Food photography along with various other types of photography can be very demanding and require a good understanding of the way that light and camera lenses work.

Although best done with a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera, it is possible to take reasonable pics using a compact digicam.

The trick is to find your focal point on the plate of food. First, decide what story you about the food you are wanting to portray. The stronger your lighting and the more steady your camera the larger the area on the plate that will be in focus. Remember to choose your ISO setting carefully. The higher the ISO setting, the lower the image quality will be. However the lower the ISO, the slower the exposure will be meaning that any shaky hand movement will spoil the pic. It is also about coming close up to the subject. Clever cameras won't let you press the shutter if the image is out of focus – so check very carefully. Often digicams have “closeup” or macro settings, so by all means use these.

Professional photographers and serious amateurs use special macro lenses or adapters such as extension tube to shorten the focal length of the lens. The photo shown was set up to feature the foreground.

Pic: Food shoot on site - Boulders Beach Lodge - 'Pacific Rim Cuisine'

DO pay attention to dressing up the table and the background of your photo. Use flower petals, glasses of wine, cutlery and napkins to achieve this. Remember that all items in the background will be visible, even if not in focus!

And don't forget, the tripod is your best friend. Hint: set your camera to take on shutter delay (2 seconds or even 10 seconds) if you do not have a shutter release cable. Set the photo up under lowest possible ISO and highest possible aperture and then press the shutter button. Take your hands off the camera and stand back. This should ensure minimal vibration.


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