Restaurant Promotion Ideas #43 – Take Amazing Food Photos and Share It -Part 3

This is part 3 of my article A novice guide to digital photography.  In this article, I will share how to hold your camera. This is very important as you will be taking alot of food shots. And after a while your hand will get shaky and your pictures blured.

How to Hold a Digital Camera


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If you have shakey hands like me, tripods are the best way to stop camera shake because they have three sturdy legs that keep things very still. Another simple way to enhance the stability of the camera is to hold onto it with two hands
How you hold your camera depend upon what type of digital camera you are using and also your preference. The technique which I have learned and is comfortable is :-
Use your right hand to grip the right hand end of the camera. Your forefinger should sit lightly above the shutter release, your other three fingers curling around the front of the camera. Your right thumb grips onto the back of the camera. Use a strong grip with your right hand but dont grip it so tightly that you end up shaking the camera
The positioning of your left hand will depend upon your camera but in in general it should support the weight of the camera and will either sit underneath the camera or under/around a lens if you have a DSLR.
If youre shooting using the view finder to line up your shot youll have the camera nice and close into your body which will add extra stability but if youre using the LCD make sure you dont hold your camera too far away from you. As for me I prefer looking through the viewfinder.
Add extra stability by leaning against a solid object like a wall or a tree or by sitting or kneeling down. If you have to stand and dont have anything to lean on for extra support put your feet shoulder width apart to give yourself a steady stance. The stiller you can keep your body the stiller the camera will be.

Taking Staff in Action Shots

Don’t only post photos of your food, it will get boring after a while. Post pictures of your staff in action. The chef preparing the dishes or the bartender juggling some bottles.
Are you amazed at the perfect chef in action shots that you see in magazines and newspaper. The moment when the flame flies of the wok. Action shots can be quite challenging due to the amount of high movement. Chefs don’t the time to pose while the flames are shooting up. So you can adjust your setting. Well here’s a trick I’ve learnt recently. You can also use this trick for children as they also dont keep still.

With all moving objects, a fast shutter speed is required. The faster the movement the faster the shutter speed needs to be. In digital photography in order to capture your winning shot example the goal keeper diving for the ball, your shutter speed needs to be faster that the movement of the goalie. Keep in mind that fast shutter speed works to reduce some degree of the light which is why a higher ISO is also often necessary. Well this is only good if the area is well lit. A high ISO in digital photography simply means the sensitivity to light that your digital camera has. So the more ISO you have increased, the less light the sensor needs. In sports photography an ISO of 400 or higher can work really well.

Burst mode is also known as continuous shooting in my Canon EOS camera. This is a really handy tip. This mode allows you to get a sequence of shoots in succession. This will then increase your chances of getting that ideal shot that you are looking for. This is important if your camera has a long lag time.

Experiment Dont Take 10 photos, take hundreds

As a beginner you should always experiment, take lots of pictures in different settings. That’s what’s great about digital photography, you can always delete what you don’t like.
So go around and go crazy. Take as many pictures as possible. When I started taking food shots, I took almost 5O shots of the same dish. Don’t expect every picture to be a masterpiece, though. Also don’t judge the picture from your camera viewfinder. What I have learned is that what looks good on the viewfinder, will not always look good when its enlarged or printed. So keep all the pictures. Download to your PC, patiently sieve through the ones that are good, and delete the ones that you don’t like. Carry extra batteries or chargers and also memory cards. As you will never know that when you get that perfect shot, your battery will fail or your memory card is full. Also its a good idea to have a notepad to jot down the different settings that you use for different shots for easy reference. Cause when you are taking a lot its easy to get confuse on what settings you used.

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