How do you find the best camera angle for food photography? Do you know what the formula for that looks like? This post is a simple guide for food photographers to find the best angle for taking food photos.
The Best Camera Angle
We talked about four most used camera angles in food photography. The quest of finding the best camera angle for photographing food did not end in the previous post. To build upon that post, let’s define what is the best camera angle. It is the angle that makes food look better than other angles. We discussed these four positions in that post.
There are many angles that can be used to photograph food and that’s why it is important to find that one angle that makes food look good. In next few paragraphs we discuss how to find the best angle for that photograph you plan to take.
Formula For Calculating Best Camera Angle
So how do we find the best camera angle? I am sure you are looking for the simplest solution, a quick shortcut that can tell you what angle to use. The engineer in me is wants to give you a formula for calculating the best camera angle and I hope you could use it and get the best angle to take food photos. Here’s the formula:
Type of Food x Quantity of Light / Horizontal Surface = Best Angle for Food Photos
To explain the formula, the product of quantity of light and type of food divided by horizontal surface will give you the angle to shoot the photograph. Makes sense? It does not right? And it does not make sense to me either. The reason is that there is no “formula” for the perfect angle that will take wonderful photo every time. So if there is no formula that can give you the best camera angle, there are certain things that you can keep in mind while deciding your camera angle.
3 Factors to Keep in Mind
The three factors help you decide what camera angle will suit best to the needs and conditions you are dealing with. Let’s look at the factors that are important for deciding what camera angle to choose. While photographing food, there are several things that affect the decision. Here they are:
What does you food look like? What is the shape of your dish? Does it have a height? How is the food styled? Depending on the answer to these questions, the best angle for food photos may be very different. Food or dish that has height makes it a good candidate to be photographed at 0-20 angle. On the other hand, if the dish has no character as far as height goes, it is better to shoot it top down at an angle of 90 or so. Food with no or very little height will look better when shot from top down.
There two types of constraints in photography, one that you can control, second those that you cannot control. For example, sometimes you can control how much you can move back to get that subject into frame, sometimes you cannot. Sometimes you can change the direction of light by moving around and sometimes you cannot. When you are taking a photo of soup, that you want to shoot top down, but constraints don’t allow you to, in those cases, you need to choose your camera angle, keep that in mind. In most cases, there are ways to get around this and food setting can be changed, by keeping the soup on surface that is lower and facilitates the photograph. The point here is to be aware of those constraints and choose the camera angle keeping them in mind.
What You Want
This factor overpowers everything we talked so far. If you want to shoot a stack of cookies (which make better photos when angle is between 0-20) from top down, there is nothing stopping you. We talked about focusing on what feature you want to show to get mouth-watering food photos in step 3 of the process of photographing food. If you have decide how you want your subject to look like, everything else becomes irrelevant and you should focus only on what you want.
Factor # 4
There are other factor that can decide the best camera angle. Do you know any of those? What things motivate you to change camera angle? Tell us in the comments below.
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