Food Photography: A Beginner's Guide to Creating Appetizing Images

Food Photography: A Beginner's Guide to Creating Appetizing Images

by Corinna Gissemann

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Anyone who has been inspired to take a picture of a great-looking meal knows that creating a successful food photograph is not easy. Though the food may look amazing, the resulting image can often end up mediocre and unappealing. Whether you want to create great food images for your blog or break into the world of commercial food photography, Food Photography is the perfect place to start your journey. Corinna Gissemann, a professional food photographer, walks you through everything you need to know, starting with a primer on equipment and exposure, followed by a detailed explanation of the extremely important roles that light, composition, and styling play in food photography. In these chapters, you’ll learn all about hard vs. soft light, how to use reflectors and flash, how to frame your image so that your subject matter truly pops, the food styling techniques that will have your viewers getting hungry, and much more! Additionally, entire chapters are devoted to editing and managing your images in Lightroom, the props you need to have in order to create great food photos, and all the tips and tricks that will save you time and help make getting “the shot” that much easier.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681981031
Publisher: Rocky Nook
Publication date: 04/28/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 232
File size: 26 MB
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About the Author

Corinna Gissemann lives in Berlin, Germany. In 2011, she decided more or less overnight to become a stock photographer. She taught herself all the basics and photography has since become her preferred form of creative expression. Food and still life have always been Corinna's favorite genres. Her work can be found at various international agencies, in a broad range of publications, and on many people’s walls. To find out more, visit or send Corinna an email at

Table of Contents

1 What Gear Do You Need? 3

Which Camera? 4

Which Lens? 5

Using a Tripod 8

Remote Shutter Release 8

Artificial Sources of Light 8

White Balance Using a Gray Card 9

Memory Cards 10

Hard Drives 10

Image-Processing Software 11

Cell Phones 11

2 Basics 15

Farewell, Auto-Hello, M Mode 16

Setting the Aperture 17

Setting the Exposure Time 19

ISO Sensitivity 21

Putting It All Together 22

RAW vs, JPEG 23

White Balance 23

3 Lighting 27

Main and Fill Light 28

Daylight 28

Artificial Light 30

Flash 30

Continuous Light 39

Reflectors, Flags, and Other Light Shapers 42

Hard and Soft Light 49

Light-to-Subject Distance 50

Angles of Incidence 50

Light Direction 52

Light at Different Times of Day 54

Preventing Unwanted Reflections 54

4 Image Design and Composition 57

Start Slowly 58

Portrait or Landscape Format? 58

Shooting Angles 59

Framing 62

Positioning the Star of the Show 63

Focus 66

Steering the Viewer's Gaze 68

Composing with Color 70

Adding Texture 72

Capturing a Mood 74

Creating a Feeling of Depth 75

Practicing Image Composition 76

5 Styling 79

Styling Concepts 80

Becoming a Storyteller 80

Choosing a Theme for Your Project 81

Props 83

Starter Kit: 13 Must-Have Food Photo Props 87

Sample Styling Kit 88

Working with Dummies 89

Styling Tips 90

Including People in Your Images 97

6 Five Food Photography Projects 99

Salads 100

Soups 110

Main Dishes 120

Desserts 130

Drinks 138

Summary 147

7 Image Processing with Lightroom 151

About Lightroom 152

Setting Up a Workflow 152

Importing Image Files 153

Processing Your Images 162

Working with Presets 174

Getting Organized 178

Backups 184

8 Tips and Tricks 187

Simulating Condensation 188

Combating Burned-Out Reflections 189

Stabilizing Styrofoam Reflectors 189

The "Full Dish" Trick 190

Salt in Your Beer 190

Gelatin Soup 190

Building Blocks as Placeholders 191

Cardboard Backgrounds 192

Four Eyes Are Better Than Two 192

Making Notes 193

9 Homemade Props 195

Trick Milk Bottle 196

Tongue-and-Groove Background 197

Plywood Background 199

Two-in-One Reflector and Flag 201

Universal Soup Can 202

Decorated Teacup 203

Five-Second Mini Cake Stand 205

10 How to Boost Your Creativity 207

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone 208

Imitate Your Role Models 208

Learning to "Read" a Photo 208

How to Find and Use Sources of Inspiration 209

Brainstorming 210

Developing Your Own Visual Style 210

Don't Be Afraid to Experiment 210

11 Now it's Your Turn 213

Exercises 214

Quick Test 217

Image sources 221

Index 222

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