(1 to 100 of 132 replies)
Don Giannatti (aka wizwow) 4:42pm, 8 February 2012
A local restaurant has decided to run a special on chocolate on their menu for the next month.

They need something that says, no – SCREAMS Chocolate!!! People or still life or cute little furry animals or fish… … well… probably not fish… but you get the idea.

Chocolate… and they are featuring chocolate candies, pie, cake, ice cream, and specialties. Chocolate.

It’s that simple… and that hard.

Oh, and the finished art work is a square… that is predetermined by their menu, so no options there. Final image is to be a SQUARE.
There may be type on it, but that is not an issue now… just make the shot so freekin’ chocolaty that we feel a need to brush after looking at it.

If you are a people shooter, shoot people with chocolate. If you are a still life shooter, shoot still life. Kids, or landscape or environmental… whatever YOUR personal interest is, shoot that. This is where you let YOUR style and vision direct the end product.

Here is last year’s Chocolate submissions.

(Note: all chocolate left over should be packaged very nicely and sent straight away to me… heh)

More information coming this week. Start planning but do not shoot until you have seen the additional materials coming this Thursday (February 9).

Project 52 site page:

tag: p52chocolate2012
(1 to 100 of 132 replies)
Rasmus_hald 5 years ago
Isn't this assignment 6?
www.nickgiron.com 5 years ago
The link is clearly assignment 6.
The posts sometimes get twisted.
Rasmus_hald 5 years ago
Don I am so happy you posted this today, I am away on work from friday morning, but now I just have time to make these tomorrow, and enjoy the chocolate while doing it!
Trystram 5 years ago
ooohhhh, chocolate. ")

Noticed at the grocery store during lunch that the Food Network magazine this month is The Chocolate Issue. It's got chocolate everything, including chocolate covered bacon. I picked one up for inspiration - has some really nice photography and I will be forced to try out a few recipes as "research". ")
Rasmus_hald 5 years ago
I just had to do this one before I head to sea for the next two weeks, so lets get the party started!
Umm Chocolate!!!
I like this one the best, but I would like to know what you think about this one as well?
Umm Chocolate!!!
3 feet octa close to the right, 1/16 power on first shot, 1/2 power on last and a silver reflector on the left.
Neslein2011 5 years ago
Hi Rasmus,
The first - coming in so close - is what makes me hungry and wanting to order dessert! The execution leave me with an impression of quality. No. 1 for me.
Em Thomas Photography 5 years ago
#1 for me too, without a doubt! Nice job!
Chris Fischer Photo 5 years ago
#1 for me, as well.
ckagy PRO 5 years ago
#1 without a doubt. Nice job.
Rasmus_hald 5 years ago
Thanks for the feedback folks!
As a sidenote I can tell that it tasted better than it looks and I have eaten myself a stomach ache!
Gary Lanigan Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Gary Lanigan (member) 5 years ago
Damn these high bars! (grin)
The first one.
Nicely done!
{michele} 5 years ago
no doubt there will be a lot of submissions for this one I want to get mine in early and I just so happened to shoot this last weekend before the assignment was revealed (happened to me last year too)

Rasmus....quick!!! recrop them square before the boss sees 'em.
Modern Vintage Life PRO 5 years ago
Oooooh, yummy looking stuff. There will be lots of submissions I am sure after being inspired so beautifully!
Rasmus_hald 5 years ago
Ivan: they are square crops?
Ivan Sorensen | www.ivansorensenphotography.com PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Ivan Sorensen | www.ivansorensenphotography.com (member) 5 years ago
Rasmus, yup check the original specs.
Rasmus_hald 5 years ago
Yes, they are cropped square as requested, perhaps its your screen that distorts that perspective?
Chris Fischer Photo 5 years ago
They appear square to me. Embedded Flickr images sometimes load up distorted when I use IE at work. I haven't had that problem using Chrome.
Rasmus, I'm using Firefox, and they appear square on my monitor.
FenwickArtPhoto PRO 5 years ago
Flickr sometimes crunches images up on my screan. Everything looks like a vertical. If I click on one of the images and then backup to the page they all look correct.
hmmf...guess I'm distorted. Sorry bout dat
Shelly Sobol 5 years ago
Hmm...where to go get ooey gooey chocolate?! Darn... I just may go shopping after work. I may even have to taste test too!
I have my SCREAMIN chocolate shot set for Sunday afternoon. This is one I am really looking forward to. If my hands can do half of what my brain has pictured then I dont care what anybody else thinks, I will be pleased.
Em Thomas Photography 5 years ago
I bought chocolate things and props yesterday and am trying to figure out how to shoot them with children [and a chocolate loving photographer] in the house today. Hmmmmmm.
gryphon1911 [A.Live] 5 years ago
Schakolad Chocolates - Square
Rob Worth Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Rob Worth (member) 5 years ago
well tried a couple of times.. best fo what I managed (which isnt good so go kindly guys)

