Food (Photography) for Thought

2013-12-04

The Holidays are coming and we all know what that means: great food! Who can resist taking pictures of those great dishes. But how do we make those pictures look as tasty as the real thing?

Credits: stratski

I’ve always enjoyed paging through cook books and food magazines to stare at the gorgeous pictures of food. When I make those dishes, they never seem to come out quite as beautiful as those in the pictures, but oh well. The rise of Instagram and the likes have made food photography even more popular. But how to achieve those tasty looking pics? Here are a few short tips:

Natural colors
I find that food looks most yummy in pictures if you use fairly natural colors, so color negative film will often work best. Some cross processed film may work as well, but I’d advise film without too much of a color shift.

Credits: stratski
This looked really good in real life…

The best way to achieve natural looking color is to use natural light. You could go outside but you need to avoid direct sunlight. It’s usually too harsh and will bleach the colors. If your local climate won’t allow that right now, find a window without direct sunlight.

First picture: harsh outdoor light. Second picture: more subdued light next to a window.

You can use artificial lighting as well, of course. But be careful not to flash your food to death (that can happen fast when you’re using a point and shoot with integrated flash.)

These eggs were flashed to death.

Mind the background
Try to frame your shot to exclude all background clutter. Nice wooden cutting boards and pieces of fabric make excellent backgrounds to food. You can also use a bit of foreign newspaper if you’re cooking up something exotic. And use your prettiest crockery. You can shoot from above to exclude the background altogether or open up your diaphragm to blur it. Option number three: include your kitchen, but make sure there’s no unwanted pile of dirty dishes or crummy packaging in frame.

Cluttered background vs. uncluttered background

Other stuff you might want to include: some of the ingredients of your dish like raw vegetables, bundles of herbs and bowls of spices. Your grandma’s silver cutlery. That pretty little vintage teapot.

Get closer
Remember Golden Rule no. 5: Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible. Get the close-up lens or filter out and dive into that plate.

The first pic looks okay but when I got closer, it looked much better.

Don’t have a close-up lens? Unscrew your standard lens and try some free lensing, it works great with food photography.

Credits: stratski

Focus on the ingredients
Not a great cook, but still want to try food photography? Focus on the ingredients. Raw vegetables, spices and stuff like that look good on pictures. Incidentally, this works great in black and white as well.

Credits: stratski

Enjoy
Last, but not least: enjoy your food!

Credits: stratski

written by stratski on 2013-12-04 #gear #tutorials #requested #culinary #food #eating #tipster #food-photography #light

More Interesting Articles

  • A Color Remix

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-09 #gear
    A Color Remix

    It's human nature to be restless and imaginative. The real may be interpreted as what one sees or how one sees something. For the daydreamer, a scene from nature transforms into a canvas. Suddenly a field makes room for chemical coloring, all those anachronistic streaks that somehow look right. Or else, those beautiful colors amplified or subdued to their most pictorial shades. All in the world of trial-and-process film photography.

    2016-02-09
  • Inspiring and Daring Women in Contemporary Photography (Part I)

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-03-08 #people
     Inspiring and Daring Women in Contemporary Photography (Part I)

    We love a striking photo as much as the next person, but a unique point of view makes us head straight to a feature. Who should the world know more about? Who has rocked our perception of beauty, sexuality and creativity? These questions populate our notepads, and our list of photographers is quite long. For International Women's Day 2016, we whittle the directory down to our current favorites, photographers who resist labels (even the ones we give them) and dare the world to see what they see.

    2016-03-08
  • December 15th Advent Offer: Stock Up with 3-for-2 Film for Your Holiday Parties! (Online Code: THREE4TWO)

    written by Lomography on 2015-12-15 #news #gear
    December 15th Advent Offer: Stock Up with 3-for-2 Film for Your Holiday Parties! (Online Code: THREE4TWO)

    Today we want to make sure that you've got the film you need to take picture perfect holiday photos, so our Lomography films are three-for-two! Whether you're looking to create classic winter portraits or snap some great, snowy panoramas, today's Advent special will help you ensure you're prepared to capture it all!

    2015-12-15
  • Shop News

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    Inspired by the Icelandic midnight sky, get endless creativity, take multiple exposed instant snapshots, experiment with long exposure and light painting shots!

  • 3 Tumblrs We Loved This Week: A Love for Design, Interiors That Inspire, My Ideal Home

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-01
    3 Tumblrs We Loved This Week: A Love for Design, Interiors That Inspire, My Ideal Home

    We tidy up the house when we know visitors are coming. It’s not just common courtesy. Our homes represent how we live and how we want to be seen. More than that, the arrangement of furniture and ornaments may influence what we do during our downtime. Want hush or energy? Try the color palettes, textures and shapes in these curated blogs.

