Food Photography-A Guide for Perfect Click
The internet is flooded with food photographs. Apparently, everyone does it these days. In fact, every restaurant has a few people constantly trying to get that perfect click of their risottos, spaghettis and medium rare steaks and flaunt it to the world on Instagram. But still, there a few things you need to keep in mind that would separate you from the rookies. Here are a few tips that will help you take some phenomenal food photographs. Have a look on this food photography guide.
Food photography is not that complicated, rather it is quite similar to any other photography. Make sure you treat the food items you are going to photograph just as any other photography subject. And as all the subjects for a good photograph need proper lighting, make sure that your food items have adequate lighting upon them. Most of the pictures which have the potential of becoming a phenomenal shot end up being mediocre and poor because of lack of proper and adequate lighting. Types of lighting would include natural lighting and artificial lighting. In the case of natural lighting, chose a spot where the light is directly falling on the subject or perhaps a location where the light is reflecting back from the walls or ceiling. This will take care of the shadows. In addition to that, natural light also helps to make the food look more natural and vibrant.
Like human subjects, food items too do not hold their majestic look for long. Be sure to be efficient and quick with your shots. As a food photographer, you need to act fast. You need the perfect shot before the food item changes color, melts, collapses or wilts. And that is exactly what we do not want. Therefore be on your toes, be efficient and click as many shots as you can. The best ones can be filtered later on. This also clarifies another pointer that you need to know what you desire to capture with your camera before the food is served. A simple way to start is that you keep everything including the lighting and props ready before the food arrives.
The manner in which you place the food is as imperative as the way you plan to shoot it. You need to pay very intricate attention when it comes to the different colors and shapes of the food items. Use leading lines and the rule of thirds to facilitate the viewer’s eye into the food. The simplest way to do this is to follow some cookbooks to see how the professional cooks do it.
At times, the only hindrance in between the perfect shot and us is we ourselves. As hard as we try, we cannot ensure 100 percent stability whilst taking photographs with bare hands. Human errors are bound to happen in the form of shaky or blurry images. Try using a tripod instead. The camera will be help is a fixed position and blurred images will be sent out of the equation.
A very common phenomenon that can be seen among new food photographers is that they try to take a shot of the food item directly from the top. That is the worst thing you can do if you are a food photographer. It can be quite effective in certain situations but not all the time. It is much better if you get low and close to the platter containing the food.
If you have some steam coming off the food item, you can get that ‘freshly cooked’ look in your food photograph. The ways you can do that is first if you are quick enough to click the photograph just as the food is served. Or you may also use a certain technique that professional photographers use. All you need to do is microwave water till it boils. Then soak cotton balls in it and place those cotton balls behind the plate where the camera cannot catch it. It is a little advance but surely a handy trick.
You may own the most expensive camera but there is no viable use for it if you are unable to make the best of it. Try experimenting with your camera and play with all the settings to get that one perfect shot that you need. This may take time as getting the perfect combination is not at all an easy task but a little bit of patience and effort will finally pay off. A guide for getting the perfect setting is given below. Make sure to go through it.
So, basically there are three essential settings that you might want to do a little experimentation with. They are –
• Shutter Speed
The aperture decides the subject of the photograph and the focal length as well. The more the aperture the wider the scope of the focus of the camera will be. It is hard to determine the exact value of the aperture for that perfect shot but it is not impossible as it can be achieved by manually changing the settings.
The Shutter speed is a very relevant setting in the field of photography but in the case of food photography, it is not. To think of it in a technical way, the subject, that is, the food items are not in motion and therefore it is best kept as high as possible, that is, ½ a second. This is because at faster shutter speeds, the photograph has been taken with very stable hands. That is why at shutter speeds exceeding 1/60th of a second, it is highly recommended that you use tripod stands instead of your hands.
The ISO is essentially the digital camera’s sensitivity to the light falling on the subject. The ISO is determined when the camera uses the light falling on the subject and then changes it to electrical signals to then later process it. For food photography, the ideal ISO setting would somewhere around, 400 t0 800 and not exceeding 1600. Beyond this point, any photograph taken would not serve the purpose which in our case is capturing the very essence of the food that we intent to portray.