Food Photography

Ever since I got my first point n shoot camera, I've become a shutterbug. The most amazing part about digital pictures is that you can play around and make a lot of changes to get the desired effect and this possibility alone has me hooked to photography. Like everybody else I started off with capturing nature's crap and soon got tired of it. Of late I've been concentrating on food photography and though I'm an amateur and shouldn't be giving advice, I still think that some tips might help newbies like me. Food photography is supposed to be the most difficult and challenging of all, even for professionals. But there's no saying that a newbie cannot take a good picture provided that they have followed some guidelines:

Styling: Pick and choose props you think will compliment the subject. For example, when you are shooting a bowl of chocolate ice-cream, you can use a white square-shaped bowl with a green table cloth and a silver fork. Arrange these so that they do not dominate the subject and yet make the whole picture look delicious. Also, do not pile up food, take a small quantity and garnish it just before shooting.

Macro Mode: I absolutely love this feature which allows you to take close-up shots and it is the best for food photography coz then you will only be concentrating on the food as your major subject and less on the mess around.

Composition: Composing a photograph is no less than a work of art. Don't just focus right above the subject but go around the setting and use different angles to see which captures more light and makes the food look shiny and beautiful. Take care to see that there is not much going on in the background which could be distracting the viewers attention from the subject. Keep it simple.

Shoot Fast: If you are shooting something that has been just cooked, do it fast coz food becomes dry or loses its visual appeal easily. If you are shooting something bought form a store then you need not worry much, but still, once opened, anything becomes stale after a while. So you have to be very quick in taking your shots.

Lighting: Take your shots near a window and under a headlight if possible or wherever there's lots of light. Minimize the use of flash which usually makes subjects look like ghosts. But if you are shooting in low light, set your camera's ISO to suit it. You might also want to use a tripod to get a clearer image.

Editing: When you're done, its always necessary to do some color correction or give it some finishing touches coz SOOC (straight out of the camera) no picture looks very appealing and when food is your subject its the least appealing. Now is the time to blur/crop out some of the unwanted things which might have been captured along with your subject.

Google It: Just google "food photography tips and techniques" and you should be getting hundreds of links to websites written by professionals. Any help is always appreciative and will help you take better captures.

Proudly present your work of art to everybody. This is also important coz you will get feedback that will help you improvise.

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Ramesh said...

Hey; welcome back. Now we know what you have been doing all this while !!!

rads said...

Thanks Ramesh...good to see my readers still remember me considering I've been MIA for a really really long time...n part of the reason was becoz I've been to India for 5 months and had no access to the internet but yes I've never been far from photography.

Vyazz said...

Its wonderful to hear from u again!!!....Its been quite a long spell I might add!!! I thought u got sunk into the bloggers void.
Now being an absolute foodie, I love that ur clicking food. I used to do that too!!!! :))
Especially the stuff I made.
I believe great food is about great presentation as well. For instance just look at how intricately well the Japanese arrange their sushi!!!
Its a delight to see pretty food!!!!
And don't disappear again!!!! Nice to hear from u!!!!!! :))

rads said...

With Japanese everything is an art...I'd love to see your clicks sometime...and yes I'm here to trip to India followed by a severe attack of chicken-pox had me busy for a while but otherwise i love blogging n nothing can keep me far from it for a long time...

mythri n said...

Happy to see u back again too :) nice tips and i loved the cheerios pic..classic!

rads said...

Thanks Mythri :)

Kaddu said...

Good post. Very useful since I'm planning to do the next NaBloPoMo on recipes - 30 recipes in 30 days. And I need to take photographs of all the recipes I prepare! Too bad I already finished some of the dishes before reading this! :(
But I'm glad u r back! I thought u'd left for good! Does anyone have any clue about the other Kadambari (of Spirals)? Any way we could get her back too?

Kaddu said...

Oh forgot to mention... have shared this post for my FB friends. If you're also on FB, do add me ok. My profile link is given under the contact options on my blog. See ya...

rads said...

@Kaddu: WOW that's some challenge...all the best n I'm sure you're pics wud be gr8 even without my idea where Kadambari has gone...but it'll be nice to have her back to Blogosphere...thanks for sharing my post :)