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Archive 2012 · Best FL to shoot food
  
 
bigbluebear
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Best FL to shoot food


Hello,

I've been asked to help take some photos of food for a japanese restaurant to recreate their menu. I haven't spent much time taking photos of food. Does anyone have recommendations as to what's the best way to approach this?

Best FL?
should i use off camera flash?
etc..



Apr 05, 2012 at 07:17 AM
MG_BRN
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Best FL to shoot food


T/S 45mm plus off camera flash - lighting is like the grain of salt in the soup


Apr 05, 2012 at 07:20 AM
vladan
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Best FL to shoot food


T/S 90mm is also great but 100mm macro can give wonderful results as well if cost is an issue. Lighting is key, along with background. Windows and table ware etc. can be used very effectively too for bokeh effects if shooting at the restaurant.


Apr 05, 2012 at 07:40 AM
Derek Weston
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Best FL to shoot food


Something with some length. If I shoot close I eat the food. Thankfully I don't photograph fake food any more. I once ate a plastic apple.


Apr 05, 2012 at 07:59 AM
bigbluebear
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Best FL to shoot food


haha... thanks for the tips guys. what i have on hand right now is a 5d2 and

35mm f/2
50mm macro
50 f/1.8
85mm f/1.2
28-70mm
16-35mm v1

Although this is what I have on hand now, I can pick up a 100mm macro or a 135mm if those are more popular for food. Or a 70-200mm.

Sorry to hear about your plastic apple

Edited on Apr 05, 2012 at 08:15 AM · View previous versions



Apr 05, 2012 at 08:09 AM
jdben622
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Best FL to shoot food


+1 for 90 TS-E. Very sharp lens...macro-like...and will give you important DOF control.


Apr 05, 2012 at 08:14 AM
bigbluebear
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Best FL to shoot food


jdben622 wrote:
+1 for 90 TS-E. Very sharp lens...macro-like...and will give you important DOF control.


The TSE lenses are ones that I have never tried.



Apr 05, 2012 at 08:16 AM
bigbluebear
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Best FL to shoot food


jdben622 wrote:
+1 for 90 TS-E. Very sharp lens...macro-like...and will give you important DOF control.


The TSE lenses are ones that I have never tried. I should learn more about them



Apr 05, 2012 at 08:16 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Best FL to shoot food


datousteve wrote:
..I haven't spent much time taking photos of food. Does anyone have recommendations as to what's the best way to approach this?


Ditto the suggestion for a long-ish lens.

Also, definitely off-camera flash -- monolights with modeling lights would help; and at least one light should have a soft box. To keep the food cool, some people are using fluorescent lights for food photography; units like the Spiderlite TD5 or the Impact Octacool-9.

If you don't already have it, I'd buy or borrow a copy of Light -- Science and Magic. It has numerous chapters on lighting techniques that will apply directly to what you are doing.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0240812255/

I'd also suggest Food Styling for Photographers. The title is self-explanatory.

http://www.amazon.com/Food-Styling-Photographers-Creating-Appetizing/dp/0240810066

You may also find some useful tips in the various blogs linked to here:

http://www.learnfoodphotography.com/

Gambatte!



Apr 05, 2012 at 08:19 AM
lou f
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Best FL to shoot food


i use a 105 and stack focus. a t/s would be nice but 85mm i found made lighting a little tricky as you are geting a little close.


Apr 05, 2012 at 08:26 AM
 

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bigbluebear
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Best FL to shoot food


Thanks everyone. Thank you for those suggestions on books. I'll pick one of them up.

Quick question... is a FL in the 100-150mm range preferable since it allows the photographer to step away from the food and avoid shadows? Or is it something to do w/ compression?

I have a few 580exs that I can use.



Apr 05, 2012 at 04:36 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Best FL to shoot food


datousteve wrote:
Thanks everyone. Thank you for those suggestions on books. I'll pick one of them up.

Quick question... is a FL in the 100-150mm range preferable since it allows the photographer to step away from the food and avoid shadows? Or is it something to do w/ compression?

