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Kent Johnson

Dirty Grainy Food Photographs (In B&W!!!)

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I've been searching alamy for grainy gritty B&W food images and basically there don't seem to be any. Actually it does look like dirty gritty (authentic) photography might be outlawed; and I thought 'authenticity' was in for 2020. Maybe I'm conflating authenticity with the wrong things! What I am wondering is should I risk a [REJECTED] knockback as a still very new member with thousands of fully edited photographs ready to go. Or should I try and push the envelope a bit. I'm aware the image border is a no-no but these were already edited in that manner (which I like..) 

 

Perhaps no-one wants pictures like this or maybe pictures like this are simply not available.. I would hate to get an upload [REJECTED] over images like this. I have a lot of shots but I'd like to mix it up too. Has anyone experience of successfully submitting this kind of imagery. My first knockback was a neon street scene with the Eiffel tower (noise, indistinct subject!!!! and something else) so i'm a bit paranoid now about my own taste. I know stocks different, though i can't understand why. Cheers, Kent.

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Edited by Kent Johnson
add tags, wanted to tick email replies but it's disappeared!

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Plenty of B&W food related images out there ~

 

https://www.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?qt=monochrome "black and white" food&imgt=0&pn=1&ps=100&qt_raw=monochrome "black and white" food

 

There's also a whole genre of "dark food" photography which is very popular

 

https://www.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?qt="dark food" photography&imgt=0&pn=1&ps=100&qt_raw="dark food" photography

 

However most food images are shot in colour because food is colourful and it takes real skill to make it look good in monochrome

and with todays technology a colour photo can be easily converted to B&W ~ so shoot in colour the sale options are much higher.

 

 

When you say "dirty" what do you mean?  As in "keeping real"

Likewise grainy does not apply unless the image is shot on film.

Digital "grain" is noise and is not so attractive.

 

If you try and submit high ISO images you are likely to have them rejected.


 

Edited by David Pimborough
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In addition if you read the QC guidelines I seem to recall that they definitively state that adding grain is a no no :)

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2 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

https://www.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?qt="dark food" photography&imgt=0&pn=1&ps=100&qt_raw="dark food" photography

There's some excellent images in that lightbox.

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13 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

Plenty of B&W food related images out there ~

 

https://www.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?qt=monochrome "black and white" food&imgt=0&pn=1&ps=100&qt_raw=monochrome "black and white" food

 

There's also a whole genre of "dark food" photography which is very popular

 

https://www.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?qt="dark food" photography&imgt=0&pn=1&ps=100&qt_raw="dark food" photography

 

However most food images are shot in colour because food is colourful and it takes real skill to make it look good in monochrome

and with todays technology a colour photo can be easily converted to B&W ~ so shoot in colour the sale options are much higher.

 

 

When you say "dirty" what do you mean?  As in "keeping real"

Likewise grainy does not apply unless the image is shot on film.

Digital "grain" is noise and is not so attractive.

 

If you try and submit high ISO images you are likely to have them rejected.


 

Hi David, thanks for these links and the information. This is exactly why I am asking, to learn form those who have experience here with stock imagery & the all important QC issues! These are useful links, thank you. Had already tried moody B&W but Dark Food is knew to me. I would have called it Low Key and done the wrong search. Noise/grain. I'm darkroom trained and yet no purist, if it works I'm all for it. I can remember coming back to photography in the mid 2000s showing my (all digital print folio) and being asked if I was shooting film or digital; I would often reply, 'you tell me'. Not the right answer of course.. Thanks for the information. Much appreciated.

 

PS, by dirty, I mean the pictures in the post above; I consider them dark,,dirty and gritty. (shot in B&W + RAW, selects RAW converted to colour then re-edited as B&W - no shortcuts).

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13 hours ago, Bionic said:

In addition if you read the QC guidelines I seem to recall that they definitively state that adding grain is a no no :)

There's quite a bit in there, like don't shapen; but the current PDF does not actually mention grain, or digital grain; it does warn about high noise, already been stung on that one. And the borders of course, no border. I do get that Stock is about a certain universality to the images while still having unique qualities. That's a huge juggling act I hope to get right. I just wonder if given the choice more 'edgy' images might sell too? You'll never know if you don't give it a go! Cheers, thanks for the feedback. I did read about grain somewhere, I think it was advice about failing in the forums here.

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7 hours ago, Colin Woods said:

I always thought these were very impressive  as well. Nothing dark or gritty but so well executed.  http://www.carlwarner.com/photographer/?foodscape-commissions

Thank you Colin, these are superb fantasy pieces (I may have seen one or two before). He has really got that neice nailed down; great work. Cheers.

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"If you try to submit high ISO images you are likely to have them rejected." David P

 

I shoot and submit ISO 800 to 1,600 images all the time . . . but I correct for noise in LR. 

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43 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

"If you try to submit high ISO images you are likely to have them rejected." David P

 

I shoot and submit ISO 800 to 1,600 images all the time . . . but I correct for noise in LR. 

 

But what does David P class as High ISO?

 

Allan

 

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On 26/01/2020 at 17:14, David Pimborough said:

If you try and submit high ISO images you are likely to have them rejected.

 

Not my experience at all . . . unless you don't consider ISO4000 as high ISO that is . . .

 

DD

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5 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

But what does David P class as High ISO?

