Trying some food photography 
Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 02:57 PM - Photography
As I am often amazed by food pictures I decided to try it a bit, in order to start understanding how much work it requires. As I am not experienced within this field, I decided to start by imitating an already existing shot.

I decided to copy this one:

It is from the Corbis library (copyright Riou/photocuisine/Corbis).

First shot with most of the set-up done, natural light from a window on the right:

Set white balance manually using the plate:

Add the chocolate. I did not put it earlier, as I was afraid that the spoon could drop into it while setting up the composition.

Add some cherries (not earlier as I was afraid that they could start dripping), and increase exposure time from 1/4th of a second to 1/2 second.

Add some fill light on the front left in order to reduce shadows. I could have used a reflector, but I used a flash (wireless).

Increase the fill light power, once it is correctly positioned. As most of the light is still natural light, there is no real need to update white balance because of the fill-in flash.

Add a touch of style, and increase depth of field by 1 f-stop.

Increase exposure time from 1/2s to 1s.

And finally clone out those ugly reflections from the flash on the front of the plate.

(this picture is available within my 2010 pic-a-day gallery)
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Some SMC Takumar 85/1.8 shots 
Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 04:27 PM - Lenses

Here are a few shots from the Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 85/1.8 (M42 mount):

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Beroflex 28/2.8 
Sunday, November 22, 2009, 12:01 PM - Lenses

This 28mm f/2.8 MC Auto-Beroflex lens is a relatively small M42 mount lens featuring a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4 (higher magnification than a Sigma mini-wide which only goes to 1:6). While not exceptional, quality is quite good. Considering its low price, this is a very nice lens.

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Some shots from the Porst 55mm f/1.2 PK lens 
Monday, November 2, 2009, 03:19 PM - Lenses

Here are a few shots from the "Porst color reflex mc auto" 55/1.2 lens, in Pentax K mount. This lens is built by Cosina, and features 6 optical elements in 6 groups (so it is different from the 55mm f/1.2 Tomioka lens in M42 mount which features 7 elements in 6 groups). Oddly, its aperture ring does not feature any stop between f/1.2 and f/2. All the shots are wide open (ie f/1.2)

In daylight, when shooting wide open this lens exhibit some kind of dreamy behavior:

At night, it does not exhibit this dreamy/fuzzy look unless there is significant light on the subject in focus:

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