How to make a poppadom look delicious
Food photography is one of the trickiest things to get right. A dish can look amazing in it’s own right, but if it’s not been lit correctly it just won’t look appetising. And then there are other challenges where a food photographer will be required to make relatively unexciting items of food look tasty.
When I light my the food I’m taking a picture of I first consider the angle at which I want to photograph it from, then I think about the shape of the food and textures that I want to highlight. All of these things will determine where I place my lights.
I’m going to focus on flat shaped food for this post, such as the poppadom. The following techniques would apply to any similar shaped food such as naan bread or pizza. Because there is not much shape to contend with the approach would be to focus on the texture of the food and really bring that out.
With this masala poppadom image, there are lovely chopped onions and tomatoes that I want to highlight and I decided to come to about a 45 degree angle to photograph it. The main thing I did with my key light then was to lower it so that the light gently flowed almost horizontally over the top of the food rather than lighting it from above. I also used a shallow depth of field as I do for most of my food shots to help draw the viewers eye into the middle of dish.
A simple dish made interesting and appetising with good food photography lighting techniques.