Lots of splash and pizzaz! certainly made an impression!!!
Whilst the Lockdown is easing, we are still not able to meet up, so the Zooming continues. I am becoming a bit blasé about the technology, and as a result made a right mess of the invitation to the meeting this week putting 7AM rather than 7 PM so we were a bit delayed in starting, and somewhat confused. Apologies ! However, all took it in their stride and laughed a lot, so we had a really good chat over the difficulties, encountered mostly in capturing splashing food! Black and White is the focus for the coming week, and next Thursday Jill Toman will lead a session to help us all improve our Landscape Photography so lots to look forward to.

Now for the comments on FOOD CHALLENGE:

Jenny says: We had lots of good photos and plenty of fun if a few frustrations !

[i]Geoff: Combination Fruit is very well done and I love the colour combination as well Might have done a square crop but then I am a square crop addict! Square crop great in Fry Up – if the brief was for a magazine promo then in masterchef terms looks like it tastes good but presentation needs some work!
Graham: Flat Beer- I really like the play on words even if it is not a Flat Lay in the true sense. Nicely done with good diagonals for composition. Your chocolate Dessert was a grab shot that gave us all a laugh and your Flat lay is nicely arranged but possibly needed a stronger background colour to make it “pop”?
Jane R great Eggs and Tomatoes- like the balance , the textures of the surfaces and the focus. Colour is great too. Slanting is verging on the Dark Food Photography I discovered. I like it a lot but would possibly have cropped a bit off the LH side to make it a true square and for the base of the glass to be across the corner? You worked hard on that water splash and it really is a good example! Nice colour too.
Jill: I love the energy in your satsumas and your set up and focus is great. Perhaps try a larger container or a smaller fruit next time??! Your Flat Lay is a good example of whiteness and brightness. Would a judge (!) say it was floating? I don’t know. I did see a video where a magazine photographer had raised the main subject (a bowl of pomegranate seeds) off the table using a hidden block, and then placed a few seeds scattered on the lower surface and deliberately had a DOF that threw them out of focus but kept the bowl and contents sharp- might work here?
Suzanne: Cake really does look Yummy and suggests a very British afternoon tea- I might have sprinkled some granulated sugar on top of cake for interest and added texture? I like the square crop and colour of Red and green Cropped really close on the circle which I personally like. I know you had a lot of fun with your splashes- well done for getting this one eventually. Still don’t quite understand the function of the washing line and the tube ….?
Tony: both your splashes are well captured and very different in shape and form – fascinating and wel done getting the focus too- better than mine ! I also like the idea of the Spice Islands. Spics are often photographed in their spoons or containers- google Microbiology of Spices for some great ideas on spice photos.
Janice: I agree that your On the Vine is the best of yours Like the play on the shadows and light is well handled as highlit tomatoes too. Your other tomato did not create the desired splash but well timed at point of entry!! Mince Pies certainly slightly out of season but perfectly presentable as a flat lay example I like the holly and would again, like in Suzanne’s cake, have added a sprinkle of gran sugar or even a little icing sugar for extra meal appeal.
Pamela- Huge apologies I have no idea why I left you out when I first wrote this - the notes are in my paperwork I must have been interrupted I think and then resumed at the wrong place ! So... better late than never: I agree you need to focus more precisely in Omlette and i suggest you manually pre focus and lock it before taking the photoo. I thought your flat lay was a good example of the genre placed in context. The only improvemnet i might suggest is to either add maybe some cutlery or possibly your hand holding cutlerly - well placed in the frame it would add to it I think. The splash was well caught in motion and focus is good. i think you used apricots or something similar? I would probably have only had the one that was making the splash remaining in the water I think the previous efforts at the bottom actually distract a little bit from the impact of the one making the splash . Nice light.

Pamela says:
Our wifi signal is very strong so what happened last night and last week I don't know. Frustrating and apologies if I talked over people; just couldn't hear or see for most of it.

