Plate to Pixel

Like awaking suddenly from a deep sleep, disoriented but instantly frantic to pop out of bed and get started, I find myself smack-dab in the middle of fall festivities and obligations, with a workload heavy enough to topple the Tower of Pisa once and for all. It’s a strange time of year, where the end of summer always comes far earlier than the calendar states, further confused by the influx of winter holiday articles and photos requested for future publication. Regardless, vacation is over, school is back in session, and it’s back to the daily grind; Homework done, I’m ready to present to the class a report on my summer reading.

Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling by friend and inspiration, Helene Dujardin, is quite frankly a must-read for any budding food photographer. Especially applicable to the food blogger but also general photo enthusiast, there are few options on the market with this specialized knowledge in such an approachable and easily digested format. Consider it a cookbook for concocting the most delectable pictures possible, including all of the critical ingredients in a successful shot, and thorough instructions on how to bring that scene to life in a still image.

Needless to say, the photos are plentiful and every last one stunning, illustrating each point eloquently. Helen writes in a friendly, personable tone, that makes each lesson feel more like chatting with a friend than taking a class on photography. She covers not only the technical basics including f/stops, white balance, plus lighting considerations and so forth, but also dives into composition and styling, explaining why some photos just work, while others miss the mark. Everything that goes into one of Helen’s highly sought after photos is detailed here, almost like a cheat sheet for the rest of us still figuring out the art. Not just for the beginner either, Helen lays it all out on the table, including EXIF data for each image and advice on improving workflow.

In short, Plate to Pixel is a reference book that won’t spend too much time on your shelf, because you’ll want to look back over it time and again. In fact, it’s such a helpful tool to anyone passionate on the subject, I made sure I requested a second copy from the publisher to give out to one lucky reader. If you’d like a chance at winning this book, just leave me one comment below with accurate contact information filled out for your email address, and tell me: What kind of camera do you use? Be sure to enter before Monday, September 19th, Midnight EST, at which point a winner will be drawn at random.

94 thoughts on “Plate to Pixel

  1. I bought this book when it first came out a few months ago and I completely agree with your review. It’s a definite must read for all food bloggers.

    I would love another copy of this book to give to a fellow blogger. I currently use a Nikon D70s but am dropping hints to my husband for an upgrade :)

  2. I’ve been looking at this book for a while.. my husband is going through culinary school and needs some good portfolio shots :)

    I have a Nikon D40.

  3. I use a canon rebel xt, and would love this book as I am figuring out what manual shooting is all about, and knowing all the data reading on each photos (in addition to some much needed tips!) would help me immensely. I have been drooling over this book for quite a while, and would love a copy!

  4. It’s sort of sad but I use my 8mp phone camera. I haven’t had any urge to buy a fancy schmancy camera for food yet because I don’t know what I’m doing! :-) this book would sure help with that though!

  5. If we’re being honest, I use my iPhone or an old Canon Powershot, which is exactly why I need this book so badly! I’m looking to upgrade (both my skills and my camera!) and soon. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  6. I use Nikon D60 with 60mm lens. I have the book aswell and love it. But it would be great to get another one, I can give away to another blogger. BTW, your site’s ipad version is fascinating!! Is it a plugin?

    1. Okay, so I am dunce. What I was trying to say is I would love to have a Nikon D5100. Yet, I currently use a Nikon Coolpix camera.

  7. I’d love to win, as I’m thinking about starting my own blog. I use a hand-me-down Canon G2 camera. It’s older and heavy, but it still takes great pictures!

  8. yay! glad to hear you liked the book. It’s on my to-read list. I have a Canon XSi Digital Rebel… small potatoes I know, but it’s been fun to learn how to really use it manually and I’m beginning to like how my pictures turn out more and more! Hope I win the raffle.
    Thank you!

  9. This book has been sitting on my wish list — i.e. my “save for later” Amazon list. It looks like something that would constantly shuttle between my desk, my kitchen and my nightstand. I’m using a Canon XSi.

  10. I have a Nikon D40X. I love my camera very much! I am always looking for new photography tutorial books and Plate to Pixel looks like a wonderful one!

  11. Well, I hope using a point and shoot doesn’t disqualify one, since that’s what I use (Panasonic DMC TZ5). I still put a lot of effort into my foods shots, and have learned a lot about staging and lighting over the years. Your current recurring blog posts on photographing less than picturesque foods is really been a big help!

    Thank you for yet another give away, and I would definitely put this book to good use!

  12. If you’ve seen my blog… you know how much I need this book :) I am always looking for resources to teach me how to shoot food- thank you for sharing this! I tried finding a camera on a budget last year and after much research bought the Canon Powershot SD1400. It works OK- I think my problem is more user error!

  13. Would be more interested in winning the book for a photography-loving friend than for myself–all I’ve got is a little Kodak point-n-shoot number, the exact model of which I don’t remember and can’t check at the moment ^^;;

    1. I have a Canon Powershot GS12, point and shoot, and it works wonders. It has much more options and nicer settings than my huge Sony DSRL did. The first one was probably a better camera, but I get way more out of this point and shoot. And I say this as a studying designer, not somebody who just takes holiday-snaps. Canon rocks, and there’s nothing wrong with p&s.

