Finding a photograph for your article

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Contrasting, non-reflective background

As they say; "A picture is worth a thousand words". A photograph adds so much to an article, so do try and add one if you are able.

Take your own

Always the best option, though not always as easy as it would seem, especially if the food is ready to eat and you're starving!

I will try to create more help on this in the future, but for now a few tips;

  • Place the subject on a non-reflective, contrasting surface
    • The black and orange mats in the eggs photo are Ikea place mats
  • Try to use a combination of natural light together with a flash
  • Don't get too close with a built-in flash or the lens may create shadow on the image
    • A external or ring flash will prevent this
  • Take as many images as you can, and always from a slightly different position
  • Any photo is better that no photo

Nice white background

Dill oil using white background. Could do with better lighting
Roller blind set-up
White roller blind (60 cm x 160 cm - £9.80 2011)

I have struggled for years to find a good background for my food photographs and I think I have at last found an economical solution. A small white roller blind ( less than £10 from B&Q - 2011). It is light and flexible easy to position. The only downside will probably be keeping it clean.

Some tips from the expert

I recently asked User:Robin how she gets such amazing photographs:

  • Use natural daylight and never use a flash
  • Use a piece of while linoleum as a background
  • Use Photoshop/Paint Shop Pro etc to flood-fill to white, anything outside of the lino.

See her Flickr site for the latest photos.

Optimising images for uploading to Cookipedia

Please use a photo manipulation package to reduce the size (in bytes) of a photograph to upload to Cookipedia, the server is limited and huge photographs cause us problems and use valuable space.

Ideally, all images should be:

  • Less than 250 kb in size (bytes)
  • No more than 800 pixels on the widest side

There is more help here if you need it.

Use someone else's photograph

You cannot just download someone else's work from the Internet and post it here. However, there are plenty of sites that will allow you to use a published photograph if you give attribution to the taker.

Images found using the sites below can be legitimately uploaded to Cookipedia.

  • Creative commons - Flickr Use the Flickr option to find images with Creative Commons share-alike licences
    • Use one of the licences from Flickr Creative Commons Images drop-down options
    • Give the image taker attribution on the Cookipedia image page (by completing the upload image Summary box)
    • Click 'Add to Faves on the Flickr image preview page, this has the effect of promoting image within Flickr, on behalf of the image taker
    • In the Flickr comment box, thank the image a taker and if possible include a link to the page on which you used their image. You will need to be logged into Flickr and will have to use raw HTML code (example below), though you can check it first with Preview
    • Thank you for your lovely onion picture. I thought you might like to know that it has been used on Cookipedia's <a href="http://www.cookipedia.co.uk/wiki/index.php/Onions">Onion page</a> Kind regards, UserName **Where http://www.cookipedia.co.uk/wiki/index.php/Onions = the real URL of the Cookipedia page the photo was used on.
    • Use the most relevant licence under the Flickr options in the Cookipedia image upload drop-down - see Finding the correct licence for your photograph for if you need further help with this.
  • PDPhoto.org Public domain photograph library - not brilliant, but somewhere else to look.
    • Use one of the licences from Flickr Creative Commons Images drop-down options
  • Wikimedia Commons A wonderful image archive of images that have been released with Creative Commons licences
    • Use the Wikimedia Commons option on the image upload drop-down

How not to photograph food


Friends of Cookipedia

The following people kindly have allowed us to use their images on more than one occasion

Copyrighted images