Originally Posted by SmokinAussie
As for the photo editing... well theres a lot of cameras out there which are pretty aweful, especially the phone cameras which massively overload the red because the CCD's are cheap, there's no flash and the lenses are dead basic. Deepsouth's camera is a prime example, but not everyone then has photoshop to try and pull the image back to a more realistic colour balance. The fact is, pretty much all of us can recognise a poor camera shot, but still appeciate the effort and the technical execution of the food itself and still give votes to what we feel is best even though the shot is not the best.
Agreed, deep pm'ed me and my response was this:
...you can tone them down in photoshop (or somewhere else) to something you think looks natural, but that's an adjustment too, if you're being pedantic about things. The only solution to perfect color accuracy is buying special lights, setting up a studio, buying thousands of dollars of calibration equipment etc. etc.. Unless you're shooting for Coca Cola, it just isn't worth it.
The iPhone camera (and a lot of other consumer cameras) have hardware and software that leans towards the over-saturated side because that's what consumers like.
I have a pretty nice point-and-shoot that I got specifically because it is pretty accurate and allows a lot of manual adjustment, but it still isn't neutral. I usually bump the exposure a little bit, but I've found with taking shots of meat that makes the meat look too red and underdone.
I'm not against adjustments, I think everyone should just post what they want and people should vote on it, it's all for fun, it's not a real contest or anything.
What I have seen, not in this throwdown, but often in some of the other throwdowns, is a general tendency to shoot with what appears to be a really nice camera and then bump the exposure and saturation up to make it "pop". Sometimes to a level that borders on unreal.
The point that I was trying to make but came off curmudgeonly, and that I think you made more clearly, is that there's no practical way to get consistent photos across cameras and continents.
Heck, look at these two photos, both taken with the same camera, of the same cutting board, in the same room, with the same lights, no adjustments, same photo software import, the only difference is the second photo was taken in the morning with some blue light coming in the window and looks more natural than first photo, which was taken at night under fluorescent light (which is typically bluer than incandescent already), but the one taken under artificial light has a red shift to it.
Anyway, congrats on your impending win, your tip looked delicious!