Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Serious Attempt at Food Photography

I've done a little bit of dabbling with food photography, but nothing too serious. It's quite a challenge apparently. Well, there's nothing I like more than tackling a photography challenge. Before I started, I noted that most professional food photos I've seen have:

-Shallow DoF
-Frame-filling subjects
-High-key, relatively uniform lighting
-Simple backgrounds
-Camera tilts for odd angles (something I'm not a huge fan of)
-Either spot-on lifelike white-balance, or a slightly cooler cast

The food I had on hand for this was muffins, which generally don't require much utensil usage. I guess in hindsight I could have used a knife, but oh, well. I used my kit lens, usually at around 35mm focal length I think, and at a wide variety of apertures as experimentation. The counter in my house is corian, so it reflects light from windows nicely, but it's also quite uniform. It gave me a ready-made professional looking background. I set up the muffins in various positions to emphasize texture, etc. and started shooting (foregoing the camera tilt... maybe I'll try it next time).

click to enlarge, or see it on Flickr
Aperture: f/8
Shutter Speed: 0.6 seconds
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 34mm

The last thing I did after my regular contrast/sharpness/exposure adjustments in Lightroom was going through the steps from this post to get the white-balance exactly right. I tried it with a blue cast first, but it didn't look so good with brown muffins.

I think I could have gone a bit wider in the aperture, but otherwise I'm pretty satisfied with the shot. Sure, there are things to improve on, but considering I basically set a couple of muffins on the counter and shot a few photos, they turned out pretty good.


  1. Lots of theories to effective for food photography, but the thing that jumps off the plate for me is if I can "taste" the food in the photograph! Like here, I just want to take a bite out of that muffin!!! You can practically taste the morsels of sugar and glaze hanging off it!

  2. You should check out my friends blog, and this you tube video talking about Food Photography. She's incredible, and very funny.


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