  14. Asked for this book for my birthday, and I LOVE it. I haven’t had time to get through the whole thing yet, but it’s already provided tons of helpful tips. And beautiful photos too! Also makes me want a Canon instead of a Nikon, hah.

  15. Wow, that book sounds AMAZING! I just use a stupid, little digital point-and-shoot, I can’t remember the brand off the top of my head. I love food, and it always looks so tasty, and then I take the worst pictures of it! I am constantly in awe of YOUR work, and if you endorse this book, I know it’s good.

  16. I’ve been planning to get a new, better camera since my birthday (in, um, May), but have been putting it off because I know there’s no point buying a fancy camera and not being able to use it. I just find everything about photography intimidating, and the lighting in my tiny apartment is so horrendous, so I keep making excuses based on “well, my photos are awful, so that’s that”. I really, really should get this!

  17. I have a Nikon D40. I really love it for outdoor sports photography but I know I’m not taking full advantage of it indoors, especially when trying to take pictures of food.

  18. This is an awesome book, would love to have this since im a new blogger. I use a Canon Rebel and iPod Touch camera for instant upload of pictures. my email add is marklesaca (at) gmail (dot) com

  19. This book has been mentioned by a few bloggers- I need to have a peek! I’m an artistic photographer so the world of composed food shots is new to me and I could use the tips! I use a Pentax K10D, its great because I can use my old (not digital) Pentax lenses with it. Your photos are always gorgeous xxx

  20. I have a sony Cybershot- basically a very nice point & shoot. I like it alright! I’m pretty good at close-ups, but terrible at posing food & backgrounds- I’d love a copy of this book!

  21. I currently have a Pentax Optio 50 which is dinosaur of a digital camera. Looking at other options now and with this book too I should be able to upgrade my food pics considerably!

  22. I only have a Sony Point and Shoot camera, but every weekend I look in the Best Buy flyer hoping to find a great deal to get my first DSLR camara. I also signed up for a Photography class offered by our local Adult Ed. I have a blog where I record my daughter’s school lunches and I am aware the pictures need lots of improvement. I know this book would be a great help. I want you to know that I gasped every time I see the pictures in your blog. They are absolutely beautiful!!!

  23. This book looks like a really great resource!! I use a Pentax K-7 to photograph my food, and occasionally a Nikon F-301 film camera.

  24. I’ve recently gotten into food photography and food blogging and I actually really enjoy doing it all! This book seems like something I could read and gain experience from, considering it’s good for “budding photographers”.

    Ready to know what camera I use? It’s not a DSLR/SLR or anything unfortunately. I use a Canon PowerShot SX210 IS with 14x Optical zoom. It’s great. haha i hope at some point I can afford a DSLR and really experiment with my pictures.

  25. I recieved my copy a couple of days ago and I can’t wait to read every single words..
    I’ve heard so much about the book, I ‘m really looking forward to reading it

  26. My main camera is a Canon 40D but when I’m travelling and don’t want the extra weight I carry my trusty little Pansonic Lumix.

  27. Hi Hannah, I’m a beginner in this, so I didn’t get one of those expensive cameras nor one with lenses and fancy add-ons. Although I do wish to have one someday, I have a Nikon CoolPix P500 to get started and I’d definitely love to read Plate to Pixel.

  28. I use a Canon 7D… Mostly for action shots of ice hockey, but I’ve been getting into food photography after participating in a webinar by Penny De Los Santos

  29. omg.. i need this book! i’ve been picking up food photography here and there since the past few months and have a long way to go!. I use a Canon T1i right now with 2 lenses.

    Thanks Hannah. Have an amazing day!

  30. ooo Well if I win great but if not I’m a buy it anyway looks like just the thing I need and now that I’ve started my journey to be vegan and in consequence have started to cook and experiment I’m going to need help with taking pictures.

    My cameras: Cannon DC330 and a Nikon Coolpix ($70) which I use more then the $400 cannon lol.

    Hugs and Kisses

  31. Hello there!
    I use a Cannon Rebel T2i and I LOVE it! I have been a Cannon user for their smaller point-and-shoots as well. I would highly recommend the Cannon PowerShot SX230 for p&s as well as the Rebel T2i for DLSR!

    Thanks for the AWESOME giveaway!!


  32. I use my Kodak 4 megapixel camera, and if my son lets me, I use his Canon Rebel digital 10 megapixel camera.
    Lately though, I have a Blackberry Torch which 9800 which has a pretty good camera feature on it.
    I just recently discovered your blog and so far, I like what I see. Keep up the good work and thank you! :) :)

  33. Hi Hannah! I love your blog and this book sounds great! I use a Cannon rebel t2i and there’s still a ton for me to learn about photography. Thanks! :)

  34. This book sounds great. I would love to be entered to win a copy. Sounds like it could help me improve my photography skills a lot. I have a Canon Rebel T1i.

  35. right now I just have a little Kodak point and shoot, and a Nikkon SLR (not digital) in the closet… I want a digital SLR but just haven’t had the right push to find one to date.

  36. I use a lame Fujifilm, but hope to be in the market for a digital SLR sooner than later! This book sounds great to me, I’ll keep it in mind to check out whether I win or not.

  37. Oh I saw a review of this book on another blog too…it looks amazing!! I only have a point and shoot Panasonic, but I love it. One day maybe I’ll be able to afford a fancy SLR or something :)

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