Photo Critique: Food Photography

In this photography critique, recorded LIVE, Karl reviews members’ food images, offering constructive criticism and demonstrating simple post-production tips to improve their impact.

Even if you didn't submit, you’ll learn a lot by watching how Karl enhances each image.

In this class:

  • Lighting techniques for food photography
  • Composition tips for food photography
  • Post-production techniques for food photography

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Gary Stasiuk

    I thought the criticism was fair. Next food critique I’ll certainly have some work ready. Karl.. you obviously never eat Kale.. at least twice you called it cabbage in those images…lol. One question rolling around my head when I’m shooting food is the degree of focus drop off, particularly on background elements. There were a few images in this lot that had quite blurry background elements, but it didn’t trigger any discussion. I’m of a mind that if the focus loses identity, then the focus bokha because a design element itself and the food acting as supporting cast loses something. Reign it in, or does it matter?

  2. Steve Elliott

    Hi Karl,

    I appreciate your critique. I found it very fair.
    The image I sent in were the butter tarts.
    I have an Eizo monitor which I calibrate often. It surprised me to see that the color temperature was so different from what I sent in. Do you have any advice?

    Steve Elliott

    1. Hi Steve, it may be that our live feed was running a little over saturated, we had some other members mention the same thing so we’ve adjusted the settings on the live desk to reduce saturation, so see how it looks on the next show. If you’re using an Eizo (especially if it’s a self calibrating) then you should be fine.

  3. Hello Karl and Team, about the one light shot critique, does a mirror or any panel reflecting the single source of light count as a second one?

  4. thanks for your critique, Karl…. my appreciated. My pic was the one with feet and spaghetti. I’ll follow your suggestions about the light positions and yes, you’re definitely right about the fact that maybe it’s not strictly food photography… I’m also trying something different about this genre cuz I realise that it’s often very difficult to know who made a photo. I mean… they often look all taken by the same photographer. Anyway… thanks again. Have a nice weekend.

  5. Alica

    Thank you so much for your feedback. I am very happy you like the carrots, it’s one of my favorite photos I have taken.

  6. Jens Mueller

    Thank you very much for your critique on my image! I’m hoping that exotic fruit specialist Emma could solve this one! 😄
    This most expensive fruit on the planet has been eaten by me after this 😉
    I understand and agree that it is not a typical food shot, and I’m glad to hear that you like it!

  7. Hi, Karl! First of all thanks a lot for your critique and work! It was so interesting!:)
    My photo it was a big dumpling on the black stones.
    I fully agree with your comments! But I suppose that it was problem with my monitor, although I use MacBook Pro 2020. And I was sure that I would never have problems with color and light.
    What else I would be interested to understand, how my idea of this composition is good for food photography, is it normal or is it a very low level of photography?
    As for the steam, I tried to use real steam, but it was very hard to see in the background.
    Once again, thank you so much and good luck:)!

  8. Marta

    Hi Karl! Thank you for your constructive critique. I’ve just been wondering why my picture (the one with mushroom stroganoff pasta on blue wood) looks so orange and overly saturated during the live stream when in fact it is very mellow and serene in light and colour. I was extra careful to not oversaturate this time and before you ask, I calibrate my screen regularly. Perhaps I exported it wrong for this purpose? I hope you or someone from your team can clear this up for me.


    1. DavidMorgan

      Hi Marta, that’s interesting because I thought the same about mine (the poached egg one that Karl panned😳). The bread and wooden baseboard looked quite orange on the stream, not on anything else I’ve viewed it on. Perhaps it’s a quirk of the streaming process.

      1. Marta

        Oh yeah, that’s right, I remember your picture. It did indeed seem too orange. Maybe you’re right, it could be the streaming, that’s a shame though.

    2. Hi Marta, it didn’t look too bad on my screen. It may be that the live feed exaggerated the picture.

  9. This is my spaghetti arrabiata photograph. I would be very happy If you could share your thoughts about this image and perhaps say how could I improve for the future. Thank you

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