Jenny. My favourite is Dark Food and I wish I could have heard what was said on zoom. The photo is eye-catching and intriguing. I like the way the board goes over the edge of the mat.
Geoff. I prefer Combo Fruit to Fry up because I love the contrast, colours and simplicity of Combo Fruit. Just right.
Graham. Flat Beer is my favourite. I like the humour and the simplicity.
Jane R. Food slanting is different and at first I didn't think it quite worked but now I think it does. Perhaps a bit of a crop on the left hand side so that it fills the frame? I really like the colours in food splash 2 and I think the centre bubble is very good.
Jill. Satsuma 1. Great shot with no broken glass in sight but my favourite is apples. So sharp and the colours are amazing.
Suzanne. Apricot. Your water looks like a dancer. I love it. I think the folds in the black background make it look like a stage setting. This is my favourite.
Tony. I like the dark colour in Berry 1. I wish I could see a bit more under the berry but I do think it is very striking. My favourite.
Janice. I am always drawn to red and I like Vine and tomato but I think tomato is the one I prefer. I just love the composition.

Pamela on Pamela. Omelette. Thank you Jenny for tips on focus. I had presumed I was too close or that my speed should have been upped. I will try it again when we want another omelette.

Suzanne says - part 1: What an interesting set of pictures to comment on for which I say well done to everyone. It was certainly out of my comfort zone but I will try my best and pick out those which had impact for me.
JENNY: The white and red of FOOD SPLASH certainly hits you in the eye. It looks as if you've scored a goal with the raspberry positioned like it is and I particularly like the spaced out splashes. HOT STUFF: A simple food picture which makes use of the horizontal lines in the board to place and enhance the peppers. Colours great. Maybe burn in those small light patches on top pepper a tad, but maybe that's just nit picking- difficult to tell on such a tablet/laptop but I like it anyway. DARK FOOD: Lighting and saturation make this still life really, come to life. Bay leaves seem to make this picture stronger too. I really like this image. Clone out stray white spot on r.h side of mat if you enter it for a comp!
GRAHAM: FLAT BEER, what an unusual idea! Simple, effective with a bit of humour which I like. CHOC DESSERT: Love the white back/foreground which shows the picture off. I am sure it tasted as good as it looks. How did you create this picture Graham, was it a bit of post processing? IRIS'S FISH etc: An appetizing and well laid out composition which also looks good enough to eat - and... no doubt you did!
TONY: SPICE ISLANDS - well positioned mounds on a light grey background with strong colours which caught my eye, also they blend well together. SPLASHES- I prefer BERRY SPLASH 1 as the fruit has dropped in a straight line and for me that means I follow the line of splashes straight down into the jug where my eye settles on those tiny bubbles and the good sized, reasonably sharp, red berry which has a nice patch of light on a tiny bit of it.
JILL: APPLES - Really like this composition with its white back /foreground because it shows of the green and red of the apples. Although an even number, their positioning of three and one makes this a strong picture. Not sure whether it needed a small white base beneath the bowl for it to sit on. Just a thought.
SATSUMA SPLASH- This is the one I preferred out of your fruit water pics and it's because of the shapes of the sharp water movement on top of the satsuma and on the side of the glass. I struggled with a strawberry and a large container so well done you!

Suzanne Comments 2:
– I really like your -FLAT LAY and would have enjoyed eating it too! Red and green makes a good colour composition, food presented nicely and reminds me of eating outside on a Summer Day. That’s the warm feeling this picture gives me. I would have needed the red napkin but does it enhance the picture. Maybe the red checked pattern cloth and symmetry of the picture would be stronger without it. But that’s just me. In my ‘Yummy’, I should have put sprigs of something around the corner/corners - I now realise! FOOD SPLASH – Were some or all the carrot pieces in the container what you considered to be failed attempts or did you drop them all in at the same time? However you did it, the last piece is captured nicely in that clear patch of water and the semi circle of water splashes off to the right are great and so are the watery toes. Your picture is bright and colourful. OMLETTE – Eggs are items of food that can sometimes start my stomach churning so I don’t dwell on them. A good idea though and when you make the next omelette please show me the picture of the end result.
JANICE – TOMATO, I like lots because it’s so graphic. TOMATOES ON THE VINE - great too, the highlights on the eye-catching red tomatoes are well managed but what makes it for me are those shadows. MINCEPIES – I say, yes please. Simple but effective composition and a nice touch with the holly sprig.
JANE – FOOD SLANTING – I like the angle/darkness of the picture and the light/detail on the orange but wonder whether there is a bit more light needed on the left hand side of this picture. EGGS /TOMATOES – Really like this picture, good lighting/composition and the use of different shades of brown to sit them on works so well. I could see this in a foodie mag’. FOOD SPLASH 2 – I wish I had taken this picture Jane. For me I can see nothing wrong with it at all. Well done you.

