Hello all -- this would be my first post to this forum. I've been lurking for a couple of weeks after finding it and finally decided to join because I've found some valuable threads and think you all might be able to help me out.
I write a food blog where about 95% of my content are local restaurant reviews. I photodocument my meals and use the resulting images to walk my readers from beginning to end. While I started out using my cellphone camera (mostly because it was convenient and I always had it on me), I realized fairly soon that given the extreme low lighting in some restaurants, I was limited in what I could do with it.
I recently upgraded to a Canon Powershot G12 and have been working very hard at composing the best shot possible given the ten seconds or so that I have when the plate is set down in front of me. I tend to avoid flash photography if at all possible, mostly to avoid annoying other patrons. I think my photographs have improved dramatically.
My dilemma stems from the fact that even with a "properly" exposed photograph, because the ambient lighting is so low, the pictures come out dark. I have no problem lightening them slightly in post, but I am questioning whether to leave them darker so that they are a more accurate representation of my dining experience or go ahead and lighten them to the point where they really pop, but no longer reflect what the food looked like in the restaurant.
I've included three photos from a recent restaurant opening here in Cleveland. I like each of the photos, and have lightened each just slightly, but I am torn which way to proceed. I custom white balanced against the white cloth napkin.
Softened Butter in a Glass Ramekin
Seared Scallops over Celery Root Puree with Apple Salad
Dark Chocolate Mouse with Dried Cherries and Parmesan Tuilles
Any feedback on either the light issue or anything else you notice about my photos would definitely be appreciated.