Food PhotographyPro-Forma TemplateFood PhotographyWhat is it?The clue is in its name, food photography is images of all types of food, which are well presented to make them look more appetising. What is the definition?Food Photography is a still life specialisation of commercial photography and is aimed at producing attractive photographs of the food to help promote itWhy is it used?It is mainly used for advertisement and can be seen in shop windows, food packaging, flyers, menus or cook books.
Food PhotographyLighting techniques:Lighting is one of the most important things in any photography, because without it, we wouldnt be able to see the subject. Lighting also helps to highlight the subject therefore making it stand out better. There are lots of different lighting techniques, but the most obvious is natural lighting, the daylight we get from the sun.Which technique is most commonly used for food?The soft, dispersed lighting usually given by natural window lighting that casts very soft shadows works beautifully with a lot of food photographs. Generally the best lighting is from the front side (ie coming over the shoulder of the photographer), but all angles of natural light can be made to work.Reflectors If you want to disperse the light even more or tone down some of the shadows, then reflecting natural lighting is also high on the scale of desirability. This can be done with a purpose-built reflector or you can improvise with light coloured material (white sheets/cloths) or reflective material (foil).Artificial Lighting Sometimes, youre just not going to be able to get in a position to take advantage of natural lighting. Using strobes on food is a huge topic, but sometimes you will often need to soften and disperse the light as much as possible with the use of soft-boxes and reflectors, so the image doesnt look too bright or harsh looking.Dark Food Photography a growing trend in some food photography is to go the low light style and a dark setting. This is more about using the dark colours of the food and its background and surroundings in combination with natural window lighting. It is very effective in creating mood
Food PhotographyCompositional Techniques:Professional food photography is a collaborative effort, usually involving an art director, a photographer, a food stylist, a prop stylist and their assistants. The role of the food stylist is to make the food look attractive in the finished photograph. The time and effort a stylist takes to carefully and artfully arrange the food, is the cause of differences between the way the stylist presents food, and the way a home cook or chef may present food.There are many different camera angles used in food photography; Head-on, from above, tilted towards, tilted away, close up, diagonal and lining up the frames of the camera with the lines in the food.Rule of thirds also helps to being out an image be placing the food in a certain third. For example, you could have the food in the left and middle third, cutlery in the right and maybe something with accompanies it on the top right (see bottom right image)Depth of Fields when you create that blurred background effect technically known as bokeh by using a large aperture exposure setting. In doing so, you are controlling the viewers focus on a specific object in your frame.The use of props will also make the image look more interesting, eg, plates and bowls,cutlery napkins, chopping boards, salt and pepper just about anything food related thatwill help present it.
Food PhotographyThe use of colour:Colour in food photography is very important as it moves us visually and creates the temptation that makes us want to eat them.Most photographers us a colour wheel to see what colours work well with each other. Based on this colour wheel, colours on opposite sides of each other complement well in a scene. So, red would complement green, blue complements orange and yellow complements violet. Using opposite colours really makes the image contrast and stand out.For blandly coloured food such as pasta, it can look very boring on its own, so by adding colour in form of garnish, napkins and cutlery will add more to the image, making it more engaging. In post production, colours can then be adjusted be tweaking the contrast, vibrancy, light temperature and brightness.
Food PhotographyManipulation:This is when the image is edited and it can be done in 2 different ways. First of all it can be used to touch up and image and make it look better, such as air brushing, to make it look smoother and clone stamp/ spot healing to get rid of any unwanted marks, lined or shadows. You can also adjust the colour levels to bring out more brightness and contrast.Another way of completely manipulation an image is making it something its not. By merging it very skilfully with another image, there are many ways food can be manipulated and this is all done through the creative imagination of the photographer. Here are some examples: