Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Food Photography Tips

By Danielle Lancaster

The love of food has been rekindled through reality television style shows on master chefs, iron chefs, little chefs, surfing chefs, travelling chefs and the list goes on. 

Here’s a few tips for capturing food!
The choice of setting needs to compliment but not distract from the food. Work on simple is best and look for contrasting or complimentary colours. The plate should not be the same colour as the food.

Wherever I can I try and use natural light but when I can’t I use off camera flash, generally diffused and to the side - side lighting shows texture.

Timing – you need to shoot quickly. Over time the food will not look as fresh. Juices will start to solidify, cream melt and garnish drown.

Watch the ISO. A lot of what I shoot is at night or in dimly lit areas so I often need to push the ISO up. Having the ability within your camera to do this and produce minimal digital noise in your image is a bonus in this arena.

White balance does matter. Watch for colour casts from different forms of artificial lighting. At times you may be able to use this effectively. Meat under some fluorescent lights can look blue-ish and not very appetising at all.

Move around – shoot it as many times from as many different angles as you can.

Composition does count!

Artificial lighting is used in this image to depict warmth from a restaurant set in an old church for an accompanying article.
Image by Danielle Lancaster

 A classic case of on-camera flash ruining a food image.
Image by Danielle Lancaster

Image 1
In the first image a blue/green cast can be seen in the meat caused from artificial lighting. It was ‘fixed’ by selection masks and colour balance as seen in Image 2 below.
Image by Danielle Lancaster

Image 2
Image by Danielle Lancaster

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