Photographing food can be a challenge. Professionals use elaborate lighting, table top setups, and clever photographic trickery to make luscious, tempting photos of food. By following a few rules, even an amateur can produce good photos highlighting their culinary masterpieces.
40+ Inspirations for Still Life Photography
Use a white card to set the proper color temperature for your photo. Cameras have white balance presets for sunlight, florescent, and incandescent light, but room light may be a mixture. Point the camera at a white card and use the custom white balance setting so your colors appear natural.
Exposure and ISO
If the camera has a histogram display – a graph that shows the distribution of tones from dark to light – adjust the exposure to move the graph to the right without blowing out the highlights. This does two things. First, it provides the maximum information from the image sensor, and it helps to prevent noise in the darkest parts of the image. Noise appears as dots of color. Use the lowest ISO setting to reduce noise too.
Turn off your flash! The harsh, directional light of a camera flash does little to make food appear more appetizing, and it’s hard to control reflections. Diffuse sunlight from a nearby window is better. Try to avoid direct sunlight, but if that’s not possible, use a handkerchief, a napkin, or even a hat to block it. These can also be used to bounce some light into the shadows when placed close to the your subject.
Indoor lighting and low ISO settings usually result in long exposure times, particularly when you’re trying to keep a plate sharp from front to back. To obtain the necessary depth of field, you have to select smaller apertures, and this serves to lengthen exposure time too. Exposures may be several seconds, making a tripod essential to prevent camera movement.
Post Processing for Excellent Look
Nearly all photos benefit from some simple post processing. It’s common to use the levels control to set the overall brightness. Adding some color saturation and sharpening can make photos ‘pop.’ Finally, post processing can help to reduce noise even further.
Tricks to Make Food Mouth Watering
The professionals sometimes do things that make food look mouth-watering but also make it inedible. They use detergent to add bubbles to coffee, making it appear freshly poured. They put brown shoe polish on steaks and spray them with acrylic to get that just-off-the-grill look. They soak cotton balls in water, heat them in a microwave, and then quickly place them behind the food so it seems a dish is steaming. Whether you want to emulate some of these tricks is entirely up to you, but be aware that the professional photos are not always truthful.
Marcio is a chef with Trippas White Group in Sydney, Australia. In his spare time, Marcio is an avid food photographer who is always trying to capture the perfect shot. These are some of hit top food photography tips. For more visit: www.trippaswhitegroup.com.au.