full crit please (but go nicely;-))


personally I prefer the 2nd but it does show - never cut with a serrated knife ;-)
www.nickgiron.com 5 years ago
My wife and I tried to eat last years submission after I shot it and we almost ended up in a chocolate coma, LOL
Rasmus_hald 5 years ago
Nick I just came back from a long walk, and thats the first time I feel well after making the above photo's, almost 48 hours ago now!
But awesome assignment!
Em Thomas Photography 5 years ago
I've already found myself saying, "please back away from my props," as my spouse impatiently paces. ;D
ericm1461 5 years ago
Don, can you fix the title to Assignment 6?
Shelly Sobol 5 years ago
I let my roomie have 1 of the 2 cupcakes I bought...had to remind her that I had 1 as a spare and she had to wait until I was done! I think she only helped me so she could earn the cupcake! :)
kathy jan Posted 5 years ago. Edited by kathy jan (member) 5 years ago

Modern Vintage Life PRO 5 years ago
My chocolate high will be accompanied by a bottle of Pinot...love this assignment!
Em Thomas Photography 5 years ago
*goes to Virginia's house*
4x5 dan 5 years ago
Wine? I thought you were supposed to have scotch with chocolate. Wait I always think its scotch.
Em Thomas Photography Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Em Thomas Photography (moderator) 5 years ago
brownie bites square / 42.366

brownie square
BobKnill 5 years ago

Going out on a limb here with this crop. I deliberated on using it, and if I were handing this in to an AD, it would be one of several I would submit. The others are on my Flickr site, and I don't want to take up space in this thread with those shots. I know why I like this crop, but it may not make sense to others. I have also included the lighting diagram below.

Note for future reference: fat free chocolate ice cream is too creamy to get a good image of texture with. And therefore should be banned from any normal society.

Don - per your request on the assignment page, I packaged up the product and shipped it out to you. It may be a bit soggy, but that'll pass.

lighting-diagram-chocolate shots
jimduffin Posted 5 years ago. Edited by jimduffin (member) 5 years ago
This is not my final picture but I'm thinking along this line. We had a chocolate walk in the town I work in today and we handed out over 200 chocolate teeth. So the challenge to me is to control the specular high lights on the gold foil but not lose the chocolate tooth.

chocolit tooth square

Here is a new version of this shot.

tooth square copy

And a pull back from the second shot.

pull back
This is tilted on purpose... one thing I know Don hates is a crooked pic. Don, if it bothers you, I submitted the second one. I like them both. Which one works better for you?

Rob Worth 5 years ago
Oh no...so crookedness is Out? . I like the first one personally... the angle just adds something...
Pete Hudeck Photo Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Pete Hudeck Photo (member) 5 years ago
Listen to the critiques. A purposeful angle is OK that is a style choice that is made. A tilted horizon, (a degree or two) is not. That is a mistake. We don't want our client it to look like we are making mistakes.

To me, 's first image is a purposeful angle and was a design choice that was made for the image.
One can learn a LOT just by listening to Don go over the images. But I couldn't help but wonder if people would see the tilted shot as a mistake or purposeful... so I just thought I would state it so there was no confusion. Sometimes I just don't know if the tilt is enough or too much. Too much is, well... too much sometimes too. Thanks for noticing.
Rob Worth 5 years ago
My fault is too tilted... but you do need "enough" tilt so as to make a statement...
bonzersquad PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by bonzersquad (moderator) 5 years ago
Full Crit, please


Edit (Thanks Lola and Rasmus!)

Gregg Mack 5 years ago
I used natural light for this one. I placed a large diffuser just out of the frame to the right of the plate. I then positioned a large white bounce card to the left of the plate. I used a 100 mm macro lens with the smallest aperture it was capable of - f/32. This resulted in an 8 second exposure.

Lola Takes Pictures {Lily} Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Lola Takes Pictures {Lily} (moderator) 5 years ago
This is my place holder for now but might be my final entry. This assignment has been tougher than I thought. It's not photographing the chocolate I'm having trouble with. It's trying to come up with a successful concept that I just can't figure out.

