Last Saturday, I attended a workshop organized by My Paper on the art of food appreciation and photography. Ever since I’ve started blogging, I’ve realized that when a blog post is accompanied with quality photographs, the photos lend depth to the story behind the words and breathes life to mere words. I do believe that’s why they say that a picture speaks a thousand words.
At the workshop, I’ve picked up some very useful tips from Bob Lee, a former photojournalist, when he shared about how to capture slurplicious food photographs without having to use a high-end camera or fancy equipment.
And here’s are the top 5 things that I’ve learnt in food photography.
1. Use natural lighting
As far as possible, always take your photographs with natural lighting. The best timing when shooting outdoors is around 5 pm. That’s when the sun is about to set, giving pictures a very soft glow.
When in restaurants, always choose the seat that is near to natural light sources, i.e windows seats or one where there is ample lighting. That way, you wouldn’t have to rely on flash which are usually too harsh and end up giving a very grainy effect to your photos.
2. Put in effort
Bob very candidly said that beautiful photos rarely happen by chance as it’s usually the photographer behind the lenses that take effort to capture the best shots. And this can be simple measured by how much the photographer has to move his body to take the shot.
I tried to apply what I learnt and tried to find interesting angles to take these dishes.
Which one is your favorite?
In the pictures above, I included the outline of the serving board as well as the table in the background as I felt that it added an interesting dimension to the dishes.
In these photographs, I went from taking all the little burgers to just concentrating on a few burgers, applying the symmetry rule to my pictures.
3. Break the rules
In photography, there are a few common photography rules, like the rule of one third, use of symmetry, half and half, etc. But photography is an art and not a science, so in reality, these rules are merely a guide and when you’re behind the camera, be led by your feelings, go with the flow and take whatever catches your fancy.
A few techniques that I applied here were – from top left to bottom right
1. Shooting from a aerial view
2. Using 2/3 instead of a 1/3
3. Capturing both the pizza as well as the serving board and the table
4. Pairing the pizza with a glass of juice
4. Cheat if you need to
Remember point one on using natural lighting? Well if you can’t get natural lighting, then there a few cheats you can use to help you get round it. One of them is by bringing your own DIY light reflectors.
Here Bob shows us how you can use a simple cardboard that been lined with aluminum foil as a light reflector. And if this seems too much work, a piece white paper could also do the trick.
5. Learn from the experts
That goes without saying that in order to improve on your photography skills, you got to learn from those who are experts in their field.
I’m glad that I signed up for this workshop together with my colleagues and fellow mummy blogger, Ruth, and had a very enjoyable afternoon learning from the professionals.
Both Bob and Robin, the head chef from the Marmalade Pantry were very generous in sharing their tips and trade secrets on how you can take better photographs as well as apply food styling techniques so that we can put the theory into application with a hands-on exercise.
This workshop has definitely made me more conscious of how I compose my photographs in bringing out the best in what the subject has to offer. There is so much more to learn about photography and one can never learn enough.
Ending this post with one of my favorite picture of the day. Don’t you think that this could very well appear in a magazine.
Don’t forget to grab my badge above and include it in your post after you have linked up and leave me a comment too. I will be hosting Motivational Monday every week and I hope that you can all join me every Monday. Have a great week ahead!
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