I started learning food photography with my phone and have spent a good six to seven months with it, never thought I could learn and do a lot of stuff with my phone. But I was wrong, very wrong.
So what exactly, or what do you need to take better pictures with a phone?
Well, you don’t need to have an iPhone, all my pictures are from an inexpensive (150$) phone.
Now, what you need is, PRACTICE, PRACTICE AND PATIENCE!! And of course, the tips which I will give you here.
Switch to manual mode. But why?
We all have taken photos which turned out to be grainy, dark or blurred. the answer to your problem is manual mode. Whats manual mode?
Its a setting in your camera app which enables you really maximize the possibilities of your camera. The things you can control varies according to the phone, but the three common tools that are present in every manual mode of a phone camera are iso, WB and exposure.
Iso ranges from 100 to 3200+. so lesser the value, mean less light would enter your camera which intern applies fewer grains in your images. So you could have more of the food and less of the grains. A 100 would be best for most of the food pictures, but see what happens when you go upwards from 100, the next time you click pictures of food.
As the name suggests it brightens or darkens your image, so basically its a slider in your phone which when you slide left or down darkens your image and when you slide up or right it brightens up. now as you can clearly see from these two images, the first being underexposed and the second one being rightly exposed. if your image is underexposed or dark while taking the picture it will become grainy after you edit it.
- WHITE BALANCE
This is as a very important setting, as light is different during the morning, evening and day. Your picture should be closer to white, so any option which is closest to white colour go for it. Also camera flash is a total no-no.
Now obviously there are things like f-stop/aperture, which can be changed in many phones manually but not all. and if you are using a DSLR change to manual mode, because you are missing out on great things
The most beautiful thing about food photography. No matter where you are taking pictures of food is it a restaurant or home, natural light or sunlight is the key. we all know what natural light is.
But do we know where and when do we get the most natural light?
So, north and south facing windows get the most light throughout the day, east and west windows get most light during sunrise and sunset respectively. Find the golden spot in your home or wherever you are shooting and try to adjust accordingly. Take out your compasses and search for that “spot”.
Now when we know where do we get most light, it’s important to know how to shoot with natural light.
You don’t want the direct sun shining on your food. what you want is the soft light coming through the side and the other when the light is falling from the front of the food. as you can see here clearly. light is ever changing, there could be situations when there is a lot of light coming through the window or direct sunlight,
So what do you do?
You put a white screen, like a white thin cloth covering the window against which you are taking pictures. so in the first picture, there is soft light (cloudy day) and in the next picture, you can see the sun clearly shining on the food. and that’s why I have put a white cloth.
One of the first things I was able to learn was to keep food minimalistic or simple, focus on your main dish and that’s it. and don’t put a lot of things around it that doesn’t make any sense. even I have over-complicated food “tried to make it look fancy”, but it just doesn’t work that way. you have to start composing images
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THE TERM COMPOSITION??
The composition is the way how you place your subject and everything that goes around it. There are many ways you can do this, but the most basic way is the “Rule of thirds”. so what is the rule of thirds?
Its a grid which is divided into 9 parts having 4 intersections which are also called power points or dots and as you see in this image everything is placed on those dots. it’s not necessary that you have to put everything on these four dots, so practice and compose your images rather than just taking pictures.
As you can see from this image that my subjects are placed on these power points, you can place them at any of these four points.
How to find the rule of thirds
The settings of every camera app have a tool called “grid lines” so turn it on and start composing your pictures.
But why should I compose?
Composition adds interest in your image and makes your picture powerful and helps tell a story
Have fun with whatever you photograph take your time composing, look at the light, your iso. Whenever I struggle to take a good picture I go back to photographing fruits.