#3 ‘Food’


Theme: Food

I know you’re probably sick of the sight of food by January but it was a topic I wanted to cover so here we go.

Actually, after telling you not just take a selfie in McDonalds, I challenge someone to get a creative shot of something from McDonalds 😉

Other than that as I’ve said in the video it’s up to you. I do like the idea of something local to you that you can educate us about and I’m a portrait photographer at heart so including people in the process of preparing food is always going to work for me.

There’s some examples below but it’s really up to you to go off and look for yourself and then let us know what you’re thinking.


See the details from challenge #1, I don’t want to keep filling each post with the rules.



Here’s a few ideas I quickly found using the method I explain in the inspiration post. Well actually they all came from 500px so thanks if they’re your photos, they’re truly inspiring!



Well I’m afraid you’re on your own for the type of shots above but it’s not too hard, right!

What I have got for you are a couple of links to posts I’ve already covered and suggested in the video above.

Photographing sweets

Dropping fruit into water


Get posting!

It’s over to you!

So anytime now you can start posting your ideas below and any questions you have.

At any time through January you can post your final image and hopefully we’ll get a good selection flowing down in the comments below. Feel free to comment on others’ work and please as stated above give us a bit of commentary to go along with your image and the camera’s settings.


  • Darren Goodall

    Hi Guys,
    Its summer time here and i was about to sit down with the wife and oldest daughter (25) at the table for some lunch.
    I had already decided on the fresh fruit plater and i was getting terrible back lighting issues. My English wife says, just a minute Ill get somethin’! out comes my flag, it goes everywhere in my camera bag.
    The daughter says, dad you need more than a plate of fruit!
    Ok smarty what? i asked her
    How about a nice bottle of red wine? and a T-Rex
    Mind you i am setting all this up while they are having their lunch.
    Here is the end result, team effort here, its not cheating. Is it?
    I took about 90 shots to finally select this one.

    Canon 50 D on a tripod, 24-70 at a focal length of 57
    f/Stop 2.8
    ISO 100
    Shutter at 1/13 in RAW
    Auto white balance again sorry Adrian
    I really did have a lot of lighting issues.
    I also went to some of the sites the Adrian has been discussing.

    “Summer Time in OZ”
    The girls will not be happy!
    Ok then the T-Rex’s don’t belong, do you see what I mean about the back light?

    • Haha, that’s brilliant mate and not cheating at all, I love that your family are getting involved! But I think Jane might just kill you lol!
      the action scene in pic3 is hilarious but I have to ask why you have dinosaurs in your house if your daughter is 25, they’re yours really aren’t they lol!
      Your settings all look spot on so full marks for that. The only thing with pic1 which is presumably your main entry is that with such a shallow depth of field the fruit is slightly out of focus as the main point is on the wine. It might be worth increasing the aperture to say 6.3 for this kind of shot and slowing down the shutter to compensate. Or move the focus spot to nuts, not quite the front but its about 1/3 of the way into the area of focus (the fruit and wine).
      Again, as I said to Anne on another challenge, I am not critiquing everyones work but I know some of you would want to know how to take things to the next level so that’s all I’m doing.
      The idea of the flag, wine and TRex are excellent though so keep the fam on board and get them involved in the other projects too, it really makes me happy to know this is a family event 🙂
      Really well done mate!

      • Darren Goodall

        Thanks Adrian, I need to have honest replies .
        You’re giving me and all of us the answers we need to improve.
        Thanks again.
        Terrible weather yesterday, took all my gear to country and it chucked it down all day, not drizzle! It cucked it down, so no shots

        • I’m struggling to get out at the minute with my nursing of the dog so looking at indoor work. Well actually I’ve done nothing lol, really need to get a move on.

    • Robbie

      I can’t reply and give you any pointers because I’m a beginner but your photos and post made me smile….

      • Hey, don’t be silly Robbie, I’m not a Pro at this kind of work and your opinion will always be welcome in here my friend. Glad to make you smile 🙂 Have a good day at school.

      • Darren Goodall

        Hi Robbie, glad it made you smile?
        I have learnt everything from Adrian,
        Yep, I’ve never actually met the fella, but watching his tutorials on YouTube and I also have my copy of”How To Focus”
        For me it’s all about enjoying what you do.
        I love my photography and Adrian has shown me how to get going.
        He has also informed us all about various web sites and magazines.

        Just keep practising , it’s great fun!
        This challenge that Adrian has gone to so much effort is brilliant because we are able to show Our Coach, and others,just what we can do with the right information.

        • Go Darren, my star student 🙂
          Thanks for the kind words and I that you more than anyone have encouraged me with this site. Knowing you’re enjoying it and improving makes it well worth it 🙂

  • Debs Cook

    This is me looking forward to the summer with my food theme. I wasn’t too popular with the amount of cream all over the place! f/6.3, 1/25, ISO – 200 and I used my tripod. Camera on continuous shoot mode to capture in cream pouring. I just added a bit of colour booster to finish.

