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Mark Frauenfelder at 10:29 am Tue, Mar 25, 2008
Actually, some products are better in “real life” (that is, the website photographer did a better job than the ad photographer =) I myself think that a lot of Super Associated products her in US look at least as good in real life. But yet again, for a lot of products on the page, the ‘real stuff’ just looks better. Or maybe I am too hungry now =)
Food photography is serious business.
#2… yet it’s obvious from the shots that even these are faked… blatantly cooked up and served by a professional chef who hasn’t used the actual product…
I’ll bet if you tried to serve the actual product up in the company exec’s dining room no-one would eat it, yet they expect their customers to buy it…
Seriously, the Knorr products look to be the most photorealistic of the bunch…
I agree with RyanH, I thought many of the items were surprisingly accurate. Plus, this isn’t exactly a scientific study or anything, so much of food is things you can’t see, like aroma, texture, flavor. There are some dishes that are some of my very favorites that frankly don’t look particularly appetizing, Indian food for example. Some of the stuff they serve just plain doesn’t look right, but the taste and flavor are unbelievable. I myself have a killer recipe that I will never be able to submit to a cookbook because the results are oddly colored due to the ingredients.
i can remember watching food stylists preparing food for a food photographer, and i was amazed at the amount of waste… a small village could subsist on the waste from a food shot:countless chicken breasts would be cooked(typically only half cooked) until the grill marks were perfected; gallon containers of ice cream would be cleaved in half to get the right visual effect of the flavor swirls. and the food that was unused? thrown away, not fit for consumption.
#5 by Petrodon
Are you talking about Saag Dishes? They mostly end up looking like a fresh cowpat:)
@ #9 LB
“This is the third article I’ve seen today that repeats something I’ve seen before… on BoingBoing.”
I know. The Net will eat itself. I Blog stuff I’ve seen on Boingboing amongst other places and I reckon that a lot of Newspapers must rely on Boinboing (amongst others) for their Weird Wild Web style columns. Then again, BoingBoing picks up on Newspaper stories.
I suppose I should be comforted to know that Europeans (or at least, Germans) have as much processed crap-food as Americans do.
Even so, I wouldn’t mind trying some of it, and I know from experience that the Ritter-Sport chocolates are wonderful- especially the Marzipan.
Of all things, I never expected BB to make me hungry. I could really go for some spaghetti right now :|
This is the third article I’ve seen today that repeats something I’ve seen before… on BoingBoing.
(At least, I’m pretty sure.)
No talk of food packaging and it’s difference to real life can be complete without mentioning a quite awesome movie “Falling Down” http://imdb.com/title/tt0106856/ where the main protagonist is quite concerned about the subject http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eREiQhBDIk (starting at about 3:50)
What stood out for me was the 3 panel format which read a lot like a depressing comic strip with a two panel set up and a one panel anti-punchline at the end.
They feel a little like real world Perry Bible Fellowship strips.
The companies may be obligated to use the actual product when making images for the package, but that doesn’t mean the pictures aren’t Photoshopped to all hell.
Amazing how “delicious” everything looks once it’s out of the package. Bon apetit.
We all know advertisers like to exergurate, i’d be suprised if anything came out as advertised.
I really liked this link. It was kinda fun to see what looked real and what looked ridiculous. Did you guys see that awesome Corn Dog covered in seeds and stuff? AWESOME.
Here in the states, food packaging almost always includes the legend “Serving suggestion” or “Enlarged to show texture” or a similar disclaimer.
Ritter Sport marzipan chocolates are merely good – Sarotti marzipan chocolates are excellent.
The fact that you only find Ritter Sport in stores in N. America is clearly part of a Bavarian dominated anti-Cologne mass-produced confectionary cabal.
There’s a great piece in an episode of Charle Brooker’s ScreenWipe, dealing briefly with enhanced food photography.
There’s a basic tv-ad shot of a slice of warm apple pie (or something similar), steaming sumptuously on the plate. Then a hand reaches into shot, to reveal the food photographer’s trick, a steaming hot tampon (having been dipped in boiling water), strategically placed behind the pie to make steam curl up appetizingly around it..
Is there a mirror of the site? It seems to be down…
Now I’m going to have to find some Sarotti Marzipan. Maybe Fresh Market will have them next Christmas- they had all sorts of European candies and holiday goodies- it was like being in a Kristkindlmarkt. I used to get little bags of marzipan potatoes in a local bakery in Otterberg.
My absolute favorite little delight was the Ferraro “Mon Cheri” candies with the brandy centers. A couple of those would give me a buzz- and they sold them in the BX in Germany. Not to mention the Asbach Uralt brandy filled chocolates.
I’ve watched food stylists also, I used to be in commercial photography. You can be very creative to make the food look good and not have to enhance the product in illegal ways.
As for the waste issue, I’m now an artist who now is ever so lucky enough to be a baker in a chic grocery store (for insurance purposes). If you want to see waste, go behind a supermarket as the out of date products are being thrown out every morning. It would boggle your minds. I mean it. It’s shocking at first.
Here‘s a nice article on the various techniques used in the food photography field.
The original is here:
It’s in German, but you can probably figure out how to navigate the slideshow.
Is it just me or does Germany have a wealth of pre-prepared food products the likes of which is unseen in the US?
Yeh, that’s the impression I got when I googled for the Charlie Brooker reference I mentioned above.
Also, I looked at the video, what a perfect douche, and as a great bonus his name is Sjan (pronounced Shaun, or Sean if you’re rolling with the realness). This video would equally fit this thread perfectly.. :)
#34 Don’t explain the joke! (It’s just a sketch. A terrible one.)
Why on earth did they sprinkle that corn dog with bird seed?
And what is up with the canned shish-kabobs. Once you decide to can something, I call you have to remove superfluous sticks.
I’ll take a strawberry Yogurette bar though. That looks tasty, like a Charleston Chew for the Utne Reader-set.
@28, Germany does have a lot of pre-prepared foods. Generations of poor studends survive on this stuff for years – it also tastes very good in most cases.
This reminds me of the scene in the movie Brazil where Sam & his mother are dining at a restaurant. They are served a scoop of some odd coloured/textured substance along with a nice photograph of what the food is actually supposed to be.
I think this article is good but I think the food companies don’t even look at it.They are only worried about their business in the food industry,their losses and profits etc.I think they should also look at the public’s view of them.
There have been things posted on Boing Boing that I found less appetizing than this, but most of them were accompanied by calls for a unicorn chaser.
For those who missed Jeff Kay’s experiment documenting fast food products (ad photos vs his photos), it’s amusing. The “KFC Famous Bowl” is the worst offender:
The photographer didn’t set some of the foods on plates, as they appear on the packaging photos. So all the canned fish foods probably look worse since the photographer left them in the can.
Otherwise, I’m surprised a lot of that actual food looks fairly similar to the packaging photos. Maybe that’s a testament to packaged foods in Germany.
@ MR ASCII (#16)
Thanks a lot – I’m german so that won’t be a problem.
thank you for a truly disgusting experience
I was actually surprised at how many were reasonably accurate, as long as you allowed for minor stuff like the colour of the lighting. And there are a handful that really don’t belong on the list. Ones that are known to be different. Sort of like I don’t expect whole oranges in a pack of frozen orange juice, even if that’s what’s on the tube.
Food photographers for ads and the like are legally obligated to only use the actual product, as it’s bought in the store, for shots like these. They just get 100 cans of soup or whatever, and open them one after the other until they find a “perfect” one.