 

Allan

 

 

Anything were the noise is evident in the finished image :)

 

Personally anything over ISO 100 for tabletop food (natural light)

 

For outside shots anything over ISO 800

 

Thats with an APS-C camera, ISO 100 or less is perfect for tabletop and for outdoor shots ISO 800 or less

is usuable after processing.

Edited by David Pimborough
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17 hours ago, Kent Johnson said:

Hi David, thanks for these links and the information. This is exactly why I am asking, to learn form those who have experience here with stock imagery & the all important QC issues! These are useful links, thank you. Had already tried moody B&W but Dark Food is knew to me. I would have called it Low Key and done the wrong search. Noise/grain. I'm darkroom trained and yet no purist, if it works I'm all for it. I can remember coming back to photography in the mid 2000s showing my (all digital print folio) and being asked if I was shooting film or digital; I would often reply, 'you tell me'. Not the right answer of course.. Thanks for the information. Much appreciated.

 

PS, by dirty, I mean the pictures in the post above; I consider them dark,,dirty and gritty. (shot in B&W + RAW, selects RAW converted to colour then re-edited as B&W - no shortcuts).

 

Food photographers (at least the ones I know) tend to use the term "dark food" or moody photography and of course " chiaroscuro "

 

Here's a handy guide to how its done in the studio using boxes (I have a couple) though you can good results with sheets of black foamboard or card painted black on dark backgrounds.

 

https://twolovesstudio.com/blog/create-dark-food-photography-with-box/

Edited by David Pimborough
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2 hours ago, dustydingo said:

 

Not my experience at all . . . unless you don't consider ISO4000 as high ISO that is . . .

 

DD

 

And I've had daylight shots rejected by Alamy at ISO 200

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31 minutes ago, David Pimborough said:

 

And I've had daylight shots rejected by Alamy at ISO 200

 

For noise? If so, I'd be seriously looking at gear/methodology/post-processing . . . I've never had an ISO4000 image rejected, and I've submitted quite a few over the years.

 

DD

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2 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

 

Anything were the noise is evident in the finished image :)

 

Personally anything over ISO 100 for tabletop food (natural light)

 

For outside shots anything over ISO 800

 

Thats with an APS-C camera, ISO 100 or less is perfect for tabletop and for outdoor shots ISO 800 or less

is usuable after processing. 

 

And I've had daylight shots rejected by Alamy at ISO 200

 

There is no instrinsic difference in terms of noise in an image between natural light outdoors or indoors or artificial light so this does not make sense. Noise is not determined by the light source. If you are underexposing indoor images and opening up shadow areas as well then the images will be more noisy. 

 

Comparing noise at various ISOs is only meaningful in any case if comparing the same model of camera and the assumption that one is shooting raw. Having shots rejected because of noise at ISO 200 would be very questionable unless they were very underexposed  (and maybe had the shadows opened up a lot). Are you talking luminance noise? Colour noise might be visible at low ISO but is easily removed and should be applied to all raw images (default Lightroom/ACR settings work well at low ISO).

 

 

Edited by MDM

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 

There is no instrinsic difference in terms of noise in an image between natural light outdoors or indoors or artificial light so this does not make sense. Noise is not determined by the light source. If you are underexposing indoor images and opening up shadow areas as well then the images will be more noisy. 

 

Comparing noise at various ISOs is only meaningful in any case if comparing the same model of camera and the assumption that one is shooting raw. Having shots rejected because of noise at ISO 200 would be very questionable unless they were very underexposed  (and maybe had the shadows opened up a lot). Are you talking luminance noise? Colour noise might be visible at low ISO but is easily removed and should be applied to all raw images (default Lightroom/ACR settings work well at low ISO).

 

 

 

i.e. indoors I shoot using a tripod at ISO 100 in natural light does that help? I did not imply that the type of light source had any bearing on ISO ~ hey I was just answering the question posed  so forgive me for not getting the answer right  🤣 

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2 hours ago, dustydingo said:

 

For noise? If so, I'd be seriously looking at gear/methodology/post-processing . . . I've never had an ISO4000 image rejected, and I've submitted quite a few over the years.

 

DD

 

Yes I know ~ I did point out it was when had first started I know better now

 

All I do know is I have an APS-C and if I shot at ISO 4000 I'd end up with a pile of unusable rubbish.

 

I guess your gear/technique is superior to mine probably so I'm very happy that you have been able to get usable images from ISO 4000 🤗

 

All I can add is that is how I shoot and I work within the usable limits of my equipment

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3 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

 

Anything were the noise is evident in the finished image :)

 

Personally anything over ISO 100 for tabletop food (natural light)

 

For outside shots anything over ISO 800

 

Thats with an APS-C camera, ISO 100 or less is perfect for tabletop and for outdoor shots ISO 800 or less

is usuable after processing.  

 

 

i.e. indoors I shoot using a tripod at ISO 100 in natural light does that help? I did not imply that the type of light source had any bearing on ISO ~ hey I was just answering the question posed  so forgive me for not getting the answer right  🤣 

 

 

 

You are forgiven 🙂. It wasn't clear what you meant at all though. Taking it literally you seemed to be saying that you see noise in images shot indoors at ISOs greater than 100 when you meant that you don't shoot indoors at any higher ISO than 100. Forgive me for not understanding. 🤣

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