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Studio, Portrait, Still Life, Lighting Equipment and Technique Continuous and Strobe Lighting. (The Sun is considered continuous!) Great ideas are really ten a penny! Technique in setting up the subject is, of course, essential. However, the ability to bring out form, texture, tonality and color is where the skill in lighting provides all the keys to engraving one's ideas on the delivered picture.

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  #1  
Old August 8th, 2011, 05:57 PM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Default Panamanian food

This is a sketch for a photo series about Panamanian food. Probably this might develop to a book project. I'm considering this kind of still life as a way to departure from traditional folkloric imagery and come closer to current trends in food photography. I want to be true to both, the local gastronomy and the cultural environment in Panama. I still have to make up my mind, among other things, about the lighting style. For this photo I used flash and natural light.

Well, C&C very appreciated!

Ruben






Ruben Alfu : Pixbae



P.D. Pixbae (palm peach) is a popular fruit in tropical countries in Latin America. You can eat it boiled, with butter, and it makes a delicious soup!
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  #2  
Old August 8th, 2011, 09:18 PM
Charles L Webster Charles L Webster is offline
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Nice!

Very elegant.

When predesigning a theme, make sure it's extensible to accommodate all the kinds of foods you will be including.

Will this overhead view with fairly direct soft lighting work for cooked food, or for raw fish?
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  #3  
Old August 8th, 2011, 09:39 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles L Webster View Post
Nice!

Very elegant.

When predesigning a theme, make sure it's extensible to accommodate all the kinds of foods you will be including.

Will this overhead view with fairly direct soft lighting work for cooked food, or for raw fish?

Charles,

That's funny that you ask that. My question was, "How did you mount them on the wall like that?" Well, of course it was taken on a table from above, but the picture looks like it's totally on a wall, like a framed picture.



Ruben,

I love this idea and the vegetables lend themselves well to great designs.

You take great pictures of kids heads and wonderful hair. I was wondering whether one could get the panamanian heads in the picture, so the food and the people relate to one another like this:




Diego Rivera: Nude with Calla Lillies

Painting, completed 1944

Just musing!

Asher
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  #4  
Old August 9th, 2011, 07:41 AM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles L Webster View Post
Nice!

Very elegant.

When predesigning a theme, make sure it's extensible to accommodate all the kinds of foods you will be including.

Will this overhead view with fairly direct soft lighting work for cooked food, or for raw fish?
Hi Charles, thanks very much!

You are pointing out very important considerations. I'll have to experiment more to see how the concept evolves. I may take some creative license in favor of the pictorial attributes of the food and its cultural context.

Regards,

Ruben
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  #5  
Old August 9th, 2011, 07:44 AM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Asher, thanks so much for your input! What a coincidence that I have a sort of derivation of Rivera's painting at home! (I'm curious, what's your longest tele? LOL)



The idea of incorporating people is quite attractive, in fact, I'm planning to do this for my food photography portfolio as lifestyle photos in general have great demand. In the context of the Panamanian food project, I would need to mature the idea much more. "Nude with Calla Lilies" is a great reference!

Regards,

Ruben
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  #6  
Old August 9th, 2011, 10:05 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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[QUOTE=Ruben Alfu;118889]Asher, thanks so much for your input! What a coincidence that I have a sort of derivation of Rivera's painting at home! (I'm curious, what's your longest tele? LOL)

My longest regular Eos tele is 200mm add extender x1.4, not very long reach. My longest lens is 47.5 inches, or 1206.5 mm!!! The longest lens I can use outside is a 600 mm on my 8x10 Chamonix, equivalent to a 75mm lens in 35mm mindset!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben Alfu View Post
The idea of incorporating people is quite attractive, in fact, I'm planning to do this for my food photography portfolio as lifestyle photos in general have great demand. In the context of the Panamanian food project, I would need to mature the idea much more. "Nude with Calla Lilies" is a great reference!

Ruben,

Look through your pictures of children with hair against the light. These are remarkable and if you could get the hair of the locals to fit in with your images, that would exploit your natural talents and previous work.

Asher
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  #7  
Old August 12th, 2011, 11:33 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben Alfu View Post
This is a sketch for a photo series about Panamanian food. Probably this might develop to a book project. I'm considering this kind of still life as a way to departure from traditional folkloric imagery and come closer to current trends in food photography. I want to be true to both, the local gastronomy and the cultural environment in Panama. I still have to make up my mind, among other things, about the lighting style. For this photo I used flash and natural light.

Well, C&C very appreciated!

Ruben






Ruben Alfu : Pixbae



P.D. Pixbae (palm peach) is a popular fruit in tropical countries in Latin America. You can eat it boiled, with butter, and it makes a delicious soup!
Ruben, elegant with lovely colors. Other than that I like it, I am not qualified to suggest anything else.

