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Quick Photography Tips
Shoot Your Food

A delicious subject!

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As photographers we're always hungry for interesting subjects. Often, some of the best photo opportunities are right there under our noses—on the dinner plate. Food evokes visceral responses from us all, and special events are often tied to certain special meals.


Every meal, snack, or coffee break is an opportunity to discover the fun of shooting food. Whether you have a DSLR or a simple compact digital camera, delectible food photos are within your reach.


Turn your coffee break into a photo opp! And if you're at a coffee shop, take a window seat so you can get better light.

At a restaurant—or at home, for that matter—sit near a window. Fast food restaurants provide a good place to get started because they're usually all windows. Natural light is best, so turn off the flash. If your camera has a Food scene selection (and many do) start there, but also experiment.


Going up close on your food is good, but sometimes showing the entire table is better.

Choose the Macro or Close-up setting from your compact camera's focus selector and compose carefully. While it's generally a good idea to exclude extraneous items from the scene, sometimes it's interesting to include bread, dinnerware and other odds and ends.


I used my camera's Cuisine Mode setting to get an optimal shot of my fast food.Read on for more about food modes!

 

Food Mode

 

Then there's the Food Scene Mode, which can be found on some compact digital cameras. In any restaurant, you’ll always find me at a table near the windows—because I love to shoot my food. Fortunately, my camera has a tempting item on its menu, called Food Mode, which automatically sets the camera based on an expert recipe, and delivers tasty results.

 

 

The Food Mode switches your camera to macro (close-up) mode and cancels the flash. White balance settings shift to favor incandescent (tungsten) lighting commonly found in eating establishments. The shutter speed can slow way down, despite the kicked-up ISO setting, so be careful to hold the camera steady (or use a pocket tripod). If you can arrange to sit near the windows (during the daytime, of course) you’ll have plenty of natural light and the results will be gastronomically superb.

If you’re one of the many people who enjoys a nice wine but can seldom remember what was ordered, use the Food Mode to photograph the wine label. Back at home you can record the details, and the next time that it’s your turn to order wine you’ll sound like an expert.



What's your favorite food to photograph? Leave a comment!

 

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