Why you should use natural light to photograph food
Caption: A photo of an open taco on a plate photographed with flash, next to the same dish photographed using natural light instead. (Wendy George)
Taking a photo of your food? The first thing you should think about is your light source.
Whether you’re photographing a delicious dish or a restaurant you can’t get enough of, use sunlight instead of your camera’s flash to illuminate the scene. This can drastically improve the quality of any photo, but it’s especially important when it comes to photographing food.
Don’t believe us? See the difference in the photos below.
Caption: A photo of an open taco on a plate photographed using flash. (Wendy George)
The photo above was shot using the flash from a smartphone’s camera. As a result, the taco looks greasy, green, and, overall, unappetizing. If the photo was accompanied by a rave review, we still wouldn’t be very tempted to order it.
Using flash can produce harsh light, alter the colors in the image, and cause glare on reflective subject matter. The negative effects are especially present in photos of food.
Using natural light:
Caption: A photo of an open taco on a plate photographed using natural light. (Local Guide Wendy George)
In the photo above, the camera flash was turned off and the photographer used sunlight as her light source. The details of the dish are more clear and the colors are more vibrant. Both photos are of the same taco, but we’d be much more likely to want to order this dish after seeing the one taken with natural light.
So, next time you want to take a photo of your food, place your plate by a window. The sunlight will illuminate your photo with a beautiful, soft light that shows off your meal’s details and textures.
How has using natural light in your photos improved your food photography? Link to great food photos you’ve shared on Google Maps below!