[AMA] Creative Food Photography: Ask Me Anything with Hasselblad Master - Marcin Giżycki

  1. marcin_gizycki
    Donut Jul 16, 2021

    marcin_gizycki , Jul 16, 2021 :
    AMAbannermarcin 2.png

    Hi Community,

    It has been an incredible feeling seeing my work and workshop being posted, but what really makes it all worth it is the loving comments from you guys. From the reaction to my workshop to the delightful shots of different cuisine in the SOOP contest, your interactions with me have made your talent and enthusiasm for photography clear.

    As with previous workshops, I'm hosting this AMA for anyone who might have questions regarding the workshop, contest, or just on how to take better photos in general. Please don't hesitate, and get those entries in the comment section. I will select and answer 15 questions from you guys.

    You can submit your question until July 23, 5 PM HKT. And I will start answering the questions from then.

    • Each user is only allowed to ask one question.
    • We will give away 15 OnePlus Logo stickers to the lucky users who have their questions answered, and also an exclusive preview of the next community workshop episode.
    • Before you type in your question, please do check the thread if anyone has already asked the question you want to ask.
    • Remember to tag me in your question so I get notified.
    • Considering your questions may have already been asked by other Community friends, we recommend you to give those questions likes instead of creating a duplicated one.
    • Standard terms and conditions apply.

  2. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    "Of course, I have experience in animal photography - I have a dog at home, and until recently a wonderful cat lived with us (unfortunately we had to say goodbye to him). The difficulty is that the animals are constantly in motion, so they are hard to capture naturally. Patience is important - you need to watch your pet and look for a good moment. A lot also depends on the species of the pet. The dog is harder to catch in a natural pose at home because it cares for your attention. The cat is a bit easier - mostly they just don’t care :D.

    It's a good idea to photograph animals while they are resting, sleeping, or washing - if you have cool light from behind their body, you can get a great glow effect and an ethereal vibe. Try to photograph your pet in good light during the day, preferably during the golden hour.

    The movement is more difficult. In general, I find movement mobile photography hard to obtain. I would suggest following a moving object with a lens/phone and taking pictures in burst mode - thanks to this you will increase your chances of an interesting shot. This effect is called panning. This motion is similar to the motion of a person when you turn their head on their neck from left to right. In the resulting image, the view seems to "pass by" the spectator as new material appears on one side of the screen and exits from the other, although perspective lines reveal that the entire image is seen from a fixed point of view. The panning technique is achieved by keeping the subject in the same position of the frame for the duration of the exposure. You want to freeze the hero in the frame and blur the background at the same time. It is important here that the shutter speed is sufficiently long to stop the moving object. For a man that is running, it will be about 1/40 of a second, for a sports car 1/250 of a second, for a dog that is running,1/60 of a second (remember these are approximate values, try different solutions). I recommend PRO mode to use this technique.

    Lots of dogs love to “smile” - get as close as you can to a sitting dog and try to make them really close up portrait with the super-wide lens when the dog is making happy expression on their face. You will have great effects !"

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  3. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @@marcin_gizycki

    "Hey! In the restaurant, I’m trying to use all of the things that are on the table. Every piece of accessories can work as a good prop. Maybe you have something with you in your pockets or someone that is your company has in their purse? Try to be creative. Sometimes the plate is nice and that’s all.

    If you have a problem with light in a restaurant, at your table, try to find another spot in the restaurant with better light conditions. Some people will think you are a lunatic, but c’mon - all of us photo enthusiasts are lunatics :D! Don’t care unless it is a super fancy place where it is not a place to behave like this.

    You can always use artificial light - like a flashlight from another mobile device (or even a couple of them) or you can buy a mini portable LED light for mobile photography (there are plenty of them around eBay, ETSY, Amazon, and others).

    If the light conditions are poor, try to compose an image that is as minimal as it can be. More objects equal a greater need for light.

    In most cases, it is best option to make the flat lay image in a restaurant environment."

    atenaa, nerdkabir, RacerZ and 2 others like this.
  4. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    I’ll try to keep it short because it is a topic with no endpoint :D!

    35/50mm for general-purpose shoots, ~80mm portrait for close-ups and macro lense - I think this is a must. I dig a lot into old still-life paintings - there is plenty of inspiration in it. Watch other still life/product photographers - there are so many creative people out there.

    The most important thing in this kind of photography is light - I suggest playing with it. Using natural light is a good starting point, after that you jump into artificial light.

