<data:blog.pageTitle/>

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food

by Spicie Foodie on April 23, 2013

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food by @SpicieFoodie | #foodphotography #photography #tutorials #eggplant

In the summer of 2009 when I began this blog and my learning food photography journey, often times I found myself playing with my food. These “playing” sessions were and still are my way of practicing food photography. In doing so with every session I manage to pickup at least one new technique and some additional knowledge.

Today I want to walk you through what one of my typical food playing or rather photo practicing session looks like. From start, including setup, to finish it lasted 15 minutes. This session I shot an eggplant from whole to the small pieces that I needed for a recipe. The purpose was to see what I came up with and how to change each photo a bit from the previous one. In doing this I wanted to learn what angles were good and what preparation step made for the most interesting photo. Of course a session like this could be just to play with the camera and have some fun.

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food by @SpicieFoodie | #foodphotography #photography #tutorials #eggplant

The first tip I’ll give you is to keep things as simple as possible. As you learn more add more details, props or elements as you like. Here it’s just a simple photo of the eggplant, because I was using a shallow depth of field, f-4, I decided to angle it with the green facing the camera so the rest would fade out.

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food by @SpicieFoodie | #foodphotography #photography #tutorials #eggplant

Next I rinsed the eggplant and placed it on top of a cutting board,  I then brought back them to the shooting table. With the shooting angle here I was able to capture the water droplets. Had I shoot from above I wouldn’t have been able to accentuate them.

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food by @SpicieFoodie | #foodphotography #photography #tutorials #eggplant

Wanting to add interest to the photo the eggplant was sliced and turned to an angle. In doing so we can see more detail of the eggplant as well as the knife, water droplets and contrasting cutting board.

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food by @SpicieFoodie | #foodphotography #photography #tutorials #eggplant

This is basically the same photo as the previous one. The difference is that I stepped closer for a tighter composition.

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food by @SpicieFoodie | #foodphotography #photography #tutorials #eggplant

Now by moving higher to a 3/4 angle we get an entirely different view and more of the scene detail has been captured.

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food by @SpicieFoodie | #foodphotography #photography #tutorials #eggplant

Here I positioned myself lower than the table and aimed the camera up at the eggplant. By shooting up at this angle we can give the sense of a larger eggplant. This angle can be used to accentuate height and details.

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food by @SpicieFoodie | #foodphotography #photography #tutorials #eggplant

A direct view from above allows us to capture the entire scene. This is great if you have a table setting or multiple plates, bowls, cups, or other items and want to capture it all. Again you’ll notice how simple I’ve kept everything but to make it a bit more interesting I angled the cutting board instead of placing it straight.  The interest is all drawn to the chopped pieces of eggplant without any other distractions.

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food by @SpicieFoodie | #foodphotography #photography #tutorials #eggplant

Lastly having a bit of fun I positioned the eggplant tip on the edge to give another interesting element to the photo. By angling myself and the camera below I was able to capture the pile and accentuate sense of height to the viewer.

 

Technical Notes:
In this photo below you can see how I setup the shooting session. The sun had just began peeking out after hours of rain. This is my north facing balcony that, as you can see, does not receive direct light. Because of that there is no need for me to diffuse the light — it is already soft. Also the day was bright enough that I did not need the help of a reflector. But you might notice off to the right side is a white door. In a way that was my white board, which helps to bounce light back onto the subject. The light hitting the eggplant is mostly from the left side, but because we are outdoors it is also falling from above. All photos except the second one down were shot at f-5 but the shutter speed changed as the clouds passed by.

Food Photography Tutorials: Playing With Your Food by @SpicieFoodie | #foodphotography #photography #tutorials #eggplant

Thanks for stopping by, I hoped you enjoyed these simple food photography tips.

 

Craving Eggplant? Check out these recipes.
- Imam Baylidi by Gourmet Getaways
- Indian Eggplant Curry
- Thai Red Curry with Vegetables and Coconut Milk Recipe
- Thutilinanga Indonesian Chili Fried Eggplants/Aubergine
- Angelina’s Eggplant Parmesan by Memorie di Angelina
- Sumptuous Fried Eggplant (Vegetarian)
- Spicy Bulgur and Eggplant Pilaf, Vegan

 

Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie

 

in Photography

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cynthia L April 23, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Wow, what great information. I am so glad you showed your entire set up. I kept thinking, hmmm…wonder where she is doing that. I need to play with my food more! You are an inspiration!

Reply

2 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Hi Cynthia! Thank you and glad to found this helpful. I don’t always shoot my photos in this location, I like to vary them so that the light is also different. But I am lucky that the light is great on my balcony. Thanks for reading & happy shooting.:)

Reply

3 Priya April 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

All your photography tutorials are so informative Nancy. I love going through them and of course learning from them. One day, I will step out of my Phone photography :)

Reply

4 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Thank you so much Priya!

Reply

5 Rosa April 23, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Lovely pictures! and great tutorial!

Cheers,

Rosa

Reply

6 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Thanks Rosa!

Reply

7 Manju @ Manju'sEatingDelights April 23, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Thank u again for sharing all these wonderful photography tips. I always looks forward to these posts of yours :)
You make it look so simple yet the pics are so captivating…hope I’ll be able to take pics like u some day!

Reply

8 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Thank you Manju! It is simple and you too can do it.:)

Reply

9 Laura @ Family Spice April 23, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Love your “play-dates!” I really learn a lot seeing how you setup your shots. Thanks for sharing!

