September Food Challenge

For this challenge we focused on (literally, focused on) some type of food, be it fresh food or a prepared dish.  No need to spend hours in the kitchen to get this shot…  it could be a favorite fast food.  Just get in close, pay attention to your background and shoot!  But I was not prepared for the effort and time that went into getting our first entry.  And with that hint, I am sure you now know who I am referring to.  Lorraine does not  take the easy route to getting her shots.  She obsesses over them and rarely gets her shot on the same day that her quest has begun.  And so it was with her desire to shoot the “perfect” apple.  No cooking involved!

So I get an e-mail from Mike saying that Lorraine has gone to the store to find the perfect apple.  I can picture her now picking through the apples, discarding any with a blemish, poorly shaped or not red enough.

And then came another e-mail from Mike along with a photo!  Seems that Lorraine was setting up her apple shot in the back yard when she remembered that I had said to look at the background and not to have it too busy as that would distract from the focal point of the shot.  Indeed she had a problem with the background.  Seems that she had set her apple on a post and put her camera on a tripod but when she looked through the view finder there was a dead shrub in the background detracting from her perfect red apple.  Rather than shoot from a different angle or move to a different area, Lorraine did what any crazy woman would do…  she armed herself with serious tools and chopped that dead bush down!!  Thank you Mike for getting this sneaky shot of Lorraine doing the dirty work!

Now when I asked Lorraine if she would mind if I posted Mike’s shot… this is what she said:

” Now…..about that “other” photo! Oh man…I didn’t bring that up as I was hoping that would be forgotten! I am kinda embarrassed about it and was going to say no….BUT Mike said it was HIS picture.  I told him, but it was a picture of ME and that I wasn’t aware when he took it.  I was so involved in cutting that stupid dead shrub down that I didn’t hear him come out and snap the picture!  He then reminded me that back in 1982 when he got his first SLR that he had me sign a “Consent to Photograph” form.  At the time Mike worked for the Wichita Public Schools Cable Television Station and had to get forms signed from teachers and students.  When he started taking pictures of me he had me sign it as a joke but he still has it and WON’T let me out of it!!!!   Its like I have the Paparazzi with me at all times now!  GEEEEZ!!!!”

Soooo… here is the infamous shot in preparation of Lorraine getting her food photo.

Chopping Down the Shrub

(Photo by Mike)

   So once the dead shrub was chopped down and carted away, Lorraine could concentrate on shooting her apple.  But we are not done yet!  This was the e-mail I got from her about her quest to shoot the perfect apple…

“When I learned that the next challenge was going to be photographing
food, I thought to myself…I am in trouble now! I spent some time looking
over photos of food like Fay suggested. Fay made a statement when
giving us this challenge about making or keeping it simple and with this
I found some hope.

Enjoying the outdoors so much, I decided to start with this being the
setting and working the food into it . I had thoughts of visiting
orchards but decided I would stay in my own backyard and create my own
little setting with a simple food item.

First, I had to find “the perfect” apple. I must admit I did get some
funny looks from people watching me so carefully analyze the apples in
the store. I had it all figured out and thought to myself about how this
should be fairly easy. I was wrong!!  I ended up having to work on this
three different days….about two hours each time. Temperatures over 100
degrees didn’t help the situation. The angle of the sun had to be just
right. The depth of field was a challenge and I had issues with things
in the background interfering. After all that, I ended up using an image
from the first day!

I used a cross screen filter for the star burst effect. I like the
effect and hope to use it on other images. I used aperture priority
mode. I also learned more about my camera and adjusting the exposure compensation.  It was another good learning experience for me.”

The Perfect Apple
(Photo by Lorraine)

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24 thoughts on “September Food Challenge

    • Vickie,
      Thank You. Blurring the background while keeping the apple sharp was quite a challenge for me. Glad you liked the wood post. I purposely positioned it so that the split would show.

    • Kristen,
      Thanks for your comments. I have found I really like using the cross screen filter. It was my first time and I know it won’t be my last!

  1. Wow. The apple is beautiful. I read all the work that you put into getting the photo and also the “other” picture too. You really inspire me to take more time and research my challenges. I love the star burst effect. I need to try that. Good job Lorraine. Great photo

    • Debbie,
      Thanks for your comments. Being so new to photography, I end up having to spend so much time to get the shot I want. However, I do learn with each challenge.

  2. Lorraine, that is a “WOW” picture! You are really getting alot out of these challenges! Yard work done, learning the camera and one really beautiful picture. The starburst is gorgeous, I want to learn how to do that! I like how you set up the picture on the wood block unpreditable yet simple. Your effort is enspiring! Bravo…..

  3. Stunning picture. You can see that the author has spent time and effort in its creation – and it’s paid off. This masterpiece is so different to my own ‘snaps’. Minimalist, that’s me. Lorraine has made me think that I can do better.

    • Thanks John,
      I appreciate everybody’s compliments on my efforts. However, I want to know…….when does it get easier? My husband tells me I need to think of my camera as a musical instrument and to just practice, practice, practice.

  4. Lorraine,
    This is exquisite.
    Your style of background simplicity is hilarious but it works. All of your efforts are sweetly paid off with this picture.
    Your tenacity is infectious that makes us think for more ways to improve our end product. You are not just the “Certified crazy one”, but you are the “model club member”. Thank you for all of your hard work and this beautiful picture.
    Very good job.

    • Thanks so much Tess,
      I really appreciate your comments. I am just a beginner who really wants to learn how to take good photo’s. it just seems to take a lot of effort right now and I get frustrated at times…..but it feels good when I finally am able to obtain the shot I am after.

  5. Fay,
    I want to thank you for the creative (but a little embarrassing) introduction to my entry. In my defense……there really wasn’t a better place in my backyard for the shot . Due to the 104 degree reading on our patio thermometer and the rapidly changing angle of the sun, I committed myself to that spot and the shrub had to go!!!!

  6. Lorraine, that is an awesome shot! I love the star effect too. It looks like a professional took it. I’d be proud to have a copy of that blown up to put on my wall! Good job!

    • Merrie,
      Thank you for your nice comments. Working with that apple was kinda frustrating at times but in the end it appears it paid off!

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