Some photographs are trickier than others, and capturing steam is a challenge.
It’s important to have a fast shutter speed as steam dissipates quickly, but that comes with a cost; opening and closing the shutter fast cuts down on the amount of light entering the camera, so you must compensate.
A high F stop (in this case 2.8) allows more light into the frame. This then shortens the depth at which the camera will give a clear picture. A blurred background can be beautiful and dreamy, but if you want your subject sharp, you have to focus correctly. Tethering to you computer will help this, but if not, zoom in on your photo to make sure the important elements are in focus.
There is also ISO to consider. An iso of 1000 will let light into the camera, but it also causes more noise (grain) in your picture. Anything up to 400 should be fine, depending on your camera (some will go much higher). Artifical light will help, particualrly if it is a dull day. I was lucky enough to get away with an ISO of 250 here.
Once you have your settings, consider your composition. You won't have much time to fuss about as the food or liquid needs to be very hot to create steam. Steam is white, but not very dense, so a plain background, preferably dark will help emphasize it. Here the heat was trapped in the cooking pot, and escaped in beatiful plumes when the lid was lifted. That was the moment to capture. The longer the process goes on, the less steam will be produced due to natual cooling. I like to think the browning inside the pot gives the frame a lovely natural, rustic feel, but really it reflects the degree to which the contents had to be heated.
This may sound technical, but with practice this all becomes a natural - like learning which pedals to use driving a car.
Photography is skill that takes practice, patience and time. If you love beautiful photos and want to create them, first you must understand how to use your camera effectively. The results are just so rewarding.
You can probably tell I enjoy both photographing and teaching photography. Love to hear from you if you want someone to take beautiful creative photos of your food brand, or teach you how to master the skill.
A Wedding Breakfast