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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Composition

One of the goals I set for myself was to improve my photographer skills.  Some days I am very good at it and other days, I just wonder what I was thinking.  I also have been battling my lighting in the house.  I have a light source but it is not  best one.  Any suggestions is welcome.  Most of my experience in photographer was actually in architecture and very abstract compositions but I had limited experience in product placing.  A couple of Sundays ago, I decided to practice on a stack of pancakes I made.  I made some pineapple pancakes for myself and The daughter.  Note to self….no more Mickey Mouse pancakes for her.  She refused to mess up the face and just ate mine. 


Here is the recipe I used:
Pineapple Pancake
(Base recipe adapted from All recipes)
1 1/2 Cup of Flour
3 1/2 Tsp of Baking Powder
1 Tsp of Salt
1 Tbl of Sugar
1 1/4 Cup of Milk
1 Egg
3 Tbl of Melted Butter
1/2 Cup of Crushed Pineapple
Directions
  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients first.
  2. Add the eggs, milk, butter, and pineapple.  Mix until it is smooth.
  3. Pour a small amount to form a circle.  Cook until bubbles appears and than flip. 
  4. Once both sides are cook, serve.

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Any Suggestions for improvement or any equipment that would help?

27 comments:

  1. Well I think your pictures are quite pretty...I find that the more natural light I use, the better my pictures turn out. Which is hard during the winter time when it comes to dinner :-(.

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  2. Joy I have the same issue with photography. It's funny because I have a fancy slr camera but I just don't know how to use it. I only use the auto and macro settings! There are tons of tutorials out there but I guess the truth is I just don't want to spent that much time and energy on my blog. Oops! the truth came out. :) I don't think that we have to have the best pictures in the world - in fact I think yours are great and the food looks beautiful.

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  3. I like your composition here, I think they are very good pictures. It seems like your light is coming mostly from the back so there are some shadows in the front that make it harder to see the texture of the food. For example, in that second photo, there is a shadow from the pat of butter. Could you take the picture from the other side? That's really my only suggestion!

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  4. In Seattle we have very little natural light in the winter. I have been quite happy with the inexpensive solution that was suggested by Marc Matsumoto of [no receipes].

    Do you have an Ikea nearby? Ikea Grono lamps at IKEA with 40W 5000K compact flourescent bulbs (which I found at 1000bulbs.com)work quite well and it all cost less than $25.

    See a picture of my lamps here: http://bit.ly/cmkO1G

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  5. Shadows are the bane of my existence. I have been struggling with photography, especially in a kitchen with no natural light. I think the pancakes look delicious...especially with that huge piece of butter on top!

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  6. Hi, I think the photos are good. The one thing I would suggest is that you don't pour the sauce on before you take the photos. I have never found a way to make the pooling liquid look attractive!

    The last photo I think is my favourite (and the second pic is my next) because you don't see the hard edge of the plate.

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  7. I know how you feel. I have been really struggling lately with my pictures - even with decent lighting (which is hard to find inside, especially during winter!) I'm sometimes at a loss at how to arrange the food. I look at Foodgawker and Tastespotting for inspiration and to get ideas on composition.

    Try taking the pictures from different angles to change the shadows. You can also try using a white paper or posterboard angled towards the food to bounce the light and get rid of some shadows. If you're willing to spend a little money, you can build a light box (Google for some ideas - can be made out of an old cardboard box pretty easily). Those are best used with artificial light, so you'll have to get some good lamps. I'm curious about the Ikea tip above - that might work well with a light box.

    Good luck!

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  8. I have the same problem with photos in the winter and especially at night when I am making most of my food. I have found that using a flash with food is bad, and I have also made a light stand with simply two daytime bulbs and some tissue paper. The hardest part about food blogging I find is having the patience to take photos and letting your delicious food get cold before you can eat it!

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  9. The pancakes look delicious! Pineapple is unique and one to try. As for the photography, you are starting off well. Many people have problems with lighting specially this time of year. I would suggest you step back a bit on some of the images. Now I'll give you a shameless plug, I have an ongoing photography tutorials series on my blog that you may be interested. Just look under "Photography"

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  10. My best advice would be to look at a lot of other food pics and try to learn from them with regard to composition-at least that's what I do

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  11. I have been struggling with the same issue. As the other people suggest here I have been looking at the photos selected by Tastespotting and Foodgawker a lot, learning from the food blogs with good photography tutorials, and reading some photography books. The biggest change happened when I figured out how to use manual settings on my camera. Makes a huge difference! Also, I use natural lights only so far because I don't know how to use lighting equipments well enough to produce good lighting. I know it's a lot of time and effort, but I feel I am improving a little. You might already be doing some of these, but when I read your post I could totally relate. So I wanted to share some of my experiences.

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  12. Oooh! That's a lovely yummy pancake and I love the huge flaky croissant. Your recipes makes my tummy rumble, delicious ....

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  13. Oops, I think my original comment was deleted. Anyhow, I too struggle with food photography and my DSLR. I get frustrated at times that I have to take so many picture just to get that one decent picture to put on my blog. Anyhow, the pancakes look delicious and no photography trick can change that :)

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  14. photos are good! I like it when you can get a close up shot of the food- I have seen a lot of people try to spice up the pictures by focusing more on decorative plates and other items- I like simple shots and close up shots

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  15. Your pancakes look delicious. I have problem with my photography, too. I tried to learn from various sites...but still I don't really improve anything :(

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  16. I think your photos look lovely. ;) Love the pineapple flavoring.

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  17. I like the two in the middle row. As for suggestions, I'd recommend a tripod and a white card to bounce the light back and fill in the shadows. Otherwise these look great!

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  18. Those pancakes look wonderfully fluffy!
    Well, as for photography, I am too struggling with the composition and lighting.

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  19. Joy...I am using a Canon Powershot A570 a point and shoot camera and I love it. I don't think I will know how to use a slr or dslr camera so since mine serve me quite well, I will just continue to use it and I too am struggling with the composition and lighting. Hope to improve on my photography skill. I love close up for now :) thanks for dropping by and I think your photos are great too.

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  20. Joy, I am new to your blog and have been browsing through your earlier entries. I really like the food and recipes you feature here. I'll deinitely be back. You ask about tips. This link will provide some valuable tips regarding lighting. I hope it will help. http://steamykitchen.com/266-lowel-ego-lights-for-food-photography.html
    I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  21. I've never tried pineapple in pancakes. Thank you for visiting. Keep in touch.

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  22. Pineapple in pancakes, I'd like to try that.

    I recently borrowed from the library a few books on food styling and photography which are really a great help.

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  23. the pictures look great! I honestly don't do too much - use natural light when I can, a regular overhead light when I can't and always have the macro setting on...

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  24. I can totally relate, but most of my issues with all the photo sites are lighting and shadows, and I have lots of natural light plus equipment.. I guess someday I will have to go to photo classes... compostion rarely is a problem for me.. your pictures look very nice to me~!

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  25. How cute that she wouldn't eat the Mickey Mouse pancakes. Pineapple sounds like a fabulous addition to pancakes.

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