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The Secret Technique of Taking Awesome Food Photos

The Secret Technique of Taking Awesome Food Photos

You know when you go to a restaurant and you see something on the menu that makes your mouth water and you just have to have it? Have you tried your hand at taking pictures of your favorite dish and it looks like a hot mess? The tips we have below are going to help make the picture you take of a homemade super tasty burger look like the one on the menu—not what you really end up seeing in a greasy take-out bag.

Being that everyone has their phone on them at all times and people like food, it was a natural progression for us to start showing pictures of our food. Heck, even Vanity Fair has a Food Porn column that highlights the mobile photographs from chefs and food personalities all around the world. If you look on Twitter for the hashtag #foodporn or #foodie you can see lots of images people take of their food. Even Flickr has a lot of groups displaying nothing but food images.

Mobile Apps

The apps listed here are couple of the most popular camera apps for foodies. While you can use pretty much any camera to take a picture of your culinary creations, these are applications made specifically for food.

Hipstamatic (iPhone)

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Hipster

    The claim to fame with Hipster is the look it creates—very analog images.The added Foodie SnapPak is a combination of flash, lens, and film filters that create a very appealing look when it comes to food images.

    SnapDish Food Camera (Android)

    SnapDish

      SnapDish is an Android app made for food photography. When you capture the image of the great looking presentation on a plate, SnapDish processes the image to make it look amazing. Blur photos as if they’ve been taken with an SLR and share images on multiple sites at once.

      Be Quick

      Dishes don’t keep looking their best for very long: bread gets soggy, and food generally looks worse the longer it sits there. Make sure to have everything ready to take pictures as soon as the food is plated and perfect.

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      Try Multiple Angles and Different Exposure Settings

      When your food photo shoot is taking place, it’s a good idea to take a lot of pictures, but make sure to use different angles—you don’t always have to take shots from an overhead or seated view. See how the images turn out when you shoot from a level view. Get creative. The more images you have to choose from, the better.

      Lighting

      Natural-Lighting

        DO NOT use an in-camera flash. If you are using a standard camera app or other camera with a flash, try to use as much external lighting as possible. The flash from the camera/or camera phone app is going to be to direct and is much more likely to wash out parts of the image. If you have a good natural light source like a window, use it to your advantage.

        Have Something in the Background

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        food photo 2

          Having a contrasting background can really make make food pop out in the picture. Just like the dish itself, having a well placed fork or the angle of a square plate can change the look of the image drastically. Don’t crowd the space, just accent the area.

          Make Adjustments to the White Balance

          White-Balance

            Play around with the white balance a little; you want the whites in the food and/or background to look like they were bleached, not yellowish like an old jean jacket. Try taking a test picture of something white like a piece of paper first so you can make the correct adjustments. If you are in a public place where there might be lighting that can yellow the image, this step is really important.

            Aperture Settings

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            Aperture-Settings

              The aperture helps you keep things in focus. When you want your cupcake to be in focus but the half empty glass of milk in the background to be a little bit blurred, you can use smaller F-stop settings. Using small F-stop numbers will help also help with blurring in low light (like in a restaurant) by creating a shorter shutter speed. The opposite is true for well lit areas: for those, you will want to use a higher F-stop setting to get the whole image in focus.

              Get Right Up In There

              macro-settings

                Don’t be afraid to get really close when taking pictures of food. Using the macro to focus in on the plate of food can show the details. Depending on the app you are using, you may or may not have these adjustments.

                Final Thoughts

                When it comes to photography, each type of item you are capturing takes a different set of skills to highlight and focus on the right parts of the image, while the other parts act as accents. Foodie photography can take a bit of practice, but you’ll get the hang of it, and learning how to work the settings on your camera is key.

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                Trevor Dobrygoski

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                Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                1. Work on the small tasks.

                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                2. Take a break from your work desk.

                Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                3. Upgrade yourself

                Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                4. Talk to a friend.

                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                7. Read a book (or blog).

                The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                8. Have a quick nap.

                If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                9. Remember why you are doing this.

                Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                10. Find some competition.

                Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                11. Go exercise.

                Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                12. Take a good break.

                Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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