Regards.
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  #8  
Old August 18th, 2011, 11:17 AM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Ruben

If this is work for sale then you will need to go with your market, at least to some extent, but I would be careful that you do not let the images become too sterile. I appreciate your desire to avoid the folkloric (we would say 'cheesy') image style, but try to keep some sense of life as well.

This image is beautiful and the production is elegant, but it leaves me wanting something more (or maybe less perfection?).

I hope that's helpful too.

Mike
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  #9  
Old August 18th, 2011, 09:28 PM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Ruben, elegant with lovely colors. Other than that I like it, I am not qualified to suggest anything else.

Regards.
Thanks Fahim, I appreciate and respect your opinions very much!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Shimwell View Post
Ruben

If this is work for sale then you will need to go with your market, at least to some extent, but I would be careful that you do not let the images become too sterile. I appreciate your desire to avoid the folkloric (we would say 'cheesy') image style, but try to keep some sense of life as well.

This image is beautiful and the production is elegant, but it leaves me wanting something more (or maybe less perfection?).

I hope that's helpful too.

Mike
Mike, thanks so much for your input, helpful indeed. Here's another image where I'm trying to present my interpretation of a traditional fruit in a contemporary context. I certainly wouldn't want the technique to overpower the theme and composition.

"... keep some sense of life as well" I'll be thinking about that while I continue maturing this idea.

Best,

Ruben





Ruben Alfu : Pitahaya Roja

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  #10  
Old August 20th, 2011, 03:37 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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I have been enjoying these Ruben. Food photography is a very difficult and technically complex branch. But I am sure you will pull it off nicely.
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  #11  
Old August 20th, 2011, 09:37 AM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
I have been enjoying these Ruben. Food photography is a very difficult and technically complex branch. But I am sure you will pull it off nicely.
Thanks for the cheer my friend!

Ruben
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  #12  
Old August 20th, 2011, 11:48 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben Alfu View Post





Ruben Alfu : Pitahaya Roja

Ruben, this is wonderful. I love the color combo. Fresh!!

Best.
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  #13  
Old August 20th, 2011, 10:58 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben Alfu View Post
Thanks Fahim, I appreciate and respect your opinions very much!





Mike, thanks so much for your input, helpful indeed. Here's another image where I'm trying to present my interpretation of a traditional fruit in a contemporary context. I certainly wouldn't want the technique to overpower the theme and composition.

"... keep some sense of life as well" I'll be thinking about that while I continue maturing this idea.

Best,

Ruben





Ruben Alfu : Pitahaya Roja

Ruben,

This is another interesting picture and you are off to a good series. I wonder whether the color and definition of the platter is too strong here. Maybe you night be open to considering a substitution by selecting and representing that color a softening it or substituting a more placid earth color. The high reflectivity of the china makes it too important and dominant. The subject is the food, not the plate!

Asher
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  #14  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 12:26 PM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Ruben,

This is another interesting picture and you are off to a good series. I wonder whether the color and definition of the platter is too strong here. Maybe you night be open to considering a substitution by selecting and representing that color a softening it or substituting a more placid earth color. The high reflectivity of the china makes it too important and dominant. The subject is the food, not the plate!

Asher
Hi Asher, thanks!

Yes, while editing this photo, initially the color of the plate was much more muted, at some point I started enjoying too much some saturation control LOL. Very interesting that you visualize this photo as I did at first. Now, part of the motivation behind this composition was one of the names for this fruit, which is "Dragon Fruit". So, there is an intention to express power and a bit of an oriental flavor (just in case, I know there are dragons in occidental cultures too!). That fusion of apparently unrelated ideas is key for this series, because it is not primarily about the food, but about the food in the context of transcultural relations, as I perceive them in Panama.

As an example of where I don't want to go with this project is this photo, which, in this case, is an editorial kind of photo, and is all about the food:





Ruben Alfu : Pitahaya Roja



Regards,

Ruben
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Old August 24th, 2011, 10:09 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Ruben, I want to have a spoonful of this!!

But why crop> and why the shallow dof?

Palatable and delectable!!

Regards.
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  #16  
Old August 24th, 2011, 05:29 PM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Ruben, I want to have a spoonful of this!!

But why crop> and why the shallow dof?

Palatable and delectable!!

Regards.
Hi Fahim, thanks!

Some reasons for this type of shot: focusing the attention on the food; getting closer to show better the forms, colors and texture; create a dreamy atmosphere, (also, there are some things that become more interesting when partially hidden, you know). Anyway, honestly, first and foremost, it's a matter of trends in commercial food photography, even when a "personal touch" is always good, business wise, you have to follow the market, although this photo is not a perfect example of what is fashionable these days, which is a much more natural, spontaneous look.

Regards,

Ruben
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  #17  
Old March 8th, 2012, 10:30 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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We need to look again!
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