Author Topic: Taking Quality Pizza Photos  (Read 21456 times)

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Offline varasano

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2006, 10:11:47 PM »
Hey November,

My camera is a sony cybershot, which is really more for a night out on the town, than for this. I wish I had the time to devote to improving this whole thing, but between making pizza, running a software startup and having a life, it's not making it into the top tier.

I like your posts November. You and I think very technically.

Jeff


Offline enchant

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2006, 06:16:14 AM »
If you changed the RGB channel from 128 to 155, you would hardly have noticed a difference since this is a nonlinear scale that goes to 255.  If your only input is 128, it's impossible to loose detail until your output is around 192.  I just changed 109 to about 182.  It just takes a few seconds.
A change from 109 to 182 is a huge amount.  I'm looking for a higher level of of detail.  With that much of an adjustment, so much of the lighter tones will be lost, and the rest will be too compressed together.  Digital cameras simply do not have the dynamic range to withstand such an adjustment without degradation.
--pat--

Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2006, 08:50:31 AM »
you guys should post some samples  8)

Hmm, maybe Peter should open up a new sub-forum, called "Pizza Photography"
where we can post our best samples and discuss them, that way we won't be getting
off topic, as now this is bordering on Photoshop image editing  :P
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline November

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2006, 02:14:32 PM »
A change from 109 to 182 is a huge amount.  I'm looking for a higher level of of detail.  With that much of an adjustment, so much of the lighter tones will be lost, and the rest will be too compressed together.  Digital cameras simply do not have the dynamic range to withstand such an adjustment without degradation.

What are you talking about?  The image I posted was what I changed 109 to 182, and was far less destructive than what you posted.  Just as one example, you turned the flooring in your background from a natural light brown (hue 25) to a yellow-orange (hue 43), while my adjustment only moved it to hue 31.  As another example, you said, "so much of the lighter tones will be lost" when in fact the saturation level of the peel in the middle of the exposed corner changed from 29 to 2 in your adjustment, while my adjustment maintained a level of 14.  Your lighter tones lost almost all (93.1%) color.  Those kinds of color changes were reflected throughout your entire image.  I was trying to avoid sounding critical of your photo and just provide some advise, but your comments are making that impossible.

canadianbacon,

I think photo editing is an integral part of photography.  It always has been, even before computers.  More photographers just aren't using darkrooms to apply their trade any more.

- red.november

EDIT: Removed comparison image since enchant indicated he only posted one image (the one that still remains dark).
« Last Edit: October 20, 2006, 05:50:59 PM by November »

Offline Steve

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2006, 03:03:19 PM »
To get those professional looking photos, you'll need a lens with a wide apature (something not available on point-and-shoot cameras). Wide apature = shallow depth of field = blurred foreground / sharp center / blurred background. Wide apature also = less light needed = no flash required. I have a nice dSLR with a 50mm lens which stops down to f1.8 which is pretty wide. I'll try to take some sample shots with that camera and my point-and-shoot which should illustrate the difference.
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Offline November

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2006, 03:15:40 PM »
Any optical system's aperture (or lens diameter for that matter) definitely makes an enormous difference in light levels, as evidenced by mountain-top or space-based telescopes versus backyard telescopes.  The more light that can be gathered through the lens, the crisper the detail will be.

Offline enchant

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #46 on: October 20, 2006, 04:17:04 PM »
What are you talking about?  The image I posted was what I changed 109 to 182, and was far less destructive than what you posted.  Just as one example, you turned the flooring in your background from a natural light brown (hue 25) to a yellow-orange (hue 43), while my adjustment only moved it to hue 31.  As another example, you said, "so much of the lighter tones will be lost" when in fact the saturation level of the peel in the middle of the exposed corner changed from 29 to 2 in your adjustment, while my adjustment maintained a level of 14.  Your lighter tones lost almost all (93.1%) color.  Those kinds of color changes were reflected throughout your entire image.  I was trying to avoid sounding critical of your photo and just provide some advise, but your comments are making that impossible.
I've read your post several times, and I'm trying to figure out what YOU are talking about.  You keep mentioning adjustments that I've made.  Where did I make these adjustments?  I've posted ONE image, saying that I didn't use enough flash.

"you turned the flooring in your background from a natural light brown (hue 25) to a yellow-orange (hue 43)"

When did I do this??

One of the images in your composite says "original edit".  Are you suggesting this is mine?  Not sure why you included it.
--pat--

Offline November

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #47 on: October 20, 2006, 05:34:49 PM »
enchant,

I apologize.  When you said "I actually DID punch up the RGB curves substantially" my immediate reaction was to assume that the second posted picture was like what you were describing, and perhaps even yours simply reposted by someone else.  (vitus only claimed to add more light and that's obviously not all that changed.)  I didn't think that you were referring to the original picture posted, because I don't see how "substantially" applies to that image.  You said specifically that you changed it from 128 to around 155.  My point was to illustrate that 128->155 is not substantial.  Again I apologize for suggesting that the second post was yours, but I don't see any other images with a substantial change.  Attached is a comparison of the one you originally posted and what it would have looked like before applying the curve change you described.

Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #48 on: October 20, 2006, 06:04:14 PM »
I'd eat  both of them!

