Food photography tutorial

Steamy Kitchen linked to this food photography tutorial today. It’s fairly detailed and I agree with everything said in that blog posting except for one thing – I see nothing wrong with buying a lens kit with a SLR camera.

I first bought my SLR because I found I was taking a lot of (non-food) photos and was interested in moving up a level in my technique and equipment. It’s a big investment and a big jump to go from a little point and shoot to a camera worth over $1000 and lenses worth hundreds of dollars.

Sure, I could have bought just the basic body and paid less, but when I started factoring in the costs of basic lenses it made more sense for me to go with a package deal that included two lenses and the body. The two lenses that came in my package have taught me a lot about good (and bad) photography.

If I was to buy another camera today, I would likely buy a much higher level SLR with a larger variety of lenses. But that’s only because I have this past experience with a SLR and have enough knowledge now. Would I have been able to move to the higher level SLRs after having only used a point and shoot? No way. It took me a good year before I was relatively comfortable with taking my current camera outside where it could get wet, dirty, or scratched. I’m still learning things about my photography and my camera, so I’m going to stick with mine for at least a year or two more. I only just recently bought an extended flash for my camera, and I won’t even look at what new cameras are coming out because I don’t want to be tempted to upgrade.

There’s no point in shelling out all that money if you’re too scared or inexperienced to use the camera. Buy what you’re comfortable with, excel at using it, and then move on.

7 thoughts on “Food photography tutorial

  1. Pete says:

    I think her point was that kit lenses are basically junk. Most photographers will tell you that your money is better spent on glass than it is on the body. Likewise, if food (a subset of product..) photography and portraits are going to be the majority of what you shoot, then the 60mm macro suggested is a great option to cover both applications. Also, it’s a prime, tack sharp out of the box and forces a newb to learn to control DoF, vignetting, etc. A kit lens (like the 18-55 4-5.6) doesn’t do either of those things well.

    Even for a novice, there are some fantastic free resources on the web for selecting a lens that’s right for what they want to shoot, or for picking a general purpose “walk around” lens. Sites like dpreview and thedigitalpicture are loaded with everything a beginner would need to make an educated lens selection.

  2. bruleeblog says:

    I find that interesting because I used dpreview and a few other sites to make my SLR buying decision. And all those sites said that the lens kit I bought was good and would fit most uses. (Mine came with two lenses, which is one of the reasons why I picked that camera and lens kit.)

    Things like a macro lens or a telephoto lens is usually bought separately anyway, so why not buy a kit, practice with your camera, save a bit of money at first, and buy a macro when you’re ready?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you, but I disagree with you. Getting a kit with an alright walkaround lens, or with a 2nd slightly more speciality lens, can be good for a complete novice, but it might also wind up frustrating. If the person picks up digital photography quickly, they will also be quickly frustrated with the limitations of f/4.0 maximum aperature, poor magnification, and soft focus. Then again, you’re absolutely right, a kit is a more gentle introduction that eases the newcomer into the craft. Fast primes are also unforgiving with thin depth of field and tendencies towards distortion, flare, and other artifacts. Personally I love primes because they are just so freakin’ sharp, but I’ll admit to a biased perspective.

    Regardless, I never read any food blogs, even though I have been doing food and product photography for years. I’ve enjoyed reading many of your posts and will definitely add the Brulee Blog to my faves!

  4. Sarah says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Edited by BB: Thank you for your comment, have removed all urls due to your spamming blogs all over the Internet. Have a nice day.

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