Food Photography Tips and Techniques *****

Jose Suro

TVWBB All-Star
The power of a little camera these days

Hi all,

Unrelated to food photography but I thought I would post this so you can get an idea of how far digital "Point & Shoot" cameras have come. Granted, this is not an inexpensive camera, but it is still very small and lightweight.

I recently upgraded my "point & shoot" camera from the Nikon 1 V1 to the Nikon 1 V3. The Nikon 1 is a system camera. It's a great camera little camera, uses interchangeable lenses and the V3 has 18 megapixels, enough for incredible 20x30 prints, with a caveat - you have to do your part.

As part of the upgrade I also purchased a couple of new lenses. One of them cost almost as much as the camera - a 1 Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens - which at the top end of the zoom gives an equivalent 811mm magnification when compared to a full frame 35mm camera. It is an incredibly sharp lens, sharper than my $7000 Nikkor 200-400mm lens and it's 1/10 the weight.

So yesterday morning, an Air France 747-800 flew over my house on its way to Mexico City at 38000 feet (7-miles) doing 450 knots and I took a picture of it with the 70-300 VR lens, handheld! The image was still heavily cropped, to about of 66% full resolution, which is the acid test.

This is the result:



To see the larger image you can click on the link below:

http://www.josesuroeditorial.com/photos/i-2B7ZZWB/0/X3/i-2B7ZZWB-X3.jpg

Point and Shoots have come a really long ways!!

Best,

Jose
 

Tommy B

TVWBB Pro
Congratulations!! You will love the quality of the images. I would not recommend going manual for starters. For pics of your son I would recommend program (P) mode. The camera will pick the best combination of shutter speed and aperture for you. Setting ISO is important too. The lowest ISO will give you the best quality but handheld some pics could be blurry. I would use an AUTO ISO with a ISO 400 maximum for starters.

For food I would recommend using Aperture priority mode (A). you set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed. This allows you to use large apertures and blur the backgrounds.

Finally there is a small button in the back that is labeled [+]/[-] or something similar. This is your exposure compensation button and with it you can make the images lighter or darker, a very important button. Just make sure that you set it back to zero when done as it will stay where you set it even after turning off the camera.

Eventually you will want to shoot in RAW mode, but that's for later on.

ENJOY!!

So I really played around a lot with the Rebel T3i. I ended up taking 475 pictures! I think I took pictures with every setting to understand my camera. Although unrelated to food here are the best ones to date. Any criticism is appreciated. I feel like the colors are a little off.



 

Jose Suro

TVWBB All-Star
So I really played around a lot with the Rebel T3i. I ended up taking 475 pictures! I think I took pictures with every setting to understand my camera. Although unrelated to food here are the best ones to date. Any criticism is appreciated. I feel like the colors are a little off.
Very cute pictures!! The colors on the first one are a little off. Leave the White Balance setting on "Auto" while you're getting to know the camera. Then set up a shot and change only the white balance so you can see how the different settings work.
 

Tommy B

TVWBB Pro
Very cute pictures!! The colors on the first one are a little off. Leave the White Balance setting on "Auto" while you're getting to know the camera. Then set up a shot and change only the white balance so you can see how the different settings work.
Thanks for the advice. I will make sure the white balance is on auto.
 

Tommy B

TVWBB Pro
I am still learning to master my Canon DSLR. When I bought the camera on black Friday I also ordered the cheapest tripod from best buy and am really not happy with the performance. That whole you get what you pay for thing.... It's very flimsy aluminum. It is not very stable. I am starting to consider investing in a better one.

Most of my photos are of family. I take a few landscape shots and a few food shots. I need something that is compact when storing or taking on a family trip.
Does anyone have a tripod recommendation? What price range should I expect to pay for a more quality tri pod?
 

Garth C

TVWBB Super Fan
just practicing hosting pics using google. pics from a recent trip.

My high level advice on photography. Commit to a format and spend as little money on a body(cannon, sony, Nikon) , but spend good money on 2 good essential lenses. A high aperture prime 50mm, a superzoom up to 300mm for sunny days. Add a third specialty lens for your specialty like a fish eye, wide angle or a macro which I would think is good for food.





