October 11, 2013

A Personal Photo Challenge - Food Photography

It’s time for A Personal Photo Challenge! “Food Photography” is the theme this month.

A Personal Photo Challenge

As a wildlife and landscape photographer, I don’t have much experience with food as subject matter. I also don’t take many images indoors. So this challenge wasn’t a “piece of cake” for me! The design of our cottage doesn’t provide an abundance of natural light, so it took a while to decide where to set up for the photo shoot. Our guest bedroom on the second floor has the best lighting, but I didn’t want to make multiple trips on the stairway. So I finally settled on using the dining room table. I also decided to make it easy on myself and limit the photo shoot subjects to simple fruits.

I used a lovely 105mm macro lens on my Nikon D800 for the challenge. In the tabletop setup, window light was on one side, and I placed a pair of white foam core boards (hinged with tape at a right angle) in back and on the side opposite the window. The foam core panels bounced light onto the subject matter. For the high-key photo, I used parchment paper for the bottom layer. For the two low-key photos, I used a small piece of black paper for the backdrop and a charcoal-colored cutting board for the bottom layer. The biggest difficulty I encountered was the styling. It’s harder than it looks! Or else I made it harder than it should be, LOL!

I also don’t normally do high-key photos, so I made myself try it for a little variety. And ever since we did the simplicity challenge, I am drawn to this type of composition.

f/7.1, 1/60 second, ISO 800

I was struggling with this setup until I found this striped towel in the kitchen linen drawer. The diagonal lines add visual interest and the rich blue color contrasts nicely with the green pear.

f/7.1, 1/250 second, ISO 800

Dear friends gave us a flower arrangement a couple of weeks ago. The flowers are now history, but the charming basket remains. With its rustic character and color, I knew it would be a perfect prop for a bounty of lemons and limes. I placed some wadded up aluminum foil in the bottom of the basket to give additional height to the fruit.

f/5.6, 1/100 second, ISO 800

Now that you’ve seen my photos and read my post, I hope you will visit A Personal Photo Challenge blog and check out the creative efforts of other participants. Thank you so much!


  1. i very much like your choice of subjects for color and contrast! beautiful work, donna!

  2. The raspberry on a fork just takes my breath away. I love the contrast...I keep going back to look at it to see why is works so well. I never know where to cut my photo off. I would have been trying to show the whole fork and a straight on shot of the berry. I have a lot to learn. And an artist will want to paint the photo of the fruit. Beautiful! Have a fabulous weekend and thanks for s t r e t c h i n g us with this challenge! Hugs!

  3. Very artsy. Very. They do not make me wish to eat them. I just want to look at them. This is the safest kind of food photography for a little fluffy girl like me. They would sure make a beautiful set of note cards.

  4. Yes, very artsy as Vee has said, and yet stunning! You're selling food in your photos and I'm selling a restaurant in mine. LOL It never occurred to me to pull out the macro lens because my food wasn't close up material I suppose.
    It's all in the interpretation of the title for each challenge, isn't it?
    Thanks for hosting Donna.

  5. What great photos, Donna. The raspberry on the fork is a stunning piece of art. It would look great hanging on a wall in a kitchen. Thanks once again for hosting the challenge. It's something I look forward to each month.
    Hope you and Mr. Jim have a wonderful weekend.

  6. I Bow to the Master!!Hahaaa!!! Love the fork and raspberry! You always are thinking outside the box..!!
    The pear is so Pretty girl...and love the lemon limes and all the Color!!
    This was fun Donna...Thanks for the chance to play with you!!
    Hope Jim is doing better!!!

  7. Wonderful captures. I don't know what you were fussing about.

  8. Excellent. I love the pear on the blue towel. Your lighting is wonderful. I think the third is my favorite.

  9. Donna, your photos are amazing! I love them all but the raspberry on the fork is wonderful. I didn't join in this time as I was too busy. Next time. :) Blessings, Pam

  10. Absolutely beautiful! My favorite is the pear on the towel, but they're all gorgeous!

  11. Oh Donna, I'm fascinated with your preparation and "tools of trade"!
    The clarity of your three images is inspiring.
    The cask/basket is a lovely prop!
    I will try the white and charcoal boards next time I photograph food at home!
    Thank you for providing this challenge.

  12. no only do I love your photos but I love the healthy choices for subject matter :) They're all great but I think my favorite is the last one.

  13. Beautiful! So real I thought I could reach out and taste each one!

  14. Ohhhhh all very nice but I love those lemons and limes!

  15. I'm going to have to make a light and dark box and give some shots a try. These look amazing. My favorite is the pear.

  16. Very beautiful pictures but I especially love the last one!

  17. Very nice. You did a great job as always. :)

  18. Donna
    Your photos look magazine perfect to me.
    I never would've imagined there was any problem with lighting at all.

  19. You are truly a 'real' photographer. I am a 'play' photographer.. I love taking photos and posting them --and mine are usually 'pretty' good.. BUT--I don't have the interest or talent to do what you do to get TERRIFIC photos. Guess it takes all kinds of us to make up the photography world....

    Tremendous photos.

  20. Oh I do believe that the raspberry on the fork makes my mouth water and is my first choice though these are all well done! I really enjoyed your post!

  21. Thanks for linking me Donna.
    Great images - I know you spent a lot of time on these.
    The blue towel with the green pear is so beautiful.

    I'm exhausted and having to keep comments brief but will try to get to others asap.
    Love, Mary

  22. All three are wonderful, but the first is outstanding

  23. I always enjoy your photographs! Your notes on camera settings made me smile, as it reminded me of my father-in-law. He was a film photographer, and on the backs of many of his photos are inscribed the camera settings. Unfortunately, he didn't note the locations on most. They were ghost towns, and other travels, he took with family. I'm making my husband search his "memory banks" to see how many he can remember, so we can make note of it for our family. I'm without a decent camera, so it may be a long while until I get back to trying a challenge. I'm putting a nice one on my Christmas wish list though! :)


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!