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Tuesday Grab Bag (No Jokes Edition)

It’s April Fools’ day but these links are no joke. Hey, photography is a serious hobby, right?

Photography Director Rob Haggart stirs a little controversy when he says, “I’m not gonna lie. If you sent me an email and said check out my portfolio and the link went to Flickr I wouldn’t even look.” Interesting discussion about this at Flickr.com.

Street photographer Michael Murphy says web pages are a lousy display medium for photographs.

Martin Schoeller once waited tables. Now he’s a world-renowned portrait photographer based in New York City. Read his rags to riches interview at PopPhoto.com.

Big and Tasty Food Photography Tips Roundup

I’ve got a nice roundup here of food photography sources with a ton of great tips, tutorials, and videos for making food look tasty on camera. How seriously you take this probably depends to some extent on whether you’ve ever heard the term “food stylist.”

Last week felt like food photography week with several blogs posting about it. It was interesting timing for me because I’ve coincidentally been shooting a lot of food for the past couple of weeks. I don’t have much to add tip-wise except this: it is more challenging than it looks.

If you’ve got food photo tips, please share them in the comments!

Photo credit, above right: Mr. G (cc-by)

Tips, Tutorials, & Inspiration

The Ten Tastiest Food Photography Tips, Photojojo.com

Tips from Pixar’s Sharon Calahan, the director of photography for Ratatouille, Becks & Posh

An Insider’s Look At Food Photography: “If You Can Shoot Food, You Can Shoot Anything!”, Shutterbug.com

Mouth-Watering Food Porn, Cameraporn.net

The Dirty Tricks of Food Photographers, Photocritic.org

Food Photography—An Introduction, Digital-photography-school.com

Tasteful Food Photography, O’Reilly

Food Photography Tips, 101 Cookbooks

Food Photography Flickr Group, Flickr.com


Still Life With — The definitive food photography blog. Full of useful information, beautiful photos, and an active group of readers. Written by Lara Ferroni (Flickr), freelance food and lifestyle photographer. That’s one of her delicious looking photos to the right.

Digital Food Photos — Written by Lou Manna, a commercial food photographer and author of Digital Food Photography (Amazon).

Food Designs — Brought yo you by Lisa Golden Schroeder, a veteran food stylist and writer with 25 years experience in the food business.

Nikas Culinaria — written by Nika Boyce, food and scientific photographer.


A lovely bit of slideshow inspiration from Matthew Noel.

The Art of Food Photography. “The business of food photography is really a business where it’s a collaboration with many people.”

Behind the scenes at Cottage Living magazine. “Robin our Food Stylist brings all the food and she and Kim and I and her assistant prep all the food and get it ready. So, it’s really a joint effort. Everyone works really hard to get this one perfect picture.”

The Food Photographer. A more amusing take on food photography. “That’s why, when I’m shooting food, I scream at it.”


Buying these books from Amazon.com helps support Photodoto.

Digital Food Photography
Capturing the perfect image requires a trained eye, finesse, and photographic skill. Digital Food Photography gives you the ingredients to cook up your own recipe for success-with professional lighting techniques, composition, food and prop styling, retouching, and tricks of the trade. You’ll learn how digital photography combines teamwork, creativity, and technology, and how to make money creating delectable works of photographic art.

Food Styling for Photographers
You eat with your eyes first, and no one turns a photograph of food into a culinary masterpiece like a food stylist. Food Styling for Photographers is the next best thing to having renowned food stylist Linda Bellingham by your side. Linda has worked with clients Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, McDonalds, Tyson Foods, FritoLay, and many, many more. Jean Ann provides a seasoned photographers point of view with helpful tips throughout.

Working the Plate: The Art of Food Presentation
Acclaimed food writer and culinary producer Christopher Styler describes seven distinctive plating styles, from Minimalist to Naturalist to Dramatic, with several striking examples of every genre. Each plating suggestion is accompanied by clear instructions along with color photos of step-by-step techniques and finished plates. Complete with essays on plating from ten leading chefs and recipes for the dishes featured, this book is a work of art in itself–a must for the kitchen shelf.

Food Play
Now, for the first time, Food Play compiles more than 300 of the very best images from a decade of astonishingly imaginative publishing. This compact collection will surprise and delight both fans of the series, and newcomers to the enchanting world of Food Play.

Take our latest poll: How would you classify yourself as a photographer?

Poll: How would you classify yourself as a photographer?

Let’s get to know each other a little better. To me, a beginner is someone who is just starting out or who doesn’t have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of photography (shutter speed, aperture, depth of field). We were all beginners once.

Intermediate photographers have mastered the basics and have started to explore more advanced topics like lighting and composition. Advanced photographers are at a stage where they are refining their craft and possibly specializing in specific disciplines.


Review: Arizona Highways Photography Guide

Arizona Highways Photography Guide

The Arizona Highways Photography Guide was written by the editors and contributors to Arizona Highways magazine. It’s broken down into three parts of about 100 pages each: The Basics, Types of Photography, and Places for Photography. Read on for a short review and how you can get a free copy.

This book covers a broad range of photography topics and, while it doesn’t go very deeply into any of them, it does provide a lot of very practical information. Every single page is filled with beautiful color photos that are used to illustrate a point and are each accompanied by a useful tip.

For example, page 40 includes this tip under a photo of a fast-moving motorcyle rider: “By using a slow enough shutter speed and panning with the motocross rider’s movement, the photographer was able to blur the background to heighten the sense of speed,” and it includes the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture settings.

Page 78 discusses depth of field and hyperfocal distances with helpful and clear diagrams. The tip on page 138 explains how color plays an important role in the composition of a photo of a bobcat at the top of the page.

The last third of the book is arguably the real “meat” and is comprised of photo essays that guide potential photographers through a number of interesting locations around Arizona. Each location is described in detail with accompanying photographs and plenty of tips for shooting features specific to that area. The Places for Photography section covers the Grand Canyon, Colorado Plateau, Navajoland, Red Rock Country, Mountain Country, Sonoran Desert, and Sky Islands. It also includes driving directions and websites for many of the places discussed in the essays.

The book is definitely geared more towards beginning and new-to-digital photographers and photographers who are interested in capturing the beauty of some of Arizona’s scenic landmarks. The breadth of subjects in the first 2/3 of the book serves as a brief introduction to a number of interesting topics but doesn’t cover any of them in enough depth to be particularly useful to intermediate or advanced photographers (the section on composition, for example, is mostly photos with just 2 pages of text). If I were writing a guide book I’d probably leave the basics of photography section out.

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for tips on photographing the locations mentioned above. But there are many other books that do a better job introducing basic and intermediate photography (my favorite is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson).

If you’re interested in buying this book, please consider supporting Photodoto.com by purchasing it through our Amazon affiliate links on this page.

Buy this book at Amazon.com

Have you read this book? Share your opinion in the comments below.

I’m giving away my slightly used review copy. If you think you can put the information in the guide to good use, leave a comment with your answer to this question: what is the length of the Grand Canyon? I’ll contact the respondent with the first correct answer to arrange shipping.

This book was provided to Photodoto free of charge for review.

Friday Reader Photos

Photos posted in this category are selected from the contributions of members of the Photodoto group at Flickr.com. There are over 10,000 photos in the pool now! I think you’ll find it’s a unique source of inspiration. Click any of the photos below to view it larger and see more from that photographer.

Plum WildNo LovePortrait of an Artistthat green pepper againHappy 4th Birthday, Flickr***Family AffairAi Love CandyJust Minutes Later....The Sun Is Almost Risen

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