Camp Blogaway Recap Pt. 2-Photo SOS for Challenged Food Bloggers, Etc.
The ever genial Art Ramirez
The second day of Camp Blogaway was largely about photos, with a bit of food styling and recipe writing, for good measure.
Art Ramirez, photography instructor extraordinaire, opened his presentation by asking “how many of you have read your camera’s manual?” A few hands went up. The second, more to the point question, “how many of you understand what you read?” Yeah!
He then launched in to a time of great, easy to implement tips for the camera challenged (like me). The 3 top tips-
1) Take your camera off auto-“you can’t trust the camera to be smart”. Auto is "only for things like babies, birthdays and Bigfoot” according to Art. “Quick! get a picture of Bigfoot carrying off your friend before he completely disappears.” Okay, with a little help I found the auto button.
So- I’m off Auto, and on to the second tip…
2) Adjust your White Balance. If you take a picture of a white statue and it looks yellow or red, you have a white balance problem. Art suggests, it’s a good thing to take the first pic on Auto White Balance, as “your camera may guess correctly”, but if the color balance is off, adjust by using custom White Balance. Wow- what a concept! Bonus tip for even lighting- aluminum foil mounted on a board works to even out lighting in a mixed light setting. Hey- I’m all for low tech tips.
3) Exposure Compensation- According to Art “believe it or not, not all cameras take photos of the correct Lightness and Darkness, or in other words- the exposure is wrong.” Guess what? There’s a little plus/minus symbol that allows me to adjust the light/dark ratio on my camera. Wow- and I even found other interesting little adjustment symbols as I toodled around. Okay, I promise to read my manual.
A few other easy tips- use a tripod (our fearless leader, Patti of WorththeWhisk.com, showed us an inexpensive one she found on Ebay).
Use dulling spray on shiny objects, like spoons, knives and other things that reflect.
Walk around your object and view it from all angles before deciding how to shoot it.
Whew! Okay- that’s enough for now.
Then there was a hands on time to practice getting great shots.
Josie, of Day Dreamer Desserts working on the perfect shot.
After that, a couple of food styling tips from Denise Vivaldo- undercook food, and shoot food cold. They may taste good right out of the oven, but give the juices a little time to congeal- just a bit. Okay- that would have helped this pic of my Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble. For that matter, so would some aluminum foil.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
The evening was reserved for a photo by photo review of all shots submitted to Tastestopping.com for our little “reject” contest. For the uninformed, food bloggers submit their photos to popular “food porn” sites, hoping they’ll be posted there and drive more traffic to their sites, and some of them can be pretty snooty in their reject comments. Okay, I’ll admit, it’s a practice I resisted for a long time, but hey, it’s part of the game, so you know- if you can’t beat, might as well join them. Photos rejected by the big dogs can always find a home at Tastestopping, as our new hero Casey, founder of said site, accepts all comers, and we had a great showing of pics from there. Fortunately, Art was pretty kind to my submissions. Ahhh! I feel much better.
Here are a few of my shots posted at Tastestopping that Art actually liked!
Ciao bella- and please visit my other blog, too- smallpleasurescateringblog.com