This week’s food photo critique request comes from our long time reader Jenn from Jenncuisine. She has requested your feedback on her Chicken Quesadilla photo. How will you improve this quesadilla photo? What will you add? What will you remove?
About Chicken Quesadilla Photo
Here are the details from Jenn about the photograph
Setup of this photo
This is the blog post, which also shows my photog. setup at the bottom. – it’s a pretty typical setup of mine, literally a plate on a napkin, with a blue wooden serving tray propped up for a background, and the light from the window coming in at about 4:00. It was a pretty gray day out so I did not bother diffusing the light any.
Below are the technical details of this photograph:
Focal Length: 95mm
Exposure: 1/20 s
Camera: Nikon D200
Lens: 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G AF VR
RAW image processed in Photoshop Elements.
Goal for Quesadilla Photo
My goal for this shot was to give an otherwise flat and colorless food some interest and height – so I stacked the quesadillas on top of each other, and then topped the stack with some of the fillings to add in some color. The plate isn’t the most "quesadilla – like", but it was that or a plain white one and I was already using a white napkin to set the plate on. I’d tried with two different backdrops – my wooden cutting board, which I decided blended in with the tortillas too much, or this blue wooden serving tray, which I thought provided more contrast in color – my thoughts were that together the blue plate, blue/gray background would complement the warm and vibrant colors of the quesadilla stack. In post-processing I did not do much, but brightened a bit and decreased the contrast a fair amount.
I feel like the photo is missing something, and I’m not sure what. I suspect it needs most help with composition and styling. It was accepted by Tastespotting (Neel’s note: Read how Tastespotting selects food photos – Tastespotting’s editor explains ), but rejected by Foodgawker for "harsh lighting/overexposed", so obviously Foodgawker thinks that lighting is the main issue. I’m curious as to what everyone’s thoughts are about how I could improve this shot.
My Two Cents
In my opinion, this is a unique and creative presentation of quesadilla. The stack is well exposed and green and red at the top add some good color to the dull quesadillas. Since the objective was to some interest to a colorless food, I think the tomato and a slice of avocado does that.
If I were to shoot this, I would start with the food. As you did here, if we decide to go with stacked quesadilla and tomato and avocado on it, I would change the other colors used in the photo. If you look at this photo there are three shades of blue, a pale quesadilla, green and red – too many colors. These 6 different colors distract me from the food. I would stick with red or green and use either one of these colors or their shades. I think this one thing really stands out for me and as I said, if i were to do this, I would choose a color or at most two and create a photo based on that. In some dishes, having many colors works (like ice cream with sprinkles) in others it does not – in my opinion.
As I said, overall this is a new presentation that I have seen for quesadilla. Its fresh.
What Do You Think?
What would you think? What are your suggestions for Jenn? Read this photo. What do you think about the frame? What about background? Your thoughts on the bright spot on the bottom right corner?
Photo used in this post is copyright of Jenn from JennCuisine.