How to take better food shots

How to take better food shots

Using your smart phone and you’re not a whizz bang photographer with a fancy camera? Want your meal to be envied? Your risotto remembered? Your cake catalogued? Then charge your phone and follow these suggestions.

 Food and travel! Seems that everyone wants to photograph what they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner . . .and in between. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Food and travel go together as we remember significant events, moments and meals in the countries we visit. Ah, that fragrant bowl of pho in Hanoi, the delectable strudel in Vienna, those ribs in Chicago, baguettes and buttery croissants in Paris and the Balmain bugs in Sydney. So why not share the chosen dishes with friends on social media – but be discerning.

charles-deluvio-271645-unsplash

Natural light, simple presentation.

Don’t get carried away with that fab vindaloo – in bad lighting it looks like a dish of dog food; or the bowl of chicken rice under neon lights – pale as –  and a piece of steak on a plate with a couple of veg is not as appealing as it will be in the mouth . . . in short, don’t paste images of food unless they look as good as they taste. Here are some tips for smart phone or tablet amateurs that will make your food shots sing, click!

dsc00965

This was a tasty lunch in Madrid, but did not translate to a great pic – don’t bother.

  • Avoid overhead lights, which create a reflection on the plate. Stick to light that is off to the side, or angle your camera or device.
  • Pull back from the dish for a wide shot to show napkins, utensils, cocktails or even a menu to create more action in the shot.
  • If you want to take a detail shot, physically step closer to your subject instead of using the digital zoom. This goes for any phone photos. Digital zoom will just make your image pixelated. You’re better off cropping the photo afterwards.
  • Did you know that you can control the exposure on your phone much like on a DSLR camera? When you open the camera app, focus on your subject manually with the touch of your finger. You will see a little image of a sun appear. If you slide your finger up and down the small bar that appears, you can control the amount of light in your photo even before you take the picture.

    Include people if they are active around food. Top left: mushroom tapas in Madrid; bottom left: Adelaide markets; right: this is how you slice Jamon successfully in Spain.

 

  • Before posting to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, use apps such as VSCO or Snapseed to edit the photo further.
  • Avoid flash because it can create harsh lighting on one area of the shot.
  • When photographing sandwiches or filled rolls, wedge out some of the contents so the shot is not blocked by bread.
  • Baked goods (cakes, bread, pastries, pies) can make for great shots because of the various textures.

monika-grabkowska-535353-unsplash

  • Oozing is attractive! Melted cheese oozing from a burger or chocolate pouring out of a pudding, this is ‘food action’ don’t miss the opportunity.

edward-guk-357344-unsplash

‘Oozing’ works too. Thanks for the tip https://notquitenigella.com

  • There’s a tool on almost all smartphone devices that allows you to overlay a grid onto every photo you’re taking. That way you can make sure that your lines are straight, or you can easily divide your frame into thirds. On an iPhone, you can find the ‘grid’ toggle in your photo and camera settings. For the Android/Galaxy, you should check the settings in your camera app.
  • Your food/plate subject doesn’t have to take up the entire frame. You can let the food take up only a third of the frame. If there’s a simple backdrop you can place your food in front of, that works well. Dark or black backgrounds can create a dramatic contrast with your image.

img_3325 (1)

Slightly angled, interesting background and a colourful dish. At Skai restaurant, Swissotel The Stamford, Singapore.

Happy snapping.

Writer, Bev Malzard takes a lot of food pictures but she sometimes gets over excited and eats half her meal before she remembers to take a picture.

(This article appeared in #3 My Discoveries e-magazine http://www.mydiscoveries.com.au

img_3370

Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet – this is my original invention/creation of the creme brulee sandwich (patented).

How to take better food shots

www.mydiscoveries.com.au

www.notquitenigella.com

 

 

 

Follow us on:

 

Advertisements

NYC and Brooklyn’s little surprises

I love New York City. Many have said it before but I REALLY love NYC. I visited 18 months ago for first time in ten years and it’s same, same, and changed as well.

IMG_1521.JPG

The usual suspects on the tourist trail appear. I felt that all-familiar feeling when I strolled through Times Square: ticket touts, animal and movie character-clad folk wandering around hoping for a picture and a tip – and that’s what hit me straight away – TIPS. No matter where you go or what you buy there’s the hand-held out for a TIP.

This is foreign to Australians, we tip at the end of a meal if we think it is well-deserved but it isn’t mandatory and we don’t get screamed at if we forget to TIP. So after  few days here I start to get a bit twitchy over the TIP situation. But here’s my TIP regarding TIPS for anyone visiting from other countries: If you are going to be in NYC or indeed the USA for up to two weeks take $100 in $1 notes, have a few of them stuffed in your (pickpocket proof pocket) so you can dole them out as regularly needed. TIP rant over.

While in NYC we caught up with some fab theatre (Book of Mormon), checked out the major art galleries and visited a new (for me) museum – The Tenement Museum.

tenementmuseum_julienneschaer_005__x_large

I particularly loved his little museum as it tracks the good, bad and ugly story of America’s urban immigration. There are walking tours from here and the shop has really good quality goods to purchase. And it’s at the Lower East Side at 97 Orchard Street, not far from where we walked off the Williamsburg Bridge that we had crossed from Brooklyn – walk, walk, walk in this part of the world.

IMG_1648On the path of the Williamsburg Bridge.

We were staying in Williamsburg a stone’s throw from the bridge, fab restaurants, shops, parks and all things funky and friendly.

IMG_1516

Brooklyn wall art.

My first time tour with A Slice of Brooklyn tour sent me into a happy spin. The tour bus is so friendly that it feels like a few travel companions got together and hired the local expert. The comprehensive tour took us to Grimaldi’s for the wood-fired pizza/s – the last of this type of oven in Brooklyn. No slices sold here just the wheel of pleasure, super-yum too.

We also got out to the beach and Coney Island – strolled the Boardwalk and soaked up the precinct’s history and attitude.

On this USA break, our first week was spent in Manhattan and the second with a friend in Williamsburg. Our friend is an Aussie expat who knew the drill on every great food place within walking distance – and where to get GOOD COFFEE (essential for Aussies as we are consummate coffee snobs).

This posting has just been a little slice of NYC and Brooklyn – go taste for yourself.

Visit: http://www.asliceofbrooklyn.com

Copyright Bev Malzard