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Friday, 09 May 2014


But.... isn't one of the problems with food photography that you don't want the food to steam? Or melt for that matter, hence the necessity to use mashed potatoes instead of ice-cream?

Here's a tip for you. When shopping for oranges, weigh the fruit in hand. Juice weighs heavier than flesh so the heavier orange will be juiciest. Then - take a picture. Food and photography,see...see?...anyone?

To be strictly au courant, it would seem that yesterday's "tips" are today's "hacks", which may also be an ironically suitable description for those writers who insist on using the newer word in every possible context.

A waterproof container for a roll of 120 film can be had without glueing. Just buy some Mini M&Ms in the plastic tube and eat the candy. Voila', you have a perfect container for 120 film, a tad long but it works fine.

Another tip for those unloved 35mm plastic film cans. Go into the dark room (that's not computer software) and get the can of dust-off that's on its last legs, the one with just a tiny bit of the liquid left inside that turns to gas.

Turn the can upside down and spray the liquid contents into the film canister. Quickly cap the plastic can (Fuji canisters work best, tight fitting caps) then lob the little thing on the ground next to someone who's been annoying that day. The liquid warms, turns to gas and increases the pressure in the can. The cap blows, making a nice sudden pop.

Best not to have a smug smile nor the empty can of dust-off in hand afterwards.

I had just emptied a couple of long thin effervescent vitamin tablet containers, when I realised that they will each hold two 120 film rolls. I just need to trim the lid a little. And start using rollfilm, so I'll need to set up a darkroom, and.....

Awesome tip. You should patent it before somebody else does.


An easier solution (anti-solution?)for storing 120 film is pill bottles! I was even able to get some that were out of a Nalgene type material.

If your knees hurt from kneeling while shooting in the studio or outside, buy a pair of motorcycle pants which have pockets for knee armor. Looks better than wearing silly kneepads, and they don't move around.

Bonus points for wearing a Harley shirt.

Food photography is really hard. And complicated. And technical. And stressful. And...I would rather do something completely different, because I am fundamentally lazy.

And because frankly it seems, well, I hate to say this, but, kinda, well, oh I guess I should say, er, like, um, boring? Hey, but don't be offended, some of my best friends are accountants...

Here's another tip. Watch out for big ol' fat February Flies..>

This sounds like experience speaking...

With respect to your "old tip", ADOX 120 roll films come in reusable plastic airtight containers nowadays. At least in Germany, Fotoimpex also sells them empty. No need to cobble them together from 35mm cans anymore.

Shoot first, eat later.

toto said:

Shoot first, eat later.
Shoots, Eats, Leaves
(Might make a good book title...)

A chef friend of mine got the occasional food-for-photos job back in our college days. She once spent a day baking pizzas for a shoot for a national pizza chain, so we -- her friends -- were expecting a bounty of tasty leftovers. "No, no," she said. "Those pizzas were all inedible. You should see what we do to them to make them look good in pictures."

The biggest recent godsend for food photographers has been LED lights. You would not believe (well, you would) what a drag it was photographing salads. Lettuce is about as tough as...well, lettuce.

Duluth Trading Company makes some work pants with built-in knee pockets for foam pads for people who want something that looks boring.

Sorry that I cannot understand your tips. Using text to describe an action is hard to get. You need to update your approach - put in in youtube. Go for adox.

Ok I am lost here - speaking as someone who only uses 120 film, why would you ever need a container for 120 film????

The Japan Camera Hunter 120 Film Cases are far and away the best way I've found to carry 120 film. I've got several of them, and I keep a couple of them full of Ilford HP5 in my bag, with the Mamiya 6 system that I carry everywhere I go.


Lots of "tactical" pants (basically, cargo pants on steroids) also have pockets for interior knee-pads.

This is very relevant to photography, since Dyer-Bennet's Dictum states that the best height to take any photo from is one that makes your knees hurt. (Unlike Murphy's law, I think you probably can out-smart Dyer-Bennet's Dictum.)

I have done lots of food photography in the past, and learnt many tips and tricks. There is, or was, a whole world of people producing props for food shots. Hand carved acrylic blocks for ice, bubbles etc.
Also there was a water absorbing gel that could be turned into cubed, shave, of crushed ice.
I even hired 'bubbles' to sit in the minisuscus layer at the edge of glass of drink. these were tiny glass bubbles one large in the middle and a small bubble each side this sat in glass of brandy.
We did use mashed potato but never for ice-cream. It was mostly to bulk up pots of stew etc, so you only have a thin layer of product on the top of the pot which was much easier to work with.
If you were photographing a ice cream you legally have to use the product! Ice cream has a whole sub set of tricks. Mostly involving dry ice and very cold studios for only one or two sheets of 5X4 film, under hot lights, per shot.
As for eating the product after a shoot, then yes and no. Most of the shooting I did was for prepared products The 'Hero' product would be inedible after been prepped and shot. But for every 'hero' there could be 100 rejects, because for packaging photography the product had to be shown. So the client would arrive with a van load of the product and they all had to be looked at, some would be miss shaped, not evenly cooked, it way show to the wrong proportions of ingredients, a few would be chosen as suitable for the shoot, the rest got eaten by staff if the client was generous. I do recall a 2 month spell as an assistant in the studio when I did no food shopping :)

If you have a non-weather sealed mirrorless (or just small) camera, and fear some light downpour, just put it into a transparent plastic freezer bag, with the lcd display towards the bottom and the lens toward the open end, then tighten the open end around the lens end with an elastic band. You'll have light rain protection.

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