Tuesday, May 6, 2008

From Crappy to Yucky - The Evolution of My Food Photo Taking


This original version of this post was initially a comment on Jaden's Steamy Kitchen Food Porn post...and now she wants to see more! Then I thought...well you guys probably might wanna know how I take my crappy pics...hmmm, if I could recommend, it's better NOT to know...
I must warn you, it ain't pretty!

...and I am sharing this wacky post with the folks at Dita's event: STUDIO

Crappy Food Photo Studio - Version 1.1
Circa November 2007

This is just too professional to believe:
- Set camera (canon ixus 850is) to macro, vivid color, turn off flash
- Hold dish under halogen light attached to the exhaust fan on top of stove
- Endure the heat from hot dish on hand
- Try not to shake (holding breath helps)
- Hold balance while the other hand try not to drop the camera into the stew/soup/kitchen sink
- Prep the model "work it, girl...work it! yeah u look faaaabbbulousssss"
- Click shutter 100-150 x for each pose, hopefully some aren't so blurrrrrrrrryyy
- Sort and select 1 file out of 10001 out-of-focus ones
- Open selected file/s in microsoft photo editor
- Select 'image', then 'auto balance'
- Upload
HAHA, you amateurs can just eat my shorts (i am not wearing any)
*now i know why ur food pics suck and mine are so fab* LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
PS. i hope u guys dig sarcasm?

POSE 1
Sufficient when I still had my natural light (only on weekends, on weekdays, just impossible)

POSE 2A
Started to feel unhappy with the lighting


POSE 2B
Need to switch to the other, less shaky leg for support

POSE 3
Back damage control


Version 1.1 yielded the following shots:
-
Golden Nuggets with Creamy Corn Sauce
- My First CNY Feast
- Prawns in Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce

Crappy Food Photo Studio - Version 1.2
Circa March 2008

Had enough of cramps and backache, decided to try an alternative method (moved "studio" to the living room, i.e sofa, procured a study lamp for lighting when there's no natural light), which was not much of an improvement LOL!



Version 1.2 yielded the following shots:
-
Peanut Butter Chicken Wings
- Licky Leek Spring Rolls
- Snacks in Black

Crappy Food Photo Studio - Version 1.3
Circa April 2008

Still feeling unhappy about my crappy photo results (In theory, this is good for improvement, right?), I decided to go through a major restructuring again. Procured various colors of background papers...

...stick 'em on a message board on top of my chest of drawers, which means removing all the happy pictures of me and my pals from it (sob! sob!), cleared various rubbish off the chest of drawers, used the cheap study desk for lighting, and got myself an L-POD (no offense, but tripods are just too out of date!), ...and still curled like a shrimp, thus the back pain persists!...not to mention ass gets bigger due to all the cooking, baking & eating!



The L - POD! Extra light, extra flexible, extra mobile, extra unstable, easy installation, and...

...absolutely FREE! (at least mine is)


...and...standing by my side all the way through version 1.1 to 1.3...
my humble, tried and tested, trusted, and beloved camera! CANON DIGITAL IXUS 850IS

Version 1.3 yielded the following shots:
- Steak & Tortellini in Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Spicy Chayote in Coconut Milk (Sambal Goreng Jipang)
- Cellophane Noodles with Mushroom Fritters

...there will surely be version 1.4, 1.5,...100.1, etc ...as I love to take crappier pictures to make you guys feel better ^_* (sarcasm, sarcasm)

Now...brainwashing you into joining my event...

(I am not pushy in person, so I compensated by being extra pushy on the net LOL!)
See you there!

45 comments:

daphne said...

I like this post! Did you use photoshop to add in the words? It's great!

Kevin said...

Nice post! A few of those photos make it look like food photography martial arts. I have been slowly trying to improve my food photography as well.

sefa firdaus said...

keren nih entry-nya
btw, punggung baik-baik ajakah?
soalnya saya juga mengalami hal yg sama kalo motret, sakit pinggang :))

Rit, gue link ya blognya? makasih

Kenny Mah said...

ROFL!!!!

Oh gosh, this is the funniest foodblog post I've read in a long while... and mostly cos I know what it's like to try and take decent photographs of food... Try going out for a meal with a busload of foodbloggers and you get this multiplied several times! *faints*

singairishgirl said...

Hahaha, I love that post. Very insightful and fun. ;)

tigerfish said...