I have a few 580exs that I can use.


A shortish tele is the most used food lens because it gives a decent working distance and space for reflectors and lights and gives a nice perspective.

There's no doubt that as has been said something like the 90mm T/S would be ideal, perfect even.

Also think soft rear 3/4 light with gentle frontal fill in with reflectors or mirrors. Lighting is *everything* with food.



Apr 05, 2012 at 06:08 PM
bigbluebear
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Best FL to shoot food


Thanks dhphoto!

You wouldn't know of any sites online that show exemplary setups of a shot do you? I always love those



Apr 05, 2012 at 06:28 PM
GCasey
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Best FL to shoot food


According to a food photographer who spoke to our group last night the choice of a lens depends on what you want to inclukde in the photo. A close-up of the food? A shot that shows the food plus table set-up. A shot that includes some background where type can be placed.

Use hard lighting, prefrably skimming the surface of the food. Placing lights behind the subject will give definitive edging to the food.

To get samples of food shots, do a search for food photographers and check out web sites.



Apr 05, 2012 at 06:36 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Best FL to shoot food


GCasey wrote:
Use hard lighting, prefrably skimming the surface of the food. Placing lights behind the subject will give definitive edging to the food.

To get samples of food shots, do a search for food photographers and check out web sites.



I don't really agree with this It depends very much what the food is.

For pies, pastries and things with a sheen - like ice cream or custard you want quite a large light source at the 3/4 rear as I said, then fill in the front and use small lights (I prefer mirrors because they are so controllable) to give you highlights.

Have to say I would find this very difficult or impossible without modelling lights. Using speedlites will be very difficult IMO.

As for samples, just get some magazines and reverse engineer the shots to work out how they were lit. I used to find that fun.



Apr 05, 2012 at 07:02 PM
trumpet_guy
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Best FL to shoot food


There are lots of food photography links on good, but of course you would expect that.

http://digital-photography-school.com/food-photography-an-introduction

FoodGawker is worth looking at:
http://foodgawker.com/

Good luck. I haven't experimented much with this genre.

I think background/foreground objects are quite significant in food photography.









Edited on Sep 26, 2012 at 06:17 AM · View previous versions



Sep 26, 2012 at 06:14 AM
trumpet_guy
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Best FL to shoot food


I would start with your 50 mm macro lens. I think this will do much of what you need.


Sep 26, 2012 at 06:15 AM
Tom Dix
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Best FL to shoot food


90 ts is my fav for food


Sep 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Best FL to shoot food


I'm not sure if I totally understand the parameters of the assignment. Is it to shoot single plates of food as illustration of the menu selections, or wider "ambiance" food in service settings? The single plates/table setting would lend itself to moderate telephoto, and the 90TS-E would be the ideal lens with its rotating tilts and working distance. The ambiance shots would probably use wider lenses, even down to the 35mm. Shallow DOF would probably be preferable there.

It's a fascinating, and frustrating field -- lots of attention to tiny details. A stylist would be pretty high on my list of accessories.

Looking forward to seeing your results!



Sep 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Monito
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Best FL to shoot food


datousteve wrote:
I've been asked to help take some photos of food for a japanese restaurant to recreate their menu. I haven't spent much time taking photos of food. Does anyone have recommendations as to what's the best way to approach this? Best FL? should i use off camera flash? etc..


There are no formulae. There is no "best focal length".

The key is light. The simplest way is to study light and lighting for a couple of years. If you don't have as much time as that, get as many lights as you can, with as many modifiers as you can, and start with one single light. Build it up when an added light can help. Often light is best manipulated by taking it away, or flagging it or feathering it.

Take your time and work up on a practice dish. Then put a fresh one in for the shot. Things like steam used to be added by squeeze bulbs and trickery (smoke & mirrors). These days photoshop it in, though in the camera is always best if it can be arranged.

Read, study, and look at food shots. A lot.



Sep 26, 2012 at 02:51 PM
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