The triangle of exposition : what about shutter speed?

Started Jan 14, 2013 | Questions thread
MarkInSF Senior Member • Posts: 2,237
Re: Looks delicious

The exposure is coming along nicely.   Now consider depth-of-field for each image you take.   You say you want blurred backgrounds, which is usually desirable, but with a small aperture you can end up with too little depth-of-field, so that not enough of your subject is sharp.   Generally it's best to have the nearest parts of your subject (however you define that) be in focus..  Having the more distant parts be out of focus is less distracting and is often unavoidable, but a subject that goes from blurry to sharp to blurry again can be very distracting.   It's like a portrait where only eyes are in focus and the tip of the nose and the hair are blurry.

To get a whole plate of food in focus at once you may need to use a smaller aperture.  If the background becomes distracting, move it further away (if you can.)  Or rearrange the food so it is closer to the same distance from the camera.   You can't do that as easily with a tart, but you can rearrange buns or cookies.   Or change the angle you're shooting from to have the same effect, maybe by shooting from above.   Experiment with where you focus.   For the same shot, take one focused on the front of the subject and another focused further back.   By experimenting you'll learn where to focus to make your subject look its best.

Also, experiment with focal lengths by changing lenses or just zooming.   A plate of croissants taken with a wider angle lens will look quite different than one taken with a longer lens.   You'll also find that depth-of-focus is quite different.   Wide angles can be quite dramatic and minimize the effect of the background.   Food photography is a lot of fun.   The subject is so attractive and cooperative.

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