Photograph Your Food Without Being A Jerk

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Digital photography has been around long enough to become established as a dominant means of using the medium.  The resolution is still an issue and the public are never told how great the basic film resolution versus digital photograph actually is but that is slowly changing and cellphone cameras will soon have 5 megapixel and basic digital cameras about 15 megapixels.  What is significant about all of this? Digital photography is free which makes it an excellent way to document things.  Any basic digital photography book will teach you alternate uses for a Dig camera besides casual photography.  Documenting for the purpose of having a record of something is a very strong use for this tool and anyone involved or interested in food sooner or later should make a habit of documenting items, places and so on.  I learned a good deal from reading online to learn to take good digital photos using a cellphone and a little education goes a long way toward doing the same for food photography.

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from Lifehacker by Kevin Purdy

When the dish you ordered arrives beautifully arranged and absolutely glistening with flavor, it can be hard not to turn into a restaurant shutterbug. Chow.com's Table Manners column suggests practical limits on how far one indulges their foodie photo fetish.

Photo by rick.

Well-shot photographs of interesting food can killer viral marketing for restaurants, and so the owners usually don't mind a little discrete photographic indulgence. What irks them is when it slows down service, or bothers other guests. Other than keeping the Table Manners' column horror stories in mind as reference points (like never leaving a reservation because you forgot your camera), here are a few quick etiquette points:

First, don't take multiple shots from multiple angles, kneel on the banquette, or rearrange the table. Jeffrey Porter, cowriter of the blog Drink Eat Love, says he limits himself to "four or five shots." Besides creating an unnecessary disturbance, your dinner might get cold …

Forgo the flash, as Chowhounds advise. At (Chicago restaurant) Alinea, when diners have complained about other parties' obsessive photography, it's the flash that has bothered them. (Also, says Dang, it washes out the food.)

I try to generally follow these rules in my own food-geek excursions, though "multiple angles" probably does seem annoying to my table mates. What are your own limits on how far you'll go, or you'll allow, to get a great food shot? Share the stories in the comments.

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