Food photography’s first and foremost rule is to shoot in natural light. If you want the food you prepared (or served for you) to look good and appetizing, then it is absolutely essential that you shoot during the day using sunlight as the primary (and sometimes the only) source of light.
The main benefit of using natural light is that there is no need for lighting equipment, which can prove to be very expensive. Using the built-in flash of your digital camera, as that brings out an unnatural colouring in your food.
Want to know more about why natural light is the best and how to use it properly to your advantage? Then keep reading:
1. Your kitchen window is your best friend for the duration of the photo shoot. Keep the plate of food next to the window on a table, or on the floor (doesn’t matter) and start clicking while the soft natural light comes in.
2. You must, always, check the white balance before taking pictures. You can automatically let your digital camera adjust white balance, which is great if you are unsure how to do it manually. This way, your food will look the way it should in natural white light, instead of having shades of yellow or blue.
3. If the light coming in through the window is harsh and is creating stark hot spots and shadows, then you can diffuse it a little by using a soft white fabric as a curtain. The fabric will act as a home-made light diffuser and softens the light for some wonderful food photos.
4. If, say natural light is coming in from right side of where you have placed the food, then use inexpensive foam core boards to bounce more light on the left side. A simple placement of the white board can distribute even light to the left side.
5. Sunlight is not going to be there for you the whole day. It has it’s own working hours, so plan accordingly and keep track of time. Try to finish before the “golden hour” sets in.
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