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Digital Food Photography 1st Edition

53 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 008-2039508207
ISBN-10: 1592008208
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Digital Food Photography + Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots + Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More (Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Blogs,)
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Editorial Reviews


Introduction 1. The Key Ingredient: Pixels 2. Digital Photography: The Necessities 3. Who"s Digesting It: Advertising, Packaging, Public Relations, and the Media 4. Who"s Doing the Cooking: Working with Food Stylists 5. Prop Styling: Who"s Doing the Shopping? 6. Grabbing Your Attention: Composition 7. The Recipe for Light 8. The Digital Spice: Retouching 9. Get Cooking and Make Some Money: Getting into the Business

About the Author

Lou Manna is an award-winning Olympus visionary photographer whose work has appeared in national ad campaigns, major magazines, and more than 30 cookbooks. After shooting for the New York Times from 1975 to 1990, he went on to establish his own Fifth Avenue studio, where he works with corporate, advertising, and restaurant clients to create photos that can only be described as "exquisite." Lou is the author of DIGITAL FOOD PHOTGRAPHY, the only book on the art of food photography devoted exclusively to digital technology. Craig Clairborne, restaurant critic and food writer for the New York Times, said, "The important thing about being a real photographer is not only having a great lens, but having a feeling of warmth, collaborating, and bringing out the best of a subject. It requires a sense of style and a feeling of creative arrangement--Lou is marvelous at this."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592008208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592008209
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #865,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 67 people found the following review helpful By B.T. on October 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a professional photographer, and I was greatly looking forward to receiving this book.

I was hoping to get some detailed information on lighting techniques, specifically for food. The additional sections on food and prop styling were handy extras.

What I did get was a nice easy read, and some useful tidbits of information that I can use. Some of the sections on Photoshop were useful (and would be more-so for serious amateurs and up).

What I wasn't expecting and was very disappointed with, were the large chunks of the text dealing with the relationship between ISO, aperture, and shutter. Come-on! This should be a book about digital food photography. Anyone who doesn't know about the basic photographic relationships should be reading a book on basic photography. There were other parts of the book that likewise contained very basic general knowledge I would not expect in a specific book.

Additionally, much spaced was used as almost a portfolio for Lou Manna rather than providing useful information. He does have some beautiful work, but that is not what I was paying for.

All in all, I was disappointed with this book, although it was not a total waste, especially if you were just wanting to get into professional photography.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Matt on January 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have been working with a fantastic commerical photographer in boston for the past year and a half who shoots food regularly. I have since decided to pursue food photography as a career. I've been looking for a 'text book' to help me pull together everything i've learned...finally, I've found it.

Manna's book is like going to food photography school. Reading every chapter made me relive my entire experience working on set: dealing with art directors, clients and food stylists....understanding complex lighting situations, camera angles, stand-ins...understanding the importance of post-production and how to digitally get the results needed.

Shooting food is one of the most difficult work experiences for a photographer, and manna has broken it down so even the novice can become successful. Kudos to him for explaining the process in such a concise and clear cut manner.

For those who have never had hands-on experience, make not mistake...he brings you through the entire'll be in the trenches the entire way.

If I could give more stars, I would.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Walker Tea on October 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was a little dissapointed in the content of Digital Food Photography. The book, layed out in textbook style, is a little basic for the complexity of the subject. Mr. Manna spends too much time on the "old days" and takes too long to dive in to the meat of food photography. It would have been helpful to show specs of each shot; ie camera, lights, exposure, etc. Instead there is a lighting 101 class in the book that does little for the example shots shown. Overall though it's a great book to add to your basic arsenal of photography books.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By flowered-up on December 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book, and I'll tell you exactly who this book is for -- it's for me. I am a semi-professional photographer who is still learning, and trying to step up to the next level shooting full-time. I shoot still-life photography, with many of my images containing food and other organic subjects.

This is the most comprehensive digital food photography book available today. I have looked high and low, and this one book covers more material, in an accessible format for any level of photographer, in a style that is warm and generous of information.

But most importantly, here is what I specifically liked best -- information that is not just hanging around out there:

- Lou reveals many tips and tricks about "food magic" and styling, the oh so important starting point for any food shot.

- He also discusses the importance of the teamwork between prop stylist, food stylist, photographer and client -- they all make the shot.

- He gives an informative overview of the industries that support food photography, from print to packaging to advertising uses.

- His explanation of digital photography equipment, and digital workflow are VERY appropriate to anyone who wants a thorough understanding of the minimum information you'll need to get great results. I am a knowledgable photographer, but I appreciated that he did not take for granted that everyone works in the same manner, and sharing what works for him answered my question, "how'd he do that?"

- MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE part of the book is his section on COMPOSITION -- this alone makes the book worth it's salt. He gives many examples of a play-by-play sequence of shots that lead him to the final image.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By David S. Pearlman on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Lou Manna's book Digital Food Photography is a MUST MISS for any photographer searching for material on how to light food for photography purposes. To begin with, I believe photographers looking to purchase books such as these are not as interested in learning techniques on how to poach a pear, create grill marks on a steak or turn Elmer's Glue into milk for a bowl of cereal (which Manna amply covers). More than likely, they are looking for lighting techniques. After all, properly lighting food is 90% of the battle in most well produced photographic imagery. I sent Manna an email telling him that I was somewhat disappointed that he didn't add any lighting diagrams to show how he lit any of his food images in his nearly 300-page mess. His email reply stated defensively that he mentions time and time again that this is a book for beginners. Due to the complexity of some of the topics he does cover, such as composition and how to make fake ice cream from his secret recipe, one would expect lighting (the single most important aspect in all photography) would be one of the topics covered. Interestingly enough, Manna encourages his readers to contact him - which I did. Sadly, once I got him on the phone I quickly discovered that this entire set up is for him to take your credit card to then give you high-priced, over the phone lessons. He doesn't even allow you to get a word in edgewise until you give him your credit card information so he can bill you for his time. My cell phone must have quit on me, for the next thing I knew, I received a voice mail from him screaming at me and telling me that I need to call him immediately and apologize for hanging up on him. In my opinion, Manna has a couple of screws loose.

If there is a literature equivalent to the cinema's Raspberry Award and karma is indeed a fact of life, I am certain Manna's book will achieve that honor.
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