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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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                Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                • (1) Research
                • (2) Deciding the topic
                • (3) Creating the outline
                • (4) Drafting the content
                • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                • (6) Revision
                • (7) etc.

                Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                2. Change Your Environment

                Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                6. Get a Buddy

                Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                Reality check:

                I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                More About Procrastination

                Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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