Saturday, 7 December 2013

Food Photography

Food Photography
by Amy Renfrey (Compiled by Bill Bohlen)

First, we looked at a video by Amy Renfrey

OK, so what have we learnt from Amy?

There are three distinct methods of food photography, Lighting, Composition and Focus. 

These three things are easy to apply and they don’t take long to learn. To photograph food in the most flattering way possible it requires some serious creativity. It also demands that the food photographer pays close attention to the things that most photographs do not address. The food must be kept looking as beautiful as possible. It is sometimes necessary to glaze or moisturise the product we’re photographing to give it appealing look it not normally has. To that end, the product has to be lit accordingly.

Place the light at a lower angle to brighten the food. This helps to create a great deal of texture across the surface of the food. Low light also helps to show moisturised food. You can also use fill in flashes or reflectors to provide lighting of the food. However avoid lights to be too close to the food, as this can create unwanted shadows onto the food.

Professional food photographers often use light boxes to help them achieve the desired results. Light boxes create light from all directions, thus eliminating shadows.

The way food is set out on the plate is as important as the way you photograph it.
Pay attention to the balance of food in the shot with colour and shapes and led away into the shot using leading lines and the rule of thirds to help guide the viewer’s eye into the dish.

The distance of the lens to the food depends on the size of the food you’re capturing.  If it’s a large plate, then you want more widths in the scene to make sure you have the sides of the bowl or plate in the frame. Close ups or sections of the bowl are also perfectly acceptable. For close ups you would choose a longer focal length so you have a short Depth of Field in order to blur the background.

A mistake that many beginner food photographers make is taking shots that look down on the plate. While this can work in some circumstances, in most cases you get a better shot by shooting from down close to plate level.

Coordinate the background that ads to the overall look of the food. Baked goods are often photographed with complementary colours in the background., rather than just a plain background. But there must be no competition between the food and the background.

You can include cutlery, salt and peppershakers or a glass in the frame to complete your composition.  Don’t clutter the photo with a full table setting.

Make sure the highlight in your shot is in focus, not a secondary item such as garnish or other items placed to enhance the composition.

The secret is to position and create your light in such a way where there are important aspects of the food that are well lit. Once your lighting is taken care off, then focus on the area where you would bite first, where you would bite into that sausage roll, or that apple. This focus provides the emotional entrance to your photo.

These are some successful ways you can use to photograph your food.

If you use an editing program to finish your photos, increase the colour vibrancy a little or if you have a camera that can alter settings, use the ‘Vibrant’ setting.

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