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.
Use a wide aperture to give your photo a beautiful blur. Copyright Aloha Lavina.
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.
Lots of colors, but not too artistic.
Blur is beautiful. Copyright Aloha Lavina.
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.
Rocket salad in warm restaurant lighting. Copyright Aloha Lavina.
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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