Project–Present Peach Parfaits Perfectly

Something that’s been occupying a lot of my time lately is working on improving my photography.  At best my photos are amateur (though some actually turn out pretty spiffy!), and I’d really like to be able to take good quality photos–not only because it’s something I enjoy, but because I’ll have something awesome to point to when I tell people one of my hobbies is taking pictures of food and they raise their eyebrows at me.

Hear me out on this one!

FOOD PHOTOS ARE COOL!!!!

Okay, I’m done now.  For this post, anyway.

Two days ago I made a peach, yogurt, and granola parfait (inspired by Cait’s Plate) for breakfast, and promptly took it outside for a photo shoot.  (Did you know that “parfait” is French for “perfect?  You probably did…I found it so fitting, though.)  I’m loving what low dawn or dusky light does for photo quality.  And we have a cool, “rustic” vibe going with our old wooden picnic table!

I’m sure the neighbors thought it was quite amusing to see me trekking out to the backyard at seven A.M. in my bathrobe, clutching a granola parfait, spoon, camera, and a binder wrapped in tinfoil (more on that shortly).  But, I was determined this would be one of my most epic food photoshoots to date.

So I plunked the parfait down, adjusted the angle of the spoon a few times, and started snapping away.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

Image

I’m telling you, this thing was cursed.  No matter what the angle, the lighting…it was. not. photogenic.

It was sad.

I even got out my light reflector.  In its most basic homemade rendering, it’s a plastic binder covered all over with tin foil and secured with tape.  Classy, right?  But supposedly it helps bounce back both natural lighting and the flash (if you have it on–I usually don’t though) and fill out the photo more with light.

My set-up:

I took some photos of it like that, but they got weirdly washed-out, and I don’t want to waste my precious blog upload space with bad photos, do I?

I almost like this one.  Almost.  Except for that weird splotch of yogurt on the rim of the glass! (??)  It must have happened when I was pouring the parfait…

So I went into GIMP to try to fix it.  And I failed so spectacularly I had to share it with you…
Bahahaha!  It is a haunted parfait glass… 😉

I think this one might be my favorite:

But still.  They’re all just kind of…missing something.

Undaunted, I construct a new parfait this morning (same ingredients, different quantities) and venture forth once again in an attempt for the perfect parfait picture!

This time around I focused more on “plating for the camera”–translation: making sure I don’t leave a random yogurt splotch on the rim of the glass or a random scrap of peach peal on the handle.  Another thing that stood out negatively in the photos was the fact that they were all so quiet.  So I brought some props out with me this go-round.  For props, I decided to use:

a book…

some fresh mint sprigs…

…and some playing cards.  (I know–what???  But I thought the colors would play nicely together…sadly, something about them was just kind of “off”.)

Personally, I’m loving the photo with the book, but the mint sprigs look pretty polished too.  What do you guys think?  (Another peach would have been awesome as a prop, but I didn’t have another peach. 😉 )

Parfaits are a highly delicious way to use up all of our fresh summer fruit (such a luxury!  I never had this when living in central USA) and they’re pretty dang good for you too.  As an added bonus, if you’re a better photographer than me, you can really take advantage of their aesthetics.  They’re quite pleasing to look at because of the different layers of ingredients and textures.

And on an aside: this parfait (along with a few spoonfuls of my beloved peanut butter) fueled me for an hour-long bike ride this morning during which I think I actually thought up some pretty smashing writing material!  Type type typity type…

And there was a field of hay bales along the bike path that I was just dying to take a picture of.  I might have to drag someone along for a third ride tomorrow just to shoot those bales.

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7 thoughts on “Project–Present Peach Parfaits Perfectly

  1. I love reading about the whole process! It is hard to photo food — at least for me too. I’m more boring and don’t do much with backgrounds. I love the one with the book!

    Also, I do some Photoshop to adjust contrast — do you ever use it? Also good for removing yogurt splotches. But usually I don’t spend too much time retouching– I just don’t have it! lol

    • Thanks for checking out the blog and commenting! 🙂 I’ve looked into Photoshop, but was turned off by the high price tag…it’s definitely something I will consider, though, especially if I get more “serious” about photography. Though if I plan on taking more photos of things prone to “splotches” I may need it! Lol. 🙂

  2. I’m in THE.SAME.BOAT. with my blog! I’ve been working on my photos for a couple of months now and I find that in most instances I am taking longer to photo the food rather than actually making it…what’s up with that? haha What kind of camera do you use? I’m “awesome” and use my iPhone, which has many apps available to enhance pictures (thought I’d throw that idea out there)!

    Good luck and keep up the delish work!

    • Yeah, I can relate to taking SO LONG just to get the perfect shot of a dish. 🙂 No one else in my family “gets” it…and even I have to admit it’s a little weird. “My” camera is a little Kodak “Mini” (I think that’s what it’s called), but it’s so low-quality that it’s rare for me to post its pictures on the blog. Instead, I have been stealing a Canon Rebel XTi from a begrudgingly-supportive family member and I am just in love with its resolution. 🙂 I’ll have to start saving up…

      • Yes, I probably should save up for a camera myself, but I’ve actually been {pretty} satisfied with these iPhone apps. They’re not all perfect, but they’re getting a lot better. I’ve been comparing my ‘earlier’ posts to more recent ones…it’s crazy how much you can learn and improve in such a short time!

  3. Pingback: To The Newcomers | The Girl In The Orange

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