Fun Friday

Fun food photos by Laser Bread:

crumpled paper food by Laser Bread

crumpled paper food by Laser Bread

banana by Laser Bread

banana by Laser Bread

how to fry an egg by Laser Bread

how to fry an egg by Laser Bread

Food news and links from around the ‘net

First, I’ve been listed on this site since Feb. 10th but kept forgetting to post about it:
Alltop. Bribes work.

Top Chef finale – it’s really hard to watch the person you’re cheering for shoot themselves in the foot. Grrr.

The U.S. Food Network is looking for 2-person Boston teams to compete in a new food reality show à la The Amazing Race.

Gordon Ramsay’s mini-me to appear on Hell’s Kitchen and the F-Word. (link contains the Little Gordon commercials if you haven’t seen them yet.)

Business Week on raw Camembert cheese war in France
(And makes me think of the farmer in Ontario and his legal court cases for selling raw milk.)

Top ten chefs of Ancient China (brings a whole new meaning to Top Chef)

Global craving crazes – Chinese food in India, Worcestershire sauce in Shanghai

Understanding deadly food allergies – how to avoid killing someone with your food

Is out-of-focus food photography a fad?

And now I can delete all those bookmarks I’ve saved. 🙂

Food photos and copyrights

This is an issue that won’t go away anytime soon.

Bee from Rasa Malaysia has been posting a lot about it lately, mostly because along with the usual bloggers stealing images, media outlets, e-commerce sites, chefs and restaurants have also been stealing her photos to use in promotion of their own food.

An open letter to those who steal

Chef Al Rosas likes to steal bloggers’ photos and sends back a rather insulting reply

The really stupid thing is, in cases where a media outlet or even maybe another blog wants to use a photo, if they ask permission I bet the majority of bloggers would allow one-time usage with little or even no payment.

I have been adding the blog address on all my photos, even though mine aren’t as nice as Bee’s pictures. Now I’m wondering if I should also be adding that © symbol as well, especially for some of my better photos.

My first food photo

My photography post from a couple of days ago made me remember that I haven’t talked at all about the photo banner at the top of my web page. Other than the occasional birthday cake photo, this picture of sushi was my first attempt at food styling and was taken about six or seven years ago on my very first digital point and shoot camera. Horrible, I know. But it has sentimental value to me.

Along with being my first food photo, it was also my first attempt at making california rolls. By the time I had finished with the rolling (and eating), it was starting to get dark outside. I stuck white rice on a white plate, and put the plate on a piece ofwhite cardboard (and probably completely screwed up the white balance as a result). I took a bunch of shots with my flash, but they all looked ghastly white or oddly yellow. I tried playing around with the flash and various scene settings. I think I even tried doing some primitive lighting technique with a handy lamp. None of those worked very well, and the best shot out of all of them happened when the flash was turned off. It’s too dark and the colours are a bit off. Still, I think I didn’t do too badly considering that I had never done this kind of photography before and at that point had never heard of apeture or white balance.

Food photography tutorial

Steamy Kitchen linked to this food photography tutorial today. It’s fairly detailed and I agree with everything said in that blog posting except for one thing – I see nothing wrong with buying a lens kit with a SLR camera.

I first bought my SLR because I found I was taking a lot of (non-food) photos and was interested in moving up a level in my technique and equipment. It’s a big investment and a big jump to go from a little point and shoot to a camera worth over $1000 and lenses worth hundreds of dollars.

Sure, I could have bought just the basic body and paid less, but when I started factoring in the costs of basic lenses it made more sense for me to go with a package deal that included two lenses and the body. The two lenses that came in my package have taught me a lot about good (and bad) photography.

If I was to buy another camera today, I would likely buy a much higher level SLR with a larger variety of lenses. But that’s only because I have this past experience with a SLR and have enough knowledge now. Would I have been able to move to the higher level SLRs after having only used a point and shoot? No way. It took me a good year before I was relatively comfortable with taking my current camera outside where it could get wet, dirty, or scratched. I’m still learning things about my photography and my camera, so I’m going to stick with mine for at least a year or two more. I only just recently bought an extended flash for my camera, and I won’t even look at what new cameras are coming out because I don’t want to be tempted to upgrade.

There’s no point in shelling out all that money if you’re too scared or inexperienced to use the camera. Buy what you’re comfortable with, excel at using it, and then move on.

Fun Friday

These “foodscapes” (landscapes made of food) have been around the web for a while, but if you’ve never seen them you should definitely have a look. They’re by photographer Carl Warner,  and they’re quite amazing. His site, unfortunately is Flash based and isn’t very intuitive at all, so I’m linking to another blog instead that did a great job of laying out a few photos and also giving directions to the photographer’s site where you can see more of his work.

http://www.neatorama.com/2008/01/05/carl-warners-foodscapes/

Question to those who are visiting my blog

I’ve been putting my URL on all my personal photos because well, I’m paranoid that someone will use my images without my permission. I’ve also started doing some minor freelance photography on the side, so I figure I’m protecting my copyright even though I may never do anything commercial with my food photos.

I’ve been wondering though; do you find the way I do it obtrusive when viewing the photos? Should the font size be smaller? More transparent? Shoved in a corner? I’d rather not do the last one as those are easily cropped out of photos, but I’d consider changing my watermark to give a better viewing experience.

If you have an opinion about it, give me some feedback. I don’t care if you’re anonymous and leave fake contact info. I just want to know your opinions. And thank you in advance. 🙂