Google+ Yummy Food: Guest Blogging - Food Photography #1

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Guest Blogging - Food Photography #1

As I promised a series of post's on "Food Photography", here I am with the first part of it. Sometimes during blog hopping we land into a blog and get mesmerized by not only recipes but photography too. Food photography is not just a topic that you discuss out in a single post. There are many aspects in this concept of food photography. My aim in doing this food photography series is just to bring in the light on different aspects of much talked subject in food world, food photography.

To start with we have Namitha Manoj, co-author of Collaborative Curry, who being busy on personal front graciously accepted my request, when I asked her to do a post on food photography. Namitha through her blog takes us on a virtual treat of yum delicacies. Her pictures are so perfect and tempting that we often feel like grabbing them right from the screen. As there are many aspects in food photography, Namitha choose to deal with Food Styling and Composition. I must say Namitha has done a fabulous job in this making this post. Scroll down to see what she says about food styling and composition.

I would like to thank Lubna for giving me this wonderful opportunity to write my first guest post! I was surprised and flattered when she asked me if I could write about styling and composition in food photography. I knew I would write about it some day on my blog, but since Lubna’s request came before that, I decided to write one here. I will talk about styling and composition in food photography, the way I understand it. I am in no way an expert, this is just a humble effort to share what I know. You may differ about some of the points I will make and I encourage you to write and let me know about them. If you agree, I am not averse to compliments either.

The topic of food photography is vast and beyond the scope of one single blog post. Therefore here is just a snippet of what I have learned over time. Hope it will be helpful to you.

FOOD STYLING

Less is more that's my motto when it comes to food styling. I try to avoid any crowding in my pictures. When tempted to use several things at the same time as props, I step back and look hard to delete or add props until I am sure the props do not overpower the food. This can be mostly achieved if we use props related to what you have cooked, like raw ingredients sprinkled around or focusing only on a pretty garnish.

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The color composition is also important. When choosing props, if we keep the color to contrast the food, or sometime match it, the overall appearance is more appealing.If you are a beginner, I would recommend taking a lot of pictures with various napkins, flowers or any other prop you choose to use, until the photograph is pleasing to your eyes.

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IMAGE SOURCE: Kurukku Kalan

Talking about serve ware, which plays a major part in food photography, I prefer white. It is a personal choice and no golden rule of thumb. You may use different color server ware and still render amazing photographs. But in my experience, starting with white as a canvas is helpful. It gives us time to learn how to use colored napkins, flowers or any other prop you may use to your advantage to make pretty photographs.

Capturing the texture of the food itself can be an amazing way to showcase your food to make people go, wow! For example if I say moist chocolate cake, then I should be able to make you believe by focusing and showing it in the photograph. A close-up with out the nuances of props can be delightful to achieve this end.

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IMAGE SOURCE: Moist Chocolate Cake

COMPOSITION IN FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY:

Composition is the placement of elements that make a photograph. Basically, how you frame your photograph. In food photography, food is obviously the main focus - and everything around it is to enhance, or draw the eyes of the viewer to the food. The way each photographer chooses to do this depends on his own perspective. But since there are rules laid down by artists and photographers over time, I will talk about some of the general rules that I picked up along the way. Today, when I look back on the pictures I took earlier, I wish I could click them again. Therefore, it is good to know some basic rules.

As in any picture, whether photograph or a piece of painting, the golden rule is the rule of thirds. When you divide the picture into 3 equal parts, both vertically and horizontally, your subject should in the place where the lines intersect,the most eye catchy place. This need not always be the middle square. As in any rule, if you know the rule well, you will know how to break it too ;-)

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Another rule will be the rule of lines. Make horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines with the elements to draw the eyes in. It can be just the prop arrangement or the lines on a table or a table cloth that you use. Though this is not a food picture, I thought I can explain the lines in a photo easily using this picture. Note the triangles made of flowers and the vertical lines on the table and diagonally placed utensil. These are some examples to show how to incorporate this rule.

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IMAGE SOURCE: Happy Vishu

Making geometrical patterns and shapes in your picture also gives visual appeal to a photograph. For example, in this picture of lassie, note the triangle forming achieved by the placement of the glasses.

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IMAGE SOURCE: Strawberry Lassi

I use my viewfinder as my canvas and crop the picture to my liking before taking the shot. But you can always crop in post production. If you see that some part should be removed to render a better composed picture, go ahead, do it!

Finally, from one food photographer to another, the only rule is to take photos that inspire our viewers to grab the food right from their screen and eat it. For every other rule, break it or keep it as often as you want until the previous rule is met. Most importantly, enjoy every photo you take and take it often.

You can follow Namitha at her blog and her photostream at flickr.

All the images and content are sole property of Collaborative Curry.

Thank you Namitha for accepting my request and making a perfect post. Hop down to Namitha's Collaborative Curry to gratify your senses. This is just an beginning.....more on food photography in coming days. Comments and suggestions are most welcome.....

