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Shooting Challenge: Food As Art

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We've all seen our share of food porn. But what can we do with food when it's off the plate? That's the space of food art. And for this week's Shooting Challenge, your task is to elevate food beyond smut.

The Challenge

Photograph food pretty much anywhere but on a plate or in a mouth. Build it as part of a portrait or a scene. Think about food, not as food, but as art.


The Technique

A good place to start is to look for inspiration. Check out the covers of Gastronomica to see what I'm looking for. Don't be afraid to pull out those $20 lightboxes to feature food as a sculpture, or to meld some element of food with the human figure or natural environment.


The secret is to think, not like a hungry Instagram user, but an artist who only has fruits and veggies to paint with. Make sense?

The Example

Our lead shot is from flickr's AForestFrolic. It's simple but evocative. And it highlights everything great about food—color, texture and a sort of synesthetic flavor from that.


The Rules

0. No watermarks. They're so ugly.
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a native resolution sized shot in email.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, February 18th at 10AM Eastern to with "Food" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameFood.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameFoodWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!