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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Food Photography Talk
Thread started 09 Feb 2015 (Monday) 14:25
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Which way does pointy food point?

 
OhLook
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Feb 09, 2015 14:25 |  #1

Now that the weekly G-series challenge is over, I can post this:

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(It got third place.) When setting it up, placement of items was constrained partly, but not entirely, by the available light. Later I realized that I'd assumed, without thinking, that the cheesecake wedge should be placed with its wide end at the left, like an arrowhead pointing rightward. One reason was that the water glass was going at the right and would balance the bulk at the left. Another, perhaps, may have been that that's the way we read. Is the latter a good reason or not?

When your food has a shape that makes it directional, do you favor one direction of "pointing"?

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chrisdecotis
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Feb 09, 2015 14:48 |  #2

As far as serving etiquette goes, the point should always face the guest. I think your reason for your composition is fine, especially with the cake - you get to see the different layers/colors/textures




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P4ulG
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Feb 09, 2015 16:14 |  #3

chrisdecotis wrote in post #17424010external link
As far as serving etiquette goes, the point should always face the guest.

Surely the slice of cake should be on it's side so that it is easy to fork!! That's cake etiquette.;-)a


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OhLook
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Feb 09, 2015 19:20 |  #4

chrisdecotis wrote in post #17424010external link
As far as serving etiquette goes, the point should always face the guest. I think your reason for your composition is fine, especially with the cake - you get to see the different layers/colors/textures

So there's a rule for orienting slices and wedges in serving? This explains why a waiter once came by the table and gave my piece of pie a quarter turn. I don't start eating at the point. If you start there and proceed methodically to the far side of the plate, your last few bites are all crust.

But I meant to ask only about orienting food in images. If you photograph a sector cut from something round (cake, pie, pizza), are viewers more comfortable with one direction than the other?


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nathancarter
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Feb 10, 2015 09:32 |  #5

My initial thought would be to point the point toward the bottom-right. I'm going to start eating the point with the fork that's in my right hand.


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ceriltheblade
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Feb 12, 2015 01:36 |  #6

if you go thrugh the more famous food magazines, there is no common thread of cake piece placement except to show off the most "sellable" elements of the cake.

I think yours was placed quite well to show off the texture of the cake and the layers. You can see similar placement with different types of cakes for sure. It is my impression that there are slightly larger number of pictures with the wedge facing in the rightish direction than the left... but there are too many exceptions to make that anything but an impression.


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Lupo-Lobo
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Feb 12, 2015 01:54 |  #7

Interesting question - I have never given it much thought. That is to say that whenever I have photographed such shaped food that my thoughts were to orient the food so that the available light accents the important elements of the food ... texture, color and so on.

I don't think there is any "right" answer - good light, good food = hunger inducing imagery :)




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Feb 12, 2015 11:13 |  #8

Thanks to all for giving this question some thought. Another concern in placement is to keep the cake looking three-dimensional. In other shots, when I didn't turn it to show some of its vertical side, it looked flat and less real.


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Feb 12, 2015 14:31 as a reply to OhLook's post |  #9

OhLook - if you have an image demonstrating that point, would you mind posting it? I just want to be certain I understand what you are seeing. Thanks.


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OhLook
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Feb 12, 2015 16:20 |  #10

Lupo-Lobo wrote in post #17428997external link
OhLook - if you have an image demonstrating that point, would you mind posting it? I just want to be certain I understand what you are seeing. Thanks.

I didn't save the images taken from that angle. They had the cut side of the wedge all in one focal plane. A little of the top surface showed but none of the vertical surface (the wide end) except its edge. Imagine turning the piece in the image above clockwise until you can't see its rounded "back."


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Feb 12, 2015 20:31 as a reply to OhLook's post |  #11

Okay - thanks. Hmmm, I might have tried to elevate the camera from the horizontal plane - looking down at the cake from an angle. There are some interesting elements on the top of your cheesecake so that might help to give the image some dimension. Hard to say though.


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Feb 15, 2015 16:19 as a reply to OhLook's post |  #12

There's a rule in journalism that you don't have things pointing off the page or going in the direction of off page. I would assume a more straight on pose for the pie, maybe slightly skewed in one direction, would be pleasing. Also, you generally want to take food photos at a 45 degree angle or from above, not from the side directly level.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Feb 22, 2015 08:37 |  #13

Lupo-Lobo wrote in post #17429468external link
Okay - thanks. Hmmm, I might have tried to elevate the camera from the horizontal plane - looking down at the cake from an angle. There are some interesting elements on the top of your cheesecake so that might help to give the image some dimension. Hard to say though.

agreed.

ohlook, the wide angle of the lens in your shot helps hide the sides and top. Taken from farther back and zoomed in would help show more of the cheesecake.

i think i'd point pie/cake down and to the left of the frame, maybe 7 or 8 o'clock.


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OhLook
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Feb 22, 2015 10:26 |  #14

elrey2375 wrote in post #17433138external link
There's a rule in journalism that you don't have things pointing off the page or going in the direction of off page. I would assume a more straight on pose for the pie, maybe slightly skewed in one direction, would be pleasing. Also, you generally want to take food photos at a 45 degree angle or from above, not from the side directly level.

This wasn't for publication, so there was no page layout to accommodate. By "straight on" do you mean pointing toward the viewer? But then the wide side of the wedge wouldn't show at all. On some cakes, that surface is decorated and you might want to display it.

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #17443712external link
ohlook, the wide angle of the lens in your shot helps hide the sides and top. Taken from farther back and zoomed in would help show more of the cheesecake.

i think i'd point pie/cake down and to the left of the frame, maybe 7 or 8 o'clock.

Well, that's the lens I have. I agree with you and Lupo-Lobo that shooting from a higher angle would do more justice to the top surface. The angle was low in order to capture the height of the slice.

Some want it pointing to the left, others to the right. Can't please everyone.


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Feb 22, 2015 10:51 |  #15

OhLook wrote in post #17443846external link
Well, that's the lens I have. I agree with you and Lupo-Lobo that shooting from a higher angle would do more justice to the top surface. The angle was low in order to capture the height of the slice.

you have a G15 with a zoom, right? The EXIF shows you shot at the widest possible setting. Going a bit higher and zooming in would likely maintain the look of the slice being tall.

Some want it pointing to the left, others to the right. Can't please everyone.

You asked, we answered. No one is asking you to please anyone.


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Which way does pointy food point?
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