Want to Take Better Pictures of Food? Ditch the Flash

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Last week we brought you a gallery of some of the absolute worst food photography, but what good is criticism without a few tips on how to get it done right.  Andrew Scrivani of the New York Times has some great tips for getting a good shot of food.  First and foremost, he says, don't use flash.

The overuse of flash in any kind of photography can be detrimental, but it's particularly bad with food.  "The flash in most point-and-shoot cameras is your worst enemy for shooting food," writes Scrivani.  Shooting in natural light will keep your food colorful and give it depth.  Flat food is bad looking food.

You don't want direct sunlight though.  If you're shooting outside or in front of a window, you'll want to use a simple white card or a piece of paper to bounce and soften the light.  When indoors, make sure your light sources are as bright as they can be and use a tripod or flat surface so you don't blur your picture.

Good lighting is vital to good photography, but so is the subject.  Making sure you've got well arranged food is essential.  As Scrivani says, "Every imperfection is magnified under the camera. Don't overfill the plate. Smaller is better."