    • Love it! Ooh, i could just eat that!
      It’s clear you gave a lot of thought to the background and contrasted your colours well. Is that natural light?
      I’m really impressed with this Debs and the best part… you get to eat them after!

      • Debs Cook

        No I had all the spot lights on in the kitchen plus another small lamp angled towards them. I used one of my slate placemats plus my marble chopping board on its side!

        • Brilliant. So great to know your spending time setting it up well and thinking it through like this. It makes all the difference.
          Out of interest had you seen a photo of this for inspiration or was it all your idea?

          • Debs Cook

            All my idea. Sadly I woke up in the night thinking about it and inspiration came!!!

          • Fantastic, that’s even more impressive.

    • Robbie

      This photo makes me long for Springtime and giant bowl of strawberries. The contrast of the colors is wonderful.

    • Darren Goodall

      Great shot, never mind the mess. I’m always in strife!

  • Miriam Speidel

    I’m such a copy cat, I know but I’ve seen this image somewhere and liked it so much that I just had to try to replicate it. Shot with a Canon Eos 500D, ISO 100, F 1.8, ss 1/80, lens 50mm, hand held, no edit.

    • How clever that’s brilliant! And there’s nothing wrong with copying an idea, I’ll be doing it tomorrow with my alphabet letters on toast! 😉

    • Darren Goodall

      That looks terrific, very creative.
      No edit and hand held.
      Copy cat may be, but you cracked it!!!
      sorry the pun was intended

      • Haha, you ‘crack’ me up Darren!

        • Darren Goodall

          there are phunny puns,
          quick, everyone scramble !

          • Darren Goodall

            Ok then, enough yoking around.
            Your idea for replicating was eggsellant.
            This is from my wife Jane;-)

  • Ali Nicolson

    Toms at Dawn

    Taken with the natural light in my east facing kitchen. ISO 100 the rest could be anything.

    • Hi Ali, welcome 🙂
      I’m hoping you get notifications to replies as a guest as this is fantastic!
      I love the sharpness and the shallow depth of field, and using natural light this way is genius.
      The chopping board works really well although personally I think I’d have tried to loose the black patch at top right. That’s opinion rather than criticism though.
      What camera and lens was it? Clearly you were down on a wide aperture and either a decent shutter speed or a tripod as there’s no hint of movement… unless you’re really good at holding the camera still.
      I love it Ali, really well done and I look forward to seeing more from you 😉

    • Great photo!

  • LynneO

    Hi everyone, this is my food entry. I had these cupcakes made for my lovely husband for his “special birthday” last Saturday. As the light in the pub was quite low and I didn’t have my tripod I used F4.5, 1/20, ISO 3200 and reduced the bit of noise and added a little bit of warming filter afterwards in Elements. I’m finding I increase my ISO quite a lot to avoid blur but would be interested to know if anyone would do something differently.

    • Hey Lynne, sounds like you’re mastering that camera, well done! You were spot on with your decision and I’m loving that you’re thinking it through like that.
      Those cakes look yummy too.

      One thing I spotted was the jar of sweets and it made me think that another photo (assuming you filled the jars) would have been like my raisin one below (or the coffee bean example). Just an idea but well done with your shot anyway and I hope your hubby had a great party 🙂

      • LynneO

        Thanks Adrian, and yes the cakes were as good as they look. I did fill the jars but they didn’t stay filled long enough for me to do much with them!! We had a great night, thanks

  • Hey, I finally got around to photographing my spaghetti on toast! What do you think?
    As ever, nice and simple. I laid out the letters on my toast and just hovered over the plate and took my shot. I had my speed light flash attached to my camera (because my trigger wasn’t working right), set it manually to about 1/16th power, attached my 50mm lens and set the camera up as follows.
    Aperture – f3.5 ( started lower but needed a little more depth)
    Shutter Speed – 1/200
    ISO – 100

    Because I’m using flash i can set my ISO to 100 and have a nice fast shutter so I won’t blur anything with my movement. The flash is set really low so I know I can increase it if needed.

    The fist photo is literally straight out of the camera (although cropped to a 16:9 ratio).
    The second has been into photoshop and I’ve applied another ‘GreaterThanGatsby’ action which I like. It’s like an 80’s effect. I’ve then sharpened it.

    That was it. The shot itself was non-technical and quick.

    …Did you spot that I had to photoshop the ‘I’!

    • Darren Goodall

      I had to look closely but I found the photo shopped “I”
      Thanks for the heads up.
      Learning how to adjust my flashes is something I’m going to start to familiarise my self with next.
      It’s been very hit and miss for me. 1 of them is the canon 430 EX( I think)
      The other is from my old 35 mm Pentax , triggers let me use it, brilliant.
      Thanks for the flash details you used.
      By the way I wasn’t aware you could set the flash to auto?
      Cheers Darren

      • You’ll be pleased to hear I started writing the script for my new video product on flash lighting, mind you that doesn’t mean it will be out any time soon, the focus one took about 6 months lol!

  • Darren Goodall

    How long did it take you to lay out all the letters?
    It look great

    • haha, yes it did but the kids helped me so it was all good.

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