June 21, 2012

First and very hard week of this project with some very easy summer meals

First of all, you must know that I had some serious issues with my Photoshop (PS) and because of that I couldn't regulary put photos to my Flickr profile every day. I take my pics in RAW and I really need my PS to work well so I could transform pictures to JPG format. In the end, pictures for all 7 days are there and now I will show you how they look before and after PS, tell you what tools I usually use and what details I think should  be changed.
You can read the desciption part abowe pictures on Flickr to see what was the camera setup for each photo. 

In the photo below you can see what tools I usually use for my photos.

Fisrt thing I do is setting LEVELS in the right position.This tool is for good color balance.
Next thing I do is sharpening with HIGH PASS tool. This gives your photo a very nice bright and shiny look.
Next tool is CURVES which helps me to get a perfect contrast balance.
These three tools are most important for me, especially now when I take my pictures mostly outside and photoshop is minimal needed. 

Other tools are:  crop tool - when I need to cut piece of photo to get the right proposition; 
                  spot healing brush tool - for removing spots that makes my photo looks ugly (see the "Ice  Cream" exemple below);
                  dodge tool - when I need to light some parts (see photo of Quiche Lorraine, you'll see that the plate is dodged);
                  text tool - for water mark;
                  hue and saturation tool - to get more vivid colors;
                  exposure tool - to get more lighting (especially used for photo of Quiche Lorraine).

These are most common tools I use for my photos and in next post I will show you how to use them, too.

Now, photos...


This photo is taken about noon, outside on the balcony. Sunlight was in the other side of the house, so there wasn't direct light.
Camera set up was: f/1.8, 1/640, ISO 100 on AV mode (allways using this mode).
Ice cream is placed on the mirror, it's melted because it was 30 degrees C  :) 
Now, camera stands very close and not that high so I could get all the details very nice.
Photoshop was really needed as you can see, because of the spots, pure lighting and not really satisfying sharpness. So, I set up my levels, sharp well and started with spot healing brush to remove all defects. Then I set up contrast and that's all!
Vignete is taken in Camera RAW editor but I will write about it later.
You see how nice and shiny this photo is? That's how high pass tool works.
I am very proud of this photo. Old mirror is a very nice way to train your creativity. I think it could be less sharpen, but this way is okey, too.


This photo was taken about 16p.m., Sun was right above the house but still this part of balcony was in shade. Camera set up was: f/5.0, 1/160, ISO 100, camera flash fired compulsory mode. So: levels, high pass and contrast - photoshop minimal used because picture is good as taken. 
Maybe next time I will try harder to get better composition and arrangement of colors.


This was also taken in the same lighting like the picture before. Camera set up: f/3.2, ISO 100, 1/160, WB-cloudy. 
Now, you see that the first photo is blue? That's not good! It doesn't look natural so I fix that in Camera Raw Editor - I will write more about editor in my next post.
So, beside white balance I photoshoped my photo usually way: levels, high pass, contrast + saturation ans dodge tools.
I'm not very happy with focus and maybe I could make some more interesting and more "clear" composition.


Same lighting. Camera set up: f/5.0, ISO 100, 1/100. 
Photoshop: levels and high pass. Failed!
I hate this photo mostly because tones and texture of beans and concrete are almost the same


 Ice cream Cones taken inside of the house with poor natural lighting from left. Camera set up: f/1.8, 1/80, ISO 200. Photoshoped with all tools I now and still not looking good. This is also failed photo. Composition, lighiting, angle and kitchen towel below the cones are simply wrong.


Tomato salad taken in daylight but in the shade of house, 16p.m.
Camera set up: f/16.0, 1/20, ISO 400. 
Photoshop: levels, high pass, saturation, contrast, crop.
This photo is nice - good looking colors, nice composition and also very nice lighting.


One of my favorite photos from the last week. It was taken inside of house, lighting coming trough the window from the right and I am standing just above the plate. 
Camera set up: f/2.2, 1/100, ISO 200. Here I used levels, high pass and contrast but also dodge, crop and exposure tools. 
This is very nice and satisfying photo - composition, photoshoping and plate design are all together really the score!

Now, I can say that 2/7 photo are what I call good photos. Other five are maybe good but not that good. Daylight is really important for good food photography. Only in that case food will look amazing and stunning - mouthwatering!

You'll notice that my ISO doesn't go higher than 400 or shooting speed lower than 80 (except in one photo when f was f/16.0)... More abot that next week...

See you soon! 

June 11, 2012

What equipment I will use for this project

Spanish Churros

Here you can see that I have a really shivering hands :) I missed to focus churros. Instead, focus is on man's hands. Mistake is very obvious, don't you think :)
Sorry, but first time using flash in a very, very dark place is a  difficult work - you'll have to understand me :)

Usually, I take my photos on day light with my one and only (second hand) camera Canon EOS 1000d and my favorite Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens. Camera is bought for me few months ago like New Year's present, and I can tell now that it helps me a lot to understand what can I do with my photos and ideas. I learned a lot since the first time I got it, so in one of my next blogs I will show you my "1000D" shots. 
That's the equipment I used till now. 

Now I want to learn how to use lighting, other lences, other cameras and of course how to do food styling the best possible way.

Few weeks from now I will get my own copy of Plate to Pixel, Digital Food Photography and Styling and then we well see where to start :) 

Until then, I will introduce you to my curent work and blogging plan for at least next two months.