Food photography never gets old. It is one of those fields that anyone can relate to. It isn’t just about the fact that everyone eats. Good food photography touches a nerve, one that has its roots in our evolution. Take the perfect picture of a slice of lemon, and you are guaranteed to obtain a physical reaction from the person viewing your art. Capture the moment when a spoon breaks through a lava cake, creating a delicious chocolate river, and you will hear the viewer moan. That is what your art does. It takes the person looking at your photos to another place.
It just so happens that food photography takes the individual who appreciates your photos, in a delicious place where you serve the visual feast. In order to take the best food photos, you will need a camera that is both potent and sensitive enough to illustrate your vision of the perfect plate.
The Nikon D3400 can be fast, with state of the art image processing, which can be extremely useful when you are photographing the moment when a crepe is being flambéed. But it is also patient, and you can take your time and use prolonged exposure to capture a DSLR picture of the vibrant color of raspberry moose, in low light. The 24-megapixel sensor means that you will take high quality photos and the eleven autofocus points that it offers, means that you will almost never obtain a blurred picture.
Food photography might come natural to you, but every professional needs a few aces up his sleeve. This article will offer you five tips aimed at obtaining exceptional photos.
It’s All About The Light And How Your Nikon D3400 Can Leverage It
Certainly, they tell you this at photography school. Good lighting can make or break a photo. For most cameras this means that you would need a lot of natural light.
Natural light is great especially at sunrise or sunset, but when we are talking about food photography; it might not always be possible to benefit from its full potential.
However, the Nikon D3400 camera can compensate for the fact that the weather may be dreadful when you have to photograph a beautiful dish. With ISO sensitivity between 100 and 25600, this camera can produce photos with great detail even in dim light. This means that you can take photos under candle light. Granted, it is still a form of natural light, but it is usually difficult to take advantage of it.
Another great source of light can be a warm light skylight. If you are thinking of investing in some cheap lighting alternatives, know that this will offer you a type of light that is similar to filtered sunlight.
If you are lucky and the weather is on your side, don’t be afraid to venture outside to find the perfect environment for your photo. Remember that the Nikon D3400 camera provides great detail between ISO 100 and 400, but beyond ISO 6400 it might show some blurring, so adjust light accordingly to obtain a crystal clear picture.
In extreme sunlight, this camera does well, but the contrast might need to be adjusted. Therefore, try not to photograph foods that are of a light color or you will need to work harder.
Nikon D3400 And Great Materials Go Great Together
Taking beautiful food photographs isn’t just about talent and culinary expertise. Sometimes it’s about the surroundings and how you can influence them.
Plating is as important as the food itself, but a photo talks about much more than that. When someone sees a photograph with a plate of food, they see the story behind it, and you are in charge of writing that story.
Investing in a few items can prove fruitful and can even encourage your creativity.
Make sure that you have, on hand, these materials:
- Dry Herbs
- Fresh herbs (potted are the best)
We are talking about materials, not objects because it is the grain and color that define a picture. Forged iron and wood can offer depth and contrast, while porcelain and crystals lighten up the photo. Herbs are always a great addition but they might be hard to come by at times. It is likely that these materials can already be found in your own home. Some of these might need refurbishing. A wooden cutting board could benefit from a bit of sanding, but the grain of wood would bring depth to a picture.
An iron cast pan is a staple of good cooking and the fact that it is black gives you the perfect natural contrast with right about anything.
Porcelain, coffee, and chocolate go together amazingly, so make sure that you have a set of cups and plates handy.
Crystal doesn’t need an introduction, but have you ever taken a close up of a rose wine, in a beautiful porcelain glass?
Don’t Be Afraid To Take Your Nikon D3400 For A Walk
Dare to adventure into the wilderness. As long as the wilderness has food and great light, you are in for a treat.
One of the best features of the Nikon D3400 is its portability. All the pictures it takes will stay on the card, but you can also send them via Snapbridge. This is an app that works both on iPhones and Android phones and is the pathway to cable-freefree image transfer.
This app allows you to automatically sync photos with a device of your choice, like your phone. It also has the added bonus of offering cloud backup.
Going outside, visiting restaurants, coffee shops, diners, and picnic spots brings out the creativity in any artist and also offers a large array of opportunities.
There are photographers that order food for the sole purpose of photographing it. Good food should never go to waste, but neither should a good photo opportunity.
Many restaurants will be very welcoming, and they might allow you to change tables or even go in the kitchen, if you promise them some exposure. The possibilities that a fully equipped restaurant kitchen offers are endless.
Keep in mind that the Nikon D3400 camera has a shutter speed of 1/4000 to 30s. This should be enough to capture some chefs at work.
Work With The Settings Of Your Nikon D3400 Until You Get It Right
This camera has a multitude of settings that can change the entire way you see photography. There are many online tutorials and many cheat sheets that will help you learn how to fine tune your device.
However, truth be told, the best way to learn something to perfection is to practice over and over again. So, here are some tricks to help you practice:
- Photograph the same plate, under artificial lighting, from the same spot, with different settings;
- Photograph the same foods, in the same environment, using different environmental colors and change the settings to see how it all looks;
- Take the same photo with different settings, under different light sources;
- Experiment with the camera’s ability to focus. Take the same picture at different distances from the object;
- Let your fingers learn the position of each button. You never know when you will need to adjust the settings on a hurry;
Use all the camera’s features until you know exactly what each setting does. Take macro pictures that you don’t need, put your camera on a support, and take a raw picture, look at how each of these photos look on your computer.
Learn How To Edit The Photos Taken With Your Nikon D3400
Being a good photographer takes skill, patience, luck, and a willingness to learn, but what happens after you take the perfect photo is also important.
There are many programs created for photograph processing, Lightroom, and Photoshop are two of the most famous. Investing in a photo editor will help you learn a lot about light, color, and contrast, and will even help you take better photos. When you see what you have to correct, you will be able to better adjust the settings of your DSLR camera.
There are many online articles and tutorials that will teach you how to edit a photo and what to avoid. There are even a few Facebook groups that offer great tips for beginners.
Photography is an art that has become accessible to many people, but taking a photo with your phone, no matter the number of cameras that it has, doesn’t compare to taking a photo with a high performance DSLR camera that is able to capture even the tiniest of details. Luckily, the Nikon D3400 is small and lightweight, so it’s easy to be carried around.
Don’t be afraid of a challenge. If you think that the best coffee and croissant picture can only be taken at a mountain cabin, in freezing conditions, know that your camera will endure the cold and will perform its best no matter the temperature.