I'm replacing my photos with a composite:

Project 52: Chocolate - Final
Modern Vintage Life PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Modern Vintage Life (moderator) 5 years ago
While I am preparing my chocolate dessert for the assignment to practice my lighting, I warmed up with a couple of pieces of espresso chocolate bark using window light on the left and white foam core on the right. I decided to go close with the edges of the chocolate slightly out of focus to emphasize the espresso crunch topping. FIRST TRY (looks kinda 80's to me : P)
LIghting Essentials Project 52 Assignment 6 - Chocolate
After all the chocolate inspirations that got posted, I will be cooking with chocolate all day and taking photographs before eating it with my family and friends. This is how we started CHOCOLATE DAY!

SECOND TRY! Playing with a foam core box and white plate and this is a great lesson for a restaurant job I am preparing for but just basic stuff...not my "style" but a great exercise.
BTW, chocolate covered bacon IS AMAZING!
chocolate covered wooden spoon

chocolate banana on a fork

chocolate covered bacon...it's AMAZING!

EDITED AS SQUARES! duh, will my real life jobs need so much editing and redoing?
Ivan Sorensen | www.ivansorensenphotography.com PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Ivan Sorensen | www.ivansorensenphotography.com (member) 5 years ago
I know this isnt square but I couldnt resist. If the client really wants a square then I will crop it for him. My grandson who is visiting for a couple of weeks from England gave me this look when confronted by the giant box o' choklits. Captured in ambient light in the atrium at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario.

Now What?

So I figured what the hell! Let's go over the top just a little bit. When I asked my good friend Kelly if she would be interested in helping with this project, she hesitated for less than two seconds and then giggled yes into the phone. She is a highly talented photographer herself with the added bonus of being supremely photogenic. We had no assistants for the shoot and she dribbled the chocolate herself with a spoon causing more than a few laughs when she missed a spot or two.

Lighting: main - SB600 in 28" Apollo softbox camera left just off axis, fill - SB600 in my trusty Firefly beauty box camera right.

Chocolate and Cherry

Edit: It is bloody difficult shooting to a specific crop, especially on DX with the one side so much longer and even more so when trying to maintain decent resolution.
Shelly Sobol 5 years ago
Below are two tries at this...I have 2 more on my Flickr page in case anyone wants to look at them and suggest if I should swap out. I tried shots with a cupcake and chocolate ganache cake from a local bakery...I'm blessed with an awesome kitchen with has killer spotlights near the bar!
P52: Week 6- Chocolate
and then...
P52: Week 6- Chocolate.
Again, I have 2 other photos in case ya'll are willing to look and give suggestion. Thanks!
mksavage 5 years ago
First attempt at food photography, this was kind of fun!
Rob Worth 5 years ago
@Lola Takes Pictures: 2 lovely shots, for me the first one is the one I prefer, something about the 2 wafer biscuit things in the 2nd one, I am finding something about them distracting (don't think it is the DoF, perhaps the fact that it overlaps the lower portion that is in focus)... but like the colours, composition and concept - don't suppose you took one with everything in focus?
irene liebler PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by irene liebler (member) 5 years ago
Shot with diffused natural light.
I've never licked my fingers so much during a photo shoot!

Chocolate Mocha Praline Cake

Salted Caramel Chocolates

david.travis 5 years ago
I thought that melted chocolate was more appropriate for the front of the menu than a chocolate dessert because if I used a specific dessert what happens when that item is replaced on the menu or not available? Also, it might tempt customers to choose only the pictured dessert item. So I wanted it to scream CHOCOLATE, not chocolate cake or chocolate biscuits etc.

I used a 60" reflective umbrella on this shot to reduce specular reflections from the chocolate. The umbrella was about 6' from the spoon, to the left of the camera.

44/365 Chocolate
irene liebler PRO 5 years ago
That's a good point David. I struggled with this too… whether to show JUST chocolate, or a dessert that included chocolate.
Ctibbsaz 5 years ago
Gained 10 pounds just looking through the thread.
Dan (DBM_) 5 years ago
580EX II in 43" Apollo Orb 2' above. 2'X4' white foam core on each side. White reflector behind.

Chocolate (2)

Chocolate (1)
logista Posted 5 years ago. Edited by logista (member) 5 years ago
I think I'm not cut out to be a food photographer.

First attempt

try 2
choco 3
@rob_william_worth: Like a dummy, I didn't take one with everything in focus but I took your critique to heart and am offering up a composite. Thanks for your thoughts! :)
Rob Worth 5 years ago
Lola - it was just my opinion - I really liked the idea and the 1st shot anyway (I am terrible with having too narrow a DoF so that is always something I look at - trained by my wife to consider how it works) .... but like the composite even more......
kindredphotos PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by kindredphotos (member) 5 years ago
Look at the cake on a grey background

Christopher Bersbach 5 years ago
Some inspiration, for those still seeking their muse, over at A Photo Editor.
bonzersquad PRO 5 years ago
Nice shot . You have another week.
When is this due?
As I SeeIt (Cindy) Posted 5 years ago. Edited by As I SeeIt (Cindy) (member) 5 years ago

Can't Get Enough Chocolate

Mike (AlienZen) Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Mike (AlienZen) (member) 5 years ago
Would you believe-

My (wife's) dolls ate my homework?

