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Why you should use natural light to photograph food

wgeorge-LG-before-after-flash-natural-light-1000.jpgCaption: 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.

 

Using flash:

wgeorge-LG-food-flash-before-1000.jpgCaption: 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:

wgeorge-LG-food-natural-light-after-1000.jpgCaption: 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!

 

53 comments
Aura Level 8
Level 8

Re: Why you should use natural light to photograph food

You are 100% right, natural light is magic.
I always ask for a table next to the window!
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Virtualizando negocios desde el 2001.
MahabubMunna Level 9
Level 9

Re: Why you should use natural light to photograph food

Me to not edit food any kind of edit . @Christina-NYC 

 

 

Picture View 333495

 

 

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Amiran Level 10
Level 10

Re: Why you should use natural light to photograph food

Yes, natural light will make each photo better. But sometimes the atmosphere of the restaurant or Cafe is dark and we only have this option to use artificial light. 

LucioV Level 10
Level 10

Re: Why you should use natural light to photograph food

SP31 Level 9
Level 9

Re: Why you should use natural light to photograph food

Great post, @Christina-NYC - I'm a huge supporter of natural lighting when shooting food or even surrounding elements. I keep my flash off at all times to avoid these types of situations - even trying to edit a photo taken with flash may be a hassle sometimes so natural lighting is just best when available.

Miami, FL | Communicator | My Profile | Miami Local Guides
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OSAMA Level 8
Level 8

Re: Why you should use natural light to photograph food

natural light without flash better 

thanks for the tip @Christina-NYC

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VijayHONDA Level 8
Level 8

Re: Why you should use natural light to photograph food

got to learn a good method of photography specially for food items .thank you IMG_20181111_151437938.jpg

 

JoaoFonseca84 Level 8
Level 8

Re: Why you should use natural light to photograph food

Having a new smartphone should make you not use a flash at all.if you have a pixel 2 or 3, the new night mode makes flash unnecessary.

yaya2508 Level 6
Level 6

เรื่อง: Why you should use natural light to photograph food

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