Same peanut butter pie, but I took this picture with my portable mini-studio. Much better! It’s not natural light, but I guess it’s the next best thing.
After taking my first photography class, I feel like all I want to do is cook and bake. I just want to create beautiful food and then take pictures of it. Here’s the problem. There is this little thing called “work” getting in my way AND it’s report card time.
I made this pie on Sunday evening, with intentions of practicing my food staging. Then, I got sleepy and a little lazy. When I finally got around to taking pictures of my pie, I didn’t really feel like setting up a little vignette. So, the picture is just pie. No fancy angles. Nothing in the background. Just pie. It’s dark, by the time I get home from work. To make up for the lack of light, I broke out my lights and box. I love this little photography toy! It was a Christmas present from my mother-in-law and it has been so much fun! It makes taking photos as easy as pie.
I can’t even begin to tell you what a fun Saturday I had! I took a food photography class in Seattle and learned SO MUCH. For those of you who know me well, you know that driving myself to the “big city” is a very rare event. Well, I did it! All by myself. In the pouring rain. Just me and my GPS. It was soooooo worth it! My main goal was to learn more about taking great pictures. Settings on my camera and lighting issues are still areas that don’t come naturally to me. I thought this would be a good way to learn and practice at the same time. My secondary goal was to learn about food styling. When I take pictures, I take a cookie, plunk in on a plate, and take a picture. I know there is more to it than that, so having someone teach me how to style food was a gift!
As I’ve said before, I’m not an adventurous eater, so I didn’t actually eat too many of these things. We had a professional chef create a few things for us to photograph. Then we were given the run of the prop shelves. We chose our own linens, plates, bowls, etc. Clare, our instructor, came around and helped us with our questions and gave pointers. We played with things like mirrors and reflectors to bounce light back onto the food.
She also showed us how to prop up different backgrounds, when dealing with ugly backgrounds at home.
At the end, each participant shared a few of their favorite photos from the day. Then she gave us feedback on things that work and things that don’t. It was so helpful to hear from someone with an eye for this stuff!
This was one of my favorites. It’s so simple, but the colors and lighting really make a beautiful picture. The top piece of information I learned was that natural light is best. She didn’t even have the overhead lights on in the room. We just put our food on a table by the window. I’m not lucky enough to have a wall of windows in my house, but boy does natural light make a difference! My second favorite tip is to take your lens off of auto focus when you are shooting food. I didn’t think I’d like that, but the difference in picture quality was amazing.
Friends, be prepared for some amazing food pics coming your way! I’ve learned a lot and now it’s time to practice. Hmmm…. I hear some peanut butter calling my name. Off to make a peanut butter pie!
If you’re in the area and want to check out Clare’s workshops, here is the link.
Whew! We made it through the Holidays! I took some time to finish a few projects, and had a great time with my hubby and kids. We baked, cooked, and ate way too much, but who didn’t?
Our biggest accomplishment of the holiday season was refinishing our kitchen cabinets. My hubby wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of painting the cabinets, but agreed to help me strip and restain the cabinets in a deep dark brown. I’m in love with the new look. (I’ll share more on the whole process later. It was much easier that I thought it would be.)
I’ve also been playing around with my new photography toy. It’s a light box with lamps. My mom is starting an Etsy shop with BEAUTIFUL wool, felted, handbags. I have a boat load of them to photograph and post in her Etsy shop.
You’ll have to wait a few more days to find out the details about these bags. I know you are going to LOVE them!
Since I had the light box all set up, I had a great time playing around with my camera. It feels like we have about ten minutes of light in the day. With my new light box, I can take pictures even when it’s dark outside.
I hope you’ve had a productive and restful Holiday season. I’m ready to take on a few new projects and hit the gym again.
Happy New Year!
Here is a link that tells you the secret ingredients for photos like these.
Cheryl also listed a few links in this post.
Ok, friends. I have learned so much about my camera since last spring. Now I need to learn about Photoshop, but there is one part of photoshop that I’m not sure I can actually learn. Can you learn to see photos with an artist’s eye? I play around with my photos and I don’t know which actually looks better.
Take my apple pics, for example. The photo on the right was taken on a sunny day, with the flash turned off. I felt like the picture was a little yellow. So I played with coloring a little in Photoshop. I came up with the photo on the left, but then I didn’t know if it was better. It kind of looks washed out to me. What do you think? Do you use Photoshop? How do you tell if something actually looks better or worse? Sometimes I think I over-do things when I’m playing around with the tools in Photoshop.
I’ve been learning a lot about photography over the summer. I reread Scott Kelby’s books, learned a bit online, and found some great resources to help me get from Auto mode to Manual mode. I now know what all of those little setting do on my camera. I know the difference between the P setting and AV setting, although I’ll admit that I still have to think about it. I’m still learning, so when I’m ready to take a photo, I have to think about what the setting does. If I want to take a quick picture, I still go right back to the little green box.
Last week, when we went to my cousin’s farm, I had the chance to play around with my camera a little. I took my camera off of Auto mode and really spent some time thinking about what I was doing. I waited for perfect lighting, played around with the settings, and even learned how to adjust add more light to the photo with that little number line thingy. (Ok, that’s not the technical term but I’m being lazy and don’t want to look up the real name for it.)
Here are a few pictures I took on our Farm-cation (that’s the term we use for our vacation to my cousin’s farm).
I’d show you more pictures of my kids in the straw bales at sunset, but some freak-o stalker could be reading this. You’re thinking that’s crazy, but I know all you bloggy mamas are thinking the EXACT SAME THING, so don’t make fun of me.
We just got back from a week long vacation on the Oregon coast. We spent most of our time in Seaside. My mother-in-law rents a house there every year and we head down the coast with my MIL and hubby’s sister and her family. It’s always one of the best weeks of the summer.
I just uploaded the 651 pictures I took on vacation. I won’t make you look at all of them, but here’s a collage of a few pieces.
Of course my favorite pictures include my kids. I’ll be making a Shutterfly book out of those soon!