A more serious submissionChocolate

Don's suggested crop-

A setup shot
2 speedlights into overhead reflector with a third speedlight and a 24" shoot-thru mounted on a VALS to fill.
Nope! You are not allowed to pass the blame.
AlienZen says:

Would you believe-

AlienZen your images mad me laugh!! Love them!
Cynful27 5 years ago
All so good, and now I want chocolateeeee!

Why am I not surprised Kelly was all for that shot?
Ivan Sorensen | www.ivansorensenphotography.com PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Ivan Sorensen | www.ivansorensenphotography.com (member) 5 years ago
Hey Cyndi. Fancy meeting you here. Go get some chocolate and take pictures of it then join our LE Southern Ontario meet up group.
Gretchen Willis Photography Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Gretchen Willis Photography (member) 5 years ago
aack, this isn't great but it's the best *I* can do which... let's just say... I"m looking forward to growing & getting better this year!

Whoa... bar getting raised a bit. I guess the group prefers chocolate to weather... who knew!


This one is really rocking folks!

For those who may be struggling a bit with lighting, check out the post I have with links... you do NOT have to have a room full of Broncolor to make great images.

In fact, if you DO have a room full of Broncolor, box that crap up and send it to me. I will, uh... you know... watch over it for you... or... something...
MEGPOL2011 Posted 5 years ago. Edited by MEGPOL2011 (member) 5 years ago
Hello everyone. I have some additional image choices if you would like to recommend that I go with a shorter depth of field or a different angle. Thank you for checking them out for me.


At the moment this is my favorite:


My set up:

For image 2503: Canon 7D (24-70mm Sigma) F stop 22 and Shutter speed 0"6. Natural light with one reflector on the opposite side of the window.

PS I should mention that I have a white curtain that conveniently acts as a soft box for sun light. :)
ericm1461 Posted 5 years ago. Edited by ericm1461 (admin) 5 years ago
I am posting both a non-chocolate chocolate shot along with one that shows chocolate. These are more of an advertsing shot than a menu shot, but I thought I would share anyway.

I add a people shot for an advertising concept later...


And one with chocolate...

More on my stream, if you are interested.
ckagy PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by ckagy (member) 5 years ago
So different from anything I've tried before. I stared my two subjects for a long time and took better photos than I thought I would. Good challenges.

I tried to give each a bit of beauty treatment - dodging and burning to enhance speculars and shadows.

Number 1:
chocolate 4

and number 2
Chocolate 1
FenwickArtPhoto PRO 5 years ago
Here we go.

We'll start with Chcoclate cake.


Now we move on to a chocolate tart (This is single person serving sized tart.)


Now we move on to Chocolate candies. I decided to try a jewelry type lighting setup to make for a higher class image.





The lighting for the chocoalte candies is a large white difuser above the cholcatesd with a strobe with a snoot on it shing through the difuser. The snoot is apiece of card stock chaped into a cone with an opening about 1.5 to 2 inches across. There is also a hard light camera left, about 45 degrees off-axis and one about 30 degrees off-axis camera right, both in front of the candy and set a stop or so below the light from behind.

Gary Lanigan 5 years ago
Found this just now... The Chocolate Apprentice
Jason McCleery 5 years ago
My first shoot of food. My kids loved the props.


Steve SJ Collins 5 years ago
www.nickgiron.com 5 years ago

You guys are rockin' it !!!
stevepamp PRO 5 years ago
2012LE52-6 "Chocolate"

Lighting: 580EX above and behind subject in gamilight softbox; 430EX with grid spot camera left; 430EX with 2 cuts CTO in grid spot at background. White foamcore subject right

Setup shot:
2012LE52-6 "Chocolate" (Setup)
karileann82 5 years ago
Pete Hudeck Photo 5 years ago
Chocolate Jewels #1 Square
Chocolate Jewels #1 Square

Setup Shot
Chocolate Jewels Setup
There are notes if you click through
Stephen Coyle PRO 5 years ago
Chocolate 2

This was so much harder than I thought it would be. I have a whole new appreciation for what the pros out there are doing. From food presentation all the way through to lighting, trying to be aware of reflections, trying to keep speculars etc etc etc...... wow

I'm pretty sure this food stuff is not my thing.

and here is another.....
Chocolate 1
Chris@ImageEvolutionPhotography Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Chris@ImageEvolutionPhotography (member) 5 years ago
This was by far the hardest assignment for me so far. I definitely need work on my food photography skills!!

karileann82 5 years ago
this is my first post and im thinking i might be out of my leauge here : ) at least i have lots of room for improvement.

