Photo Lab – Point of Focus

I’ve been spending a lot of time practicing my food photography lately. It’s been challenging and exhilarating.

When I think about how much I need to learn it’s quite overwhelming. Let’s see, I still need to open the manual that came with my camera, start the new online Udeme photography course I signed up for, buy and learn how to use Photoshop, purchase a few basic things like light reflectors for my set…the list goes on and on.

But by far the most important thing I need to do everyday is practice, practice, practice. One of the first food photography blogs that I started following, Cooking without Limits, has several wonderful posts that are super helpful for food bloggers with little photography experience. In her post, Make Time For Your Food Photography, she emphasizes the importance to read about food photography, visit other food photography sites regularly for inspiration, take lots and lots of photos, and not compare yourself to other food photographers – only to your past work.

I wanted to share a skill that I’ve been practicing a lot lately. There is probably a much more technical term for this, but I refer to it as Point of Focus.

During my 15 minutes madly rushing to take all the photos I can of a dish before it fades from glory, I take several shots from the same angle and zoom, but focusing in on different parts of the photo to get different effects. Sometimes I want the whole photo to be in focus. Sometimes I want only the dish to be focused with the background out of focus. If there is a particularly beautiful element of the dish (a sprig of parsley, a lovely vegetable) I might focus in on that one thing. Other times, I don’t focus in on the dish at at all but on the background, or on the lip of the plate. The point is, not everything has to be in focus all of the time. Look at the dish and the food styling you’ve done and decide what ingredient or detail you think is worth focusing in on.

Here are some examples.

From my recipe post SW Turkey Lettuce Wraps:

Focus: middle of the frame

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Focus: lettuce wrap, background (blurred) was trees.

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Focus: bottom of the frame

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From my recipe post Raw Cruciferous Salad:

Focus: arugula on top

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Focus: broccoli floret

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Focus: sliced brussel sprout

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From my recipe post Broccolini, Sweet Bell Pepper, and Grape Tomato Frittata with Feta

Focus: bite on the fork

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From my photography post A Spring Haiku:

Focus: tulip at the foreground

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Focus: letters on the page

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Focus: middle of the frame

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Focus: foreground

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From my recipe post Orange Hazelnut Ricotta Breakfast Parfait

Focus: bottom of the frame

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From my recipe post Spicy Turmeric Ginger Tea

Focus: front lip of the cup

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Focus: upper sprig of rosemary

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Focus: red cayenne pepper in back

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From my recipe post Acai Bowl

Focus: almonds

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From my recipe post Sweet & Spicy Breakfast Sausage

Focus: bottom of the frame

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Focus: front lip of the bowl

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I hope these examples show you how much fun you can have playing around with your photos and how different an effect the point of focus can make to your photography. Have fun practicing!

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2 replies »

  1. Thanks! This was most useful. I’m not a food blogger but I love taking photos of objects and flowers and I do a lot of testing with different points of focus but creativity is quite restricted with my little camera. I still have to learn the basics. You are very good at it, keep sharing recipes & photos!

    Like

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