Want to catch great foods photos ? Then you must learn how to control your food photography settings.
In this article, I share everything you need to know to achieve sharp, well-exposed, beautiful images of meals – so that, by the time you are done reading, you’ll be ready to operate your camera like a pro.
Specifically, I explain how to choose an ideal:
- Digital camera mode
- Shutter quickness
- White balance
- Much more!
Bottom line: Whether you are a beginner food professional photographer hoping to get started or you are an amateur wishing to proceed professional, this article is bound to assist you.
The best settings for food photography: the fundamentals
In this section, I take you by means of all the core food pictures camera settings, starting with:
The best camera setting for food photos
I’ll come right out and say this:
The best digital camera mode for food pictures is Manual mode .
When shooting within Manual, you’re in control of every camera setting, including the aperture , the particular shutter velocity , and the ISO . You do not leave anything to chance; this way, you can get the result you’re after every single time a person press the shutter .
Note that, whenever shooting in Manual mode, your camera won’t select any publicity settings for you. Instead, you’ll need to do the particular heavy lifting. (It’s not as hard as it sounds! And the next sections, I’ll describe exactly how you can tweak these settings for the best images. )
But if you are feeling intimidated by Manual setting, you can always start with one of your camera’s semi-automatic modes, such as Aperture Priority or even Shutter Priority . These types of modes give you control over a few settings while the camera selects the others, and they’re a terrific way to ease off of Auto mode and toward careful, planned decision-making.
The best aperture for foods photos
Aperture refers to a hole in the lens. By widening the particular aperture hole, you allow in more light for a better exposure; by narrowing the particular aperture hole, you let in less light for the darker exposure.
But aperture also controls how much of your image is in focus.
Unfortunately, there’s not one best food photography aperture setting. Instead, it depends on the artistic preferences.
If you want a shallow
On the other hand, if you prefer a deep depth of subject – a shot with almost everything in focus from tailgate to cab – you must use a smaller aperture. Lenses have a sharpness sweet spot around f/8 to f/11, so if you’re after a deep depth associated with field effect, I’d recommend f/8 as a starting point.
The image on the left was shot with a broad aperture, while the image to the right was shot with a narrow aperture. Neither picture is obviously better than the other, however the difference is significant:
(Keep in mind which the lens focal length as well as the distance between the camera and the subject also influence the particular depth of field. You can use a depth of industry calculator to figure out the specifics. )
One more thing:
If you want a deep depth of line of business but you can’t get every thing in focus, you can always try a technique known as focus stacking , where you capture various shots – focused from different points – then blend them together with regard to tack-sharp results.
The best shutter speed for food photos
The shutter speed refers to the length of time the digital camera sensor is exposed to the light. Faster shutter speeds result in darker exposures – yet faster shutter speeds may also freeze moving subject matter, which is helpful if you want to stop a sprinkle of sugar, splashes on drinks, and so forth
The slow shutter speed, on the other hand, will produce brighter exposures. Slower speeds will also develop motion blur as subjects move through your shot. You can use this to capture a smooth stream of coffee as it’s poured out of the pot or a smooth stream of syrup as it is poured on a stack of pancakes.
In other words, motion blur can be utilized as a creative tool that’ll make your photos more dynamic.
Therefore , there is no ideal food photography shutter speed. Instead, you can use a fast shutter speed in order to freeze motion or you may use a slow shutter swiftness to blur motion; each are reasonable options and can produce stunning shots.
That said, you’ll need to keep your shutter speed fast enough to prevent blur because of camera shake (i. electronic., blur caused by your hands shifting as they hold the camera). The rule of thumb to avoid camera move is to keep the shutter acceleration above the focal size. In other words, if you’re using a 50mm lens, keep the shutter quickness above 1/50s; if you’re utilizing a 200mm lens, keep the shutter speed above 1/200s; and so forth.
The best INTERNATIONALE ORGANISATION FÜR STANDARDISIERUNG for food photos
All cameras have an INTERNATIONALE ORGANISATION FÜR STANDARDISIERUNG range that determines the minimum and maximum level of sensitivity of the sensor. Many current cameras even have an extended range. However , you’ll very hardly ever use maximum ISO beliefs in food photography.
