Day 2: Create Depth in Your Food Photos – 31 Days of Food Photography Tips

Ginger Ale by AranGoyoagacopyright Aran Goyoaga

Deep photos engage viewers. These powerful photos draw you in and create an unusual experience by giving your eyes room to explore. In this post, we talk about creating depth in food photographs.


Depth in Your Food Photos and How to Control It

Depth is one of the necessary elements to create a stunning food photo. There are several ways to create depth as David duChemin explains in his book a Deeper Frame. Depth of field is just one of the several ways.

For this discussion, let’s focus on depth of field. We have talked about basics of depth of field before. We have also looked at three ways you can control depth of field. Here are those three ways again:

  • Distance between lens and the subject
  • Aperture Used
  • Focal Length

Composing Better Food Photos Using Depth of Field

Composition is not just where to place the dish or how to align the frame. These are just few choices that help you create a strong photo. Your decision of the depth of field will also determine what your photo communicates and expresses.

How much should be the depth of field for your next photo? That depends on what story you are trying to express. But here’s something to think about:

  1. If you would like to isolate your main subject from the environment, but still give a feeling of what was the ambience like, go with enough depth that gives a hint but doesn’t overpower your subject.
  2. If your subject is the whole scene, then your depth of field should not be shallow and everything should be in focus. Again, these are just some hints and most likely will not apply to your situation. You will have to make a decision based on your story.

Further Reading:

Your Assignment

Today’s Assignment is going to be simple. All I am going to ask you to do is:

  1. To again pick up a subject – any subject. If you don’t like to cook, read how to practice food photography without cooking.
  2. Once you pick up the subject, take a photo so that you capture maximum depth (everything in focus). Use the three elements we talked about above to get to this state.
  3. Next take a photo at shallowest possible depth of field.
  4. Take few more photos with depth between these two ranges.
  5. Analyze them. Do these photos with different depth of field “feel” different? Can you see how you can change the story by changing the depth of field?
  6. Share what you learned in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. does depth means that there is a focus and others that unnecessary is blurry?

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