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Food photography - not getting "crisp" enough pictures.

kannywalsh
Contributor

Hi Canon community 😊

I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3i and two lenses: EFS 18-55 mm and EOS 55-250mm.

I am an amature when it comes to potography, but have been taking some pictures professionally for my own company. We make and sell food, so food photography is just something I need to get better at. 

My main problem is that, whatever I do, my photos are just not sharp enough. Which is REALLY frustrating. I have tried multiple variations of settings, I use a tripod sometimes, but whatever I do, it just doesnt solve the issue of the sharpness. This photo for example was taken using the EFS 18-55 mm lens._MG_2726.png

Any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?

13 REPLIES 13

Tintype_18
Whiz

Welcome to the community. You will find a lot of knowledgeable people here, willing to assist in any way. I have found answers to some things I have posted. Waiting on replies. Interested in suggestions for this post.

Tronhard
Authority

Welcome to the forum:

It would be helpful to know a lot more about the camera and settings you are using.  I have downloaded the image you enclosed and it has no EXIF data (image properties) whatsoever.

So, for starters:

  1. What camera are you using?
  2. What are the setting of the camera for the images you are taking:
    Aperture
    Shutter Speed
    ISO
    Focal length
  3. Are you using a tripod?

Armed with more info we can be more helpful


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Hi Trevor,

Thanks for your reply. I am using a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, and for the photo I have attached I used the smaller lens (EFS 18-55 mm) and no tripod. In the same shoot I also took some of the photos with a tripod and the results are very similarily frustrating.

I thought it better if I just attached a photo of the settings for the camera, so you get the "fuller" picture. And also of the setup at my office. It is FAR from super proffessional, but it is all I have at the moment. So I try to just make the best of it.

 

288425762_1702833446751190_4676358189594948287_n.jpg

288360893_1942987732757115_3236353140338998314_n.jpg

Just from your camera settings my first reaction is that you definitely need the food in front of the window rather than blocking it against a side wall - you want all the light you can get.  You could look at bouncing light off a white card back onto the face of the food to reduce the shadow, or using the camera flash to fill in.  Next, using a tripod, you want a much smaller aperture to get a greater depth of field: something like f/11, for a starting point, plus a lower ISO to reduce your noise.  With the tripod it won't be an issue if your shutter speed is quite slow.  


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Thank you Trevor for your suggestions! I will try them next time I shoot 🙂

Good luck with this.  At this stage you are on a learning curve and will have to find the right balance of light for the environment within which you are shooting.  There are some videos on You Tube on photographing food, it might be worth checking them out.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Better lightiing would definitely help. Switch to Av mode.  Set ISO at 100. Enable the shutter delay time.  

I also recommend never using AI Focus because it does not always work as well as one would hope.  Switch the lens to manual focus, and focus using Live View.  Once focused you can close Live View and take the shot.

If your camera includes Mirror Lockup, then enable that feature, too.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

shadowsports
Elite

Greetings,

Trevor's request, and what will help us.

-Use a tripod (always)

-Shoot in RAW format (provide some samples with your EXIF data)

-Describe your lighting

Sounds funny we know, but food photography can be tricky. 

~Rick
Bay Area - CA
~R5C (1.0.1.1) ~Many Lenses ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10 Pro ~EVGA RTX 3080Ti FTW3 Ultra
~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 
~6D2 (v1.1.1) retiring

Hi Rick, 

Thank you for the additional info. I have not been shooting in RAW format! But I can read from the comments here that, that is propably a good idea 🙂

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