I appreciate the attempt being made here to break food photography down into a set of categories, separating the cataloguing from the art and the gross/unusual from the special occasions.
It’s nice to see that people are about as likely to be excited about their vegetables as they are to be excited about their desserts/sweets. Perhaps this tells us something about the class position behind the sustainable foods movement? (People with more money are more likely to have fancy phones and phone plans equipped for sending pictures of food around to friends, family, and blog readers. Folks who have more education and are more well-to-do are also probably the most likely to be participating in sustainable/local food projects that spotlight locally grown foods while they are still recognizable in their whole forms such as vegetables before they are incorporated into a more complicated dish.)
The icons are nicely drawn.
What needs work
The colors in the main donut are too similar, especially as they approach red, to be easily distinguished. Further, the areas of the main donut graphic (and the food-type smaller graphics) would have been easier for the human eye to ‘weigh’ if they had been presented unfurled as bar graphs rather than wrapped around each as hoops/donuts.
Wordles do not fall into the realm of useful information graphics. If there is something to be said about the use of particular words – in this case, if there is some importance tied to the intensity of the use of “breakfast”, “lunch”, and especially “dinner” – simply making those words larger relative to other words does not help readers understand any larger meaning to the pattern. In my opinion, if there is something important about word usage, the best way to explain the meaning behind that word usage would be to use…words. I would be interested in reading some paragraphs about why this pattern of generic food words “breakfast”, “lunch”, “dinner”, and “food” is meaningful. The same basic critique applies to most wordles.
The images of the phone, the polaroids, and the door opening at the bottom of the graphic take up tons of space and communicate almost nothing. Personally, I am also not convinced by the argument that since people do not mention brands in their food photography that there is a “huge opportunity for marketers” in the day-to-day practice of food photography.
Overall, there is a glaring lack of context for this information. Even as descriptive information, it is hard to make sense of food photography as a practice without knowing more about the people who are actively doing it. Is it older or younger people? What’s the gender/race breakdown? Is there a core of photographers who are snapping tons of pictures while the rest of the population barely takes any? Many questions remain.
Wasserman, Todd. (9 May 2011) “What’s behind the food photography trend?” on mashable.com.
360i (2011) “Online food and photo sharing trends” available at scribd.