Hahahha.....I'm still at circa Nov 2007! It's true. I have a kitchen so small and no space to do *snap snap*
My natural lighting only comes when I cook dinner during lunch time and reheat dinner for dinner consumption! Hahhaa...there is hidden but hideous secret :P

Sheila said...

Ritaaa! Kamu enerjik banget! Gila, berbagai gaya udah dipraktekin. Aku ketawa-tiwi sendiri bacain note di foto2nya :D.

Peter M said...

Ahahaha Rita! Funny, entertaining and educational. I now know what I have to do to improve my photos...enter Tai-Chi classes!

Sheila said...

Sori kelupaan. Gue link ya blog lo.

rita bellnad said...

that is the most interesting posts of all... hahahaha..... semoga punggungmu hokweh aza, rit.
btw... nice camera... terlebih buat macro mode, aku masih suka pake camera itu buat macro

Gwen said...

New to your blog--have read but not commented--nice post! I have a version of this camera, along with a Canon Rebel XT and have never used the macro settings on it.Very creative post, great ideas for creating backgrounds and inventing new tripods.

Dave, 'LunaPierCook' said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I know what you need to help with your photos. Cats. Plenty of cats. Then you'll get enough exercise throwing them off the food you're photographing that you won't have any more back pain! So, the question is ... who shot the pics of you and your camera? And what camera were they using?? ;-)

Salt & Turmeric said...

Who wudv tot tht taking pictures for foodblog is 1 hell of a task! hahahah.

I have yet to invest on the cardboard, lighting or a new camera. Gotta be extra super nice to hubby. ;)

tigerfish said...

To cook dinner during lunch time and reheat dinner for dinner consumption is THAT hideous secret, dear :P ....
so that I can get natural lighting. Luckily I don't that always. Only to food that is worth "re-heatable". LOL!

GICM Aficionado said...

Combining Photo + Yoga + ShaoLin KungFu + Tai Chi = Only Indonesian Girl Can Do This ...

Hahaha .... Nice photo Sie ...

Retno Prihadana said...

He..he Rita, posemu itulah mana tahaannn. Bak moy termasuk chinese dish bukan ya Rit?, aku bisanya cuman cap cay, bihun goreng, mie goreng pengen juga sih ikutan eventmu :)

KC said...

Great post! I had wanted to know what camera you used as your pictures are so good. I have the problem with light also. The best natural light is in my office so sometimes I take the food there to photograph. I'm new to photography and have lots to learn. Thanks for the info.

beachlover said...

you're really funny!!.I like all your posting with camera stylr.I have the same camera as yours but no IXUS just Powershot.Mine photo is woorst.I dunno how to adjust to light too.

Ben said...

I love this post girl! It's amazing all the things we do to improve our photographs. You do need a tripod, your back will thank you ;)

Dwiana P said...

Rita, doesn't matter how's your food photo look like. they are still good looking photo and I do enjoy your writing.
btw, ada kalau punggung sakit pake balsem juga sembuh hahahaha

Dwiana P said...

btw, reading your post today bring me a good laugh. Very funny girl!!

Elle said...

Oh my gosh, I'm cracking up! That was hilarious! And your pics are great!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

hi daph, yes i used adobe photoshop to add the text, that's pretty much the only feature i know in photoshop HAHA

hi kev...heard about your magic lighting...maybe later when i have my bonus? ^_*

halo sefa..iyah, sakit punggung, sakit pinggang, sakit leher, sakit kepala and tentunya...sakit jiwaaaa kekeke

hi kenny, i know exactly what you meant...i always had to fight for that small empty space to take the food pic when dining out LOL

singairishgirl..hehehe maybe share yours too?

hey tigerfish...tat's not hideous la...i wish i could use your method, maybe cook in kitchen pantry...my work place has 360 degree view of hongkong skyline! with loadssss of natural light! can i take it homeeee? T_T

sheila, saking enerjiknya sampe sakit pinggang hahah..sipp link2an yok hehe

hi peter...hoho taichi would be great...maybe try ballet? gogo, buy yourself a pink tutu ^_*

hi rita, iya kamera kecil ini aku seneng banget, praktissss

hi gwen..yeah just turn the dial to manual setting and select digital macro..veryyyy convenient! hehehe

hi dave! thanks for dropping back...oohhh i sooo want the cats...having them sneering behind/on top/under/within my food will even add value to the pics LOL..u re the observant one eh? the pics were taken by sous chef, using canon eos digital 400D

hi s&t...hehe the color papers are cheap...u can spank him a little and get 100 different colors? (ooppps pardon me)

hi benny (gicm aficionado)...everybody can do it lah :)

mba retno, mau banget bak moyyy ayukk aku tungguin hehehe

hi kc...i wish i could cook at work too hehehe it has the best lighting!

