The Art of Blog Photography

As your probably thinking, the above photograph lacks a certain, how shall we say, artistic quality. Welcome to my world of the blog photographer.

The above picture was one of the very shots that I came home from our dinner at the Ocean Club. In fact, this one was one of the better pictures. On my blog, posting a good picture along with the article is really important to me and I spend a lot of time in what would normally be called post production to correct images to make them as good as they can be. I ended up spending about 45 to 60 minutes with my photo editing software on the above picture and ended up with this one:

Admittedly not a great picture but I think it was quite a bit better that the original.

I’ve found that I am forced to shoot pictures in restaurants without a flash as it is pretty much impossible to get a good picture at close distances with a flash. Most of them end up like this one. Completely blown out and over-exposed and virtually unrecoverable even with photo-editing software:

Other pictures require less editing for exposure but more to improve the composition. The following before and after pictures show the kinds of changes that I usually have to make the improve a picture. In this example, I really just removed a bunch of the extra sections of the picture to draw the maximum focus to the restaurant’s sign.

The resolution of the pictures on my blog have gone through several changes over the past two years. My early postings used a relatively smaller picture as I wanted to keep the sizes of the images small to make the web pages load faster.

Stage 1: image size 300×225 pixels

As I became more knowledgeable and learned new techniques with my photo editing software, I found that I could keep the same image size but increase the image resolution. I went through one more step before settling on the current image resolution of 475×355 pixels.

Stage 2: image size 420×315 pixels

Stage 3 (present): image size 475×355 pixels

While I’m at home I can retake as many pictures as I need until I get the perfect picture. In general, pictures taken of food or ingredients are taken on my bread board as the lighting by my kitchen window usually result in well exposed pictures (like this one) that require almost no changes other than cropping:

Overall, I’ve found that I’m relying more and more on my photo-editing skills due to the regularity of returning home from a dimly lit restaurant with underexposed (dark) pictures. I see this as unavoidable but at the end of the day I believe that a good picture is a critical part to posting an interesting blog article.



  • Mileta

    Yes, it is very tricky to get a good picture in the restaurant. The best results I got so far are by using as fast lens as I can (50mmm/1.4) and to push ISO up. Light shows in clubs usually don’t help. Sometimes I had to wait patiently for couple minutes to get the light beam going over your beautiful meal. Just don’t show to your wife that you keep your camera below the table and that you are not focused on the conversation ;-))). Cheers.

  • Baden

    The new digital camera that I have been using for the past few months is great in that it is very portable (fits in my pocket easily) but is a bit lacking in low light situations – which pretty much means most restaurants.

    I know what you mean by being distracted at the table looking at the camera. For every one picture that I post I usually take at least 2-3. Luckily Barb has grown quite tolerant of my photography shenanigans over the years. 😉