Join us!! Trust me, you'll NEVER learn as much as you will by participating. You have to start somewhere and this is a great place to start.!!
CEBImagery.com PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by CEBImagery.com (member) 5 years ago
My wife flipped out when she saw that I taken two packets of her Godiva Hot Chocolate packets and open them to use as my base for the chocolate shoot. I tried to explain that it was for art but that didn't cut it.

I used a mini poster-board studio set up on the kitchen table and aimed a 580EXII at the back to blow it out and then boomed a 580EXII overhead in a small photoflex octo. My light meter failed to work and I think it was because of the pre flash as I had a master and slave thing going so i winged the camera settings.

I had a cheap macro lens adapter that I broke out for the close ups and I thought worked pretty well. i used a variety of lenses for this incl a fisheye.

I have to say these still life or product type shots are way harder than people at least for me. I can only image the technical training to get lighting right for real work.

Choclate Lovers Delight

Salty Balls

Chocolate Surprise
Valette 5 years ago
Madagascar vanilla cream covered in ganache

Wider setup shot of my light box.
chocolate setup-1
Alexander Stewart 5 years ago
Working with these boutique chocolates was more difficult than I expected - mainly because it was almost impossible not to bruise or mar the delicate surface. Anyways, here's a couple of variations.

The one on white was shot on a white sweep inside a diffusion box with a speedlite on both sides and one from above.
Chocolates on white

The one on blue was shot at a low camera angle with the chocolate on a piece of black plexiglass. I had a blue gelled flash underneath the table that was reflecting off the wall and then two speed lights cross lighting about two inches above the plexi.
Chocolates on blue
Version 1:
SBB 201202-18268 600x600

Version 2:
SBB 201202-18280 600x600
Gary Lanigan Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Gary Lanigan (member) 5 years ago
PryanksterDave (Dave Price) PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by PryanksterDave (Dave Price) (member) 5 years ago
I had a couple of ideas for this one. I'm trying to get in close to show the texture, but realizing I still need more depth of field to make it work. OK, that, and perspective on a round object is a b...ear.

DSC_5924A - 2012 P52 Week 6 - Chocolate Brownies

DSC_5881A - Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream

DSC_5879A - Hot Chocolate

DSC_5930A - SETUP - North Window with Reflectors

The setup for the cup shot (I was doing some other cooking at the same time). Yes, it was a Proof Of Concept setup, with the white reflector on the left. (*Grin*):
DSC_5867A - SETUP proof of concept - Ingredients Still Life (Car Reflector)
Em Thomas Photography 5 years ago
Dude, you used a car as a reflector! I love it ;D
sandragconnolly 5 years ago
Ha ha! Car reflector. That's awesome! I'm going to paint my car white now.

My kitchen was a disaster by the time I got this shot. The only way I know how to get a good gloss is to make the icing, and just as it's almost thick enough to spread, you have about 30 seconds to shoot. Yikes!

Natural light with my new 50 mm 1.4 lens. Yay!

Don - to what address should we send the goods? :-)

Janis Baiza 5 years ago
Strawberry in chocolate
& Yeah. I had fun with the car reflector.

Em, sorry I used the flash for that instead of a lamp. Forgive me? (*Grin*)
Set up:
Light from sliding class door w/ sheer curtain. Reflector opposite side. B800 @ 1/4 power @11o'clock position. Chocolate on floor w/ camera shooting down.
choc-o-late 056

Concentrated on trying to get lighting set up somewhere in the ballpark.
Used curves in Aperture to try to make it POP.

Set up:
slider w/ sheer curtain to rt, tried gold reflector opposite, B800 @ 1/4 power upper rt.
chocolate 057
Photo.Pat 5 years ago
That was a bit harder than I thought. I find myself getting much more particular about the lighting. My family very much appreciated the multiple "chocolate sessions" in my home!


Steven Smith (Smitty) Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Steven Smith (Smitty) (member) 5 years ago
My VERY feeble attempt. One thing I did learn though, is that when you grease up the goods (oil up the truffles), the longer they sit the better they look. After I was done shooting and my natural light set behind the mountains, the truffles looked a heck of a lot better than they did when I first shot them. So I guess I have to oil the hard chocolates a few hours ahead of time. :)



There are SO many excellent images. Very humbling being in the same group.
gregpas 5 years ago
Full Crit


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