Food Photo Tips: The Final & The Big White Box
Posted by canarybird (My Page) on Mon, Sep 28, 09 at 10:59
Food Photo Tips: Part 11 Last Tips & The Big White Box
Hi again everyone. I'm back with another entry on how to use your digital camera for taking tabletop photos.
This will be the last of the series so I would like to make a resumé of what has been covered with a few additional tips. Just a reminder that this series has been written for owners of simple point & shoot (P & S) cameras using automatic settings, and for those who have not yet studied their camera manual in depth.
But if you havent already done so, I encourage you to try the semi-automatic settings such as Aperture Priority (A or AV aperture value) and Shutter Priority (S or Tv time value) where you have more control over the depth of field in the first, and the freezing of movement in the second.
Here is a list of important points that will help you to improve your tabletop and food photos:
1. Dont use the flash of your P & S camera for taking food photos. It makes food look terrible. Do use natural daylight when possible, ideally from a north facing window and when necessary, with a light sheer curtain or white tissue paper taped to the glass to diffuse strong light.
Daylight and with Flash
2. In low light conditions use a tripod when you can and an indoor camera setting for available light. Such a setting could be called Indoor, Available Light or Candlelight.
Different brands of cameras use different names for low light settings.
If no tripod is available, brace yourself and the camera against a door jamb or wall, hold the camera firmly, bring your elbows in together tightly over your chest and breath out.hold it.and snap the shutter. For close tabletop work you can support the camera on a bean bag, stack of books or other solid object.
3. Rather than getting too close to your subject which may create distortion, try moving back a little, using your optical zoom to bring the subject closer until it fills your viewfinder or LCD screen.
4. Remember to adjust your White Balance (WB) setting for the type of illumination you are using: Sunlight (which is a normal daylight setting even when theres no strong sun), Cloudy (good setting for indoor daylight), Incandescent light bulb (Tungsten), Fluorescent or CFL bulb. There is also the AUTO setting but you should definitely make an adjustment when using artificial light.
One setting I didnt mention is the custom white balance, usually the last on the WB dial and not on all cameras. This allows you to hold a piece of white paper near the subject, take a photo of it and then use that to set the correct white balance for the photo you are about to take. If you would like to try that, then check your manual for instructions. It is a useful way to get the exact light balance for your photos, but its not possible to go into that setting here in the last post of this series.
5. If you see through the viewfinder that the photo will be too dark, raise the Exposure...