Amateur Food Photography

Improvised Photo Studios

People regularly ask me about my photos or my camera. I don’t have a fancy camera, it’s just a Fuji Finepix S5700 with 7.1 megapixels. And although I’m quite happy with it, it has one major drawback over the camera I had before: when it’s dark, the camera will adjust the ISO! I hate that! And there is no easy way to stop my camera from doing that and trusting me I will keep it steady. I should learn to operate it manually. But I still haven’t. I think photoshop is easier. So, my camera is always on automatic, macro and no-flash. That’s it.

The best photos, I make in my window sill on a cloudy day. With an old piece of linoleum glued on two pieces of multiplex for a background. When the sun is shining I close the blinds. And when the sun has set, I use this little photo studio I created in a corner of my kitchen closet with three 150 Watt halogen lights with one switch. Not as nice as natural light of course, but most of the time its quite acceptable.

The window sill photos are often too blue, the closet studio photos are often to yellow or reddish. Nothing a little photoshop can’t fix. And oh, I like extending the plate with the clone pencil. So it looks like I have huge, trendy dinnerplates. :-)


About Robin

I love to cook. Check out my dutch website:
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5 Responses to Amateur Food Photography

  1. I like the closet setup. I’ve got a suggestion for you: Try some bright-white compact fluorescent bulbs. The color temp is perfect for shooting with digital cameras.

    And another one to try: Go with a black backdrop instead of white. Doesn’t always work, but I’ve been using it for most of mine for quite a while and really like it.

  2. Robin says:

    Aha, thanks for your reply. We’ll be renovating the kitchen and this closet this summer, so I can still do with tips for improvements and adjustments! When I google on “bright-white compact fluorescent bulbs” I get two different kind of results:

    What kind of bulb do you mean?
    Actually, I’ve tried the first once, the spiral type. But somehow this one kept shutting down after say 15 seconds?!? Never exactly understood why, the lamp was probably for max 40 Watt, so could it be protection for overheating? Or was it just broke? I never made an effort finding out, hihi, threw it aside.

    Do you think 1 of those bulbs will undo the yellow/red effect?

    I think a black background is often very chique, but I quite like the effect of the white background on a white blog: less framed, the background vanishes into the white.

  3. Mine are like your first picture, but in 60 watt. Here’s a guy using almost exactly the same setup as me.

    Depending on the manufacturer, they’ve got different color temps for “Daylight” and “Bright white”. I believe mine are G.E. Daylight, but I can’t find the box just now. I’ve got them in the room overhead light, and one shop light like in that link above.

    One thing I did was tape a white paper towel across the shop light to diffuse it and avoid harsh shadows. I can get it within about a foot of my subject before the shadows are unpleasant.

  4. Peter says:

    Very cool to do it like this :o I once saw a food photographer working on a dish with a whole bunch of flash lights but this is some much easier and just as effective.

    Nice work :)

  5. Robin says:

    Well, I’m sure it’s not just as effective, but good enough for me. ;)

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