Do you even Instagram?
Everyone can take a selfie. The only thing that has changed is that it’s become serious business. Yes friends, professional Instagramming has become a thing. With Instagrammers quitting their day jobs to propel themselves into the world of lights, camera and action, we find ourselves caught in this social media tangle trying to up our game with whatever we have.
Our tip is to get the perfect camera that can capture it all, just like SONY’s Cyber-shot™ DSC-RX100M4 that we used and you are on your way to #werkingit like a food blogger.
First things first, you’ll need to know how to use the camera. Sounds simple right? But it can be very confusing for those who aren’t blessed in the technology department. We’ll spare the deets and break it down for you faster than your grandma can say “CHEESE’.
1. The ‘perfect backdrop’ shot
When your food of choice is minimal, a kickass backdrop makes all the difference. Picking the right background is like half the battle won, so pick it like your life depends on it. Experiment with brightly coloured backgrounds as they usually #AttractAttention on Instagram feeds.
The other half of the battle is finding the perfect light setting to match.
Works best on: All kinds of food!
Pro tip: First, increasing your f stop from f/2 to f/5.6 will make for a sharper background. Next, set your ISO to the lowest possible for a cleaner image. Finally, lower your shutter speed to allow more light to enter the camera to avoid overly exposed images.
These were the settings we shot on: ISO 100, aperture f/5.6, shutter speed 1/250
2.The side shot
Never shoot your food from just one angle. Just like modelling, your photography subject (a.k.a food) needs to be flattered by a good angle too. Feel free to adjust the food on your plate and find the best side! Our tip would be to try out at least 5 different side angles and pick the one that makes your friends go “ooooohhhhhh I want….”.
Works best on: Dishes that are blessed in the height department and/or has an interesting layering effect to it. We’re talking bingsu, pancakes, and the ever-popular eggs benedicts pictured here.
3. The dripping shot
Settings: ISO 400, aperture f/1.8, shutter speed 1/500
The technique works like magic EVERY SINGLE TIME. Just one waffle post with maple syrup dripping in blissful motion, and you’ll be able to see the immediate difference in likes and shares. It’s an idiot proof plan that’ll get just about anyone excited.
And with SONY’s Cyber-shot™ DSC-RX100M4’s built in Wi-Fi, NFC technology and 180-degree tilting LCD screen – all you have to do it prop your camera someplace high, and you’ll be able to capture every oozing moment, even if you’re having a meal on your own.
Works best on: Dishes that are drippy in nature, like runny eggs and waffles with maple syrup as pictured above. Let it drip.
Pro tip: To freeze time – increase your shutter speed to something like 1/500 for a quicker capture, but you’ll also need to bump up the ISO and decrease the aperture for a sharper shot with a background of bokeh.
4. The flat lay
You’re probably familiar with the term ‘flat lay’, and while it might sound as straightforward as laying all your food out on the table, that alone won’t do much to up your food game.
There are many techniques that can turn a flat lay from from zero to hero, and this is one sure way to start – take a long endearing look at your surroundings and remove anything unsightly. That includes used tissue paper, utensils, mobile phones, and any rogue coffee stains and crumbs on the table.
It all boils down to detail when you want to show food at its best. Feel free to move things around!
Perfecting the your flat lay requires, patience, balance and a great deal of guts. There’s no shame in moving all your dishes to bar counter or concrete floor (one of our favourites) if it means snapping the flat lay to rule them all. You might have a fair bit of explaining to do, but it’ll all be worth it.
And with a camera as compact, you’ll be in and out with the perfect shot in no time. No more embarrassing moments struggling to hold your DSLR up, or worse – risk dropping it on your entire meal. Been there, done that.
5. The handsy shot
Settings: ISO 100, aperture f/4.5, shutter speed 1/160
Can’t keep your hands to yourself?
The Handsy Shot is the easiest way to spice up any mundane food shot. And when you’re having a meal with people you aren’t particularly close to, it also doubles up as the fastest, most effective icebreaker. It’s always going to be a good laugh when you launch into such pretentiousness. Have fun!
Do note that you’ll need a higher aperture here to avoid having blurry photos – so increase your ISO to compensate for darkness! SONY’s Cyber-shot™ DSC-RX100M4 that we were using had a one-inch sensor captured all the fine details in every shot – no more shoddy smartphone pictures.
Works best on: Dishes that don’t look super exciting to begin with, or dinners with parents who over order. We are talking about quantity over quality here.
6. The close-up
Settings: ISO 100, aperture f/1.8, shutter speed 1/125
Settings: ISO 320, aperture f/1.8, shutter speed 1/400
Settings: ISO 100, aperture f/1.8, shutter speed 1/160
Settings: ISO 320, aperture f/2.0, shutter speed 1/400
If you’re running low on creative juice, you can always count on the close-up. This is practically the easiest to accomplish if all else fails, unless your food looks like a complete flop. Works best with food that’s a little moist as that glisten is sure to convert any heartless food-hating person into a foodie. It’s a no-brainer!