 
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Rusty James

TVWBB Guru
Any recommendations for a cheap point & shoot camera? All I have now is a pitiful flip-phone camera. I'm almost ashamed to use it.
 

Garth C

TVWBB Super Fan
Any recommendations for a cheap point & shoot camera? All I have now is a pitiful flip-phone camera. I'm almost ashamed to use it.
Define "cheap", and also just general size. Small to fit in a pocket/purse, or something that will be around your neck or in a camera bag?

Garth.
 

Rusty James

TVWBB Guru
Define "cheap", and also just general size. Small to fit in a pocket/purse, or something that will be around your neck or in a camera bag?

Garth.
A hundred dollars or less?

Not really concerned about size. I guess Craigslist would be a good source, but I've struck out so far. One seller near here tried to sell me a P&S camera that clearly was 10 years old, and tried to pass it off as almost new.
 

Garth C

TVWBB Super Fan
Probably the most bang for buck is gonna be a newer cell phone if your not attached to your old school flip phone.

You be surprised how good cell phone photography has gotten. It's pretty much why you don't see people with small cameras any more.

If you must get a camera then any Cannon point and shoot from Craiglist. Check reviews and model numbers on Amazon prior to contacting anybody to see how new/old the camera is. Sort the reviews by date.
 

Pat G

TVWBB Gold Member
If you must get a camera then any Cannon point and shoot from Craiglist. Check reviews and model numbers on Amazon prior to contacting anybody to see how new/old the camera is. Sort the reviews by date.
Be sure and check to see if the camera is in working order when you pick it up. I have a friend at work, her husband is a Constable. He bought a video camera from someone on CL. He picked it up in uniform, the guy had told him the batteries needed to be replaced. Guess what, more than the batteries needed replacement.
 

Rusty James

TVWBB Guru
Probably the most bang for buck is gonna be a newer cell phone if your not attached to your old school flip phone.

You be surprised how good cell phone photography has gotten. It's pretty much why you don't see people with small cameras any more.

If you must get a camera then any Cannon point and shoot from Craiglist. Check reviews and model numbers on Amazon prior to contacting anybody to see how new/old the camera is. Sort the reviews by date.
I had seriously thought about buying one just for the camera option, although I doubt I'd use it for surfing the web. A PC and a laptop is all I can handle at the moment. :eek:

I used to own three Canon models, but neither of them completely satisfied me, so I returned them. Wished I'd kept one of them.


Be sure and check to see if the camera is in working order when you pick it up. I have a friend at work, her husband is a Constable. He bought a video camera from someone on CL. He picked it up in uniform, the guy had told him the batteries needed to be replaced. Guess what, more than the batteries needed replacement.

Ouch!
 
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BFletcher

TVWBB Wizard
This was enjoyable to read. I rarely post in the Photo Gallery because my shots with my Weber items are horrible. I do my cooks under a patio deck, and I enclosed it with tarps of various colors of brown, silver, and green and my light comes from harsh LED flood lighting. After my day job, I'm a wedding photog and I have a mint invested in gear. I could retire one of the older bodies, designate a consumer-grade zoom, along with a couple older flashes and umbrellas but then again smoking and grilling is currently my only hobby--the only activity that I do on my own terms and time. And the thought of blending it with photography, even as I write this, turns me off lol.
 

JKalchik

TVWBB Pro
Hrrrm. How have I missed this....



Full size: http://chixjeff.dnsalias.net/smoker4/img_1369.jpg
Album: http://chixjeff.dnsalias.net/smoker4

Backstory and caveat: While that is my brisket, my kitchen, and camera, those are my hands, and thus, I did not take that picture. The fine gent who took it works magazine preproduction and knows his way around a camera and digital images. Intellectually, I did know that good food photography generally uses short lenses and close-up work, he was really right in there while he was snapping away.

Yes, cell phones have gotten good enough that the small form factor point and shoots are in real danger of just plain disappearing. However, as Garth points out (and I'm sure others have as well,) glass is at least as important as the imager. All other things being equal, personally, I'd suggest spending on better glass than a better imager.
 

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