The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

For a while, I was just snapping pictures with my cell phone to upload to Facebook, which was fine as far as that went, but the picture quality was really only good enough for small-ish pictures viewed on a screen.  They look pretty bad on paper or when enlarged.  I finally took out my camera, which gets better quality pictures, has zoom function, etc.  I even used a tripod the last couple of days because by the time I'm done making a bunch of truffles, I'm usually tired and shaking enough to affect the picture quality.  Then there's lighting--Depending on the time of day I get done, the lighting in my kitchen will be different.  This morning, I actually ended up opening the blinds to approximate the level of light I got the previous time I took pictures, which was in the afternoon.  Still, the angle of the light was different.  I'm curious to hear any tips or tricks anyone has for getting good consistent shots, or whether you've ever had professional pictures of your creations taken and whether you felt it was worth the expense.

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Replies to This Discussion

kathryn,

we do the majority of our product photography ourselves, using a dslr camera with an assortment of fixed focal length lenses. using a wider aperture (f4) will allow for more light to hit the sensor, making it easier to take nice pictures in lower light conditions. an added bonus is an attractive blurring of the background, accenting the subject nicely.

the only way to ensure consistent lighting is to shoot in a space that's lit consistently, or to invest in a studio lighting kit (a lightbox will work for small product photography, like your truffles). we shoot all of our products in our kitchen, but it's outfitted with a LOT of lights. we use fluorescent tubes with a high colour referencing index (CRI of 90+). it's rare that we ever need to do any color correction, and there's enough light to achieve tack-sharp images shooting handheld.

have a look at our blog - http://beta5chocolates.com - for some examples...

hope that helps!

adam

Those are really beautiful pictures.  I'm considering building myself a lightbox for small items, something like this http://www.diyphotography.net/build-a-collapsible-diy-macro-studio-... maybe.  If I can find the time!

Ditto!  I have been thinking the same thing!!

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/how-to-make-a-inexpensive...

Cheers,

Dione

I use this Sunpak portable setup which works nicely: http://ht.ly/9fHvx

I've paid to have professional shots taken, which is usually worthwhile if you're planning on enlarging for print display.  Otherwise, for the web or smaller print stuff, a decent camera and a little Photoshop can get the job done.

For example, the main shot on my homepage is professional.  Cost a bundle but looks great blown up into posters.  The images in my shop are in-house.

www.twicethevice.com

Cheers,

Craig

They look amazing!  I take it you're using a different background from the one that came with the Sunpak?  The whole black-on-black theme is just gorgeous!

Yep, $5 at Anna's Linens.

Hi Kathryn.

You may want to experiment with taking your shots outside on white or black flat cloth before you invest a lot of money.  It may be worthwhile.

Jayne

Hi Kathryn,

My factory has some excellent lighting, and I use a slightly unorthodox method for photography.

I just put the chocolate on a clean sheet of white silicon (baking) paper on a tray, and use my iPhone 4 camera.  You get a pure white background and for what i use the images for, it is perfect.  And a lot cheaper than investing in a photo booth. 

- Stu

I am lucky enough to have a photo studio near us that allows us to come in on a non-busy day and use their "white room". We bring our camera and use their lighting. It only costs us a few chocolates and $50 for the room.

I think a light box is best. I built my first one out of card board and tissue paper and got a few cheap clip on lights from home depot. Ideally you want light at three angles, the top and both sides but need it diffused to soften it. Sometimes I also use a bounce card in front but it can be tricky to keep it out of the photo. A white sheet of paper or cardboard will work fine. Once I destroyed the cardboard and tissue I made another out of foam board and sheer fabric. Again I destroyed that one with a lot of wear and tear and I now have a real one that I purchased with pro lights from B&H.com. Like with anything else, the more you do it the better it will look!

Good Luck : )

http://ladychocolatier.net/Details.cfm?ProdID=103&category=9

Thanks for all the replies!  I'm leaning toward a light box, for the combination of light diffusion and a clean background.  Not sure yet if I'm building or buying, but we'll see.

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