Links to my Photography Tips:
- Enhancing a sunrise or sunset in Photoshop
- Photographs using a macro lens
- How to create a tilt-shift effect in photoshop
- Photographs using tilt-shift
- Know your rights as a Photographer.
- F-Stops, Apertures and Depth of Field, oh my!
- Natural Light Vs. Artificial Light
- Dealing with Photo Rejections and Lack of Support
1) What kind of camera do you use?
Nikon D3100. It is a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera. I had to retire my old Nikon D50 so I decided to upgrade. I would highly recommend this model for anyone interested in food photography, or photography in general, who are on a budget. It’s easy to carry, lightweight, and has a great lens included in the package. I use the 18-55 mm lens that was included with MY camera for all my shots. I heard Canon makes some great SLRs too, but I haven’t ever bought a Canon. No particular reason, except that I find that Nikon shots are generally warmer in color, and Canon shots are a bit on the cooler side. And I like my food to look warm and happy.
2) How do you take such awesome pictures?
I like this question because it makes me feel good. :) For my food photos, my secret is natural lighting. I love it. And I’m extremely lucky to have an apartment with a south facing window in my kitchen!
Just don’t shoot the food with the sun DIRECTLY in back of the food, unless you know what you’re doing. You’ll just get backlighting. And don’t shoot standing directly in front of the sun, your pictures will be dark. At home, set some food up on the center of your table. Shoot at every angle possible. See where your best lighting is, and at what time of day.
3) Doesn’t your camera get all dirty? Do you wash your hands after every single shot? Isn’t what you’re doing a hassle?
My camera is so filthy that bacteria are growing an advanced civilization on my lens, which they christened the ‘Holy Eye of Splendor’. I make sure to NEVER wash my hands, especially after food preparation, going to the bathroom, cleaning kitty litter, shaking hands and sneezing. It’s always such a hassle to do this blog and if someone wasn’t forcing me at gunpoint to post every day I wouldn’t be doing it at all. Come on, these are the weirdest questions ever.
4) How much money do you make on your blog?
I should answer, none of your damn business, because this is being asked by people who are nosy and not in the blogging community. People who blog specifically to make big bucks when they start out in the beginning tend not to have honest, high quality sites from what I’ve seen. People know when they’re being ‘bought’ when visiting a poor quality website.
I rather answer, that if you blog about something you love, you will form a nice, cozy niche, and good things will come your way. Whether it’s money, or people to connect with.
5) Why are all your photos watermarked? Can I use your recipe/post/photo on my website?
It would be great if I didn’t have to use watermarks, and people respected other people’s possessions. But that society doesn’t exist. The watermarks are stamped on each photo for a reason – so people can’t steal and claim as their own. It cannot be removed for any purposes.
Please email me for permission before going on to use something from my website. This site is copyrighted.
I will generally allow people to post recipes (with credit given to me) or photos (with watermarks) if it is for non-commercial, non-profit use. But PLEASE, ask me first.
If you expect to use a photo for commercial use, I will expect compensation (aka money). If money isn’t an option, then the answer is definitely no, you cannot use my photos.
Myths/Pet Peeves about Photography
Image taken from a ‘shitty’ camera, May 2000.
Years ago, I once knew a guy who exclaimed, “I can’t believe you took that great photo with such a shitty camera!” He was talking about my precious, non-digital, 35mm manual Nikon. Not even an automatic. I wanted to slap him in the face. You can take great photos with any camera. You just have to know how. Practice!
Another pet peeve of mine is how people think a more expensive camera can make them a better photographer. I knew people who invested thousands of dollars in photography equipment. They just clicked, clicked, clicked, barely paying attention to the subject matter, because they thought the camera, flash, etc. would do the job for them. It doesn’t work that way, you’ll be shooting 100 images before you get 1 good image. The best photos require the least touching up. It’s true.
When I started taking pictures of my food I played around in Photoshop to see how I could better enhance my images. But I realized what you shoot is basically what you get, and very little Photoshop retouching should be required. I’ll be going into this with more detail later on, and I’ll show some before and after shots, and my favorite simple retouching tips.
The most important thing YOU should be concentrating on is sharp focus. If you shoot a blurry image, it’s pretty much a goner.
Lastly, megapixels aren’t an issue with photography anymore. I’ve been telling people again and again that anything over 6 MP is a waste. ESPECIALLY if you’re shooting web quality photos. I can get a decent, 16×20 photo processed from my 6 megapixel DSLR camera. High megapixels, to me, just slow down the camera’s processor, and doesn’t make a darn bit of difference. The human eye cannot see the difference between 3 MP versus 6 MP. Higher MP does NOT make it a better quality image. I’ll go into this some more later on, too.