    Product photography is about presenting an object as a work of art, try to think of each object as a work of art that stands bathed in the spotlight on the stage. It's like photographing a Holywood star, except your hero is a perfume bottle or a fruit. You need to create a scene that catches the eye and, more importantly, encapsulates the object into the story behind it.

    atenaa, psygarden, nerdkabir and 4 others like this.
  5. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    A macro lens is great for big closeup and detail photography. It is great when you want to photograph the structure of a fruit or veggie. They are also great for normal close-ups when you move lease further from an object - it will give you a more blurry, magic effect with a bigger shallow of depth.

    A standard lens like 50mm or 35mm is generally great for wider scenery with a lot of objects. Lenses like 65mm or 80 mm are great for one/two objects or close-up photography.

    Making an image with a wider lens and later cropping it to close up is not a good idea (in most cases) because you will lose a lot of resolution, sharpness, depth effects and general visual plastics of the image will be poor.

    atenaa, nerdkabir, RacerZ and 2 others like this.
  6. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    "Hah! There are a lot of options out there, but everyone involves a lot of hard work. Art college can open your mind to endless possibilities in creativity and give you a lot of relationships with other creative persons with whom you can exchange your ideas and thoughts. It is also a great opportunity to meet great artists. Courses can give you great technical abilities and more work perspective. I think the best option is to mix both.

    But more than that - camera and passion is something you have to start with. You need to do a lot of photos and try new things. You need to explore your own creativity and look for tons of inspiration - and this can be found anywhere around you not only in photography. Try exploring painters like Kandinsky, look into Flemish and Dutch still-life painters, grab some iconic Leica photographers and anything that is connected to Magnum photographers or Hasselblad creatives and try to be constantly up-to-date on what is going in the photography world. Being creative is an endless search for answers and a learning path that does not have an end. If you are into fashion photography stick to well know photography studio and hire yourself as an assistant and help more experienced ones and watch them working."

  7. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    "Hi! It seems to me that this question should be directed more at OnePlus employees :). I'm just a photographer trying to tell you some interesting facts about my work and my approach to creativity. It seems to me that this topic was developed in this thread:


    Unfortunately, when it comes to the technological aspect of the components used in the production of the OnePlus mobile device and the technologies they contain, I cannot comment on it more broadly.


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  8. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    To be honest I don’t have my favorite perspectives. I’m trying to adjust my eyes to my subject and use whatever technique is needed to achieve the final effect. Very important is to have the overall look of the scenery and composition before you push the shutter. Image has to be produced firstly in your imagination - the camera is just a tool to achieve the effect.

    Peter McKinnon has a lot of great ideas and he is not constrained by any rigid frames in his creativity. I also like to watch his content. Most of us don’t have probe lenses or other fancy stuff so we cannot use it, but you can use other things to achieve creative effects. Try to use mirrors and make close-ups with reflecting objects in mirrors. You can place a little square mirror on your laptop's keyboard, open sky or space starts image on your screen, close the screen a little, and voila. You have a reflection of some other dimension in the mirror. Place your food or other still life object on the mirror, and make an isometric shoot with your telelens - you have a great product shoot. In the outdoor environment try to use rain puddles to reflects something and take photos of objects and it’s a reflection or just the reflection and rotate photos in postproduction. You can use a sort of a short pipe and put your camera inside and use the super-wide camera, place your object on the other end and put some backlight for drama effects and you have really interesting effects. And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

    There are even easier ways to achieve the effects - remember to put some objects on pre-foreground to make them be blurry and shot from behind these objects to make a more cinematic effect. You have to observe and play. That's the key.

    atenaa, nerdkabir, RacerZ and 2 others like this.
  9. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    First of all - the best approach is to start making photos In RAW. You will have a much wider set of options in case of image editing. The main point of dealing with saturation is to maintain natural levels of colors as by the human eye.

    atenaa, pkg3107, nerdkabir and 3 others like this.
  10. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    Uffff. Thought one! :D

    You have to love to eat - sorry but that is a must-have factor!
    Kitchen with a lot of unnecessary things, accessories, antiques - they are ale great props and creative options for you!
    Great, still-life photographers like Jonathan Knowles, Maciek Miloch, Jenny Van Sommers (and others - look for inspiration!
    Flemish & Dutch still life paintings
    Fruitassembly <- look for this profile on Instagram, I love to watch it