hi beachlover, actually power shot should have more features that this compact ixus...you can explore it...i swear by trial & error hehe

hi ben...now now...how about my L-pod?

hi dwiana, i swear by SALONPAS GEL! hehehehe bener deh manjurrrr banget (duilah yg pengalamannnn)

hi elle, thanks! hehehe just sharing my wacky photo taking stances with everyone ^_^

YozoraNiteSky said...

oh rita.. now i know how come your pics looks so good.. all the effort to get beauty pics to do justice to your food :)..have to learn from you. have a great day rita :D

eliza said...

you're so cute, girl! i don't think you're an indonesian anymore! hahahha....

Peko Peko said...

Wow, I love your detailed notes on your photos! The ones that are not technically helpful are certainly entertaining.

Over on my blog, KyotoFoodie, I have been trying to improve our food photography. It is getting better, but still plenty of room for improvement!

I would be grateful for any pointers!

KyotoFoodieのPeko

Resto Mariena said...

Asli ngakak guling guling baca n liat postingan ini, Rit !!!
Duhh ampe kaku nih perut, ayoo tanggung jawab!!! wakakakakakakka

Thnx ya say..you made my day

Maryann said...

Rita, You are funny, smart AND beautiful! I get into some weird positions myself when photographing. What we do for food! :)

Cakelaw said...

I'm impressed - this is truly suffering for your art! Until recntly, I just whacked everything on a plate and hoped for the best.

We Are Never Full said...

Rita!! why do i have a feeling we'd be good friends if we lived in hong kong? this is a great post!

you have officially made me stop complaining about the size of my NYC apartment when I saw the size of yours!! you can't bend over w/o hurting your arse!! wow girl! BUT, i did notice, you DO have a clothes washing machine and for that I am jealous.

Michelle said...

Hah! The trouble we would all go through to make food look good. It's a faff, isn't it? If it's not the bad lighting, then it's the one sesame seed that's out of place and I'm not even talking about the angle at which you have to take a picture with the food's "best side". Well done, you've made lots of progress, you even won a food photography event. ;-)

I Cook4Fun said...

You really makes me laugh :) I am just like you. I will be taking my plate of food every where in the house to find a spot with natural light to take a few shots. Sometimes I do pity my husband as he will be standing there waiting for his food :) :)

Elsye said...

ritaaaa..wakakakka, sumpah keren abis postingan ini...

kocak abiss..tapi emang bener itu moto bisa dimana2 ya booww...qiqiqiqiqi sampe sakit pinggang juga...LOL

Lidia Sianturi said...

Love the post..
salam kenal Rit...boleh gw link blognya?

Ayin said...

wkwkwkwk....if I taking my food pics always outdoor, try get natur light.

Pain on my back always, sometimes my eyes too *hohoho* cos I must peeking the object, my DSLR can't show the object on the screen.

you need tripod dear...

**kok aku sok nulis pk boso linggis ye hahahha **

Lidia Sianturi said...

thx Rit..udah gw link tuh...

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Too funny lady! Now I know the secret to how you maintain your figure. The photo-taking is the exercise before you eat. :)

maybelles mom said...

WONDERFUL POST. I basically live a very similar life (but without the flip flops.)

Lisa said...

Rita, this is great! Anyone who's struggled to photograph their food knows just what you're talking about! I like to make people feel better with my crappy photos, too. (Just kidding -- yours are fabulous, it's just mine that are crappy. But I keep working on it!)

Dita said...

such a funny post...wakakakakakkkkkk!!! gue demen nih yang kayak begini. Makasih ya buat sumbangan entry studio asal gobleknya :P.

Fitri said...

Salam Kenal Rita.. waah..kebayang selalu punya jamu jago buat sakit pinggang ya heheheh...

Simplicity said...

hahaha gue br liat ini...seru2

Dhi said...

Whoa my gosh, couldn't stop laughing my a*s off, reminds me a lot of those days. I started with pocket cam as well. Great job Rita! Luv your photos and comments

Ipoet Mama Gata said...

walah harus ikutan pilates dan yoga nih..hahaha...salut..salut....hihihi..seru bacanya..suka deh postingannya...inspiratif dan menggugah semangat.....suer...

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

Hilarious!

Also, yehey for home clothes!