Challenging yourself photographically and missing the mark

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich, Photography, Photoshop, RLC Design 3 Comments

Yesterday was an interesting day. Suddenly the print business was extremely busy, multiple customers through the door, and everything went right! Fantastic!

I've got so many wrong things going on here. But....the food still looks tasty!

Next time, no table cloths and no shooting against a close background. See, learning.

And to end the day I had a fun new project. The guys at the Firehouse Kitchen wanted several of their new plates photographed. I figured I could do a decent job, but in the end I’m honestly not happy, and it’s my own fault.

I'm not insanely horrified by this one, but still could be much better.

Given this is my first “food” photo shoot I can cut myself some slack, but not much. One thing I have to remind myself is to go with my gut. And my first mistake was ignoring what my gut told me.

The big mistake?  Do I not know how to use my camera?  That whole focus thing, did I totally tank that?

This post is making me very hungry, and it's only 8:18 in the morning.

Nope.  Simpler than that.  A decision was made right at the beginning to have some white cloths covering the black tables.  It took more than one to do it, and I’ll tell you, those cloths are a total distraction to everything else going on in the image.  Fortunately there is Photoshop and I can deal with the distractions.  But really……this is something that I just should have dealt with while shooting.  Heck, I kept saying to myself that the cloths were a problem.  Did I remove them?

Nope.  The client really wanted white and red under the plate.  While the red cloths were fine, the white should have gone.  Next time I’ll listen to myself on that one.

Do they make "Soy" whipped cream? I wonder.......

One great bonus to yesterday’s shoot?  My friend Carlos Benjamin popped over to give a hand.  Lighting was totally covered, and that was never an issue.  And great suggestions and lighting moves were made by Carlos.  So, we had everything and everyone we needed.  In the end, the problems with the shoot are totally my fault.  Next time, next time.

See the seams along the white cloths? Yeah, should have gone with the black table tops and left it at that.

It doesn’t all come out the way you want it to

Often I get some really nice compliments on my photography.  And that always makes me smile.  Folks think I’ve totally got this thing wired and that’s where they’re wrong.

For every really cool photo that you come away with you my have 50 total junkers.  Heck, you might have 100 junkers.  Getting the lighting just right, composing a scene that really rocks, being there for that monsoonal cloud burst, etc, etc, etc.  A lot goes into the images you actually see from me.  And what you don’t see is the 50 junkers for each good one.  If you saw those I think you’d visit less.

Today I’ve decided to share images from the Firehouse Kitchen shoot to let you know…..  I do blow it regularly.  And when I blow it I learn from it.  Sure, in the end with Photoshop I can give the guys next door some very usable images.  But I’m really going to work for these to work out right.  I cost myself time.  And the key reason was not going with my gut.  Next time I’ll have a few lessons in mind.

In the meantime, looks like I’ll go back to the site and re-watch the Food Photography class again.  It can’t hurt.  🙂

I don't mind the white cloth against red in this one so much. The lines add some movement in my mind.

Oh, and for readers……what’s the lesson here?  Well, you’re certainly not going to learn jack without some experimentation and personal failure.  But I think each time you try a new thing you’ll improve, and your overall skills will improve.  And if you really mess something up…..?  Well, then you get to practice your Photoshop skills big time.

Finally, one last thought.  I’d say give food photography a shot.  See, if you’re not allergic to milk and eggs like I am, you can most likely eat all the really great stuff you photographed when you’re done.  I left the Firehouse Kitchen last night extremely hungry you know……….  🙂

Comments 3

  1. Sounds like you had a great learning experience even if you were not 100% happy with the result. This reminded me of an old ski instructor who, after I had had what I thought was a great day, asked me how often I had fallen. I said I hadn’t fallen at all that day at which point he told me I couldn’t have been learning anything new.

    We learn through our mistakes – the secret is learning to make different mistakes next time 🙂
    .-= Dave Wilson´s last blog ..Passing the Alamo Cenotaph, San Antonio, Texas =-.

  2. Post

    Exactly Dave! The restaurant owners LOVE the images while I’m grumbling under my breath at myself. In the end, next time I will do a better job. Learned a lot, and the experience was fun to boot (of course, made me so hungry).


  3. It’s brave of you to show your mistakes in public! Some of the shadows bother me more than the white table cloth. If you don’t try something new from time to time, you can stagnate.

    Did you get to taste any of that food?
    .-= dagny gromer´s last blog ..Granite Creek Bridge Footer =-.

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