One of the things I struggle with on this blog is food photography. I mean, there are people who do it so much better. (Particularly Deb and Matt, to name two.) And I don't have any fancy-schmancy equipment, or good lighting, or even white plates. But like cooking, photography is a science-art blend that benefits from a lot of experimentation, and you learn as you go. Witness the three shots I got of just this one plate of pot roast and accompanying vegetables. (Oh, how I love pot roast, especially as it gets colder. SO GOOD.)
Anyway, here's how most of us would start: stand over the plate, aim down. Maybe use the flash, maybe don't. Hit it head on. Bam!
Craptastic. Okay. Let's get closer so the empty spaces aren't so obvious, and get a better angle so the elements don't seem completely frightened of each other. How about this one?
Better... except for that shadow. Nice job, Giant Head Photographer. Back away and zoom. Let's try again:
I'd consider that quite an improvement. And it's just experimentation, trying to imitate what you've seen elsewhere. And now, I want to go make pot roast.