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The Weekend Chef

Weekend Chef: Food Photo Tips

Posted 11:32am on Friday, Mar. 07, 2014

With the new exhibit “Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine” in town at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, I thought it would be a good time to post a refresher on how to take pictures of your food with your camera or smartphone… Just in case you get inspired.

The Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau is even throwing a share your food photos contest the next couple of weeks (March 3-17) in honor of the exhibit and the upcoming Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival.

Share your food photos with #FortWorthFood on Twitter or Instagram and you could win a weekend getaway to the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival. You can get more info here at www.fortworth.com/food/.

Food photo tips

1. Light: Use natural light instead of a flash if you can. Learn how to turn the flash off on your camera or phone and use a natural light source, like a large window. If you are in a restaurant and there is no natural light, try looking for a brighter spot on the table or even move to a different table. All my sushi pictures in the slide show above were taken in bright spots I found at the sushi bar -- no flash.

2. Color balance: Check your camera's user manual and learn how to color balance your pictures, especially if you are not shooting in natural light. Yellow or blue cast food is not appetizing. Most cameras have light adjustment setting for shooting indoors in fluorescent or incandescent light. If you are using a smartphone, you may need to download a third party camera app that has a white balance settings. I like using Instaflash app on my iPhone, it has both white balance and exposer controls.

3. Composition: Avoid a distracting background, make sure the food is the star. Try zooming in close to fill the picture with the food. Also try shooting at different angles like down low or at a slight angle.

4. Be quick and have fun: You don’t want your food to get cold! If the conditions are not right to take pictures, just skip it and enjoy your meal.

Check out the pictures in the slideshow above for some examples of pictures I have taken of my meals at restaurants and burger joints. Notice in all the pictures that the food is the star, no flash is used and that I shoot at different angles. Looks like I eat a lot of sushi… with the occasional burger or two.

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