The Daily Focal Point

December 1, 2008


Filed under: Food Photography, Photo Challenges! — cabenelson @ 11:48 pm

So how did everyone do for this challenge?! Did you all find it difficult or pretty easy? I’m telling you, food photography is one of my greatest handicaps. Frankly, I totally suck at it and I thought it would REALLY be a challenge for everyone. As was discussed before, the main issue with food photography is simply a lack of lighting. Given the high degree of difficulty with this challenge I’m just amazed with the quality of photos you all submitted. So before I go on WAY too long about how AMAZING each shot is and how I can probably read WAY to deep into pictures, I’ll just jump into it.

Our first photo comes from Sheila at Dr Cason
Cranberry Hands
I love this photo. It has wonderful textures and color. Sheila says, “Okay this isn’t the greatest so you can’t wax on all nice about how inspiring it is. It’s just cranberries and my little girl’s hands.:)”
See I told you… I can go on and on. But this photo is excellent!

This photo comes from Rob at Dusty Lens – North Metro. Rob posted just an aboslutley amazing B&W photograph of a downtown city scape that really is amazing.
I love the lines in this photo. I’m guessing they’re acorn squash? Whatever it is it’s a great photo! This is Dusty Lens’ first photo entry into The Daily Focal Point’s Photo Challenge! Thank you Rob, I’m looking forward to seeing more of your photos in future challenges

Our next photo comes from Ginger at Ramble Ramble who’s becoming a staple around here!
Ginger says this about her photo, “I’m using an older photo, because frankly, it’s a photo that is so me to anyone who knows me (I’ve been known to eat a full jar of pickles in one sitting.) It’s so indicative of who I am, I couldn’t pass up the chance to share it again”
Well, I’m a fan. The lighting in this shot is just perfect! And I can see your reflection in one of the pickles, no joke. Great photo Ginger!

This photo is by my good friend Danny who said that he took this last summer at a farmer’s market in San Francisco. Great pic Danny! I love the shapes and the angle you chose to take this at. It’s cool that it is framed lengthwise.

Our next photo comes from Kathleen at Tinkerbell’s Momma Kat.
Kat, I’m so glad you participated this week! Kat says this about her photo, “Decided to photograph this potroast in my crock pot while I was preparing it today. Yum, it is good too!”
She goes onto say, TITLE FOR MY FOOD PHOTOGRAPH: “What a Crock”
I love it Kathleen! Thank you for your first entry. I love the seasonings on top and the title, YUM is right!

This photo comes to us from KJ at 12 Little Feet. Her most recent posted pic is beautiful and needs to be checked out.
I love the soft lighting in this shot. KJ says this about it, “I took it this fall at an apple farm I went to while visiting my family in California. But don’t think I’m forgetting that key word…CHALLENGE! I am going to make an effort to improve this type of photography. Maybe you can do another food photo challenge later in the year and see if we get better!”
I think that’s a perfect idea KJ. I’m planning on doing followups to all of our Challenges later on next year to see if we’ve all improved etc. Great pic KJ. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your pics!

Our next photo comes from Mary Elizabeth
I always enjoy seeing her photos. This is what Mary Elizabeth says about her picture, “Food is so tricky for me. I am constantly taking pictures of food, seriously… all the time. But I somehow just cannot get it right. I’ll keep working at it though, hopefully one day I’ll get the hang of it. I took my friends little boys One Year old pics on Saturday, and the last few shots we had him eating one of these cupcakes. So, after the shoot I gave the cupcakes a mini shoot of their own, lol!
I love the color and the composition. It’s just a fun picture that pops!
Mary Elizabeth, was this taken in a studio? What kind of lighting did you use?

This photo comes from Gail at From The Back Deck
I love this photo because of the story that goes behind it. Seriously, everyone needs to hop on over to Gail’s blog and read how her and Nephew set up this shot. Her little nephew sounds like the coolest kid ever. In a nutshell Gail said this, “This is a joint entry from my nine year old nephew, Shane. He’s going to be a great photographer. We had a wonderful time this morning putting this shot together. We call it “Old School Fruit and Wine.” Thanks for the fun.
Oh, by the way….Shane has a message for the other contestants…”Our pic is better than all of yours.”
Tell Shane you guys TOTALLY have the BEST shot! Your nephew seems like the coolest kid. It sounds like you both had a lot of fun setting it up, and that is what this challenge is ALL about.

Our second to last photo comes from a first time poster on the DFP but her pictures (especially this one) are wonderful. This is from Sarah AKA SOXY’S DIAMOND
Pasta - Lines
For those of you who are wondering, “What is it?” it’s pasta. How awesome is that? I love that angle and the lines in it. I’m curious to know what you did to it to make it this way? Anything in Photoshop?

Our final photo for the Photography Food Challenge comes from Stacy
I LOVE the textures in this photo. The image is broken up with that large stainless steel band that goes across the the bowl.Stacy said, “Seriously though lighting in our apartment is horrendous. But I did like the texture in this photo. The apples in the colander against the wall that is textured, was visually appealing to me. I just hope that I didn’t over photoshop this picture.”
It’s a wonderful split and the lighting works beautifully. Stacy, the photo doesn’t look Photoshoped at all, what did you do to it?

