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Monday, April 26, 2010

Thoughts on Food Photography

Recently I had the opportunity to attend Jim Sykes' workshop on food photography. The location was at the Teatro Restaurant in Ybor. Frankly, it was one of the most difficult assignments so far because I was soooo HUNGRY. And when you are hungry you just can't concentrate. I always thought food photography was simple and boring. Well, it is not. You have to be very detail oriented to get the best lighting and the perfect shots.
Here is my take on food photography.

Have a stylist who will deal with the food. Arranging the food and decorations takes a LOT of work, leave it to a professional.

Use the best food on a clean, possibly white plate. Setting is not as important because the focus is on food. Therefore, a simple background and a shallow depth of field adds dimension and context to your images. Like the one here:

Crop tight- in my situation this is not a problem, I am a tight cropper "by birth" :)

Your goal is to bring out the texture and the color of the food and you can do this with lighting. Here are some behind the scenes shots I took before the shooting started:

To see some of my food shots, click here.
To read more about photo photography, click here.

More information about food photography.

Lighting techniques.

Thanks, Jim!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NYTimes Photo Submission Opportunity -- A Moment In Time

Here is an interesting email I received about this photo project.

On behalf of the New York Times photography blog Lens, I would like to invite you to join us in a project called A Moment in Time. Thousands of photographers of all experience levels will be capturing the same moment on Sunday, May 2nd at 15:00 U.T.C. That's 8 a.m. in Los Angeles, 11 a.m. in New York City and Santo Domingo, 4 p.m. in Algiers and London, 7 p.m. in Moscow and 11 p.m. in Beijing.

This is the first step in trying to connect photographers around the world. While anyone is welcome to participate, we are particularly hoping to see submissions from students and professors of photography.

We are asking participants to think about where they want to be and what they will focus on. Consider how to represent yourself, and your community, with one image.

To help stimulate ideas and to act as guides, we are suggesting the following categories for images:

· Community
· Play
· Work
· Family
· Relationships
· Nature/Environment
· Religion
· Arts and Entertainment
· Money and the Economy
· Social Issues

Photos should be no larger than 5 MB, ideally 1000 pixels wide or more. In keeping with photojournalistic standards, please keep Photoshopping to a minimum.

After you take your photos, submit your best image as soon as possible to The link will go live that morning, directing you to a Web form. You will be asked to categorize your photos by location and subject, and to include a caption that helps tell the story.

Photos will quickly appear on the Lens Blog and The New York Times Web site. Your photo will be displayed in our A Moment in Time display, and may also be spotlighted in a Lens post. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions.

Check the Lens Blog for more information about A Moment in Time. You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter (@nytimesphoto) for updates. To join our official Facebook event invite, click here.

A Moment in Time is open to everyone. The project will be greatly enriched with your help. Please spread the word far and wide.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Reverse image search engines

Yes, you can download my images from this blog or Flickr BUT there's a free way to find people who steal your images online.
TinEye is a reverse image search engine. You upload the image you want to search and it will show you the sites that use the image.
For a How To article on TinEye click here.

Other reverse image engines you can use:
Free Foto

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Best of Photojournalism 2010 winners

The NPPA's The Best of Photojournalism 2010 winners:

The photos leave me speechless and they also inspire me.

Localize an international event- Thai New Year

Ethnic events provide great photo opportunities for me. So Google nonprofits, religious places and meetups in your area and you will have plenty of opportunities to take photos. Yesterday the Thai Wat in Tampa celebrated the Thai New Year with a festival that involves sprinkling water to bring good luck in the new year. Here are some candid photos I took at the Thai Temple Wat Mongkolratanaram in Tampa. I also posted some images on Flickr. My favorite pictures were about the watersplashing event.

Photo and Video Hosting Sites

I use Flickr not only to publish but to edit and store my photos. Just in case, if my hard drive kicks the bucket. Flickr is more than a photo hosting site, it is a social media platform with all kinds of groups so it is worthwhile to check it out! Flickr offers two types of accounts: free and pro. The free account gives you limited access, you can upload 100 MB of images and 2 videos a month. I have a PRO account that gives me unlimited storage space so I can use it as a backup.Flickr is easy to use, it also has a built in photo editor program, Picnic, and it is the most popular photo sharing site. To see my images on Flickr click here.

Another site is Google Picasa. It does not have the rings and bells that Flickr has, it is easy to use and I recommend it for beginning digital photographers.

Other websites are:

You can read a detail review about these photo sharing sites here.

I use Flickr because it is cleaner, easier to navigate, has the most users, so I can get the most exposure. You can tag your images, join several groups on photography or search by typing in keywords.

Most of these photo storage sites can be linked using an application to your own website and your other social media sites including blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn. Some photographers link their Flickr photostream to their website to drive more traffic and increase their exposure. If you have your own website, try connecting your Twitter, Flickr, my blogs and Facebook to your site and your website will look more active and interactive.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

FREE education about photography by the nr. 1 photographer- Chase Jarvis

This guy is just phenomenal and is using social media to spread the love for photography. That's right, it's free to watch any and all live feeds from some of the world's best creative instructors on
Social media and the internet make education either free or affordable. I would argue that SM also raises the quality of education when guys like Chase Jarvis and others jump in!
Check out other sites where you pay a monthly fee and you get the best of the best tutorials!

Also- support local artists and photographers who offer quality classes at an affordable price. I took classes and therefore I can highly recommend the following photographers in Tampa Bay: Loyce Hood and Jim Sykes, they are both awesome and they LOVE to teach.
Their websites:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shooting pelis on weekends- Documentary photography

The pelicans are back and the fishermen,too. The last two weekends have picked up, and Liz Vreeland from the Seabird Sanctuary is rescuing an average of 20 birds per weekend, which I expect to double in April as conditions ripen. In the next few weeks, as it warms up, the bait will return and she is looking at an increased number of entangled and hooked birds! Liz Vreeland thinks she may have more birds being run over, as they are laying on the road again. The piers are getting more active- more fishermen, more cars. No signs yet to warn people that the birds won't move for cars, so this is one thing people can do...let people driving on the pier know.
That being said, it really is beautiful out there in this weather! Please round up your friends and help these birds. They need photographers documenting abuse and other important topics. They need rescuers. If you are interested, let's do a meetup and help a good cause. For more info contact Liz at