Day 6 – September 14 (Food Studies)

Today we will learn about food photography, a valuable skill in social media and marketing.

When taking a photo of your food, you should consider the following:

1. Location and lighting: We will make use of natural light as much as possible; diffused light is recommended and can be generated with a white sheet over a window. In addition, at IHub a north-facing window may be more preferable to a south-facing window because the sunlight is not drastically shifting throughout the day.

2. Prepping and setting your food: Your photo should tell a story using accents, depth, colors, textures, background, atmosphere, etc. These may be accomplished by having more than just the food in your photo. Consider using a white plate or bowl, napkins, colorful fruit and vegetables, cutlery, condiments, a cutting board and table, etc. The food needs to be presented.

3. Lighting: We will make use of natural, soft light as much as possible. You may also consider enhancing lighting effects using negative fill – place black foam core or similar on the opposite side to the light source. Negative fill results in more contrast and shadows. Use white foam core to reflect the light if you want more balanced brightness (less contrast).

4. Camera choice: A DSLR is preferred for more control over depth of field by adjusting the f-stop or aperture. This leads to the ability to focus on the food while other elements in the background become blurred. A smartphone camera, however, can still take excellent photos and is the standard for this course. Better cameras are available to use at the school when you want to try for better results.

5. Camera settings (for DSLR)
ISO – A measure of sensitivity to light (100 to 800). A higher ISO or sensitivity results in a grainier image.
Aperture – F-stop (2.8). A lower F-stop results in shallow depth of field and more blur.
Shutter speed – (1/60th of a second). A longer exposure will require a tripod.

6. Composition: There are four angles to utilize in your food photography.
45 degrees. Standard position looking at the plate.
0 degrees, flat. Also called the Hero Shot. Places food in the foreground and the background plays a larger role. For instance, the kitchen or dining room may be in the background.
90 degrees, overhead. Typical with Instagram and social media.
Detail. Macroscopic photography so a better lens may be required.

Here are some resources/examples on photographing food:

Shoot Food Like a Pro

Share three photos of your lunch to demonstrate the 45 degree, hero, and overhead shots. Pay careful attention to maximizing the appeal of your food by applying some of the tips described above, for example, location, lighting, and textures.

In the comments, provide a link to your blog post. I will provide feedback to you on your blog.

8 thoughts on “Day 6 – September 14 (Food Studies)

      1. Julian, I was not able to comment on your blog. The food looked good but I thought the camera angles could be more obvious or at any rate the photo could be improved with more colour. Add a napkin, some fruit, use a smaller plate, bring the camera closer (if possible), etc. Just suggestions.

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