June 21, 2012

Photoshop makes a Quarter Pounder more “Royale”

I found this peek into the making vs. photographing of McDonald’s food surprisingly down-to-earth & refreshing:

[Via Adam Pratt]

Posted by John Nack at 5:42 PM on June 21, 2012


  • Mike Sullivan — 12:18 AM on June 22, 2012

    They definitely cheat, making a burger look different from how it normally looks. If they offered the burger that they photographed, customers would be upset. Ketchup injected between the pickle slices, come on.

    • Tom Peterson — 3:47 AM on June 22, 2012

      Mike: You really want to check out how food photography is done. At least they used “real” Ketchup. If you look at a bowl of cereal in an advertising shot, that milk you see is probably something like Elmers Glue. Mashed potatoes are routinely used as a substitue for vanilla ice cream. Any setup shot is made to look idealized. In food photography that means making things “look real”,not using real things. All photography is a cheat, whether it’s in camera or in post.
      One other comment. If you noticed, they retouched the “good” burger. I didn’t see them do anything to the store bought burger.
      Hope this helps you understand what goes on in food photography.

  • Jeremy M — 12:12 PM on June 22, 2012

    If they photographed it with everything hidden under the bun you wouldn’t know from the ad what is on it. I appreciate the reason behind this video and commend them for being the first to publicly speak about it. Restaurants style their food all the time for shoots – McDonald’s is an easy target for people to be critical of the industry-wide practice. It’s advertising.

  • James — 2:11 PM on June 22, 2012

    Really, the only questionable practice I saw in the BTS shoot was using raw hamburger patties that have just been browned on the top and sides. Unfortunately that seems to be universal when it comes to shooting beef. I don’t understand why, since, if anything, that is the most misleading (and potentially lawsuit-worthy) part of the ad–a giant, plump, raw patty instead of a shrunken, slightly wrinkled, cooked patty.

  • Alex — 7:14 AM on June 23, 2012

    My generation is responsible for the “McDonalds” of the world, and for that I am sorry. We never meant it to be a everyday thing. It was a Sunday treat, that’s all. I am sorry it caught on.

  • Mike McFarlane — 10:40 AM on June 25, 2012

    I thought that was an interesting industry insight too, and for all the hate that McD’s gets, I think video like this goes a long way to maybe make them less of a demon by being honest and transparent!
    Can anyone explain why food is always shot with such ‘flat’ (or even) light?

  • Nic Cohen — 1:53 AM on June 28, 2012

    It’s astonishing what these companies get away with such miss-representation of their own products, if I was to look on the net to buy a new smartphone and I liked the design, layout and functionality… I finally ordered it and weeks later it arrived… but the phone looked different from the one in the pictures, with buttons in different places and slightly different functions that would really frustrate me and subsequently I would be on the phone making a complaint, why then wouldn’t we not complain about something we eat??

  • Garry — 9:56 PM on February 09, 2013

    why is that quarter pounder so big. In Australia it’s 1/2 that size.MacDonalds Australia says it’s smaller for dietry reasons. Quarter pounders are the size of cheeseburger 15 years ago.

    Thanks for ripping Aussies off Macca’s

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