Originally Posted by Hyperion
hi folks, I'm new to this forum!
I have been posting food accomplishments (i.e. dishes that I make) on a Chinese forum but for some reason they always say my food looks bad. I have no idea how to improve and they wouldn't tell me (they just tell me it's bad, but not why it's bad). So I decided to look for another forum to discuss my cooking technique. First of all, I would like to show you several dishes that I received negative comments on, and hopefully get some constructive feedback :)
This is Penne alla Vodka
This is apricot salami scone with strawberry and grape tomato sauce
Spaghetti alle vongole
In my opinion, your biggest problems aren't food related, but photo related. The subject of the pictures is good, but there isn't much to add interest. Pictures require the proper lighting to look good.
For instance, in your picture of the Penne Pasta, there are shadows that are just there. They aren't dark enough to add dimension or contrast, especially since the lighting didn't make the natural tomato pop. Try using you flash, and getting about 3 to 4 feet away from the plate. Place the plate onto a pretty piece of cloth that will compliment the reds of the food. Place an attractive glass strategically next to the plate, preferably either a glass goblet filled with a colorful liquid, or one with an interesting paint scheme on the outside will help the picture. Also, the shredded cheese on top takes away from the clean look of the food, and makes everything a little too busy.
With your Scone, again, you need more light. Use the flash. I understand what you were trying to achieve with the sauce. But it has to have smooth, clean lines, not the irregular and sometimes wavy look. These shout - AMATURE - to the world. I believe the food is much better than is the picture.
The Spaghetti alle vongole is almost where it's supposed to be. Simply change the camera angle to a slightly lower position, in order to create more ddrama. Again, make it a little brighter, increase the contrast. The distance works with this dish.
The fish is lackluster in appearance. With that sprig of Rosemary sitting on top, almost looking like it's in a shadow, the picture becomes boring. You don't have to change the ingredients, but it would help to add a bright green garnish, or maybe a quartered lemon slice, with the peel. The picture again needs to be brighter to make it more appealing.
With the Tilapia Soup, you are way too close to the subject. Back off and present the soup in a pretty place setting, with a lean and simple table cloth, a champagne glass beside it, with bright and shiny silverware sitting on a perfectly folded cloth napkin. This will take the observer's eye away from the broth, and at the same time, reduce the impression that this soups is loaded with fat. You might even garnish it with fresh parsley, that isn't half submerged, but rather, sitting on the side of the bowl.
Finally, the pizza - simply move back a little, and plate it attractively on colorful cloth placemats. Maybe have a slice removed from the pit to show off the crust.
Hope this helps.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North