Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Bad Photography #1


When I started this blog way back in 2012, I knew nothing about photography. All I know is to point and shoot. I had no clue about lighting, exposure and all those things you needed to know in order to take a good picture.

The fact was, I didn't care. As long as I could capture an image to showcase my cooks and bakes, it was good enough. But after a while, I started to observe the photos of other bloggers and I found that many of them have really mad photography skills. Their photos were beautiful and some, simply stunning.

Some of these bloggers have also shared their photography tips and tricks (thank you!) and that was where I learnt to capture better photos.

Looking back at some of the photos that I took, I shudder. And cringe. But hey, everybody has to start somewhere. And so as to not waste (hah... hah...) my past efforts, let's take a look at some of my ugly photos.

 Nutella Banana Muffins
I used to bake on Saturday afternoons and then snap the photos on Sunday morning. 

Peach Cheesecake
The photo shoot would take place like 7am in my dining room under florescent lights. Inevitably, the flash would come on and if turned off, I get blurry photos.

Tomato Sambal
Obviously, the images would come out blah. No matter what I did, my pictures sucked.

Spicy Fried Chicken
I remembered asking a famous blogger what camera she used because her photos were lovely. She told me the model that she was using was no longer available.

Some kind of chicken soup
She also told me, it's not the camera, it's the photographer. Then she asked me to look at the photos from her earlier posts. What she said is true.

Tomato Beef
I was using a digital point and shoot camera which cost me quite a bit of money. The camera was purchased years before my blogging days because I got tired of people telling me that they would send me photos that they shot at weddings and they never did.

Thai Green Curry
But I never brought the camera with me to weddings (because then I would have to lie to people that I will send photos to them). Only once or twice I took it with me to Kuala Terengganu for Chinese New Year.

Corn Soup
I carried on, trigger happy with my not-so-great photo shoots until one day my camera died on me.

Bad photography cum bad baking
My brother came to the rescue and gave me his camera which he had not been using. It was during that time that I started reading up about how to take better pictures.

Kak Q's chicken. I miss her.
One blogger whose photos I deeply admire is Azlita of Masam Manis. She is also highly talented in baking and cake decorating. Her Korean Buttercream Flowers are amazing.

Some kind of cake
She has written up some posts on photography and I studied them religiously. That was where I learnt to seek natural light and how to bounce and reflect light on my subject. I did notice that my photos started to improve slightly with natural light.

Chili and salt prawns
But the point and shoot camera has its limitations. I do think that to a certain extent, the camera matters.

Babi pongteh, I think
It was sometime in 2016 that I decided to invest in a DSLR camera. I saved enough money for it and I must say that it was worth it. Of course, in the beginning my photos, though much improved, were not what I was expecting.

Failed salad
I had not unleashed the full potential of the camera (I still haven't) and I was still very lacking in knowledge. I did more research and reading and even bought an e-book written by a very successful blogger.

It has helped me much and I do realize that you cannot learn photography just by reading or have someone teach you. You need to go forth and experiment and practice.



Hey, who knows, one day I might even publish my own tutorial heh..heh...heh...

"I don't think so lah, Madam". The cheesecake that spoke its mind
To be continued ................

22 comments:

  1. Hahaha your last photo is speaking to you. Ah, I manyak malu when I read your post because I never care about how my photos look so you all have to suffer looking at bad photos. oops! Good that you are making an effort to improve your photos on your blog.

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    1. hee..hee... Don't worry about your photos lah. I am just talking about mine :)

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  2. We evolve as we go along. Haha. My photos when I started also looked so bad and unappetizing. Lol.

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  3. I do not quite agree - the photos are merely for illustration. Those with very nice photos like those in glossy recipe books do not have character - come across as unnatural, kind of fake...but of course, the photos I use must be good enough, not blurry, not too dark and what not.

    My digicam is good enough for me - unlike my early days when I was using my cheap handphone camera...and everyone was grumbling away about the photos, not that I cared. I like the snapshots taken in broad daylight but like you, I do take pictures 5-6.00 a.m. in the morning and the fluorescent light is not that great for photo-taking. Ah well!!! I can't jolly well wait till the sun rises as I would like to eat what I have cooked right away.

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    1. These days with camera phone it is so convenient. I used to carry my digital camera in my handbag and felt so awkward taking it out to snap photos.

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  4. Oh dear, your first paragraph described my photography to the tee. I still just use my handphone for all my photos. I just snap from whereever it's convenient, be it the kitchen or my dining table and I don't have the time to bother with where's the best lighting. I don't look for natural lighting (or find the best spot in my house) and I take them at whatever time, lunch or dinner. Your food photos do look loads better than mine. And for outside photography, I just make the best of what I'm presented with...hehe! ;)

    I do wish I could have better photos but I'm too lazy to do anything about it...it's all about time and effort. That's why I love to ogle at all the awesome food photography in cookbooks...the very reason that makes me buy them in the first place.

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    1. Oh please do not worry about your photos. I was talking about mine and how I started to become fussy hee..hee... For the outdoor makan outings, I still use my handphone and I am not bothered if they look good. I love looking at those awesome photos in cookbooks too :)

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  5. You are right. We all have our beginning and we improve as we progress. The lighting and camera are both important. So far I am making do with only my phone camera. Anyway, your food photos never fail to make me drool! Lol!

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    1. We get better as time goes by and I hope to make more improvement!

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  6. I think you need to apply the Rule of Thirds in terms of composition. Your subject matter should occupy 1/3 of the overall composition in order to look pleasing. Most writers will definitely edit their photo (using software such as Photoshop, Lightroom etc) to enhance the photos. The editing part does make a lot of difference. Nevertheless, your recipes are awesome, I do read and follow via Feedly. Thanks for sharing them.

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    1. Thanks for your feedback and thanks for following me :)

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  7. i can totally emphathise with your photographic journey, since for most years, from 2009 until 2017, i just used a point-and-shoot that was always set to auto. i'm not a natural learner when it comes to technical stuff like apertures, shutter speeds, etc, so i could never understand it when people tried explaining it to me. it's only been in the last two years that my photography has improved, but it's still very far off from the pros, cos i still take my shortcuts - i only shoot jpg, never raw; i only use natural light; i use the same lens on the camera all the time, so it's not the optimal lens for food photography, etc etc ... but it's ok, cos for me, photography should be fun, it shouldn't be too much work :)

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    1. Your photos are awesome! The food ones and those travel pics that you capture. I am also still confused over aperture, shutter speed, ISO and whatever! I also use natural light as it is the best and also shoot jpeg. I doubt if I will ever graduate to raw.

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  8. I can see that you do improve a lot on your photography skills over the years, I feel guilty of not shooting nice photos for my blogger friends, but then blogging should be fun and not stressful, hee hee. I ever attended a Basic Digital Photography Class and all those apertures, shutter speeds lessons got me so confused.

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    1. Thanks :) Don't worry about your photos. I am just being fussy about mine.

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  9. Natural light definitely helps when taking food photos. I bought a dslr to take food pics, but nowadays i snap almost all my pics using my phone cos i'm too lazy to lug a heavy camera around. :P

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    1. When eating out, it's always my phone. I haven't taken my DSLR anywhere yet hah..hah...

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  10. I struggle with photography as well. sigh...

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  11. I'm from DSLR to point & shoot camera to handphone, LOL

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