Food Photography with Jonathan Canlas

posted on: Thursday, August 5, 2010

I remember looking at Jonathan Canlas' work on line for the first time and being completely mesmerized. Today he shares some simple tips for improving your (and mine) food photography.
Totally useful.
Totally doable.
Thanks Jon.

For my food photography, I need to get in close.  This will either require a lens that allows you to focus really close or a macro lens.  Macro lenses are large, bulky and quite expensive.  So, I use my normal lens (50mm 1.4 on a 35mm camera with no crop factor or full frame sensor) and just use close up filters which are like macro filters that just screw on the front of my lens.  It allows me to get in REALLY close.  They are super inexpensive and very easy to use.  The plus filters come in sets of +1/+2/+4 and depending on the size of your lens filter thread, run anywhere from $45-$70 for the set shipped on Ebay.  I have the HOYA brand.  But Tiffen is good too.  

Also, if you notice all food magazines, almost all of the food is shot backlit to give depth to the food.  So, I position the food on the table to be backlit by the window in our kitchen.  You want the food to have shape to it and lighting is a big part of making food look not only edible, but delicious.  

I also try and use a really limited depth of field and focus right on what I want the viewer to see.  I don't want everything in focus so I camp out at fstops that give me limited depth of field.  Be aware that with the plus filters, you are limiting your depth of field even more.  

I am no food photographer by any means, but by following these tips, you can take photos that look like they are from a magazine without the studio set up and whistles and bells :).

For more of Jonathan make sure to visit his blog 
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