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What's missing?
Posted By: KrisK10D, 04-20-2008, 03:07 AM

I took these for the challenge and though they came out OK, there still seems to be something missing. Can anyone give me some pointers?













Thanks folks
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04-20-2008, 03:22 AM   #2
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The coffee spoon? - Just kidding

In the first picture you have the bright red filling in the cookie, it some how ads interest to the photo. Realizing that, I kind of miss something similar in the others, what do you think?
04-20-2008, 04:42 AM   #3
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The first three would be better with wisps of steam coming off them.
04-20-2008, 06:18 AM   #4
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Original Poster
Thanks folks. Gawan... the first lot I took didn't even have bickies in them. I got a feeling that it's more than just the cream filling hehe

Mike... the coffee (#2) was steaming. Apart from a couple of 'smudgy' areas on the surface, it hasn't come out in the pic. An unfortunate mistake had that pic taken at iso1600 (I always forget about iso in the dslr) so I'm not sure if that had something to do with it.

04-20-2008, 06:31 AM   #5
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Maybe if the viewing angle was reduced you might have a better chance to see the steam vapours present. Rather than looking down into the cup have more of a side shot with dark backgrounds to exemplify the steam. Try holding the beam of a flashlight onto the steam while you take the picture with a remote control; the vapour should reflect off the light a bit better. Also, I might suggest you increase your aperture to f8 or f11 to keep in focus all of the cup, saucer and cookies. f4 seems to work well for the glass pictures as they are not as deep as the saucers.
04-20-2008, 08:13 AM   #6
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commercial photo trick

Its really hard to capture steam in "film" In school we would light a match and blow it out over the cup mere seconds before snapping the shot.
04-20-2008, 08:49 AM   #7
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I'd go with J.Scott and try adjusting the angle and F stop. Great images though. Iespecially like the cup/saucer/biscuit ones.

Paul
04-20-2008, 09:02 AM   #8
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I once read somewhere about "composition" being the art of subtraction. That bit of advice I find quite appropriate for this question. What elements do not contribute to the main subject?

1) Textured table cloth. In each of these images, the eyes get drawn to those textures.
2) Background foliage. Ditto. This is especially pronounced in the last image, where it out compete the mug for attention.
3) Background ISO noise (admittedly not a composition issue, but it helps none the less) on the fourth image

I like the steam suggestion, it adds an element of dynamism to a static subject. Some other things to try/consider:

1) Follow up on creating dynamics - consider allowing some beer froth to slide down the side of the mugs.
2) All of these are lighted from behind, giving a strong sensation of being in the shadow. Come out into the light :-) Try adding one or two frontal light source(s).

04-20-2008, 10:31 AM   #9
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as many have commented, a plain backdrop would have been better. Black or deep blue might be the best, especially for the beer mugs. and glass.

Also, depth of field is to me a little shallow, I know you were trying to get the background out of focus, but it costs you image sharpness on the subject. I note one shot was at F4 for example.

Aside from the coffee spoon, some peanuts to go with the beer would be nice
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