Offline enchant

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2006, 06:10:14 PM »
Since I tossed the originals (too crummy to take up disk space), I don't know exactly how much I pushed it up.  I just knew from experience that there comes a point where the best course of action is to simply admit defeat and learn from the mistake.  It's not like I don't have a pizza to photograph every week.  :)

I always do some post processing in Photoshop, but only to tweak the image.  Adjusting the brightness with curves is a pretty standard thing with many of my photos.  But since I'm starting with a jpeg image, I've only got 256 shades to work with.  If I made a dramatic adjustment, such as 109 to 182, I'm taking those 146 shades between 109-255 and compressing them to 73 shades (182-155), that's a lot of lost detail.

And if we were talking about an amazing shot of a whale breaking the ocean surface, I'd adjust the hell out of the picture in photoshop to get the best result from this once-in-a-lifetime shot.  But again - we're talking about the weekly pizza.  I'll do better next time.

To put it in pizza terms, if I really screwed up the dough recipe somehow, perhaps I could improve things by more autolyze, or less time in the fridge, or by adding other corrective ingredients, but I'm better off just dumping it in the wastebasket and starting again from scratch, doing it right this time.

Oh, and to remark on a previous comment you made, please feel free to be critical about my photos.  You obviously know what you're talking about.
--pat--


Offline enchant

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2006, 06:22:35 PM »
I'd eat  both of them!
The one on the left is All Trumps and the one on the right is KASL, proving that KASL does brown better.
:D
--pat--

Offline November

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #51 on: October 20, 2006, 06:40:07 PM »
enchant,

109 to 182 is a bit aggressive, but the contrast in a curve change is simply redistributed, not lost.  If you look at the histogram for your image, you will notice that you have an unused portion of your tonal range starting at about 231.  That means you can max out your output in that region without fear of losing detail.  You can even go right to the extreme edge of your histogram and max it out.  I attached another comparison this time with a change from 251 to 255.  This is how much you can get out of redistributing just 4.  It's not all about how much tonal increase you bring, it's about which tones you choose to compress or expand.

Offline November

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #52 on: October 30, 2006, 04:10:44 PM »
Here's the seventh of the eight pizzas I made for the two locations on Saturday.  There was nothing special about choosing the seventh pizza except that the pace of baking all those pizzas was slowing down enough to break for a photo shoot.  Actually, there was nothing special about this pizza at all.  It was just a pepperoni and black forest ham American pan pizza.  I was mainly testing the lighting and backdrop for the pizza portrait studio I setup.  The base I used for this pizza I intended to use for 9" pizzas (I'll include a picture of just the base).  A more suitable base for a 14" pizza is forthcoming.  I have a few more tweaks to the lighting I want to make.  The light levels you see in this image have not been altered by any image editing software.

- red.november

Offline November

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #53 on: April 18, 2007, 11:15:04 AM »
I recently posted some images of shots I took of my latest pizza, and using my latest "studio" setup here:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5028.0.html

The discussion began to involve the photography end of the content, so I am updating this thread with the link to the content to carry out further discussion about photography here if desired.

- red.november

Offline November

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #54 on: April 18, 2007, 11:22:40 AM »
I wish I had the time to devote to improving this whole thing, but between making pizza, running a software startup and having a life, it's not making it into the top tier.

Jeff,

I wish I had more time, period.  A lack of time is why I post so few pictures to this forum.  It takes me longer to setup the "studio", get the lighting right, position the pizza just where I want it without making grease and sauce skid-marks on the surface, and keep all the shots within the depth of field and focus I want, than to prep a pizza and bake it.

- red.november

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #55 on: April 20, 2007, 06:08:51 PM »
Motivated by November's excellent use of background and lighting to enhance his pizza photos, I acquired a simple piece of gray plastic for this purpose.

It just arrived, too late for photos of today's batch of pizzas, but here are some shots I just took. Of course, I need a lot of work on the best way to use lighting (e.g. eliminating shadows), but it seems like a good solution.

The shots below are of a can of tomatoes and also a wider shot of the setup I used.

Fun stuff.

Bill/SFNM

Offline November

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2007, 06:42:24 PM »
Bill,

It looks pretty good.  The size of my backdrop can accommodate large items like the MR-138, so in lieu of what I have now, I would have had to go with the $90 size of what you ordered.  That's another MR-138 unit.  What is the total wattage you plan to use with something that dark?

- red.november

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2007, 07:05:11 PM »
But that's only 7-8 delivered pizzas according to Pete-zza.  :)

Seriously, this is the same principle as your white backdrop. I'm sure the $26 dollar unit I have is less than $10 in materials and labor.
 
In terms of wattage, I'm using satellite flash units whose output is measured in Guide Numbers.

Bill/SFNM

Offline November

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #58 on: April 24, 2007, 04:06:55 PM »
For stable, close-up macro shots: (watch the commercial video)

http://thepod.ca/home.html

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Taking Quality Pizza Photos
« Reply #59 on: May 03, 2008, 03:35:45 PM »
Resurrecting this thread since I want to do more food photography, hoping to improve my skills in both pizza making and photography. Today I decided to take some shots at different angles. The first one, from directly overhead looks flat and less interesting than one taken from an angle. In both cases, lighting is coming from the camera. I need to play around with the size and direction of the light source, but I think I'm convinced that overhead shots, although easier to capture the entire pie in focus, is to be avoided. Thoughts? 


 

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