An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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Camp Blogaway Recap Pt. 2-Photo SOS for Challenged Food Bloggers, Etc.

Camp Blogaway Recap Pt. 2-Photo SOS for Challenged Food Bloggers, Etc.

By on May 21, 2010, 11:06 am in Events, Food and Drink | 5 comments

Art Ramirez- Photo Instructor Par Excellence

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, 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.

Photograzing 2

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 

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

The evening was reserved for a photo by photo review of all shots submitted to 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.

The Delightful Casey of Tastestopping
The delightful Casey of

Here are a few of my shots posted at Tastestopping that Art actually liked!

Pea Soup Shooters
Pea Soup Shooters with a tiny bit of recommended cropping

Mini Crab Cakes
Min Crab Cakes

German Chocolate Cake
My very special German Chocolate Cake

Ciao bella- and please visit my other blog, too-



  1. I was so thrilled to come home from Camp Blogaway knowing how to set my white balance AND adjust my exposure – Art really knows how to get down to basics! Love this post. And your pictures are very beautiful and getting better all the time!

  2. Yes, I thought he was very good at explaining things he’s knows so very well to those of us who have been clueless.



    Avatar gisele

    May 21, 2010

  3. Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble! How funny! I’ve been working all day on my post for one. Made one Thursday. It’ll be up sometime this week.

    Nice shots! Especially like that one of Casey. You should send her a JPG.

    Avatar Lentil Breakdown

    June 13, 2010

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