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Tips & Tutorials >> All Tips & Tutorials

Applying Creative Filters to Artsy Food Photography


You may not utilise creative filters for your paid photography projects that much, but they can be really fun when you have some free time to experiment! This time we put the spotlight on three unique filters: Soft Focus, Art Bold and Fisheye effect, to show you how we creatively experimented with enhancing food photography. All images are shot with Canon EOS 850D.

Soft Focus

Soft Focus filter adds a slight off-focus effect that brings an ethereal charm to the image. To complement the aesthetic further, we used a light coloured backdrop and high-angled lighting setup to resemble rays shining down on the subject. We also experimented with colourful food such as sugar biscuits and a fizzy cocktail with fruits. The air bubbles in the fizzy cocktail sparkled under the lighting, while the vignette effect gave it a halo-like effect.

Our suggestion for how you can take this concept further is to try water droplet sparkles on food and see how it turns out!

Art Bold

A filter made to resemble paintings, be sure to complement it with a still life-like set design to fully realise your creative food styling ideas. We recommend working with vivid-coloured food for this effect to pop. Otherwise, you can always cheat your way by increasing the colour saturation within your Canon Camera settings or utilise elements with complementary colours. For this shot, we placed plastic forks and coloured candy strips on a mirror that reflected the clear blue sky. This gave an interesting perspective with the subjects’ reflections, while the colours were further enhanced with the filter and white elements. Looks like wallpaper, no?

If you plan to experiment with this filter, we suggest food such as the Red Delicious apple for its waxy, red exterior, and marbled cakes or anything that has gelatin in it (gummy bears, coloured jellies etc.). 


The first thing to note with Fisheye effect is that it distorts your subject. With that, it is pretty impossible to use the Fisheye effect to create beautiful, appetising food images that will entice the viewers to eat. On the other hand, Fisheye effect also warps focus onto the central area of your subject. This can come in handy for highlighting often-overlooked areas of food items. 

For this series, we utilised the invisible black backdrop method to keep the overall look clean. We also chose to inject subjects often portrayed in their more-appetising forms with a grisly appeal. The subjects used are a sliced capsicum with seeds, half-cut pumpkin and unseeded pomegranate. This resulted in a series of mysterious-almost-twisted looking imagery that detached the subject’s original identity and gave it a spookier personality. Other subjects you can try are figs, jackfruits, soursop and mutated berries! 

Don’t let this article dictate what you should experiment on! There are so many ways to play around with the Creative Filters available and it is up to you to realise your food photography concept. The pointers listed above are merely a starting point to supplement you with some ideas, but you should never limit it to just the three above. Go on and try it out!

For similar articles:
Taking Dramatic Food Photos in Chiaroscuro Style
3 Composition & Styling Techniques for Food Photography
5 Ways To Up Your #Foodstagram Game