    2015-11-01
  • Neil Krug: Pulp, Rock, Color

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-10-27 #videos #people
    Neil Krug: Pulp, Rock, Color

    In 2009, Neil Krug uploaded a commercial for Pulp Art Book on Youtube. In the comments section someone asked, “Does anyone know what kind of camera he uses or how he gets his pictures to look the way they do?” Krug was on to something. He did something wildly intriguing, one that looked to have a secret formula.

    2015-10-27
  • The Art of Picture Taking: An Interview with Filmmaker Catherine Dauphin

    written by Azin Teimoori on 2016-02-16 #videos #people
    The Art of Picture Taking: An Interview with Filmmaker Catherine Dauphin

    At the time of its inception, photography was considered less a fine art and more a scientific method of reproduction. But anyone who has dabbled in the craft will argue otherwise; that there consists a very specific artistry in the photographic medium. We spoke with Luxembourg-based filmmaker Catherine Dauphin about her thoughts on this wonderful art form. Join us as she answers some of our questions about film, photography, and her short film titled "The Art of Picture Taking."

    2016-02-16
  • Shop News

    Discounts abound! Grab the deal of your dreams!

    Discounts abound! Grab the deal of your dreams!

    Grab the deal of your dreams with Lomography deals! Get Instant cameras, camera bags and other amazing accessories up to 70% off!

  • Stay Focused: A First Time For Everything

    written by Lomography on 2016-04-03 #news #gear
    Stay Focused: A First Time For Everything

    You won't believe what we have in store for you with the launch of our newest mystery product. What a crazy idea, they thought. It can't be done, they said. But at Lomography, we know that there's a first time for everything. So we've decided to travel back in time and have a quick look at some of the unbelievable ‘firsts’ of photographic history. Could these milestones have anything to do with our mystery product?

    2016-04-03 12
  • Estonian Intersections of Sight and Sound

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-10-28
    Estonian Intersections of Sight and Sound

    Would you rather lose your vision or your hearing? As photographers, we might choose the latter without a second thought, especially while viewing the festival photos that photographer Mart Vares captured with the New Petzval 85 Lens. Still, who doesn’t love the pleasant mechanical shutter sound of an old SLR that makes us commit to analog photography? While following the Nordic delegation at this years Waves Central Europe, we caught up with the Estonian band, Würffel, whose songs leave us feeling equally delighted.

    2015-10-28
  • Top 5 UK Events in 2015: Number 3

    written by Lomography London on 2015-12-26 #news
    Top 5 UK Events in 2015: Number 3

    As the year comes to a close, Lomography Soho looks back and makes a countdown of the Top 5 events that happened in 2015. At the number 3 spot are the amazing workshops we hosted at the Photography Show in Birmingham.

    2015-12-26
  • Shop News

    Introducing the world's most advanced automatic instant camera, The Lomo'Instant Automat! Back us on Kickstarter!

    Introducing the world's most advanced automatic instant camera, The Lomo'Instant  Automat! Back us on Kickstarter!

    We’re proud to be back on Kickstarter to present: the Lomo'Instant Automat! Meet the world's most advanced automatic Instant Camera. Focus on being in the moment and let this baby capture everything and anything every time! Back us on Kickstarter now!

  • The Big Picture: The New Lomography Mystery Product (Part 1)

    written by lomography on 2015-10-09 #news #gear
    The Big Picture: The New Lomography Mystery Product (Part 1)

    Yes, you read that right: Lomography has once again come up with a cool new product! But as much as we want to spill the beans right this moment—where would be the fun in that, right?—we've decided to make things a little more exciting by conducting a couple of rounds of good ol' guessing game. Sounds good? Step right in and see if you can crack our clues!

    2015-10-09 18
  • Explore Osaka with Yamanaka Yuko's AM Renault

    written by Lomography on 2015-10-24 #gear #places #people
    Explore Osaka with Yamanaka Yuko's AM Renault

    As a core member of Yamanaka Yuko, a local hiking group based in Hong Kong, AM Renault is deeply in love with nature. He is also part of the creative photography group Six Dimen Boy and is good at intertwining photography with art and design elements -- making photos not only useful for documenting what we see, but also as a means to tickle the imagination. The young and talented AM tried out the New Russar+ lens while traveling in Japan with his father. He talks about his experience and shares the sights from his journey in this Lomography Magazine exclusive.

    2015-10-24
  • Germany in Analog - Show fotoforum and Lomography your Hometown on Film

    written by zonderbar on 2015-12-18 #news
    Germany in Analog - Show fotoforum and Lomography your Hometown on Film

    North or South, East or West - in every corner of Germany you can find analog photography lovers. Lomography brings them together and shows their pictures to a worldwide community. With this rumble we want to get to know you a little better. Show Lomography and fotoforum where you come from, capture your hometown on film and win a one-year subscription of fotoforum magazine as well as a Lomo LC-A 120 camera. Please note: This competition is only for users from Germany, Austria or Switzerland.

    2015-12-18