Well I hope everybody had a great time with this weeks difficult challenge and that you all are learning something from each others work. I know I am. So… which ones do YOU like?

P.S. I’m going to be giving out this weeks Photo Challeng EARLY because it also is a difficult one and the more time the better… THIS WEEKS PHOTO CHALLENGE WILL BE… ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY! Think about it… what do you think of when you hear abstract photography?

I’ll be posting more photos later for an example… ooooh!! Get ready!



  1. This is really fun. There are some GREAT shots this week. I’m glad to hear I’m not alone with my struggle to make food photos look good. Okay, where do I start?

    I love that you can see your reflection in the pickle, Ginger!

    The simplicity and nice diagonal lines of the hands in the cranberries…wonderful!

    Then there’s the wine and fruit and Shane throwin’ down the gauntlet!! 🙂 It is a lovely composition. I like the window reflection in the glass.

    The pasta is totally cool. I like the sense of motion in the lines.

    Okay, I’m going on and on. Just suffice it to say, I am craving pot roast, squash, apples and cupcakes right now!

    I think my favorites are the cranberries and the cupcakes 🙂

    Comment by 12littlefeet — December 2, 2008 @ 12:38 am

  2. I think my Auntie Gail has the best shot. But I’m biased. Yeah!!

    The pasta is cool.

    And I don’t think the lighting is bad in the apples and colander. It makes it look really textury (is that a word?)

    I think of abstract when I see a photo and can’t really tell what it is but it evokes a feeling nonetheless.

    Comment by Sheila @ — December 2, 2008 @ 3:35 am

  3. I wussed out on sending something in for this challenge- it was just so hard! I’ll probably end up lurking here wayy too long because I know I can’t compete with all you seasoned photographers!

    Comment by Jaden — December 2, 2008 @ 8:32 am

  4. Okay Jaden, if I can get out there with my cheap little Kodak Easyshare CX7300 (3.2 MP) and look like a fool against these other great photographers and their expensive cameras, you can too. I want a photograph from you next time!

    I was feeling pretty good about my photograph until I saw it against the rest of the photos. Oh well.

    Comment by kathleen — December 2, 2008 @ 9:24 am

  5. I think everyone did well on this challenge. It really was a hard challenge. I love to see everyone’s diffent photos and what they come up with. I especially love Mary Elizabeth’s cupcake photo. Really truly everyone’s photos looked excellent this week. Caleb, thank you for doing these challenges and this website. I feel like I’ve learned a lot and gets me motivated to take more pictures and not be afraid to show others. Thanks again!

    Comment by Stacy Stevens — December 2, 2008 @ 9:43 am

  6. I agree Stacy, it is so much fun. The wheels are already spinning about this abstract photography challenge.

    Ginger, I LUV your pickles photo also. I love pickles so much too. They used to be my favorite snack with cheese and crackers late at night watching TV. My sons thought I was crazy though!

    Comment by kathleen — December 2, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  7. Some great shots this week! I can’t even begin to pick a favorite (oh, and now I’m hungry to boot!)

    Comment by Ginger — December 2, 2008 @ 10:55 am

  8. Excellent works here! I’m inspired to do more. I hope we can revisit this one in the future.

    I tried to capture the perfect slice of pumpkin pie and whipped crem. All 25 photos made the pie look discusting. WHat I learned from this one is that I need a flash. I wonder if Mrs. Claus is reading.

    Comment by Rob — December 2, 2008 @ 11:04 am

  9. ROB! LOL I tried the SAME thing. I took about 50 pics though. By the end the whip cream had melted off the pie and it just tasted gross. 🙂

    Comment by cabenelson — December 2, 2008 @ 11:11 am

  10. What fun!!!! Cabe, I’ll send Shane your comments about the pic. He’ll love it. I just got a message from him yesterday and he was on pins and needles to see how we did. Thanks so much for recognizing that the truth of the shot was in the experience of taking it for Shane and me. What a delight. All of the work subitted was really great, and you’re right, the textures were wonderful. I think I like the cupcakes for some different reasons, however. The detail was remarkable and the lighting was so crystal and I went away with a happy feeling. …Abstract. That will be hard for me.

    Comment by fromthebackdeck — December 2, 2008 @ 12:03 pm

  11. i’m seriously salivating right now. these shots are all so wonderful! for dinner i think i will have pot roast, with pickles, apples, etc. it will be delicious!!

    cabe, no… i didn’t take that shot in a studio (i wish i had a studio!). it was taken outside in my backyard on our picnic table! i just grabbed a piece of scrapbook paper to use as a background, then tweeked it a bit while editing.

    seriously, food is hard to photograph. but i think everyone did so well! good job guys, can’t wait to see everyone’s next week!

    Comment by mary elizabeth — December 2, 2008 @ 5:11 pm

  12. The picture of the cranberries is my favorite! I’m from Cape Cod – so it’s in my blood.

    As for my picture – I took a box of thin spaghetti and placed it in a short vase. I pushed it around the edges of the vase to make the “swirling” motion. I had the vase placed on the floor and I stood over it (looking straight down) to take the picture.

    I didn’t do anything in photoshop. The only post-processing of this picture is a little cropping and blurring the edges in iPhoto.

    Thanks for the nice comments!

    Comment by Sarah — December 2, 2008 @ 10:40 pm

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