appear as requested by the owner of the trademark. All other product names

    and services identified throughout this book are used in editorial fashion only and for the benefit of such

    companies with no intention of infringement of the trademark. No such use, or the use of any trade

    name, is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with this book.

    ISBN-13: 978-0-321-78411-7

    ISBN–10: 0-321-78411-1

    9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    Printed and bound in the United States of America DeDication

    To foodies, food bloggers, home cooks, and chefs…and to anyone who craves a delicious

    meal, chases beauty, and wants to make people hungry with their photographs. acknowleDgments

    The process of writing, editing, and publishing a book is, at times, overwhelming. It’s a creative challenge

    to make the content work within the pages, teach the reader (as clearly as possible) about technique,

    skill, vision, and creativity, and also stay true to the layout, flow, and structure of the book itself. My

    name may be on the cover of the book, but I’m really only a part of the process, and there’s no way that

    this book would be what it is without the guidance, hard work, dedication, inspiration, and motivation of

    so many other people.

    I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and love from my family. They have always believed

    in me and never doubted my ability to succeed at whatever I set my mind and heart to do, and because

    of that I will be forever grateful. I love you guys!

    I am blessed with an amazing group of friends, mentors, and colleagues. You all have opened my eyes

    to things I couldn’t see without your guidance, and you have also been the voice of reason when I

    stumbled. Thank you for your never-ending dedication, loyalty, and patience. Thank you also for your

    wisdom, advice, and knowledge, and, even more importantly, thank you for giving me hope and

    inspiring confidence.

    I truly want to thank the Peachpit crew and the team involved in producing this book, and especially my

    editor, Valerie. This road was a little bumpier than with previous projects, but we all seemed to make it

    through unscathed. Thank you for your patience, flexibility, and teamwork while working on this book.

    I am extremely thankful to my readers. It means so much to me when I get a note from someone thank-

    ing me for a book, a blog post, or a bit of knowledge that helped him or her become a better photogra-

    pher. You, my readers, are the reason I wrote this book, and I, in turn, have learned so much from being

    a part of an amazing, worldwide, kind, and generous community of creative and talented people.

    And lastly, my faith has always been a very big part of my life. My passion for art and my talent for teach-

    ing and sharing my knowledge with others are gifts that I have been extremely blessed with, and I am so

    grateful for having God in my life, which keeps my heart alive and refreshed each day. Contents

    introDuction vii

    chapter 1: photography FunDamentals 1

    Understanding the Basics of Digital Photography 1

    Poring Over the Picture 2

    Poring Over the Picture 4

    File Types: RAW and JPEG 6

    White Balance 9

    The Exposure Triangle: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO 13

    Chapter 1 Challenges 21

    chapter 2: photography equipment 23

    Tools of the Trade 23

    Poring Over the Picture 24

    Poring Over the Picture 26

    Digital Cameras 28

    Lenses and Focal Lengths 33

    Tripods and Accessories 38

    Lighting Equipment 40

    Chapter 2 Challenges 43

    chapter 3: lighting 45

    Techniques for Lighting Food 45

    Poring Over the Picture 46

    Poring Over the Picture 48

    See the Light 50

    Quality of Light 51

    Backlight Is Best 56

    Types of Light 64

    Lighting Modifiers and Accessories 69

    Chapter 3 Challenges 76

    chapter 4: styling & props 79

    The Art of Presentation 79

    Poring Over the Picture 80

    Poring Over the Picture 82

    Styling Considerations 84


    contents Ensuring Food Quality 86

    Food Styling Basics 89

    Styling Tips and Tricks 94

    Prop Styling 106

    Chapter 4 Challenges 113

    chapter 5: Framing & composition 115

    Improve Your Photos with Sound Compositional Elements 115

    Poring Over the Picture 116

    Poring Over the Picture 118

    Finding Balance 120

    Perspective & Framing 124

    Focal Length, Lens Compression, & Depth of Field 132

    Focus 136

    Shapes, Lines, & Colors 139

    Chapter 5 Challenges 145

    chapter 6: processing images with

    aDobe® photoshop® 147

    Bringing Out the Best in Your Photographs 147

    Poring Over Adobe Photoshop 148

    Getting Started 152

    Working with RAW Files 154

    Photoshop Basics 169

    Photoshop Tips and Tricks 182

    Finishing Touches 193

    Chapter 6 Challenges 199

    chapter 7: behinD the scenes 201

    Food Photography from Start to Finish 201

    Poring Over the Picture 202

    Poring Over the Picture 204

    Mussels with Linguine 207

    Chocolate Fondue 215

    Basket of Cherries 223

    Banana Bread 233

    Shrimp Spring Rolls 239

    French Toast 247

    Pork Dumplings 255

    Pasta on a Fork 263

    Conclusion 271

    inDex 272


    FooD photography: From snapshots to great shots Introduction

    I had this book in my brain long before I started writing it. I love food and

    I love photography, and it was just natural to blend the two together and

    evolve into becoming a food photographer. I also know there are a lot

    of other photographers and foodies who want to make their food look

    gorgeous, too. Because of this, I felt a strong desire to write a book that

    would help food lovers create images that truly expressed the beauty of

    the food they wanted to photograph.

    We all develop our own style of photography, but one thing rings true

    when photographing food: It needs to look delicious. The purpose of

    this book is to guide photographers at all levels to make their food look

    as good as it tastes, and to do so as naturally, organically, and simply

    as possible.

    vviiii Here is a quick Q&A about the book to help you understand what you’ll see in the

    following pages:

    q: what can i expect to learn From this book?

    A: This book starts with the basics of photography (photographic fundamentals and

    equipment) and works through the steps of lighting, styling, composing, and editing

    the photographs. It shows how to present the food that you’ve cooked and prepared

    and turn it into a mouthwatering photograph.

    q: who is this book written For?

    A: Ultimately, this book is for anyone who wants to create beautiful food photo-

    graphs. I wrote it with food bloggers and home cooks in mind, but all of the tech-

    niques can be used by photographers, cooks, or chefs of any type or skill level in any

    situation or environment.

    q: Do i neeD a Fancy camera anD lighting equipment to get

    gooD FooD photographs?

    A: No! You can get great photographs by using a minimal amount of gear, and the

    last thing you should do before learning any type of photography is to overspend

    and buy gear that you think you will need. You will, of course, need a camera to

    work with, but use what you have for now before running out and buying new

    equipment. As you develop your photographic style and your skills evolve, it will be

    easy to narrow down the gear that will help share your vision. This book does teach

    how to light food with strobe (artificial) light, and I do think that it’s a very impor-

    tant skill to learn, since you may not always be able to find the right light to use for

    a photograph. But if you have God-given, beautiful, diffused window light nearby,

    there’s no need to spend money on strobe lights or flashes immediately. You’ll end up

    saving money, and you can buy the proper gear later.

    q: what are the challenges all about?

    A: At the end of most chapters, I list a few exercises that will help you practice and

    solidify some of the techniques and settings you learned about. Feel free to try

    them out if you like, and if you do, be sure to check out the Flickr group and share

    your photographs!


    FooD photography: From snapshots to great shots q: shoulD i reaD the book straight through or can i

    skip arounD From chapter toxa0chapter?

    A: There’s really no set way to read the book. If you’re new to photography, how-

    ever, I recommend that you read the first two chapters to get an understanding

    of the basics and build a solid foundation of photography before diving in to the

    lighting and food-specific information. If you’re a fairly seasoned photographer

    who understands your camera and most of the basic techniques, then you can go

    ahead and jump straight to the more food-specific chapters.


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