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Food photography

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  January 6, 2009 07:09 PM

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Wendy Maeda / Globe Staff

January is allegedly Diet Month, a designation surely foisted upon us by the same people who have declared March as "Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig" Month and September "Pleasure Your Mate" Month. However, Diet Month does make sense, falling as it does in the month of New Year's resolutions that often involve eating -- or rather, not eating.

So I was thinking: Since we're finished with the Moon shots (see the entry right below this one), and it's rather nippy outside, why don't we try food photography -- something you can practice right in the warmth of your own kitchen?

From some of the contest entries we've received, I already know that some of you have tried your hand at food closeups and are quite good at it. But most haven't, so I scoured the web for some good tips.

Keep in mind that much of the food photography you see has been arranged by food designers or created by chefs skilled in the art of food presentation. There's also lighting involved. Just don't be intimidated by some of the things you'll read in these tips. Work with what you have and rely on your imagination.

Here's a handful of helpful sites I found:

PhotoHowTo | Consider using one or two extra objects like a spoon, a fork or a flower as a secondary element in the background of your shot. | Find the food's most dominant texture and focus on that.

ephemera | This blog entry discusses how to take a photo of your meal in a restaurant, but the tips apply at home, too.

Tasteful Food Photography | Use a healthy dose of natural light. | Choose a dish that will enhance the color of the food; use garnish for the same effect.

Silverace photogenic | Play around with depth of field to enhance one element of the dish.

tastingmenu | This blog, which stopped being updated two years ago, nonetheless has a slew of food photos.

As usual, send your best shots to Please include your camera model, lens focal length, shutter speed, f-stop, and ISO.

Remember: Shoot before you bite.


Caleb Kenna for The Boston Globe



Pound Cake

Wiqan Ang / Globe Staff

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