5 Tips to Take Better Restaurant Food Pictures

The Salt Room

This is a syndicated blog post from Xavier D. Buendia. It and the images here are being used with permission.

Hello, as you might know by now, I spend a good part of my time taking pictures in restaurants. I shoot interiors and exteriors, I do action shots and portraits but one of the things that I enjoy the most is shooting food and plated dishes.

Shooting food at restaurants is the most challenging part of the job and it is also what I get asked the most about by bloggers, reviewers and foodies; they tend to create incredible images when shooting in their kitchens and living rooms; but often struggle when they take it to a restaurant. There are so many things to think of and look at when shooting a dish so here are five basic tips that will help you improve your restaurant photography.

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Creating the Photograph: Jason D Page’s “Lady of the Lake”

Light Painting by Jason D. Page 1

Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers teach you about how they concepted an image, shot it, and edited it. The series has a heavy emphasis on teaching readers how to light. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.

Photographer Jason D. Page is a light painter who has been shooting since 2004; and in order to create the “Lady of the Lake” image for this series, he needed an eight minute exposure. He typically lights scenes by taking a light and painting very carefully–which can be very tough to do. In fact, Jason owns LightPaintingPhotography.com.

Here’s his story.

 

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Useful Photography Tip #154: Teaching Your Eyes to See Shadows and Light

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The above photo is not an emboss or done with any sort of special filter in Photoshop. Instead, it was all done manually by hand and with Adobe Photoshop Sketch on the iPad Air 2. It’s an image from my Sony a7s Mk II review and was rendered into a black and white simply because I liked the look of it.

What a lot of people don’t realize about photography is that the best still you’ll ever have is your ability to see light and judge it to help you create a better exposure. Black and white photography can help with that but so can literally taking a stylus and sketching over a photo of yours. By doing this, you’re matching specific colors to certain areas and learning more about the way that shadows and lighting works. With this photo, I was able to better understand how the image came to work–because of the lighting coming from the windows hitting Evelyn from one side being blown out and the shadows working to help create a pleasing scene.

By doing this, I was able to clearly differentiate how lines worked in the scene, how shadows worked, and the simplicity behind the entire photo. It’s what many black and white photographers talk about often: colors can be complicated to work with unless done really well.

Though it isn’t specifically involving you shooting an image, it’s still an exercise that will help you to carefully judge lines, lighting, shadows, etc if you pay attention to the parts of the scene that you’re painting over.

Give it a shot.

Creating the Look of Golden Hour Using Profoto B1 Strobes

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Screenshot taken from the video

Why wait for the Golden Hour when you can create it? That’s part of the idea behind a new Profoto video tutorial featuring Pye from SLR Lounge. Pye discusses how at a recent wedding he shot, it was impossible to shoot during the Golden Hour because of events running behind. However, the bride really wanted a portrait session during that time.

So what he ended up doing is quite brilliant.

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Yvonne Cornell: Aesthetics in Food Photography

Gnochetti en brodo

All images by Yvonne Cornell. Used with permission.

“I’m an explorer in search of old things, slow living and good food,” says photographer Yvonne Cornell. Yvonne is behind the Following Breadcrumbs food blog, and her images are bound to get you hungry. For her, the story makes the recipe–and that’s what she loves to capture. To that end, Yvonne also says that she find inspiration in literature.

And for most of you, you’ll love to know that her favorite piece of gear is soft, natural light.

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The New Elinchrom Litemotiv Direct Softboxes Have 16 Sides

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Today, Elinchrom is announcing a brand new lineup of light modifiers. They’re called the Elinchrom LiteMotiv Direct modifiers–and they have 16 sides. If you though eight side with an octabank was quite a bit, this will take the cake. Elinchrom states that their intention was to form an almost perfect circle when it come to pitching the light output from the boxes.

You’ve got two sizes here: 48″ and 75″. Both of those are pretty darn big and the 75″ version will be larger than some people when deployed. The Litemotiv Direct modifiers come with a heavy-duty bracket and can accommodate Profoto, Broncolor, Elinchrom and Bowens mount lights.

Like Profoto, these speed rings also have color coding to make it easier for the photographer or assistant to assemble the modifiers–since, you know, 16 rods may take forever. After they’re done with that, they’ll prep the inner diffusion and outer diffusion layers. But without the diffusers, Elinchom is saying that the Litemotiv Direct will function like a beauty dish and this may partially be due to the deflectors that can lessen the effects of the light.

The Litemotiv 120cm/48” is priced at $509.00, and its bigger brother Litemotiv 190cm/75” is $1,299.00. Both systems come complete with a carrying bag.

A Simple Exercise Every Photographer Can Do to Teach Themselves Lighting

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X100s the party weekend (26 of 31)ISO 64001-20 sec at f - 4.0

Learning about lighting (not necessarily learning to light) is something that every photographer should know and care about. Light is quite literally what helps you to create the images that you do– and it can be done very easily and very efficiently once you understand it. But you shouldn’t be intimidated by it. or at least this one simple exercise will make it easier for you.

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Lindsay Adler Excellently Explains The Basic Principles of Light

Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Photographer Lindsay Adler recently took to creativeLive to explain some of the most basic principles of light. She covers intensity, direction and quality–which are the three biggest factors that photographers use when describing light. She covers ratios, flat lighting, directional quality, and soft vs hard light. She also explains why one is not the other.

So how do you apply this knowledge, by internalizing what she says, you can then figure out what type of look you want for a photo. To help you out even more, we’ve provided examples after the jump along with explanations and Adler’s video.

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