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Chicken wings

Discussion in 'Appraisal Gallery' started by Rasha, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. Rasha

    Rasha Well-Known Member

    First shoot with my new strobe light on a soft box, coupled with a flash covered with a small soft box as well and a silver reflector. Your feedback is always appreciated...

  2. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    Hmm? rather good, what shall I say? "Flying tonight," eh?
  3. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Nice, but selective focus really doesn't work too well when there are no prominent features for it to highlight. You just about get it in middle of the top one, but think more depth would look better.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  4. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I feel you need to reconsider your depth of field - there's just not enough of this in focus for my liking. It's also rather flat and could do with some tweaks to levels/curves to boost contrast. I'd also have a think about the background. At the moment it looks a bit purpley blue and is vaguely reminscent of hospital canteen lighting. Something warmer needed here I think. I'd also be tempted to shoot from slightly higher so that we get more wings to feast on.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  5. Rasha

    Rasha Well-Known Member

    _DSC4060ap.jpg Something like that?
  6. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Contrast and warmth/depth of colour is MUCH better. Lack of depth of field is still an issue though. And now the background has some odd shapes in it - is that a chair back? (The lighter brown areas?) I would have a quick google of 'food photography chicken wings' and see if you can spot what has been done differently. For instance, I think either more wings or a smaller plate would add to the impression of abundance and therefore the idea of a feast. Also, a lot of shots have the food more towards the front of the image and shot more from above so that the rear of the shot is table surface. This allows you to control exactly what goes there and lets you put the focus to the front, softening out the 'accoutrements'.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  7. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    FYI - see the chicken wings on this feed here... you can see that she has quite a shallow depth of field as a bit of a trademark and most of what she does is shot in almost identical fashion - with the food front and centre. They're also pretty much all shot portrait. She has thought very carefully about what else is in shot - either repeating dishes, or incorporating ingredients into the shot too.

  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I know nothing about food photography so this is just a reaction. If I came across this in a magazine I'd think the plate doesn't really complement the food, it rather grabs attention to itself and, as Geren said, diminishes the meal. What is the yellow stuff in the plastic pot? It seems out of place and, my ignorance, doesn't look like something you'd eat with the chicken, already ?barbecue? sauced up. From a lighting point of view the shadows seem a touch strong in both.

    I wouldn't begin to know how to make a photograph of this so can't advise on what to do.
  9. Rasha

    Rasha Well-Known Member

    I've a shot with the angle you are describing, I didn't like it as the initial one because I keep looking at the second wing down with broken skin.

    Looks fantastic, thank you for taking the time and effort to share more perspective and feedback.

    Your feedback is much appreciated, at the end if the photograph isn't getting to your appetite, then it's useless...
    I guess I should have put it on parchment paper or a smaller plate. I don't actually cook, so it was a restaurant take away and the sauce tastes like it has mustard and garlic so it's their signature thing that came with the wings but I've to admit it was really good.
    The shadow didn't bother me but I think it's because the strobe and flash angles, i was focusing more on reducing the glare.
    Your feedback is valuable in any case because at the end of the day, the photograph needs to
  10. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The last is by far and away the best, but I still don't go for the plate or the yellow stuff :)
    Rasha and RovingMike like this.
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Rasha,

    The trouble is, the food itself isn't very attractive: it's generic shiny gloppy takeaway with an unpleasant-looking sauce in a cheap and nasty plastic pot. This would be very difficult for anyone to photograph attractively. You need to make the textures attractive, and these aren't. Even with well-prepared fresh food, you often need to add decorative elements: when I was working on a Mexican cookbook, for example, we'd often use fresh chillies (split or not) to break up the monotony of mounds of brown food. Another trick is to surround the cooked dish with raw ingredients. Yet another is strong contrasts of texture (shiny knives, food covered in crispy breadcrumbs) as well as dramatic lighting.

    In short, you've done about as well as anyone could with the material at hand, but it's the wrong material and (I suspect) the wrong technique: selective focus with shiny glop merely makes the out of focus bits look shinier and gloppier. If you can find a copy, look out for Food Shots, Rotovision/Quarto 1994, which has numerous worked examples with lighting diagrams. It's mainly a book about lighting and composition, not styling and cooking, but you should find it useful.


  12. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera In the Stop Bath

    That picture would not look out of place on our dinner table, you have achieved what you set out to do and that is to make people lick their lips! Yummy.......
  13. Rasha

    Rasha Well-Known Member

    Fair :D

    Thank you,
    I am travelling soon to France so I might be able to get a copy from Amazon. Why not have these books available in PDF? Amazon ships to Egypt with an added charge of 20 times the book price tag which is due to a stupid customs system but anyway...
    Meanwhile I am looking at some diagrams from this site http://strobox.com/ , it's more of sharing collective experiences so the photographs are not always brilliant but it's a way to learn.

    I am glad you found it appetizing :)
  14. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    For me, the first one is the best composition, it just needs a better depth of focus to really show off the wings (and other potential processing, to taste).
    Rasha likes this.
  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Rasha,

    It was published around 25 years ago, and every single picture had limited rights for usage in one book: PDF really wasn't an option. For us it was a flat-fee deal anyway. We weren't even told when the German edition of one of the books in the series won a major publishing award (with one of our pictures on the cover).


    Rasha likes this.

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