Janice Part1 says :
Challenging, frustrating but great fun, I 'lost' several days enjoying this one.
Geoff, I like the simplicity and the idea of Combo Fruit. The colour and composition works so well. In the flat lay, Fry Up, I like the fact it's messy and not perfect. It reminds me of my own cooking!!
Graham, Flat Beer is a clever concept. I like the angular composition. It works very well. Choc Dessert really made me laugh. Iris's Fish is very nicely arranged but the plate and background could do with being darker.
Jane R, I l love everything about Eggs & Tomatoes. Great composition, colours, textures and lighting. Even the background compliments the image. Food Splash is my favourite, excellent timing and lovely colours. No doubt you took many shots but it was worth the perseverance.
, both Splash shots are well timed action shots and the focus is good. I prefer Splash 1 as the berry is more defined.
[iJanice part 2 says
Jenny, Hot Stuff's simple composition works really well. The strong colours and lines gives it impact. Dark Food is my favourite, lovely lighting and mix of colours. Well thought out composition.
Pamela, Flat Lay with its mix of colours looks very appetizing and the red background sets it off well. Lots of action in Food Splash, well timed. I like the fact it's 'chaotic'.
Suzanne, Yummy does indeed look like the title suggests. A well presented image. The square crop of Red & Green works well. Lovely strong colours and shapes but I can't help but think there's a strawberry missing! The splash in Apricot Water Play is superb and could be another image in its own right. I love it.
Jill, in both splash images you have caught the action well, very enthusiastic throwing!I prefer the drama in Eruption, it suits a portrait crop. Apples is a clean and crisp image, lovely colours and nice lighting.

JaneR says
Jenny nice spikes to your making a splash (not easy is it?) Lovely colours in your chillies, Good atmosphere in dark food.
Geoff love the idea of your food combo!!
Jill Really sharp satsuma eruption (1), looks like cut glass.second one I like better as you have captured all the splash.
Pamela Good capture of the egg in your making an omelette how many times did you have to do it?
Suzanne your apricot splash looks like a dog standing up dancing, is that just me or can anyone else see it? Very yummy cake nice lighting.
Tony I love the colours of your spices they compliment each other. I like splash1 the raspberry very clear I like the way the bubbles come off the raspberry.
Janice I really like your On The Vine the shadows add to the overall photo, nice highlights! Mince pies very appetising I do agree with you about the holy, I keep trying to move it!!

Jane L says
Savoured (!) all the pics as I admired the techniques used and the resolve to fulfil the different briefs especially after hearing some of the hilarious stories. Not a turkey amongst them (ha). My favourite images are those which appear simple in colour and form however executed. Hence really like Jane R’s Slant (maybe a slightly increased angle of light on the orange – or not?), Geoff’s Apple, Janice’s Vine and Tony’s Splash 1. Jenny’s Dark Fruit is a great still life in content and colour although could the garlic be toned down/show more detail? Graham’s flat beer was inventive and made me smile. Impressed by Jane R’s Food Splash because of the isolated droplet, the captured ripples and its symmetry.

I missed commenting on some of the later ICM image additions so can I add here that I thought Tony’s Spinning Path and Woodland Gate generated a great sense of speed through the images especially the latter: felt I was running through the picture. Enjoyed Janice’s Golf Swing as a novel take on the brief and well captured.