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Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling 1st Edition

116 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470932131
ISBN-10: 0470932139
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Due Date: May 26, 2016 Rental Details
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Editorial Reviews


...shows us how to make food photos look delicious, exploring tips and techniques used by the pros. (Digital Photography Enthusiast, July 2011).

'Honestly, and I don't say this lightly: if you buy one book on photography make it this one.' (Modern Country Style, Sept 2011)

'Helene Dujardin s guide to photographing food is a great practical read for budding photographers...this book is full of inspiring images that are sure to encourage you to get behind the lens. (Digital Photographer, March 2012)

From the Back Cover

Feast on these great recipes for mouthwatering food photos

Pictures have power. When you know how to make a dessert look so luscious that you gain two pounds just gazing at it, you have the power to tease taste buds from miles away. Whether you showcase the spectacular creations coming out of your own kitchen or aspire to a career in food photography, you'll devour the information in these pages.

Photographing food is an art. Develop your food photography skills with these techniques.

  • Discover how to use natural light to capture stunning images

  • Learn how to work with your camera modes and settings

  • See how to fine-tune exposure

  • Discover how to compose the most appetizing photo

  • Tell your story with light

  • Add pizzazz with herbs, sauces, and easy styling techniques

  • Learn trade secrets for photographing items such as ice cream and stews

  • Develop an after-capture workflow process to improve your food photos


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470932139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470932131
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hélène Dujardin came from France to the US in the late 90s to research material for her Masters in History. Her possessions were simply an old film camera and a suitcase full of family recipes. Soon after, she decided to follow her first passion, food, and so began honing her skills in various dining establishments. She became the pastry chef at a French restaurant and she stayed there for five years. Yet photography was never very far from her heart.

Hélène launched the award-winning blog Tartelette in 2006, where she dedicates herself to the art of food, photography, and styling. It didn't take long for photography to become more than a hobby. Hélène started professionally working with local and national magazines. She also began photographing and styling numerous cookbooks.

She's photographed Carrie Vitt's cookbook "Deliciously Organic", Holly Herrick's "Tart Love" and Virginia Willis' "Basic To Brilliant Ya'll".

Hélène's food photography and styling work has been praised online and in print by publications such as Elle magazine, Forbes magazine, The Times Online, Saveur magazine, CNN, Martha Stewart and more.

Her photographs reveal her passion for natural light, seasonal and fresh ingredients, a love of travel and genuine interest in people. Hélène currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband and their two rescue dogs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 126 people found the following review helpful By JeanChristophe on October 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book contains way too many technical inaccuracies.
About half the book addresses technical issues (basics, camera modes, natural light, artificial light, post-processing [unread]), it is a shame that these chapters are riddled with so many mistakes, some minor and some huge. And when there are no mistakes, technicals aspects are sometimes poorly explained. Begginners reading this book will be confused, more advanced photographers will cringe.

Dujardin is a talented artist with a good eye for composition, styling, colors and lighting, but is sadly lacking on the technical side. She compensates for this with her own artistic sense, but alas she tries to explain photography in technical terms and fails.
She should have either steered away from technical discussions, or have those chapters written (or at least proof-read) by a more technically competent photographer. I would not recommend this book (in the present edition) to someone starting out. Or perhaps I'd tear the first half off and attach some better resources to it (ie : Understanding Exposure for basics, and for artifical light)

Some examples of inaccuracies :

Minor :
- some captions not matching the pictures (as in page 54, caption says "soft light" but it is hard and undiffused as described in the text)
- on p.31 the phrase "these pears were shot with a wide aperture and shallow depht of field" might lead a begginner to think these are two distinct settings.

Not so minor :
- on p.81 calling a speedlight on the camera's hot shoe an "off-camera flash" (even if you bounce the light)
- on p.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kerry A. Walsh on February 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an avid consumer of food blogs. I read about 25 food blogs religiously and see a lot of food photography. More and more, food blogs are becoming uniform, with the same distressed-wood platforms and soft-light setups and props that suggest a rustic country kitchen turning out classic dishes for a group of close friends and family gathered around a centuries-old table used by generations past. In short, everyone is becoming Helene Dujardin. The thing is that I'm sure her photography was once really groundbreaking for its clean images and exact propping. But now it seems same-old, same-old. Anyway, I got this book because I thought, at the very least, it would give me a starting point to learn how to create photographs that everyone likes and then work from there to find my own voice. Except, to me, this book is more a narrative on what it's like to be a food photographer and not any kind of practical instruction on how to be one. Sure, Dujardin talks about lighting setups and camera angles and composition, but there's no meat here. It's mostly fluff, not readily applicable to a beginner's abilities and understanding of photography, food styling and composition. That said, it's a nice read, has beautiful photos (if you can get past the sense that every last cocoa nib has been placed precisely with tweezers....) and has some vague information about equipment and general camera settings that have worked for Dujardin. Probably better as a pleasure read for some information about the life and work of a successful food photographer than it is an instruction manual.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Abdullah AlMearaj on July 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I opened the book to read it on Sunday and finished reading by Tuesday! Neither because I know most of the book contents, nor the book has no contents except some gorgeous photos by the author! The book has almost 260 pages of useful information! But, because the book is written in such a beautiful style. As if someone is whispering in your ears. Also the information flow very smoothly and free of clutter of technical stuff although the book covers most of food photography aspects.

At the beginning I ignored and skipped the parts that talk about exposure, Aperture and Shutter speed and went directly to the parts of interests. After reading one chapter of those, I went back to the beginning of the book and read it from first page to the last. Even I read the information I already know. I don't know why but I felt inspired.

The author is a French came to USA in 90s and worked in several restaurant before she became the master chief of pastry for a French restaurant.

At the beginning she was photographing the pastry she make for the other colleague to make the same when she goes for vacation. In 2006 she left the restaurant job and started her award winning blog [...] and devoted her time in cooking , designing and photographing food.

Soon she progressed and became a professional food photographer and her photos published in national magazines such as Elle Magazine, Forbes Magazine and others

In the first chapter: a talk about the light in general and the importance of it to make a photo and some basics about how to deal with light and find it.

Second chapter is devoted for the talk about photography basics like Exposure variables and how to balance. Then a talk about light and controlling the white balance.
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