In the field of food photography it is really important to show and stress the qualities of the products and ingredients, as we have to explain through the sense of sight something that the viewer of our photo can not perceive with the sense of flavor. That’s why we need to take care of every detail of the food we are portraying: we have to show the textures and the qualities as they are.
An appropriate tool to fulfill this difficult aim is a macro lens. The main advantage this kind of lens can offer is the fact that it allows the photographer to take close-ups and to portray full-size objects, that is, the object we are taking a picture of will be projected on the sensor of our camera at its full size. Everything will be much clearer after this example: a 1:1 scale macro lens, as the one we mainly use in 365mm studio, allows the reproduction of an 8mm coffee grain to take exactly 8mm on the sensor of our camera at the closest focusing distance. This is the key of the macro lenses: an image which has been taken with a macro lens will reveal details of the object that the human eye would ignore in regular conditions, such as the texture of a fruit ot the tiny wrinkles that our skins describe. That’s why, when a client asked us for a series of pictures that helped him show the smell of a bunch of ingredients we decided to take them with our 100mm 2.8 USM Canon macro lens.
It is worth mentioning that a macro lens is not easy to use, as you need to be very aware of how to increase and decrease the depth of field and take much care of the light you use. Despite the difficulties it presents, it allows you to get some really interesting effects, such as the bokeh, which is that effect we can observe in some photos where the unfocused objects on the background look like color stains, practically like watercolours, as you can see in this picture:
As Robert Capa once said: “if your photos are not good enough it means you weren’t close enough”.May the macro force be with you!