A Cook's Diary

How to photograph food: dumplings

How to photograph food: dumplings

Dumplings have got to be among the most interesting food items to photograph. Dumpling photos are all over the web — some as integral parts of a recipe; others, taken in restaurants. What makes a dumpling photo better than others? What is the best perspective? Macro? Panoramic? Dynamic? Ethereal?

For a food blogger, the first thing to consider is context. Since the photo will be the visual component of a blog post, you have to ask what the blog post will be about. After that, it is easy to determine how the photos will be taken.

For instance, are you trying to show the details of the pleating of the dumplings? Chinese chefs pride themselves on how many pleats they can form when sealing a dumpling. Is that what you’re trying to show? Is it the thinness and transparency of the wrapper?

How to photograph food: dumplings

Or are you illustrating the variety of dumplings you ordered?

How to photograph food: dumplings

Or, perhaps, are you trying to prove good quality by showing that the dumpling has a generous amount of filling rather than fifty per cent wrapping?

In short, there really are no rules. It depends on how the photo is used. If the photo accomplishes the intention to illustrate the point in the accompanying text, then it is good.

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