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Wednesday, 23 January 2008

How not to shoot a hot beverage

I knew that this was a tricky one. And I was all the more determined to get it right. After scoring in several categories at the November edition of Click! - a food photography competition created by Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi - I am to be one of the judges for the January competition. With lots of plans I set to work. And surrendered after a full hour of rather unsuccessful shooting.

However, at least I learned several things on the way:

1. If you shoot a hot beverage, it should look like that. In my case, the cocoa pretty soon sank to the bottom and a skin formed on top which resulted in some very honest comments of my friends: "murky brown and boring", "looks like it's from yesterday" - well, I'll spare you the rest. Before I'm attempting hot beverages again, I'll have to buy a microwave.

2. If your main actor isn't visually attractive, don't try to pair it up with something that is. Choosing nice Scottish shortbread fingers alongside murky-brown brew is like starring in a movie alongside Julia Roberts.

3. Trying to create a nice atmosphere with several props is a good idea. However, keep in mind that the main focus of the photo needs to be evident at all times. Juggling things around won't help if you're still stuck with problem no. 2.

Luckily, there's still one week left before the competition closes (30 Jan). I'll try some more - meanwhile have a look at some of my failed attempts...


10 comments:

Spicelover said...

the shortbread looks good tho :)

Aparna said...

I know what you mean. But I'm sure you willcome up with something good. Look forward to seeing your entry.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, Eva! I think the photos look great.
The Julia Roberts thing made me laugh out loud. :)

bee said...

i suspect 90% of hot beverage pics are shot with a cold or room temp beverage. or with a non-milky one like black coffee. or with something with lots of foam, where you don't see the skin. i like the last pic a lot.

Petra aka Cascabel said...

Ach wie gut ich so etwas kenne ;-)
In einem Buch über Food-Fotografie habe ich jetzt gelesen, das "Profis" etwas Spülmittelschaum auf das Getränk setzen - bääh! Insofern sind mir deine ungefakten Fotos immer noch deutlich lieber! (Und ich bin sicher, dir fällt noch was ein).

ServesYouRight said...

Holy yumness! Thanks for sharing and letting us peek into your 'process' :-)

Eva said...

Hi Spicelover, unfortunately, I can't even take credit for them, they were store-bought..;-)

Let's hope for the best, Aparna!

You're too kind, Patricia! At least I learned something along the way..;-)

Thanks Bee, so all is not lost, maybe... Hopefully I can come up with something different over the weekend!

Danke Petra! Spuelmittel, das ist ja grauenhaft! Wenigstens konnte ich mich nachher mit dem Kakao ueber alle Missgeschicke hinwegtroesten...

Cheers, servesyouright! At least you know now what not to do..;-)

Mansi Desai said...

Totally agree with what you were feeling!!sometimes capturing the food to bring out its true essence gets so daunting, and that sometimes is almost all the time, for me:) the last shot looks great though!:D

Sagari said...

beautiful shot eva

Eva said...

Thank you, Mansi, it's interesting to see that at least two people liked the same shot (didn't expect it after the first few comments..;-)

Thanks Sagari!