I can definitely use some advice from your eGullet shutterbugs. I've been following this thread closely, reading up on food photography on the web, and Prawncrackers gave me some good tips in the Dinner thread.
I have Leica P&S - the D-Lux 4, which is really a more expensive Panasonic Lumix from a couple years ago. I shoot in RAW, in Aperture priority, usually f2.0-3.5, +2 sharpness, +2 contrast, +2 saturation, noise reduction -1. I aim to shoot in 100-200 ISO and to keep the shutter speed at 1/60, keep the camera as steady as possible (I don't have a tripod). I shoot in 4:3 mode for food.
It's almost always dark out when I take food pictures, and the best source of light is directly underneath an under-cabinet halogen lamp above my dish-drying rack. I set the white balance on the camera to AWB or to Halogen, and then correct in Photoshop.
Below is first the picture of last night's pasta puttanesca that I posted on the Dinner thread, and then a version from this morning. Both of them I post-processed in Photoshop - mainly by using Gaussian blur on the dishrack in the background. The second one has been cropped more tightly and has a bit more saturation added in Photoshop, and is sized to 516 px width in 72 dpi, which seems to be the eGullet default thread width (otherwise the board software does additional resizing, which might result in image degradation - I'm not sure).
I didn't do a whole lot to the white balance or the colors in either one. I tried Color Balance in the second one, but none of the sliders seemed to have a huge effect on the overwhelmingly warm, yellow effect. Maybe I should have tried correcting WB first.
Any and all criticisms gladly received, from equipment to presentation of the food to composition to post-processing. I want to learn.
[edit: taking note on the comments about focal length above, I zoomed in a bit to take the photo. I don't know how close I got. The lens is 24-60mm 35 equivalent, but in reality 5-12mm, so I think shallow depth of focus is impossible, but maybe the photos look less distorted to you professionals if they're less wide-angle?
Edited by patrickamory, 08 January 2012 - 12:50 PM.