32 comments:

Arch said...

Enjoyed reading this post...Thanks Lubna and Namitha...It was very informative and I hope you have more in this series...

Paaka Shaale said...

Apart from being very informative this post was a virtual eye candy. Thanks lubna and Namitha :)

Priti said...

Glad to see this series coming along Lubna ...Thanks Nams for sharing the details :)

Siri said...

It always fascinating to know how others perceive a photograph and learn little nuances about food photography. Lovely post. Kudos to Namitha for taking time and Lubna for the very idea.

Can't wait for more.

Cheers,
Siri

Happy Cook / Finla said...

Wondferul write up Namitha, enjoyed the post fully.
And lubna looking forward to the other posts too.

Katy ~ said...

Terrific, terrific post with a lot of helpful tips and advice. I appreciated this!!

Vimitha Anand said...

Nice informative post... Thanks...

Suman Singh said...

Informative post..looking forward to the next series...thanks for sharing this guys!

Priya Sreeram said...

very welcome post- thank you namitha & lubna !

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Loved reading the post! Thoughtfully written and a very helpful post for suer!

Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) said...

wow..wonderful writeup and info namitha..thanks for this amazing post Lubna..
sanyukta
http://creativesanyukta.blogspot.com/

Swathi said...

Enjoy reading the post, vaulable information Namitha, thanks for doing a guest post lubna.

Sharmilee! :) said...

Lovely post and enjoyed reading them...very informative and useful waiting for more to come :) Kudus to Namitha for doing such a nice post

Prathibha said...

Loved reading the post...neat write up,good tips from Namita,kudos 2 both of u...thats a rocking start Lubna,looking forward for more interesting posts like this with various informative topics..:)

Priya said...

Loved reading, u guys did a wonderful job, well written and learned more about food fotography..thanks for this wonderful post Lubna & Nami..

Hamaree Rasoi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hamaree Rasoi said...

Lubna, I posted my comment yesterday but I can't see it today :-( So here i'm again- Namitha's post was very informative. Noted her tips. Moist cake's pic is the best amongst these.
well done Lubna to come up with such a fab idea !! Looking fwd to ur series of posts related to this theme
Deepa

Mélange said...

A very informative & helpful for all of us fellow bloggers.Loved reading.

Divya.M said...

lovely post.... very informative and hope to see many more on food photography....

EC said...

Nice to see some good tips on food photography..waiting for more in this series

Sarah Naveen said...

Your pictures , style , everything is awesome Namitha chechi..thanks for sharing all these info with us...Adore your blog!!

Now Serving said...

wonderful post- I always love Namitha's pictures and it is a marvelous idea of your Lubna to post this guest segment :)

Sensible Vegetarian said...

Thanks Lubna for the idea and thanks Namitha for the informative post. Great idea and Kudos to both of you. Lubna you really amaze me with your posts and photography with a new born at home. Keep up the good work girl.

Plateful said...

Great partnership Lubna and Namitha!! We readers get the benefit, ah! I'm a great fan of Namitha's photography and often visit Collabrative Curry just to admire and sigh on the gorgeous pictures.

The write up is beautiful and to the point. Nice perspective and lots of info for amateurs and newbies like me. The pictures are without doubt a feast to the eye and soul. The best of the lot is the Moist Chocolate Cake--I'm visiting soon to grab that recipe!


Thanks so much Luban for doing this series. Looking forward to more photography tips here. Cheers!

Juliana said...

Wow, nice post and very informative...hope you both are having a wonderful week :-)

Pushpa said...

Informative write up and beautiful clicks.

tasteofbeirut said...

Very interesting post with a lot of good tips and pointers; thank you so much!

homecooked said...

Loved your post and I've always loved ur pics. Thanks for this.

Aarthi said...

Nice one....you have a lovely blog...I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/2011/05/chocolate-recipe-and-chocolate.html

Kitchen Flavours said...

Thank you Arch, Paaka Shaale, Priti, Siri, Finla, Katy, Vimitha, Suman, Priya, Cool Lassie, Sanyukta, Swahti, Sharmilee, Prathibha, Priya, Deepa, Melange, Divya, EC, Sarah, Now Serving, Sensible Vegetarian, Juliana, Pushpa, Taste of Beirut, Homecooked and Aarti.

Rituparna said...

Very informative. Lubna, this is a wonderful job you have done. Even thought I read all the posts backwards, each and everyone has left an impression on my mind & makes me want to work harder to improve & enjoy what I love doing.

Jingalala said...

Dear Lubna,
I think i would have been a doctor or an engineer if i had been so serious in my studies just how i was serious reading this photography series 1 through 12. I read each and every line of all these 12 posts. I'm a- month old food blogger and your site gave me lot of tips and encouragements Lubna. I personally thank each guest who blogged here about their experience on food photography. Love your site, post and you so much....

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