1 family. friendly food. » Food photography: What is “food porn”? and more about lenses

Have you ever heard the term “Food porn”?

I bump into these words every now and then. I find it in places where people write, talk, shoot, or appear on TV and the subject is, of course, food, but mostly when it comes to food photography. Food bloggers are especially happy and proud of their “drool worthy” photos. I had an idea but I wasn’t quite sure what they meant exactly when they say it. Until last week.

Last week, I went to a photo store to consult, and hopefully buy, a new lens. As I was playing with a few lenses, I had an “OH! Now I know what they mean when they say “food porn”! moment.

As I was playing with two lenses, a 60 mm f/2.8 and a 100 mm f/2.8, standing in the same place and aiming at the same target, I got it. Since there was no food around I aimed at my camera handbag and then it hit me.

IMG_8686

First I focused on the bottom of the bag, but it didn’t help me much

IMG_8660

…so I focused on the zipper

IMG_8677

(not that zipper, people. Focus!)

With the 60 mm lens

IMG_8664

and then with a 100 mm lens

IMG_8663

Wooooooooo…

If the zipper is too much for you, I also took a photo of this with the 100 mm lens

IMG_8653

So, what is “Food porn”?

Just Googling it, I found many links to this term. Wikipedia defines it “a provocative term variously applied to a spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, cooking shows or other visual media, foods boasting a high fat and calorie content, exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat, or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex.” And “Food porn has become particularly prevalent in blogs relating to food, where it is a term for photography and writing about food that is done in a decadent and borderline erotic style.” To read more, click here.

The Skinny Gourmet blog wrote an excellent post about it. “If the casserole is missionary style, food porn takes its devotees into the foodie karma sutra. It glistens. It drips. It uses props…” Click here to read it.

Then there’s My Tasty Treasures blog. The most provocative I’ve read so far, mainly for its content. It is hilarious! Then I found sites simply named Food Porn and Food Porn Daily where you can submit your food porn photos. Even cupcakes are not that innocent anymore from being referred to as food porn, Geez.

And then of course, there’s Anthony Bourdain, the man most referred to when talking about food and sex. (And I read some blog posts in the past where the bloggers described their drooling over Tony’s sexy photos). So, Tony has devoted a whole episode on his No Reservations TV show. I found an interesting video with his introduction about what it means to him on Eat Me Daily blog and found another blog, The Movable Feast, which also describes the Bourdain & food porn combination. Then I recalled reading something on his blog. It was back in February 2009, titled “The Money”:

“The rules of food TV and the rules of porn are so strikingly similar, why not get STRAIGHT TO THE ACTION as they say on your On Demand menu in every major hotel chain. Forget about the “walk-in,” to “set-up,” the “story!” Who are we kidding? Food Net has built an empire by shrewdly and accurately anticipating that no one really cares how to make the damn dish or where it came from or why it was created. They just want to see some brightly colored close-ups of the stuff before it disappears into the face of somebody/anybody wearing a low-cut leotard.”

I posted about this it on my second blog Good Food and Bad Food (which I have neglected for a long time), “Sex, food, and the Food Network channel – “Oh, yeah, Baby”. But when it comes to food bloggers, my conclusion is that they mainly refer to their close up shots of food. Usually in a food porn photo the food is photographed from very close, you don’t see much about what’s going on around it, sometimes not even the plate, and it feels like getting right into business, no fooling around (that part is covered in the story connected to the recipe).

OK, to get your mind of the food/porn connection, I ended up buying the 60 mm lens and  was able to shoot a spider from a closer distance than I can with the 50 mm.

spider

Conclusion so far:

I found the 100 mm lens to be too much for me at this point. Too much close-up which I’m not looking for, and too costly. More then $1,000! I’m not ready yet to pay that much since I still don’t know much about photography to feel I earned the “right” to buy such an expensive lens. So I settled for the 60 mm f/2.8 and currently am playing with it to check it out.

I find the 60 mm a better lens than the 50 mm f/1.8 (which costs about $100) for taking photos from a closer and farther distance from the objects. It also produces sharper images. So far I’m happy with it.

What lens/es do you use for your food photography?

What lens/es do you use for family/friends photography?

Be Sociable, Share!


Categories : Food Photography



Sorry! This article is unable to leave response!