Food Photography

May 14th, 2022

In this thread I am referring to taking a photograph of some food, located on either a plate or bowl, with a fairly plain background; I am not considering any sort of background or other items around. I find that my best photographs of this type are taken with my iPhone, rather than with my camera. The only way I find I can get photographs that are sharp throughout the whole of the photograph is setting the camera up on a tripod, setting the camera to f11 or f16 and then photo stacking a series of images with the focus point being moved from the bottom of the image, gradually towards the top.

Using this set up my photographs are probably slightly more crisp than those taken with my iPhone, but unless one is looking at the phone images with a view to criticism they are not that much worse than the focus stacked images.

What are members thoughts on this area?

I fully appreciate there is an area of food photography using wider images showing other items on the table, some sharp and some blurred.
May 14th, 2022
I've had the same issue with focus. Sometimes I take the photo from above to get the focus the way I want it. My cellphone camera definitely takes food photos better then my good camera. No idea why.
November 20th, 2022
Food photography is a specialized field. Most of the food photographed for promotions and advertising is never meant to be consumed. They use cheats such as motor oil instead of maple syrup on pancakes. If you're using those photographs as a baseline for what you expect, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.
November 13th, 2023
I’ve studied food photography for several years and have been lucky enough to sell some food photos around the world. You can take photos with a regular camera as long as the lighting and lens are right. Some use natural light others artificial. In addition you need the right lens. Depending on the setup, I may use a macro lens and other times prime lens. For lighting I typically use strobes with reflectors. As frank mentioned, most setups you cannot consume the food since typically it sits out too long. Spray mist bottles, glycerin, fake ice cubes, etc are used to enhance the food. In addition, editing in LR and PS is a must. The styling of food is probably the hardest of it all (at least for me). Technically you can get the lighting, focus, etc right but if the food doesn’t look appealing to start, you end up with perfectly lighted subject that just looks bad. Think messy spaghetti shots.
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