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Serve Up Beautiful Food Photography With The Help Of Hugh Johnson

Photographer Hugh Johnson shares tips on how to create an award-winning food themed image.

| Food

Serve Up Beautiful Food Photography With The Help Of Hugh Johnson: Food photography

© Hugh Johnson


Food photography is a growing trend among foodies and photographers that doesn't seem to be slowing down. In fact, over on Instagram, over 178 million images are currently tagged with #food! If you're one of the many astronomic photography fans who enjoys sharing the culinary delights online, you'll probably be interested in perusing this article with tips from renowned food photographer Hugh Johnson. Plus, as a little bonus, we've also got tips from 2016 Sony World Photography Awards finalist Peter Dench who wants to share with you the secrets of capturing an award-winning shot. 


Hugh Johnson's Food Photography Tips


1. Make Sure You Keep Things Simple!

The biggest mistake professionals and amateurs make is over complicating a shot with too much cutlery or accessories.


2. Use The Widest Aperture You Can 

Shoot the food at the widest aperture possible. This is when the hole within the lens is at its widest so more light can travel through. By doing this you will soften the background of the shot to give you that pin-sharp focus on the food.


Serve Up Beautiful Food Photography With The Help Of Hugh Johnson: Food photography

© Hugh Johnson


3. Speed Is Key

Make sure you take a picture of the food quickly to capture its freshness and natural glossy highlights. Spraying water is also a great way to spruce up your food if it looks a bit flat


4. Minimise Shake 

Keep your elbows tucked into your body when taking a photo to keep the camera steady and to minimise distortion.


5. Play Around With Composition 

Don’t be afraid to change the placement and the look of the food – for example, meat may look better cut in half to show its pink interior and interesting textures.


Serve Up Beautiful Food Photography With The Help Of Hugh Johnson: Food photography

© Hugh Johnson


Bonus Tips From Peter Dench

For those who want to capture award-winning photography of food or any other subject, Peter Dench has the following advice: "To capture an award winning photograph, don’t be afraid. Most people will not mind being photographed, and if you’re nervous or new to photography choose a location where cameras are expected, like festivals or markets. Also, it is essential to be prepared. Know your camera well and have it with you at all times. Finally, make sure you shoot a scene right from the beginning to the end to ensure that you capture the whole event."


Images were taken using the full-frame, palm-sized interchangeable lens Sony Alpha 7R II camera. Winning and shortlisted photographers of the Sony World Photography Awards will be exhibited at Somerset House from 22 April - 8 May. Visit the Sony World Photography Awards website for more details. 

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