Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shooting Food

Shooting good shots of plates and platters filled with of wonderfully prepared delicious cuisine is a lot easier than many food photographers would have you believe.

The first step is finding the proper subject. For this you may not have to look any further than your favourite diner. Go early in the evening while the sun is still shining, sit near a window and voila, you're ready to rock 'n' roll.

For creating a smashing food shot, I look for the same stuff that makes the food itself appealing. A nice mix of colours, textures and shapes plus an eye-catching composition. Like I said, all the very stuff that makes a meal memorable also makes a food photo worth taking.

By sitting next to a window you will have eliminated one of the big problems encountered while shooting food: Poor light. Unless you are trying for effect, warm incandescent or cool green fluorescent lighting can destroy what promised to be a fine food shot. Shoot under soft, clean daylight delivered through a non-tinted window and your whites will be white and all your colour vibrant and clean.

Next, try and keep the ISO setting low. You do not want coarse noise to detract from your image. By shooting at a low ISO and choosing a small f/stop - something that gives a lot of depth of field like f/11 - you will capture lots of that all important detail. You do not want to miss the texture on the mash potato patty or the the small specks of spice enhancing the colourful vegetables.

This means that you may need to contend with a slowish shutter speed - like 1/15th of a second. A simple, pocket tripod may be necessary for the best results.

And shoot fast. The food will be at its best the moment your server places it in front of you. And if you are shooting your partner's food as well as your own, your partner will be at his/her best at the moment the food arrives. Take too long getting your shot and both your partner and the food will grow stale.

For more about the food in today's post see: London Daily Photo.

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