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  11. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    If you want to avoid light reflections on your object, the best way to achieve that is to diffuse light. I don’t see the connection between light reflections and vibrant colors. The more light you have in the scenery - the more vibrant colors will be. If you want coolers to be vibrant you don’t want your light to be “flat”, use a couple of lights sources and place them at an angle so the subject will look more 3D than flat. More glossy is the structure of the subject - the more reflections you will have. In daily life without additional accessories, it will be hard to eliminate all of the blinks. You can use a black sheet of paper to take some of the light from the scenery (you have to find the proper angle) - black color absorbs the light. But first of all, you can diffuse your light with some light semi-transparent material.

    atenaa, pkg3107, nerdkabir and 3 others like this.
  12. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    There is this beautiful issue with any kind of photography that you cannot reproduce the colors one-to-one as the human eye sees them, even with the most professional anal or digital cameras. there will always be a variable, some aberration, either due to the equipment or the operator's (photographers) error.

    Yes, cameras such as Hasselblad are the closest to reality and the difference will not be detectable for an ordinary person, but it all depends on many factors that change the nature of the image (lighting conditions, time of day, type of lamp used, correct image exposure, and many more).

    Sometimes a different color reproduction is an artistic procedure, an intended effect.

    On the other hand, the effect that was obtained with the OnePlus Hasselblad Natural Color Science is very close to the way in which natural colors should be presented in photography. It is extremely interesting for me that this effect is very close to analog photography obtained on a specific film, which from my point of view is very satisfactory.

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  13. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    I recommend Hasselblad for every photographer because every photographer should try Hasselblad in their career - those are outstanding cameras with great heritage and high usability. But those are not cameras for pure beginners. If you have some experience you definitely have to try Hass 500C/M - this camera is like a religious relict. Pure joy. If you want an entry-level (and you have the budget) camera to medium format world you should go for X1D II (which I’m using on a daily basis). It’s lightweight, has great ergonomics, beautiful design, outstanding build and image quality, and color science like anything else on the market. It is a really simple and intuitive camera that will bring you a lot of fun (and images of the highest level of quality). But if you are a beginner, you should start with full-frame cameras and jump to medium format after gaining some experience. But that is only my opinion.

    atenaa, pkg3107, Gabe_M and 3 others like this.
  14. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    Ok, we can have a couple of different approaches to this issue: If you use one source of light, try rearranging the objects - bigger further from the light, small closer, so they don’t “cannibalize” each other with the shadow you can use more than one source of light, try casting additional light from opposite angel and diffuse that light - it will pop up the shadows (minimize them and decrease their contrast)There also can be a problem with the angel of the main source of light - try to play with the angel, the higher the light, the shorter the shadow; the farther the light is, the softer the shadow will be. If you have only one source of light you can use some professional light reflector or cardboard with aluminum foil on it (or stiff white cardboard - light will be softer) to reflect the light (position opposite to the source of the light) - it will bring up the shadows. Hope it helps you!

  15. Daniel D.
    Community Team Staff Member Aug 9, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Daniel D. , Aug 9, 2021 :
    Hello guys,
    I am posting on behalf of @marcin_gizycki

    There were some in the article but I’ll try to explore it more. The first time you try to use PRO mode may seem complicated. From the point of view of an amateur and an enthusiast, it seems to me that the most important thing is to manually set two parameters - ISO (i.e.photosensitivity level) and shutter speed (i.e. exposure time). These two parameters seem to be the most important for product photography taken with the phone. The shutter speed is nothing more than the exposure time, i.e. the time during which the photo is exposed. A longer time lets in more light (so the photo is brighter), but it can blur the photo (it will be blurry) - especially when shooting handheld. Shorter shooting time will freeze the image, but let less light into the frame. ISO tells us how much light is needed to properly expose the frame. A higher ISO value will allow us to shoot with less light, but the side effect will be a more grainy image. It is a natural process in photography and, in many cases, an indicated effect that adds character. In the case of our photos, I decided to photograph as many scenes as possible at the lowest ISO value - 100. We have a lot of light (sun), so it is enough for proper exposure. And the result is a photo with perfect clarity, without any distortions and high imagesharpness. It is highly desirable in product photography - we want our products to look stunning! I focused the image automatically, with a simple tap of a finger in the area of the image I was interested in (after holding the finger for a long time, this setting is remembered, which in many cases is very useful). Of course, the PRO mode allows us to manually focus. Engineers from OnePlus and Hasselblad perfectly approached the subject - they translated the way it is done with professional cameras. When we move the focus slider, we see a focus peaking “zebra" on the screen (color marks the edges of the objects where our point of focus will be). Thanks to this, we can see on the screen exactly what will be in focus in the final photo. This is super useful, especially when we mount the phone on a tripod or gimbal (if we have such devices), and in cases where we want a bit more control over the final effect, it will allow us to obtain a satisfactory level.

