Food Photography Tips, Part II.

Part II – The Composition of Food Photography

Now let’s look deeper into how we can compose better photographs of food.

Today I’ll be covering Cropping, Propping & the Two types of Camera Angles.

1. Cropping

There are basically no real rules in food. The shape of the food determines the placing of it, but that could be challenged as well. Author of the Food Photography Blog puts it in a very candid manner.

“Good composition is sort of like p0rn0graphy.  You know it when you see it.  We could discuss things like shapes, tangents, compositional flow, balance, and all kinds of other high-faluten words, but they wouldn’t mean much.  The trouble is that Art is so damn subjective.  One man’s garbage is another’s Rembrandt.”

So a photo of a banana muffin could be taken these two ways (below), and still look good both ways. It all depends on the story you want the photo to tell. Rules are there for us to break them. :P

Source: Mad Baker


Source: My Recipes

2. Propping

This really sets the mood for the photograph. The colour, texture (I’ll be covering this in another post) and style of the entire photograph should complement each other. Everything should just come together with ease and it should allow the viewer of the photograph to ‘get it’. Keep it within two to three props per photograph. The Stand Up and Cook blog says this about propping.

“Good propping will appeal to the subconscious of the viewer without detracting from the food itself.  Sample props would include glasses, table decorations, interesting serving ware.  It’s best to use props sparingly.”

Check out the amount of work that goes into propping and taking this photograph.

3. Two Types of Camera Angles (To create a 3D effect)

It is best to avoid a 90 degree angle in photographs, it makes the food look flat and unattractive. I’m sure the first photo below looks much better than the second one (90 degrees).

Photos that are taken at a lower levels usually turn out better.

a. 10 degrees (Almost at eye level, you could see inside the food)

Source: Diva Gourmet

b. 45 degrees (There’re more components involved, for example a glass of wine in this photo)

I hope you’ve learned from this post! :) Check out Part III tomorrow for more tips on food photography.

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4 Responses to “Food Photography Tips, Part II.”

  1. doys Says:

    I shouldn’t open this page I go hungry looking at your pix its nice…

  2. amsiewong Says:

    doys: Heh, thanks. :)

  3. evil chef mom Says:

    Good post. I wish I had this when I first started taking pictures.

  4. amsiewong Says:

    evil chef mom: Thanks, it’s never too late to start learning now! I love your site, will be checking back often. :D

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