Blog photos

Good morning!

This was my (delicious) dinner last night:

Wait, let me zoom out a little further…

And just a little further again…

(Usually one of them is a lot closer to my plate, trying to steal a bite.)

I take a lot of photos when I am working on a blog post. I am super critical of my own photography and like to have a wide selection to choose from. Needless to say, having to shoot indoors, in artificial lighting kills me. But, when you have a full-time job and a part-time job (neither of these are blogging) away from home, you don’t have a lot of opportunity to shoot outside. Actually, I don’t even see a window to the outside world until I leave work. By the time I get home and make dinner, the sun has been gone for hours, so I have to work with what I have (which is two cheap ‘studio’ lights).

I could invest much more in my blog photography and use much better equipment and spend a lot more time creating a ‘perfect’ photo, but to be honest, unless I’m going to start generating revenue, that’s not going to happen. So, for now, I’m stuck fighting florescent lighting and shadows.

I typically use my Canon Rebel T1i to take the majority of the photos for my blog. Sometimes I use my Droid camera, and rarely, I use my (very heavy) Nikon D90. I have to say though- for a DSLR, the Canon Rebel is an excellent investment. When I have the time (to really care about perfect quality) I use the Manual/Aperture setting so that I can experiment with various ranges of depth of field. But, to be honest, I often use the auto (no flash) setting, and come out with a decent quality image.

After I take the photos, that‘s where the work really begins. I edit my photos using Photoshop. I was really surprised to learn that very few bloggers use Photoshop! It’s just what I’ve always used, and it’s what I know (and what I teach for a living!). I know that there’s a lot of free software out there that can give you almost the same outcome, but I stick with my trusty Photoshop- it really can do wonders for a sub-par photo.

For example, here’s an original (unedited) image from last night:

When I look at it, I see that the composition needs to be cropped tighter, there is a grayish/yellow tone overall, the exposure is uneven (it’s lighter in some areas and darker in others) and then there’s those darn shadows. There’s also a few crumbs near the bottom of the fork that are distracting.

With a little Photoshop magic, voila!

It’s definitely nowhere near perfect, but it will do.

I think I took about 20 photos last night, here are some of the others that I edited.

The depth of field is too shallow here (focuses on the foreground, making the salad slightly out of focus).

And by the way, the salad was AWESOME. I made chickpea cutlets again and put them on top of a bed of romaine, spinach and arugala, topped with apples, goat cheese and toasted pieces of Dakota bread (a la Kath). That’s roasted carnival squash (with sea salt + cinnamon) on the side- which is sooo delicious.

Sorry to bore some of you with the photo talk, but I just wanted to let you know where I’m coming from.

Have a great Tuesday!

Those of you that have blogs- how much thought do you put into the photos that you take? Do you find blogs that are photo heavy (or have more attractive photographs) more interesting to read?

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6 Comments on “Blog photos”

  1. that stuff is fascinating….and I have no patience for it. SO props to you all who spend so much time on photos! I edit here and there but otherwise, I just shoot, upload and add in. Hah.

    The chickpea cutlets look awesome, btw!

  2. The salad looks awesome! I’ve been thinking about making a light box and getting some lamps. The only thing stopping me is trying to figure out where I am going to house it. And if I put it in the garage…do I want to ship my plates away from the mother homeland (the kitchen). haha. But I need to create a photography space, as well. Because I work with artificial kitchen lighting at night. Its tough. I miss daylight, too.

  3. Photo editing software is a wonderful thing! I take a lot of photos, too. I definitely think that blogs with better photos are more interesting to read. That is part of the reason why I read yours!

    Speaking of blogs with great photos… Have you seen Cassie’s light box tutorial at Back to Her Roots? It’s so easy; I made one last night in half an hour with stuff I already had lying around the house. Can’t wait to try it out!

  4. I do something similar for a living except I analyze satelitte imagery to make maps! But I’m slightly lazy when it comes to my own blog pictures. I just got a Nikon D3100 (first DSLR) and I’m still learning all the different features. And personally, I think all your photographs look AMAZING! As does your dinner 🙂

  5. I like photos, but I enjoy reading content too. Sometimes I find some food blogs a little too photo heavy. Your photos are wonderful and it is always nice to get a little behind the scenes. 🙂


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