Why? While increased ISO numbers mean that you are able to photograph in low-light situations – that is, the higher the ISO, the brighter the particular exposure – they also promise noise and lower-quality documents.
Noise is a grainy effect that you’ll often see in nighttime images. While most editing programs do have a tool to diminish and minimize noise, this normally results in a loss of sharpness. (In other words, it’s not ideal! )
My recommendation? Shoot at the lowest ISO that you can afford. And whenever you need to boost your ISO past its minimum, move as carefully as possible.
Pro suggestion: Make some test photos together with your camera. Photograph at various ISO values and see how your camera behaves! That way, you know exactly what you’re getting each time you raise the INTERNATIONALE ORGANISATION FÜR STANDARDISIERUNG.
Advanced meals photography settings
While the aperture, shutter swiftness, and ISO control the majority of the key food photography features, there are a few additional settings worth considering.
The best white balance for food pictures
White balancing aims to correct unwanted colour casts in your images, and many cameras offer two broad options:
Auto White Balance , or AWB, which enables the camera make the white-colored balancing decisions.
And manual white balance, where you tell your camera exactly how you want it to take care of different situations.
AWB usually will a good job, but it isn’t really perfect – and when you’re doing professional food photography, you need total control over the shot. Plus, Auto Whitened Balance can result in a significant vary from one image to the next, which isn’t such a good look.
That’s exactly where your camera’s manual white balance options come in. Most cameras have an array of pre-programmed white balances, such as Sunlight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, etc . These don’t allow for lots of accuracy, but they’re certainly one step up from your camera’s AWB.
Some cameras also allow you to input a Kelvin value; this is an easy way to handle scenes lighted by strobes or constant lights. Simply identify the sunshine color temperature, then select the correct Kelvin value on your camera.
An additional fully manual white stability setting is the Custom function. Here, you can place a white sheet in front of your subject matter, take its photo, after that tell your camera to use the particular sheet photo as a white balance reference. Setting up the Custom process does change from camera to camera, thus you’ll need to check your user’s manual to determine the specific methods. It’s usually pretty simple, though!
The very best focusing mode for food photos
These days, cameras offer lots of focusing choices. Fortunately, picking the
First, ask yourself: Do I want to use autofocus or guide focus ?
In certain scenarios – where you’re working in lower light or your picture features very little contrast, manual focus is the way to go. You’ll also want to choose manual focus if you’re hoping to concentrate stack your shots (and your camera doesn’t have a focus bracketing feature).
However , manual focus can become an unnecessary task in some situations. For instance, if you’re hoping to create a food photo with motion or you are working with a shallow level of field, focusing manually will often result in a blurry image.
If you decide to use autofocus, then you’ll have to choose between your camera’s AF-S mode (where the focus is usually acquired and then locked) as well as your camera’s AF-C mode (where the focus is continuously acquired). AF-C is particularly useful when shooting moving subjects – it’ll let you track a falling food item or a cooking as they glide through the frame – while AF-S is certainly nice when your subject will be stationary.
The best metering mode just for food photos
Your camera’s metering mode determines how the camera evaluates exposure, and when you’re faced with even lighting and the sounds are more or less uniform throughout the photo, the specific setting doesn’t make such a huge difference.
However , when you have a high-contrast scene or you want to achieve a special effect (think high- and low-key photography), then you must absolutely pay attention to the metering setting.
Look at the eggplant images above. The lights setup was exactly the same, yet I used my camera’s default mode for the left-hand image and spot metering for the right-hand image. The default metering mode attempted to compensate for the apparent lack of light and made every thing look gray. But the spot metering mode allowed myself to specify where I needed the camera to evaluate the light, and it gave me a much better result.
Food digital photography settings: final words
This is why, the best food photography settings vary depending on the light conditions, the subject, the ambiance, the story you want to tell, and your photographic style.
Thus read this guide carefully. And learn how to apply different configurations in different situations!
Now over to you:
Which food photography settings are providing you with trouble? How will you approach your own settings in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments below!