Perfecting the 3/4s shot, whereby you see both the side and top but keeping the elements in perspective.

Perfecting the 3/4s shot, whereby you see both the side and top but keeping the elements in perspective.

Shooting 3/4s

This is a helpful angle to master, it’s really good in public places if you are planning to shoot your coffee, or meal in restaurants and cafes. Usually the location background is a natural part of the image, unlike shooting in your home and seeing the radiator or appliances or other distractions in the background.

It’s the go to shot if you want to show a bit of the side of something and the top, like a decorated cake with a slice removed, or a pot of stew, you can see the depth and interior but also what the top looks like. It’s in between an overhead and a head on shot.

The problem with this shot is getting the angle just right, tall glasses or bottles can distort, having large items closer to the lens may be out of focus and look out of proportion to the rest of the image and detract from the main subject or image story.

 The 3/4s shot works so well on location, because you can incorporate the surroundings which tell the story for you. It sets the scene, the viewer can see the style, atmosphere, decor AND the food all in one image.

The 3/4s shot works so well on location, because you can incorporate the surroundings which tell the story for you. It sets the scene, the viewer can see the style, atmosphere, decor AND the food all in one image.

 3/4s close up of the food. Because of how restaurants plate food it generally looks better and makes more sense photographed 3/4s.  Even though this shot is more focused on the food, the two place settings, silver salt and pepper pots, imply a restaurant setting and atmosphere.

3/4s close up of the food. Because of how restaurants plate food it generally looks better and makes more sense photographed 3/4s. Even though this shot is more focused on the food, the two place settings, silver salt and pepper pots, imply a restaurant setting and atmosphere.

 Dessert! Desserts are often both beautiful from the side and the top, mastering the 3/4 angle will mean capturing both in one image.

Dessert! Desserts are often both beautiful from the side and the top, mastering the 3/4 angle will mean capturing both in one image.

Comfort Make It Tonight Sardine Tomato Spaghetti_01.jpg
Strawberry Tart_02.JPG

When food is piled high like this mound of spaghetti or this pyramid of strawberries, shooting overhead is not going to give you the full story, you won’t see the depth or fullness of each dish, nor would you get a good idea of pastry detail in the strawberry tart. Head on wouldn’t work for the spaghetti because you’d mainly see the black side of the pan and whilst the strawberries could be head on it would be much harder to incorporate the second tart plus the balsamic they look far more inviting, sumptuous and accessible from this angle.

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