The Story About the Doughnut

One Saturday morning, Paige was on the phone, talking with her friend, Amy, with whom she planned to spend the day.

“So, what would you like to do, today?” asked Amy.

“Well… I really need to photograph a doughnut,” replied Paige.

“And, this is for what?” asked Amy. Then, Paige explained that she wanted “Cappuccino Music” to have a photo of a doughnut on the actual CD, to go with the coffee theme.

“Of course, it would have to be a plain, glazed doughnut, because I have to add type on top of it.” said Paige. “I looked and looked through all of my royalty-free photo collections and only found a few photographs of doughnuts, but they were at an angle. I did find some doughnuts that were shot straight on, but they had frosting, or with lots of sprinkles, and that won't do, not with lettering on top.”

When Paige got to Amy’s place in Gaithersburg, they set off in search of a doughnut shop. Amy thought she remembered where one was at a local shopping center, but it was gone!

“I thought it was a bad idea to have a doughnut shop next–door to a weight–loss place,” Amy said. The weight–loss place was still there, so they must have won the battle for customers. So, after a day of Christmas shopping at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at the Gaithersburg Fairgrounds, and a stop at LakeForest Mall for more shopping, Amy and Paige ended up at a Giant grocery store. The sun had gone down for the day and it was already dark outside. Amy got to the bakery first, and pulled out a tray that contained two lonely, leftover doughnuts. “Which one looks more photogenic?” Amy asked. Paige then picked out the wrong doughnut although it really did look the best, nice and plump. (Photographer's Tip: Hey, just buy both doughnuts! You'll figure out the best one after you've photographed them both.)

After Paige got the doughnut home, she took it into the kitchen, placed it on a small black plate (for good contrast), and photographed it with her digital camera. The flash from the digital camera made a glaring reflecting ring of light from the shiny glaze of the doughnut. Not good. Need natural light. Paige wrapped the doughnut carefully and put it into the refrigerator to save it for the next day.

The next day, the sun was shining into Paige’s office, and she got the doughnut out from the refrigerator and placed it on the windowsill. She photographed it without flash, and the shadows were too deep. She tried fill flash, and still the light wasn’t right. Then, the sun was setting, and it slowly sank behind some trees. The light was still sunny, but filtered a little. Then, the light was perfect! Paige photographed the doughnut, and this is the marvelous result!

Getting the doughnut to fit perfectly onto the same shape as a music CD was more difficult than expected, though. For one thing, the doughnut was not perfectly round (it looked perfectly round…). Also, the hole in the center was way too small. That was when Paige realized she should have bought the other doughnut. It had a bigger hole in the center, but didn't look as nice as the fat doughnut she bought. Photoshop to the rescue—I just selected the hole in the photograph and made it bigger! Then, I distorted the photo to make the doughnut more perfectly round.

Unfortunately, it was cost-prohibitive to print full color onto the “Cappuccino Music” CD, but a duotone with two Pantone colors was allowed with the standard package. Paige got out her Pantone swatches from the Pantone book and tried to see if there was a good match with the photograph. It was really hard to tell from the computer monitor, so Paige printed a color copy of the photograph. Paige realized that she really needed to compare the Pantone color with a real doughnut, but she had eaten the one she photographed! But she did have a small loaf of Italian bread (that's a golden-crust baked thing, right?) So, Paige compared the Pantone swatches with the bread and Pantone 130C was the winner. She created the duotone in Photoshop with Pantone 161C for the shadows, and although the result lacks perfection, the “Cappuccino Music” CD is printed with a photo of a real doughnut!

The End.