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  16. brmbjn
    Gingerbread Jul 16, 2021

  17. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Jul 16, 2021

    Starcommander , Jul 16, 2021 :
    Hey @marcin_gizycki
    My question is, while taking a shot in artificial lighting, how should one position the lights?

    In other words, what should be the position of shadows so that image looks the best
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021

  18. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Jul 16, 2021

    MosheG1 , Jul 16, 2021 :
    @marcin_gizycki while lighting is super important in all shots, perspective or certain angles can completely change your shot. A example that comes to mind is a picture of coffee in a jar shot with a probe lense from inside the jar, it gave a very unique perspective to the shot that is unique and memorable.
    (shot by Peter McKinnon)
    so my question to you is, do you have any advice in certain angles or perspectives to try out in photography and/or what are your favorite perspectives to play with when shooting?
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021

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  19. Dhruv Kashyap
    Jelly Bean Jul 16, 2021

    Dhruv Kashyap , via OnePlus 8T , Jul 16, 2021 :
    Hi there @marcin_gizycki, I would like to know how to maintain the perfect balance between saturation levels which keeping the image near to life-like colors? Basically, How could one judge the best saturation levels for any image scenario?

  20. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Community Expert Jul 16, 2021

    Dresa91 , Jul 16, 2021 :
    Hey @marcin_gizycki :) thanks for the AMA:)
    I own the OnePlus 9 Pro since yesterday.
    I am now trying to engage myself more to mobile photography.
    My goals are first of all nature pictures and pictures of my dog Enya.
    In comparison, objects in nature (landscape, trees, flowers) are easier because they do not move.
    My question now:
    Do you have experience in animal/pet photography?
    what do i have to keep an eye on?
    How can I set the scene for my dog properly?
    Do you have tips for photos from the movement of the dog?

    Thanks and cheers:)

  21. Bittoo06
    Jelly Bean Jul 16, 2021

    Bittoo06 , Jul 16, 2021 :
    Heya! My question is we usually hangout with friends a lot. Gathering and eating food is quite a common thing. We every time want to capture 'quick' and perfect. Sometimes the place is congested or has low light ambiance.

    What are your tips/angles to capture quick and professional photos in such conditions?

  22. nerdkabir
    The Lab² - Oclean X Pro Elite Reviewer Jul 16, 2021

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021

    Bouncer71, RacerZ, KaranRIyer and 2 others like this.
  23. Nipu_1998
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Nord 2 Jul 16, 2021

    Nipu_1998 , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Jul 16, 2021 :
    @marcin_gizycki thank you for the awesome workshop and the AMA session.
    My question is while setting up the frame and taking a food photography shot, which method is more preferable ? Flling the whole frame with the subject (food) and props or addition of some negative space in the frame?

  24. SRD.
    Lollipop Jul 16, 2021

    SRD. , Jul 16, 2021 :
    Hi, @marcin_gizycki ,
    Your workshop was awesome.
    My question for the AMA is

    Where did you get motivation of food photography ?
    Food photography as a full time career, what are the challenges one have to go through ?
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021

  25. DarshanMeniya
    OnePlus TV Product Ninja 2021 Jul 16, 2021

    Bouncer71, RacerZ, pkg3107 and 3 others like this.
  26. M1trey
    Cupcake Jul 16, 2021

  27. pkg3107
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 16, 2021

    pkg3107 , via OnePlus Nord , Jul 16, 2021 :
    Hey there @marcin_gizycki , most of us tend to click photos of food while sitting in a restaurant.
    So, it becomes difficult to find the perfect angle or complimentary things that can add more life to the pic, like you used the leaves in the Berry pic.

    So my Q is :.

    Could you suggest how to find the most suitable things that can accompany a photograph, preferably in a restaurant seating environment? Or probably some tips about utilising the decoration of the seating?

    Bouncer71, RacerZ and Dresa91 like this.
  28. Aditya_4
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Nord 2 Jul 16, 2021

    Bouncer71 likes this.
  29. E1623386428261
    Cupcake Jul 17, 2021

  30. RacerZ
    KitKat Jul 17, 2021

    RacerZ , Jul 17, 2021 :
    Hello @marcin_gizycki,

    Thank you for the excellent workshop. Do you have any useful tips for deciding when to use flat lay vs eye-level vs 45 degree angle when shooting food?
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021

    Daniel D., Bouncer71 and McJader like this.
  31. RkDia
    Froyo Jul 17, 2021