With (Canadian) Thanksgiving just this past weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to make this week’s project a photo of food. I began by researching food photography online (i.e., I looked at a lot of photographs). What I learned is that modern food photography aims for a natural look. Gone are the days of weird inedible coatings on the dishes to enhance their tastiness. There is still a bit of enhancement, but it seems that natural products are used, like painting on some olive oil, or spraying a bit of water. Backlighting is often used to get some reflections off of the objects (similar to my picture of a pepper). Also it’s great to get low down to the food to give it a great sense of depth and height, using a shallow depth of field. On the other hand, some food arrangements can also look good taken from straight above.
The hard part about food photography is the timing. It is useful to know specifically how you are going to arrange and light the scene before the food is even prepared, or else it won’t look fresh. What that means is that a lot of thought should go into the photo before you even begin. It was also kind of tricky getting the backlighting techniques as I’ve seen online. The other thing that’s tough are props; you really need a variety of nice surfaces, backgrounds, and dishes and cutlery. And, you should never take photos of food when you have a family of people waiting to eat it!
Ultimately, I think my practise photographing details in weddings helped me, but I can still work on this type of photography quite a bit. Using a tripod is optimal, but I found working with it constricting; I could find great angles, heights and compositions much more quickly handheld. Of course this will probably be easier with practise and experience.
Without further ado, here are photos of thanksgiving dinner at my parents place, and this morning’s breakfast.