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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Foodie Fun & Better Photography

I think that I am getting pretty good at taking good foodie photos. A few bits of advice from another food blogger and some inspiration another fan of French Macarons and I'm starting feel a lot more confident about my skills.

It helps that I have a food geek for a BF. I've been surrounded by people who complain that my food is too fancy. I am a food geek. I have been ever since the early 80s when dad and I found Jeff Smith. The town that I live in has a growing reputation for being a foodie destination with that and wine being the chief topics of conversation. And maybe chocolate. That might be the next big micro thing after craft beers. At any rate, in general the people of my town are quite enthusiastic. It's in my private life that I find resistance to new foods, improved flavors and "complicated" cooking. It's like I am surrounded by so many ex-boyfriends.

You know I am no stranger to opposition. So I press on. Ever on... and the result is an eventual tribe of people with whom I belong. The people who oppose you don't matter. It is the people who look forward to the work that matter. Those are the people who you are working for, the people that I am working for. The critics don't matter.
So if you are a food geek and like to share your creations with your friends or you want to start a blog there is a simple thing for you to know to start. The key to taking good food pictures is that macro setting on your camera.

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The next thing is natural light. Even if it isn't bright sunlight, which might actually work against you by making hot spots. Natural light and a somewhat dark exposure can be corrected in a photo editor. Get in close to your subject and snap a few angles. This gives you what the pros call a shallow depth of range. It puts the focus on the food.

Don't be afraid to crop and refocus the frame if there is too much background competing with your subject.

A full plate of food doesn't need a backdrop. But what if you have just one item or a stack of the same item that needs a little boost? I found this blog, and fell in love with Stephanie's photos. She is not a pro photographer in the sense that she was trained and is well paid for the work. It's something that came out of the need to illustrate what she was writing.

All of the photos on her site are hers. And they are fabulous. Take a look at her bio and all the places that she has been featured.... quite impressive for someone who has another day job. This is one of her photos.  Her backdrop is the whole or raw product used to create her end product. The focus is still on the macaron. But the background is filled in a bit instead of left stark white. It isn't too busy. And the rose hips and basil don't compete for attention with the macarons.

If you want to learn how to do something, the study the work of those who you admire. You will of course have to make it your own eventually. Studying the works of others gives inspiration but also instruction. See what works and what doesn't work. But above all have fun.

And don't give your detractors and critics the power to take away the joy you find in the things that you love.

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