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Before and aftermashed
Before and aftermashed

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Before and After II (Basic Editing)
Collection: 2008 Challenges
Camera: Nikon D40
Lens: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
Location: La Kitchen de Snaffles
Date: Dec 7, 2008
Aperture: f6.3
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/10
Galleries: Vintage, Food and Drink
Date Uploaded: Dec 7, 2008

My amazing new mobile island at work in its first photo shoot! The lights overhead are covered with that semi-opaque floating floor stuff, and the $2 special knocked out shadows from the side.

Don't think I need to explain the bowl of potatoes, the dish of margarine (oops not butter), salt, pepper, parsley and old fashioned masher.

The hardest part wasn't the lighting, as it normally is with my stuff, but getting everything in focus. Started with ol' faithful 18-55 mm, then even tried the macro lens, finally got the shot with the 18-200mm. Camera on tripod.

pp: exposure, levels, curves, saturation, contrast, crop, resize, usm, sharpen edges, save for web

Place: 82 out of 143
Avg (all users): 5.2514
Avg (commenters): 5.5455
Avg (participants): 5.2245
Avg (non-participants): 5.2612
Views since voting: 945
Views during voting: 290
Votes: 183
Comments: 15
Favorites: 0

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12/21/2008 07:15:01 PM
Critique Club

Hello, thanks for submitting your image. First, off I think the subject clearly meets the challenge topic, and it is easily understood. In your details you mentioned difficulty getting "everything" in to focus. The main dish is clearly the focal point, and there is a subtle blurring of the surrounding dishes in the back but not in the right third. I happen to like this, but if the goal was to have everything sharp, then a smaller aperture would have helped. Areas of improvement...lighting. As mentioned below, I agree that the white balance is off, as it appears to have a heavy yellow cast which is easily fixed in post. Overall, I like the composition and perspective. Looks delicious!


  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/17/2008 03:27:11 PM
Beautifully set up, Susan, and really, really makes me want to make some mashed potatoes - haven't had any good homemade ones in ages! My one suggestion would be to whiten it up a bit - seems just a tad yellowish, due to the color of the overhead lights. Easiest to do when you shoot RAW, by changing the temperature setting to more toward the blue side. Very nice job with the focus, too - interesting how the lens you finally used ended up being the one that gave you the best focus - I'd not have thought so, so good on you for experimenting! This REALLY does deserve a better score, by the way.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/17/2008 09:17:56 AM
The blocking of the image is great.

but, imo only, the white balance does look off. The image itself gives a yellowish hue to it. White balance with the light you use, not before.

Another thing, this is from the industry I call a career, and really hate it when the writers, or SAG, or the teamsters threaten my job.

A rule of thumb, normally, not always, is that, the darker the bg, the more drama the lighting.

If you notice in food magazines, not all, but a lot, they use white table cloths. Your wooden table is ok to use, but it is also darker than a white table cloth. Hence forth, more dramatic lighting.

Think of it this way. If your table was black, and you use the lighting set up presently, your lighting would look way more flat than it is. If you used a white cloth, the natural ambiance, bouncing off the white cloth may of given more natural drama, depending on where you place the lights that is.

I don't know about a haze perse on your image, but, I personally think with a bit of tweaking, a few more shots doing different things, paying attention to the light and to details, this could of been a winner.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/17/2008 03:06:32 AM
The taters look delish, but the haze on the photo is probably what hurt the score.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
12/16/2008 11:38:59 AM
I like the overall picture here, I just dont like that the end of the table is showing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/16/2008 08:04:49 AM
Well executed. Nice touch with the masher not being clean too - adds something to the picture as a whole.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/15/2008 11:58:25 AM
Coulours look very muddy, like theres a grey haze over the image. I think a little contrast boost might help.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/14/2008 02:35:03 PM
nice rustic feel
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2008 05:10:15 PM
Nice, I wish there was more light from the right side, but other than that, well executed and thought out.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2008 10:15:21 AM
nice idea, but is a bit to dark 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2008 06:49:03 AM
well arranged and cropped. lighting is a bit flat, white balance is incorrect
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2008 11:51:21 AM
Mmm, looks good! I definitely like the idea. Would have liked to see the rest of the little ingredient bowls on the side, though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/10/2008 12:19:30 PM
I think maybe "The Aftermash" would've worked too...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/10/2008 02:07:00 AM
This image is too busy for me. Feels like I need to use all the ingredients to figure out the final recipe. I think it might have worked with just the potatoes and masher. Also, I wish the image was a bit crisper.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/10/2008 01:58:04 AM
I quite like this photo - the colours give a rustic feel. I can see the front edge of the plate and the bowl to the right is in focus. I would have perhaps aimed for the parsley sprig to be in focus and extended the depth of field a little.

Nice though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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