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shooting food for web


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#1 Linda di Franco

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 01:08 PM

I want to post videos and pix on my food blog but I suck. So bad.

I'm a professional editor but when it comes to hold a camcorder I'm a total clutz.

Why can't I take good pictures? What do I need to learn?

Learning form the shots I cut is not that easy, that footage is usually lightened by professional DPs, my videos and pix relies only on natural light, usually at a restaurant.

What can I do to make it look good?

Also, what camcorder shall I buy, that is not that intrusive? Restaurants don't really like conspicuous gear, I have to use a FlipMino to get away with it at the moment.

Please help...
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#2 K Borowski

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 03:23 PM

Hoestly, wheter you are stalking about still photography, video, film, or a mixture of all three, this really is a venue where you ought hire a professional.

An expensive camera is a waste of money if you don't understand the fundamentals of lighting, focus, and T-stop.

Also, with food, there is a whole spectrum of things being done to the product outside of the realm of just lighting it right. There's a lot of fakery and trickery that, while not necessary, needs to be learned if you are to do an effective job of lighting food.

Most of the commercials I see for restaurants on TV are still shot on 16- or 35mm film, a look that you aren't going to be able to afford.

There's really no way to compete against commercials with million-dollar budgets and dedicated art directors.
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 03:28 PM

Sorry Linda, I didn't fully understand your post.

Upon further inspection, I see that this is something you are going to do "run and gun".

HOnestly, without supplemental lighting, there's nothing you can do to make your shots look like a commercial.

I'd recommend a camera with good manual light balance and good low-light handling, but anything shot under fluorescent, even adjusted to that temperature, in my opinion, just isn't going to look pleasing.

Make sure your exposure is good, your white balance is correct, and your focus is on. I'd recommend manual focus for anything you're using professionally.

If this is a blog from which the restaurants you patronize are making money, they ought to be able to let you use their kitchen and some portable lights.


Nothing beats free publicity, so instead of trying to do this in a clandestine manner, I'd imagine they'd be quite helpful, for the most part, if you represent yourself as a legitimate publication with the best interests of the viewing/reading public at heart.

Restaurants are in a highly-competitive industry with great expenditures generally made for advertising, so they should be eager to get the same exposure from you for free.
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