With “Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival” coming up soon I thought it would be a good time to discuss food photography. Here are some of the rules to make your food photography better.
Get a good lens, if you are going to buy a digital SLR (non-point and shoot) camera try not to buy the package with the stock lens. Buy the body and then buy a faster lens then the stock lens. A good lens for food photography is a 50mm prime 1.4 or 1.8 lens (this lens is not only good for food photography but also dark ride photography also). A fast lens will allow you to take great food shots whether you are outside in bright sunlight or inside a dark restaurant with dim light. Shot with my Canon 50mm at f/4.0 at 1/30 sec.
If you are getting a new point and shoot camera. Make sure it has a good macro mode. It won’t help in low light situations, but it will let you get closer to the food to take a pleasing shot.
To compose your shot most people take shots from above the food or the “eaters” point of view (POV) but this could make your shot boring. Try taking the photo at a three quarter angle or taking the photo at a 45 degree angle, this will make the food look “taller” and more three-dimensional and interesting. Remember, interesting means good. See how the second shot looks more interesting because of the angle it was shot at.
Try to get someone in the shot enjoying the food, this can be fun.This is not the best shot of food but it shows your loved ones enjoying the food you got.
Also get some non-food shots to round out the story of your food adventure. .We took the glass that had Epcots Food and Wine festival logo on it and had the light shine through to cast a shadow of it on a plate. This is a menu that we had at Steakhouse 55 on our Adventures by Disney Trip.
you could also get shots of the table to show the decorThis is a table setting at Club 33 where we had breakfast on our Adventures by Disney Trip.
Don’t forget to take photos of your snacks, they can make great photos also.This is a shot of my Mickey Mouse candy apple I had at Disneyland on our Adventures by Disney Trip.
Next you should use natural or available light. You should never, ever use your flash. It disturbs your neighbors and it will make the food look really unnatural and greasy. It is the easiest way to ruin your food shot. If the light is low and you need to hold your camera steady grab a tool to hold your shot steady. I use a mini-tripod, but if you don’t have one with you try to grab a water glass to hold the camera on to keep your shot steady.
Along with light many amateur photographers don’t know about color balancing. You should always try to white balance your shot for the lighting conditions you are in. Most cameras today allow you to white balance your camera, with my DLSR (Canon 20D) it allows me to take a picture of something white and use that to white balance against. I usually take a picture of my white napkin and use that. If you are shooting with a point and shoot camera try determine the light (i.e. Tungsten or florescent light) and use the correct white balance setting. If you don’t white balance, your photo will have an orange or blue cast on it. It will make it really unappetizing. The first shot looks very orange, the second shot was white balanced and makes the food look fresh and good enough to eat.
Lastly amateurs focus so much on the food in the shot they forget about the background or the visual “noise” in the shot. Try to take a shot at the lowest f-stop to blur out the background. This shot has a lot of visual noise in the background but since this is the famous chili from the Walt Disney Studios Commissary in California that Walt Disney loved and ate every day I just had to get a shot of it before I devoured it.
Have fun shooting your food before you enjoy your taste treats around the parks.
Here are some other food shots from the Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.