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Spice up your travel photography tip # 4: Eat a lot of colors!
Some cultures, notably the Japanese, say that to eat healthy, you have to eat a lot of colors. I often remember this advice when I travel, not because Iâ€™m a foodie so much, but because food images can help spice up travel photography.
When I travel, I like to eat a lot of colors. Having colors on the table helps you to add some spice to your travel photos. (And you just might be eating healthy, too.)
Here are a couple of things Iâ€™ve learned about food photography while traveling.
Open upâ€”wide apertures are better.
A shallow depth of field as a result of a wide-open aperture helps you keep food looking yummy in a photo. Compare this colorful scene I took with an iPhone with the one below it taken with a dSLR and a 50mm lens at f/1.4. First of all, the iPhone photo is colorful, but the details in all the food makes it look more like a snapshot. Because you want your travel photos to matter as artistic as well as documentary expressions, you want to play a little with what you can control. Playing with a wide Â aperture helps to produce attractive blur in the images, and the blur helps to remove the clutter of background and brings some artistry into the images.
Eat beside a window.
You could take out a flash unit to light your food, but that may not go well with the other restaurant patrons or the owner. So it helps to sit by a window so you can at least light your food and bring out the colors.
Restaurant light can help make a shot appetizing.
This rocket salad is too green, I know. But in the orange light of the restaurant where I had it, it looked nice. I helped accentuate the orange light by using the Cloudy white balance setting on the Nikon I was using. Using warm colors to photograph food helps get more yellow-orange-red in the image. I find that using Auto white balance produces more of a blue tinge in the food with the indoor lighting that most restaurants use, and blue food is something humans just donâ€™t find appetizing.
So there you have it, some simple tips to add some food images to your travel photos. Next time you go somewhere, pay attention to what you order; ask whatâ€™s in the dish, and spice up your travel photography.
Up next: Spice up your travel photography by shooting themes, right here on Imagine That!
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