Photographing food and sharing meals and recipes through pictures has taken off over the last few years. Depth of field, is something to consider when composing your food shots. Do you want a whole plate of food and surrounding dishes in focus or just one item on the plate, or a bite? The answer will be your guide to choosing the aperture value.
When the food is on the same focal plane the choice isn’t as critical, as is exhibited in the two examples above. But change your angle of view a bit, creating more distance between you and the items being photographed, and there is a marked difference.
As you can see, the second photo taken at a wider aperture has a smaller area of focus, the pineapple, and the other fruit is out of focus. Using the wider aperture puts the emphasis on the pineapple rather than the entire grouping of fruit.
Use a wider aperture when the goal is focusing on a specific area in a photo.
At f/2.2 the orange can be singled out for highlighting or the apple.
To achieve focus throughout, a smaller aperture is best.
The greater distance between the items being photographed, the more exaggerated the effect will be.
At f/11, most of the food is in focus whereas at f/2.8, the pineapple surface is the focal point and the rest of the fruit fades out of focus.
Taking an overhead shot puts the food on an even field,
except when the food is differing heights, as with these pieces of fruit. If achieving focus throughout is your desire, use a smaller aperture. With an aperture of f/13 most of the food is in focus as well as the pineapple top, the tallest item.
In photography, the settings you choose will help you realize your artistic vision; with food photography, there’s nothing like a little playing with your food for honing that vision.
Lots of good food for playing with at this time of year!