Reply

10 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Thank you Laura, glad to hear it. :)

Reply

11 Nandita April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

A very informative tutorial. It shows how a slight change in the angle can alter the whole perspective of the photograph. Beautifully done nancy :)

Reply

12 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Exactly Nandita — and it’s the little changes that matter so much. Thank you!

Reply

13 Patty April 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Hi Nancy! Always interesting and fun to read your photography tips and I love eggplant -so very much liking your subject today ;-)

Reply

14 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Thank you Patty!:)

Reply

15 Sanjeeta kk April 23, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Love the simplicity and ease with which you explained the whole process, Nancy! Beautiful captures as always.

Reply

16 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Thank you Sanjeeta!:)

Reply

17 Lizthechef April 23, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Nice – great info, simply and clearly written. Beautiful photos.

Reply

18 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Thank you Liz!:)

Reply

19 Monique April 23, 2013 at 5:43 PM

I love your tutorials..You are so generous with your tips..Such a nice person!
Natural light..you make natural..and not natural seem effortless..and both look the same equality:)

Not me yet..
I find eggplants a thing of great beauty..their true aubergine color..of course..because that’s what it is..:) shape..etc..
You made this one a star.

Reply

20 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Hi Monique! Thank you so much, glad to hear you enjoy them.:) Your photography is beautiful so it’s a great compliment!

Reply

21 Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 23, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Love this idea, Nancy! The perfect way to play with new angles and set-ups.

Reply

22 Spicie Foodie April 23, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Thank you Laura!:)

Reply

23 wok with ray April 23, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Very good tutorial and it helps a lot. Thank you very much, Nancy! :)

Reply

24 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Thank you Ray!:)

Reply

25 Suzanne Perazzini April 24, 2013 at 12:36 AM

What fun to see how and where you work. No wonder you get great light! What a superb spot. I must look aorund my house to get more variation in my light. In the morning, one of the bathrooms has fabulous light but I must admit I have never shot in there.

Reply

26 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Thank you Suzanne! I do get really great light on my balcony — specially this time of year. That’s great that you are aware of good light places in your house.:)

Reply

27 Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies April 24, 2013 at 12:54 AM

I love this post! I do the same thing once in a while, but I need to take the time to do it more often. That is one beautiful eggplant!

Reply

28 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Thank you Kiersten!:)

Reply

29 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com April 24, 2013 at 4:40 AM

Wonderful tips my friend. And love that you shared your setup. I need to do that soon :)

Reply

30 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:57 PM

I’d love to see your setup Kiran:)

Reply

31 Juliana April 24, 2013 at 4:54 AM

Thanks for the tutorial Nancy…lot so f fun!
Hope you are having a great week :)

Reply

32 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Thank you Juliana, I hope all is well with you!:)

Reply

33 Rachael April 24, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Thanks for another great tutorial, Nancy! You always give me inspiration :)

Reply

34 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Thank you Rachael!

Reply

35 Adora's Box April 24, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Thank you for sharing your expertise, Nancy. The shots are so beautiful. Love how the light was captured. Valuable tips, too.

Reply

36 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Thank you Adora!

Reply

37 Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today April 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Another great tutorial :)

Reply

38 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Thanks Marta!

Reply

39 yummychunklet April 24, 2013 at 7:40 PM

I’m amazed that you’re even able to narrow down 1-2 photos to post! Your pics are always so great.

Reply

40 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Thank you Ms. Yummychunklet!:)

Reply

41 maha April 24, 2013 at 9:16 PM

thank u so much d tips vth pics specially..very help to every one who r interested like me..
MAHA

Reply

42 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Thank you Maha, it’s my pleasure!

Reply

43 rosita April 24, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Gracias Nancy por su comentario …sus fotos son muy bonitas y de gran ayuda su tutorial gracias y abrazos.

Reply

44 Spicie Foodie April 24, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Hola Rosita! Muchisimas gracias por visitarme. Saludos!

Reply

45 john@kitchenriffs April 25, 2013 at 1:48 AM

Really fun and informative post! I often shoot just for the heck of it – to discover new things, and just to reinforce the skills I already have. Excellent post – thanks.

Reply

46 Spicie Foodie April 25, 2013 at 8:32 PM

That’s great John! Thanks

Reply

47 anna April 25, 2013 at 5:52 AM

great tips, nancy! as always!

Reply

48 Spicie Foodie April 25, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Thanks Anna!

Reply

49 mjskit April 25, 2013 at 6:05 AM

Interesting setup in that last picture – blocking the light behind the eggplant, allowing it only on the sides. I’m going to play with that. I’m curious how it would work in my space. I loved this session and is definitely something I need to start doing – just finding the time to just play. Thanks for another great tutorial Nancy! Hope you’re having a wonderful week.

Reply

50 Spicie Foodie April 25, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Thank you MJ and have fun playing with your camera!

Reply

51 Ramona April 27, 2013 at 1:21 PM

I love the way you play with your food. :) I need to play with more light… I tend to take it the bright sunlight and all my photos look the same.

Reply

52 Spicie Foodie April 27, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Thanks Ramona!

Reply

53 Roz April 28, 2013 at 5:03 AM

Thank you for sharing your wonderful expertise Nancy! I so love your blog!

Hugs,
Roz

Reply

54 Spicie Foodie April 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Thank you Roz, glad to hear it.:) xx

Reply

55 shobelyn October 15, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Wow. I am s glad I found your site. I am going to learn a lot from you. Very beautiful picture. Amaaaaaaazing!!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: