Food Photography Tips By ieatishootipost Blogger, Dr Leslie Tay

You may know him as one of Singapore’s top local bloggers in the food scene with a popular blog at But besides tasting and commenting on food, Dr Leslie Tay is also heavily into food photography and he loves to take pictures of his meals – especially when it comes to hawker foods.

Dr Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost.

Dr Leslie Tay of ieatishootipos

In fact, this 44-year-old medical doctor and blogger is into food photography so much that he can take up to 50 photos of a single dish before he gets round to eating it – just so that he can get a few good ones.

Dr Tay says that food photography is one of the best types of photography, because you can get lots of practice with it. This is because you eat three meals a day – thus giving you three opportunities to practise your skills on a daily basis. This is unlike say, landscape or portrait photography, where you may not be able to get your subjects so frequently.

The doctor, who also co-hosts the 8 Days Eat TV programme on MediaCorp’s Channel 5, shared some basic tips on photography during a recent seminar organised by 8 Days on “Cooking Made Easy.

Some of his more interesting tips were:

 Do Not Use Flash Photography

Using flash (left) versus no flash (right).

Using flash (left) versus no flash (right).

Dr Tay recommends that you do not use flash when taking pictures of food. This is because usage of flash can make the photograph look really flat. There is a lot more texture and depth when you don’t use it.

In low light situations, such as at night, you can instead adjust the aperture and shutter speed of your camera to increase the amount of lighting that goes into the camera. This will definitely improve the quality of your photos.

 Use The Rule of Thirds

Composition and the rule of thirds.

Composition and the rule of thirds.

This is one of the basic rules in photography. According to Dr Tay, whenever you take photos, the subject of the photograph should not be right in the centre of the frame.

Instead, you should divide the camera frame into a 3×3 grid and use this imaginary picture to position and angle your photo appropriately.

 Focus on The Point of Interest

Have a specific point of interest.

Have a specific point of interest.

For food photography, try to make the main focus of your dish on something that is interesting. For example, if you are taking a picture of a bowl of abalone soup, dig into the soup and make sure the abalone pieces can be seen – before you even take a shot. There is no point in taking a photo, if there is no main focus.

Use Side Lighting

The lighting is important in a photo, even if you are taking a simple dish of hawker food. It can make the different between whether the dish looks yummy or unappetising.

Do not simply take a picture at your seat and assume that it is good enough. Try to go around the table in search of a spot where lighting is the best. Side lighting usually creates the best photos rather than those from the back or front. Lighting from these positions tend to make a photo look quite flat.

An interview with ieatishootipost Dr Leslie Tay

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