I have mentioned before that people eat with their eyes first. In recent years, I’ve discovered that scrumptious looking photographs will entice people’s buying decision. You can use a professional food photographer to take your photos. But that could cost you and like running a blog the internet needs new fresh contents to be noticable. Or you could also invest in a decent digital camera and start developing your photography skills. If you follow Restaurant Marketing Sites lately, they usually advocate the use of photo sharing sites. Some examples are Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and even Snapchat. Make use of photos throughout your website as well as the social media sites. Beautiful photos are generally and reshared around the internet. All office which will attract new customer to your restaurant.
I got hooked on digital photography when our owner gave us a dslr camera to use. He saw that we could add actual food pictures to our menus as well as promotional materials. The primary round of photos was simple, real amateur looking. The knob on the camera had this letters that was strange to me. I learned how to make use of the various settings. Now my pictures look much better, not great sill bett
er. Our company has since changed the company camera which is in my care now. Its a Canon 500D and its great especially for closeup shots. I still do food shots for our menus and promotional materials. But now I always bring my digital camera around everywhere.
Here is a little guide I created to help others who are just starting photography. And also to remind me.
A novice guide to digital photography
What the little alphabets on the digital camera knob means
Auto mode tells your camera to use its best judgement to select shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, focus and flash to take the best shot that it can.
The symbol for this is a picture of a face. When you switch to portrait mode your camera will automatically select a large aperture (small number) which helps to keep your background out of focus (ie it sets a narrow depth of field – ensuring your subject is the only thing in focus and is therefore the centre of attention in the shot). Portrait mode works best when youre photographing a single subject, so get in close enough to your subject (either by zooming in or walking closer). Another trick I learned that is useful, is if youre shooting into the sun, you trigger your flash to add a little light onto their face.
The symbol for this is the flower. Macro mode lets you move your camera closer to your subject to take close up pictures. Use this for shooting flowers, insects or other small objects. Keep your camera and the object parallel if possible or youll find a lot of it will be out of focus. A tripod is valuable in macro shots as the depth of field is so small that even moving towards or away from your subject slightly can make your subject out of focus. I like to use this mode when Im doing food shots.
The symbol for this is a mountain. This mode is almost the exact opposite of portrait mode in that it sets the camera up with a small aperture (large number) to make sure as much of the scene will be in focus as possible. Its therefore ideal for capturing shots of wide scenes, particularly those witch points of interest at different distances from the camera.
The symbol for this is someone running. Sports mode is used for photographing moving objects example people playing sports, pets, cars, wildlife etc. Sports mode attempts to freeze the action by increasing the shutter speed.
The symbol for this is the star and moon. Night mode is for shooting in low light situations and sets your camera to use a longer shutter speed to help capture details of the background but it also fires off a flash to illuminate the foreground (and subject). If you use this mode for a serious or well balanced shot you should use a tripod or your background will be blurred
Other common modes that Ive seen on digital cameras:
Panoramic Mode – for taking shots of a panoramic scene to be joined together later as one image.
Fireworks Mode – for shooting firework displays
Kids and Pets Mode – fast moving objects can be tricky – this mode seems to speed up shutter speed and help reduce shutter lag with some pre focussing
Indoor Mode – helps with setting shutter speed and white balance
Foliage Mode – boosts saturation to give nice bold colors
Semi Automatic Mode
Aperture Priority Mode (A or AV)
This mode is where you choose the aperture and where your camera chooses the other settings example shutter speed, white balance, ISO etc, so as to ensure you have a well balanced exposure. Aperture priority mode is useful when youre shooting a stationary object where you dont need to control shutter speed. Choosing a larger number aperture means the aperture (or the opening in your camera when shooting) is smaller and lets less light in. This means youll have more of the scene will be in focus but that your camera will choose a faster shutter speed.
Shutter Priority Mode (S or TV)
Shutter priority is the mode where you select a shutter speed and the camera then chooses all of the other settings. For example when photographing moving subjects (like sports) you might want to choose a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion. On the flip-side of this you might want to capture the movement as a blur of a subject like a waterfall or moving lights and choose a slow shutter speed. You might also choose a slow shutter speed in lower light situations. If you are using slow shutter speed, its best to use a tripod cause the slightest movement will make the picture blur.
Program Mode (P)
Some digital cameras have this priority mode in addition to auto mode (in a few cameras Program mode IS full Auto mode confusing isnt it!). In those cameras that have both, Program mode is similar to Auto but gives you a little more control over some other features including flash, white balance, ISO etc.
Aperture and Shutter Priority Mode
Where to find it: Usually on the dial on top of your digital camera. On Olympus digital cameras, the mode may be represented by A/S/M. On Nikon digital cameras, shutter priority mode is symbolized with an S and aperture priority mode is an A. On Canon digital cameras, generally shutter priority is represented by Tv (strange, I know) and aperture priority is Av. Other digital camera manufactures generally use some sort of similar lettering.
What it does: Any photograph has both an aperture and a shutter speed. The aperture regulates how wide the lens opening is, while the shutter speed regulates how long the shutter was left open. These two items, in tandem, regulate the exposure of a photograph. In an automatic mode, the digital camera chooses its own combination of aperture and shutter speed to create a good exposure – you dont have to do any of the thinking. In shutter priority, you control the shutter speed while the camera determines the aperture. This allows you – with sufficient lighting conditions – to set a shutter speed fast enough to freeze sports action or slow enough to create a motion blur.
To go to the part two, Restaurant Promotion Ideas #43 – Take Amazing Food Photos and Share It -Part 2
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