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How to Take Clearer Photos


My dishfolio

You could have the best camera in the world, the most beautiful place setting, a plate of the most gorgeously seductive food and amazing natural lighting...but it won't matter a bit if you can't focus your camera. No one likes a blurry photo. Well, unless you're intentionally going for blur (which is pretty much never the case with food photography). Focus is one of those things that seems like it should be easier than it really is. Or, is it really that easy? Either way, here are some tips for how to improve your focus so you can make the best of every shot.

  • Use a tripod. Don't have a tripod? Buy one! Especially with food photography, a tripod should be used on every shot. A tripod eliminates the natural hand shaking we all do without even knowing it. Especially with low lighting, a tripod enables you to lengthen your shutter speed without blurring your photo.

  • Understand aperture and shutter speed. These may sound scary, but understanding them will help you take better pictures. We promise. Let's do a quick lesson....try not to let your eyes glaze over...


    • Aperture: Also known as f-stop. Aperture is the size of the opening of the camera lens. The size of the lens opening is very important in determining how much light the camera lets in to reach the camera's inner sensors. A larger opening allows more light to get into the camera while a smaller opening allows less light into the camera. Larger openings, or apertures, have smaller numbers for their f-stop (like f/4 or f/6) while smaller openings, or apertures, have larger numbers (like f/22).


    • Shutter Speed: Refers to how long the aperture, or opening in the camera lens, is left open. The longer the shutter speed, the more light into the camera and the more opportunity for blur. Shorter shutter speeds lead to less light on the camera's sensor.


  • Try to shoot in good lighting. Often times, food bloggers try to shoot their food right at dinner time. Such is the life of a food blogger, right? Well, the problem with this is that nighttime leads to poor lighting situations which can lead to blurry photos. When there is less light, it is necessary to decrease the shutter speed to allow as much light as possible into the camera. This means more time for the shot to get blurry while the shutter is open. So, try your best to shoot your photos during the day with natural light to help eliminate this issue.

  • Be careful how close you get to the food. Yes, food photography is usually macro-photography (meaning "up close"), but don't let this fool you into getting too close to your food. The closer you get, the more spot-on your focus needs to be because it will be even more obvious if the shot is blurry. While it is a great technique to cover most of the food item in the window, let your camera lens do the zooming, not your body. If you can't tell what the food item is from looking at a single shot, neither can we. If you are unable to get to a clear shot, move back a bit and try again. Farther away is always better than blurry. Trust us.

  • Set your camera to Aperture-Priority (AP) mode, rather than Automatic. Take charge of what's in focus. This will allow you to focus on whatever you'd like in the shot while letting other aspects of the image remain in the background.

Interested in learning more?  We are very excited to announce our first online course to help you expand your knowledge and abilities as a photographer!  We have jam-packed tons of useful information in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step manner over the course of an eight week email course.  Click here to learn more about our Dishfolio Photography Course Series!