After focusing much on styling, props, light and accessories…..lets move on to much important topic of ‘Focusing, Plating and Garnishing. To give us in depth knowledge on this…we have Jyothi of Curry Trail today with us. Her blog Curry Trail is loaded with awesome recipes and food pictures. You can get a glimpse of it in today’s post. Focusing the camera in the right angle to get the picture correctly, plating to make the picture look yum and garnishing to beautify the picture are key elements in any food styling. So scroll down to read what Jyothi has to say on this…Thank you Jyothi for coming up with this wonderful topic.
Hello guys. I’m Jyothi Rajesh and my I blog at Curry Trail. First I would like to thank Lubna for asking me to do a guest post on photography and styling. To be among such talented people is a real honor. I have to apologize to Lubna for delaying my post for such a long time. I got held up with so many things, that my post got postponed many times. Apologies Lubna and thank you very much for understanding my situation and for being patient. Off to the topic now.
Focus, Plating, Garnish – are the 3 most important aspects in food photography. Food photography is arguably one of the most challenging types of photography.
Lighting, plating, styling, props to support the hero dish all play a very vital role in food photography. Each topic is so vast that a book can be written.
Today I would like to talk about just the 3 topics in brief– Focus, Plating and Garnish.
- Focus – Focus is that aspect of photography that draws the attention of your viewer into your photo. You the creator of photo decide where you want the audience to look at in your photo, where his attention has to be drawn. Accordingly you set the focal point of your camera (please go through your camera manual to know how to set focal point in case you are not aware of it).
In the Chia Seed Vanilla Pudding photo I decided to show the jar behind and so I set my focus on it and also I made sure the focal point was set apt to blur out the jar in the front.
Whereas in Rainbow Lassi photo the focus is simple and plain on the jar that is in the front.
- Plating is a very personal thing and every person like to plate food in a way that he finds it aesthetic. What appeals to one’s eyes may not be give the same impression to the other – which by the way is completely okay. So plating there is no fixed rules to plating and it all comes from your heart. When you decide to plate, just think what you want to show to your audience and how should it be plated. Do sketches on the paper or in your mind on what plates/bowls you want to use to go with the food, choose appropriate cutleries or napkins to support the frame (but do not go overboard on the props used in frame). Once you have a picture of your food plated, and the entire setup, you are ready. Go ahead and set up your food and shoot. Remember to be flexible to change a few minor things in your set up or change the whole set up when your mind says “this isn’t working” after you see your photo.
In my beetball pasta I decided to plate the pasta in a slightly different way than the usual “twirling” , I actually did 3 small batches of “twirls” – again a personal preference.
Not all the time you need a gorgeous plate or bowl to plate the food., like this Bagara Baigan photo. I wanted to have a rustic feel to the photo. I decided to leave the curry in the same pan in which it was cooked and just added few fresh coriander leaves for garnish.
Most of the time, the photo looks really aesthetic when shot in the same pan/pot the dish was cooked. Like this Nadan meen curry. Fish curry cooked in an earthen pot made and shown as it is adds a story to your photo.
Note – this may not apply/work all the time for all the dishes!
- Finally – Garnish, garnish, garnish!
Garnish not just adds colors and balances the photo, it also makes a boring food look alive. Remember garnish is not just fresh coriander leaves all the time.
Garnish is anything( any ingredient) that you may have used in the dish, but use it appropriately. In the Vegetable biryani photo I have used few cooked peas along with a star anise that was inside the biryani pot(ofcourse with few mint leaves on side)
You can even add ingredients that are not used in making the dish, but be careful about what you use and how you use it. In the Strawberry Mango Popsicle photo I went a bit bold and used few flowers (well not exactly as garnish) but to add an extra touch and feel to the photo – here the feel is summer.
Lastly this Rajma masala photo. The one without garnish looks like glop. Adding layers of garnish to it makes out a whole lot of difference.
That’s all from me today. Hope you all found the article useful. Thank you Lubna for this.