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Getting that Delicious Shot

Posted by on June 16, 2012

"delicious shot"I am positive that most of us are familiar with those horrible photos of food that our friends post on Facebook at lunch time. To them it is the most beautiful thing they have ever eaten, but most of the time I just don’t see the beauty in that mish mosh of a stew. For some reason it just never seems to look as delicious on the photos as it obviously looks, tastes and smells to them when they take the picture. Maybe it is because of the quality of the digital camera they used, maybe it is the light, or maybe the food just really doesn’t look that great after all. A screaming stomach can make the most appalling plate of food look good without much effort though. The problem with this is that it spoils my appetite when you post pictures of seemingly “delicious” food, but when you look at the picture you could have told me that it is the dog’s dinner and fooled me. We will be looking at some tips that you can utilize to turn those bland looking pictures of your dinner into delicious mouthwatering captions.


Getting the color composition and balance of your plate correct is a critical step in capturing a beautiful picture. If you are going to take a picture of vegetable soup with very little color to it, it is important that you incorporate some color elsewhere in the frame. A little flower or even the garnish can break that boring color monotony that the soup brings. This brings us to the next step.

Styling the dish

You need to spend time on styling your plate/dish. You can use props that compliment your food and plate. A knife or a spoon can even make a difference. The focus needs to be on visual presentation. Even if a dish tastes horrible you can make it look like the most scrumptious thing on earth with a well styled photograph.

Composition and camera settings

When it comes to shooting food, close-up is the way to go. You want to get as much of the food in the picture and you need to set your camera on the mode that will illuminate the smaller details in your shot. Make sure you pick an element that will act as the star of the picture and then focus on that element and make sure that it is apparent when others view your picture. You don’t want people to look at your picture and then the flower on the side grabs their attention more than anything else. It is also important that you make use of a fast shutter speed.


In any photograph lighting is the key to your success. If you are going to compose a brilliant picture with beautiful colors and styling but your lighting is poor, your picture will reflect that. This is why those Facebook dishes usually look so torrid, the lighting is non-existent. If you don’t have enough natural lighting on your dish, then use a flash setting to fill the shadows.

As a seasoned photographer, Waldo van den Berg explains some of the more intricate issues regarding photography with digital cameras.