Foodgawker is fussy! Or are they?
Lighting is everything!
How did I improve the light?
- Changed bulbs from 5500K to 4000K, giving more warmth to the photos.
- Dedicated the lighting, meaning I don’t mix artificial and natural light. I use one or the other and when using artificial I void my area from all natural light as they tend to fight each other.
- Remember that household lighting can cast different hues and shadows as well, so turn them off.
- Lowered the brightness of my monitor to just under the halfway point, so when I’m editing the exposure I am seeing a more realistic version of what others would see and it forces me to increase the exposure.
- When I feel the exposure is about right, I increase it at least 10-20% because what I’m seeing on my screen WILL be different from what others see. It helps to compensate for the difference between different screen resolutions and qualities.
- When trying to shoot a more “moody” photo, I isolate the food and increase exposure on only that area, making sure the focused food is well lit.
- Never use a flash.
- Don’t be afraid to edit a photo and resubmit it!
To me, the first photo above has a histogram that looks in balance and that was the photo I chose to submit. It was rejected, so I bumped up the exposure on the second photo and it was accepted. Have a look at the two photos side by side below. Even though the second histogram is pushed to the right with more exposure, the exposure difference in visual terms is very minimal. However, in this case, it was enough for the photo to be accepted. It also goes to show that pushing that exposure can make the difference.
Declined (low lighting/underexposed) Accepted
- Have the front edge of the serving dish in the photo (don’t cut it off).
- They like downward photos.
- Too close can be a problem.
- Stick with traditional angles.
- Allow room around your photo for the 1×1 crop.
At the End of the Day
In the end, your photos are YOURS, and if they meet the vision you’re after and they’re pleasing to you, then don’t let any website or person tell you otherwise, and certainly don’t take it personally. But don’t be afraid to learn as I have. Also, remember that Foodgawker isn’t the only food photo website, below are a few others to consider.
- Healthy Aperture
- Foodie Portal
- Kitchen Thyme
BLOG: Compelled to Cook