Works best on: Anything, and everything!
Pro tip: Set your camera’s f stop as low as it can go for sharp precision and a beautiful bokeh.
7. The improvised shot
This technique is used on mouthwatering dishes like pasta, when you use utensils to manipulate the food to achieve a shot that would make your friends say, “I need to try this nao.” It helps the viewer visualize what it feels like to being seated right in front of you, just absorbing that mouthwatering view. Or better yet, to be in your position for that mere minute, just gazing in pure envy at your Instagram picture.
Works best on: Anything stringy like noodles or cheese, or packed with a generous amount of toppings.
8. The artistic foreground
We call this the act-atas shot, where the subject is shot stalker-style. Place more focus on the “star” dish, and blur out the rest. Just imagine this dish to be your statement jacket, you want it to stand out while taking your ootds! Set your camera’s aperture to the lowest number possible. F1.8 will help you attain that bokeh effect!
Works best on: Tall towering dishes. Think stacks of pancakes, waffles, or even a mountain of fries.
9. A friend in need is a friend indeed
When you’re chalking up a feed full of food, it might get a little repetitive. Break the food flow with a special appearance or two; and no, we’re not asking you to upload a selfie. Practice the artistic foreground shot with you or a helpful friend in the background.
10. The beach/pool shot
We all have endless envy for that one Instagram friend constantly on a holiday – but are they really on vacation? If you’re in dire need of a vacay but just haven’t found the time – there’s nothing stopping you from bringing those feel-good beach vibes right to your Instagram feed.
Call it magic, but a little sand and water can go a long way in transporting you away from your life in this concrete jungle. We shot this series in a random friend’s condominium in 5 minutes – completely fuss free!
Don’t live in a condominium or don’t know anyone who does? Fret not, the sand playgrounds in your neighbourhood can double up as a beach shot too. That’s what we did. Don’t tell anyone.
The art of beautiful bokehs
Some people argue that behind every good picture, is a good photographer – but we beg to differ. Working a good camera brings you one step closer to achieving your picture perfect reality. We chose to work with SONY’s Cyber-shot™ DSC-RX100M4 compact camera on this article, and were really surprised with the depth and dimension each picture brought to the table.
Packed with impressive features like an F1.8-2.8 aperture, a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm lens, and shutter speeds of up to 1/32,000 of a second – if you’re looking to take DSLR quality pictures without the bulk, this is the camera you’re looking for.
Equipped with a one-inch sensor, this light and nifty camera is perfect for capturing photos in low light, helping you combat the issue of dimly-lit restaurants, an ideal choice to bring with you on cafe-hopping dates with your pals. Need we mention how sleek it looks as well?
Photography 101 – Camera settings
To capture all your great eats with noteworthy precision, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with your new friends: Aperture, Shutterspeed, and ISO.
To achieve that glorious bokeh, tune your aperture all the way down to the lowest number. You should be placing your food in focus while the rest of your background fades to a blur. Remember to make sure that your subject is still looking #instaworthy as you want to be modeling not photobombing.
Then comes shutter speed. This function affects the amount of light flowing into your camera, so you’ve got to keep it relatively high when shooting in bright situations, and low when in darker settings like indoor restaurants and cafes.
Commit this to memory!
Lastly, you’ve got to zoom in the maximum level like a professional stalker. This is to ensure maximum usage of your wide aperture. Anything less is like buying a plate of Eggs Benedicts and not getting them drenched in creamy hollandaise sauce. Your wallet (and tummy) won’t thank you for that.
Once your camera features are set, you’re now armed with the knowledge and power to embark on your journey of food photography!
With an award-winning camera like SONY’s Cyber-shot™ DSC-RX100M4, you can now take your Instagram food game to greater heights and hearts with all those mouth-watering food shots.
The world is your oyster!
From now till 26th June, enjoy a special Mid Year promotion for selected RX100 Series Models. Find out more about this promotion here or check our their stores for more!
Win SONY’s Cyber-shot™ DSC-RX100M4 worth S$1,399!
CONTEST HAS BEEN EXTENDED TILL 30TH JUNE!
Take part in our simple contest and you just might be walking away with your very own SONY compact camera!
Follow these simple steps to win:
1. Like and share THIS post by 22nd June 30th June
2. Tell us which key function of SONY’s Cyber-shot™ DSC-RX100M4 can help you in your photography
1 Lucky winner will win SONY’s Cyber-shot™ DSC-RX100M4 (worth S$1,399)!
Update on 10 March 2017: This contest has ended.
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