A good travel photographer records ‘the experience’ of their destination. The sights, culture, people, mood, activities…after seeing a selection of images you should have an emotional response to the story. And part of travel for many people is experiencing the exotic foods at their destination. Yet how many photographers actually photograph food? I’ll admit the last thing I want to do is photograph my dessert when it arrives, I want to eat it. But that same mouth watering reaction I have looking at my dessert can be conveyed in a nice image of it. So take a moment and photograph your chocolate cheesecake.
There are many approaches to photographing food, but key is the lighting and styling of the food. If you are eating at a really nice restaurant, chances are the dish presented to you is beautiful already. You just need to photograph it before it goes cold. The easiest way to photograph food is putting your dish (or eating at a table) beside a large window that provides nice soft indirect light. You can add a simple reflector on the opposite side for a more specular effect. I like to shoot with wide open apertures around F4 to create some soft focus on the dish. Another angle is photographing straight down on your dish with everything tack sharp. Make sure you style the napkins, silverware and plate nicely, this often makes or breaks a food image. If you are eating near a window, you can take a few nice food shots very quickly without disrupting other diners in the restaurant.
And here is the best part. After you capture that mouth watering dish, you follow up by eating it. Your friends back home will be jealous!