What's wrong with my food photos?

This is a discussion on What's wrong with my food photos? within the Food Photography forums, part of the PHOTO GALLERIES category; Hi guys! I'm a newbie here. I just started a food blog and I'm looking to increase the traffic via foodgawker and other similar sites. ...


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Thread: What's wrong with my food photos?

  1. #1
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    What's wrong with my food photos?

    Hi guys! I'm a newbie here. I just started a food blog and I'm looking to increase the traffic via foodgawker and other similar sites. I've had one photo accepted with foodgawker (my first one - beginners luck) and the rest are rejected for various reasons. I was wondering if you guys could look at my photos and explain to me what's wrong with them and how I can improve?

    Most of the rejections from foodgawker I receive involve composition complaints, or food/photo styling. I know the basics of lighting, and sometimes it is hard to get good natural lighting as I'm in an above-ground basement apartment but I usually make do. Composition however kind of eludes me. I've never been rejected at tastespotting or photograzing, always foodgawker.

    So, from left to right:
    Lentil soup - accepted, after submitting a million different angles and crops. It's my most popular entry by far, definitely due to foodgawker publicity, and this is why getting accepted by them is so important to me!
    Hummus - rejected due to lighting issues, then when I fixed the lighting they said "previously rejected"?
    Kabsa - composition/lighting
    Cashew Chicken - Composition too tight.
    Bread - Composition/lighting
    Scones - This one I was actually surprised that it got rejected; IMO it's my best one! And due to food styling? You can view the larger image here.

    Please any advise is appreciated. And what was wrong with my scone food styling? :P

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    Last edited by Litost; 07-08-2013 at 05:19 PM.


  • #2
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    I am not a professional (hoping to be someday) but I think your food pictures look great! They look so good I could eat them!

  • #3
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    Maybe use a smaller aperture setting for greater depth of field...

  • #4
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    Background settings are important. Your dark background subtracts from the appeal of the food. The lighting on your first photo looks like it came from an overhead fluorescent light. It needs to be a little more subtle. And as somebody else said, a smaller aperture for a greater depth of field. Seeing a part of food blurred doesn't work for me, but then I've seen a sizzling steak where it did work. Try a white tablecloth, silverware and perhaps a wineglass with water in it. They could be out of focus but not the food.

  • #5
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    I'm not sure but i guess add up some presentation and choose an appropriate background but i love the photos. I'm feeling hungry ATM.
    "All we need is love and beer"

    dslr camera bags

  • #6
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    I always get touchy when folks critique my food pictures, even if I ask them to ... I hope you don't feel attacked.

    Lentil soup - good. Maybe less light? Diffuse the light? Soften, perhaps. It's a warming, inviting soup, yet the picture is sharp with bright lights.
    Hummus - DOF. It's odd. Get into the dish and macro it!
    Kabsa - I'd like to see more of the ingredients alongside, the dish itself being a mere part of the overall picture.
    Cashew Chicken - lower angle, wider lens, closer.
    Bread - turn it. Pretty much there with that one.
    Scones - yeah, I like this one. Lighter? More emotion? It's a comfort bite in the afternoon. Does the scene reflect that?

    HTH.

  • #7
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    In one word: Lighting! Every one of these images have lighting issues. Lighting food is a very complicated task at times, and by using a reflective surface on which to place your dishes, you've made things even harder for yourself.

    To expand on the above, starting with #1: Key light too hot/too far away, not diffuse enough. Bring the light in close, REALLY close, and diffuse the **** out of it. Also, for such reflective surfaces, consider using a polarizer to minimize unwanted reflections & specular highlights.

    As mentioned different focal point, greater DoF, and close in; we don't need to see the counter top behind the dish. Your key light is wayyyyyy too hot and too far away.

    I'm not a fan of the overhead food shot, but in this case I think it is an okay way to go, but watch your composiiton; if you want added elements such as the bag of rice, move the dish out of the centre and arrange them in a more pleasing manner. As it is, the bag of rice and the nuts look like you forgot to move them out of the shot. Lighitng again, notice how little detail there is in your lemon?

    This would have been good if you had just a tad more dteail in the foreground rice; I think a slightly higher camera angle would have helped; the blank background isn't terribly appealing.

    The loaf shot is okay, but there seems to be a focus issue, not sure what it is. The scone is not bad, but the blueberries in the foreground are the subject, not the scone.

    What's with the trashed lemon in the last one? That just looks bad! You highlights are a bit too bright here again, and there's too much counter in the shot. Consider having a place setting around the dishes to add a little interest to the shot.

    Just my $00.02 worth - your mileage may vary.

    ~John
    DSRay likes this.
    Visit my website: John's Photography Comments and critique always appreciated.

  • #8
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    You Can't Be The Best Food Photographer if you take this types of picture

  • #9
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    Maybe a circular polarizer to cut the reflections a touch.

  • #10
    ipm
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    I used to shoot food for packaging for big companies like M&S, Kellogs etc
    I'd say you need to light them a bit better, they just don't look very appetising to me, just sit them by a window, use natural light and use one reflector, open your lens right up and just focus on one thing in the soup i.e. - focus on the parsley and let the rest fall out of focus. The backdrop / work surface is a little distracting, maybe use a couple of interesting props like sitting the soup bowl on a folded napkin a wooden spoon just popping into the side of the frame.


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