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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Food Photography Talk 
Thread started 09 May 2014 (Friday) 18:41
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Old photos of ugly food

 
OhLook
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May 09, 2014 18:41 |  #1

Okay, I confess, the main thing this page has going for it is that it's hilarious. If you remember green Jell-O with raw veggies and mayo folded in, or ham loaves coated with off-white goo, the recipes will bring back that old nostalgia.

21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Recipes (external link)

But the illustrations are relevant to photography. They look like reproductions from ads and articles in women's magazines or the Home/Family sections of newspapers from mostly the 1950s. The standard way of photographing food then seems to have included uniform lighting and a large depth of field. Nowadays it's the opposite. Light comes from one direction, and fields are sliced thinner than prosciutto.


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Bad ­ Habit
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May 09, 2014 18:53 |  #2

that's disturbing


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May 09, 2014 19:09 |  #3

that Americans survived the 60es and 70es is pretty amazing ;-)a

The tiny DOF nowadays is so overused and often badly used IMO. It can work if the important things of a meal are clearly visible, too often they're not, seems more like some photog showing off how tiny that slice of focus can be, like a photo taken from a book explaining DOF and fstop correlation. But looking at more recent cook books, it seems like the trend is reverting to bright light and larger or even full DOF. Better I think, a cookbook should show it all, not some artistic slice.

Now, for that banana candle......


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OhLook
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May 09, 2014 19:32 |  #4

phantelope wrote in post #16893867 (external link)
looking at more recent cook books, it seems like the trend is reverting to bright light and larger or even full DOF

Good! I can understand using a somewhat shallow field to direct attention to detail where it's important. Say you have a restaurant scene with a filled plate as the star of the show and some wineglasses and a basket of bread farther back. The glasses and bread are basically props. They can be merely suggested (i.e., blurred). But I don't see the point of extreme blur on the farther half of the entrée plate, so that a third of the meat is clear and nothing of the vegetables is. It seems like self-conscious, pretentious, la-de-dah faddishness. Maybe someone who knows the history of food photography can explain why this style became popular.


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phantelope
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May 09, 2014 19:35 |  #5

I'm pretty sure it's a fad, somebody started with somewhat shallow DOF, next guy went "oh, I can do that better" and eventually we see nothing, LOL
I own some 300 or so cookbooks and stopped buying for the most part, but still look at them, lately I've seen less shallow DOF and more 'environment' or just a focus on the food from top or the side. Which makes sense, since you want to know how to plate something, not guess. Of course, the food stylists still seem to forget to include this or that ingredient, maybe because it's not pretty enough.

ETA, it's all fine if it's an artistic food photo, but for an instructional book things should be completely visible, as well as for food/restaurant reviews. I can get into my own haze to reduce DOF just fine ;-p


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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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May 10, 2014 07:09 |  #6

Well, one thing salvageable would be part of a recipe: jello and cottage cheese.

And that pic of the banana candle? Well, not much can be mentioned here. Probably best to serve that at a ladies-only luncheon.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Jul 27, 2014 07:25 |  #7

That banana candle was really frightening...


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Jeff ­ Colburn
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Jul 29, 2014 14:03 |  #8

Levina de Ruijter wrote in post #17058860 (external link)
That banana candle was really frightening...

That banana candle would get you arrested in some southern states.

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Aug 01, 2014 14:55 |  #9

Disturbing on so many levels, I'll have to share it with a Food Stylist friend of mine.


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Aug 15, 2014 10:56 as a reply to  @ tcphoto1's post |  #10

I bet u someday pictures of steak will be part of some old pics of disturbing food gallery sometime in the future.


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RMH
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Aug 19, 2014 15:37 |  #11

and people say British food is/was bad?!?

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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 25, 2014 03:13 |  #12

My favorite was probably the spam and limas, simply because I find the laziness of it hilarious. At least with many of the others, it seemed like someone went to some effort to actually make something (as horrible as that thing may be). Then there's that recipe that basically appears to amount to "take spam, dump lima beans on it."




  
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Nov 06, 2014 20:47 |  #13

I quite liked the look of the Spam and limas as well.

The one that I found most disturbing was No.16, which I think might only be suitable for a very romantic date, or perhaps not! :lol:


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Dec 01, 2014 19:13 |  #14

Levina de Ruijter wrote in post #17058860 (external link)
That banana candle was really frightening...

If by "frightening" you mean "spawning uncomfortable, edgy bouts of silence at the ladies' end of the Rotary Club luncheon table", then...yes.



  
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ERabbit
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Dec 01, 2014 19:45 |  #15

That made me a little nauseated


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Old photos of ugly food
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