Books Magazine

Book Review: Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

Book: Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling by Hélène Dujardin
Genre: Photography
Publisher: Wiley Publishing
Publication date: 2011
Pages: 265

Source: Purchased

cover of Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin
Summary: Starting with photography basics and ending with post-processing, Plate to Pixel by Hélène Dujardin provides a soup to nuts guide on shooting photos of food. She works commercially, now, but she got her start as a food blogger at Tartelette. The focus of the book is on home cooks and bloggers although there is advice for photographers who want to work in advertising and magazines.

Thoughts: I always like finding out that I know more than I think I do. Rick has been photographing for so long that he can pick his camera up after not touching it for months and be ready to shoot immediately. My knowledge is much newer and I always need a refresher course when I pick up my camera. We signed up for two photography classes — one was yesterday and the other is next Saturday. For my refresher course, I read Plate to Pixel. I was pleased how quickly I breezed through the first couple of chapters.

The third chapter on Natural Light Photography gave me some new things to think about. I’m saving the artificial light chapter for this winter when I hope that I can play around with some of Rick’s fancy lighting toys.

What makes this photography book unique are Chapters 5, 6, and 7 on composition, setting up, and styling — filled with tips, tricks, and ways of thinking about photographing food. The most useful parts are when Dujardin takes us step by step through the photography, like the section on Cream of Celery Soup which starts with the recipe and then goes through all the preparation, props, and styling with two photographs to show how the process evolved.

Plate to Pixel worked as my refresher course. I took photos for about three hours yesterday as part of a workshop called Street Photography. I knew I would want to post one of my photos on this review, but I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to combine street photography with food photography. Fortunately, there was a festival going on so I had the perfect solution — street food.

photo of men grilling pork burgers

Lions Club members grilling pork burgers in Washington, Missouri, September 28, 2013

Appeal: Plate to Pixel is worth it for the beautiful and inspiring photographs. It will have you appreciating the look of your food, plates, and linens even before you take your next food photo. Anyone who wants to share their food through photography will want this book on their shelf — the only decision will be whether it goes on the photography shelf or, conveniently, in the kitchen with the cookbooks.

new Weekend Cooking logo
Events and Challenges: I read Plate to Pixel as a new member of The Kitchen Reader — an online book club reading a new food book together each month. Check out The Kitchen Reader blog on October 1 for a round-up of everyone who wrote a review of Plate to Pixel.

I’ll also link this post up to Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads on Saturday because I think that crowd will be interested in this resource.

Plate to Pixel is my 9th book for the Foodies Read 2013 Challenge.

Why do you take photographs of food?

Signature of Joy Weese Moll

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