I’m waiting for the “Coq Au Vin”: photos to upload to flickr, and I am struck by a few things. One, I really take too many photos. Partially, it’s because I remember learning in photography class that it was a good way to learn (and I do). But it’s also because I just don’t frame a photo very well. My good friend Mel has a true talent for photography, and she says that her eye is just always framing shots. Mine is not. I struggle with framing every moment I shoot. I truly enjoy photography, but I recognize that I’m rather bad at it. (We won’t, for now, discuss the fact that either my camera or I is “not quite level.”:

Something that makes it worse is my lighting. I know that, occasionally, the food I post is just not as gorgeous and drool-inducing as most food blogs (or at least the popular ones). Honestly, it’s more often than occasionally. Our previous place had much, much better kitchen lighting. However, we weren’t getting along with the landlords, and so it wasn’t a good place to stay (my occasional wish for that lighting notwithstanding).

I haven’t decided what to do about this, or how to fix it. Our kitchen is fairly decently lit in the summer, or early on a sunny day. However, once the sun sets, it’s all quite poorly lit, and in a very yellow-ish color. Pretty much the opposite of what you want for good food photography, I think.

Obviously, it’s pretty difficult to fix in a rental, and it’s further difficult to fix when you’re also not a very confident photographer. I’m contemplating it, and it WILL get better, if only with all this practice, but it will take time.

Still, I hope you all occasionally find something that makes your mouth water as you read our blog, both in the archieves and going forward. I am particularly pleased with how the final photo of the Coq Au Vin recipe turned out. For me, at least, it just made me want to eat it all over again.

Thanks, folks. I’ll take any advice you have for improving the photos, especially on improving lighting in conditions like these. Tonight I’m off to have dinner with a friend; unfortunately Bill has to work and cannot join us. I’ll be back tomorrow with SOMETHING new and interesting. I don’t know what, but I bet the side bar to the right has a hint or two.

2 thoughts on “Photos

  1. I’ve been following for a while since Jessie told me you had a blog, and I do have a couple of suggestions. I’ve had a fashion/diet blog of my own for about a year and a half now, and I’ve learned a few things about blogging and growing readership.

    1. Don’t post until you have the photos loaded and ready to be included in the entry; people don’t really come back to blogs twice to see them afterward. You only have their attention for a brief moment so have everything ready to go at the same time.
    2. If you can, change your RSS settings so you show the whole post and photos in the RSS feed; most people read blogs collectively through Google Reader or another system, and only click over to the individual blog to make a comment. Forcing people to click through in order to read the whole entry is the fastest way to get readers to bail on following you at all.
    3. I went back and checked out the Coq au Vin photos (first time I had seen any of your photography!), and it’s not as bad as what I was expecting from your comments in this entry. You do a great job of capturing the texture and close-up details of everything, which is key in food photography. If the yellow light is a problem, you might want to buy a small desk light with a flexible neck and use one of those Reveals or natural-light lightbulbs in it instead of the standard ones. You could place it behind you on the counter and aim the light where you need it. Sort of a cheap version of a photographer’s flash.

    Good luck! I am looking forward to the Brussels sprouts recipe. I love Brussels sprouts and am always looking for new ways to cook them. Plain old roasted is my favorite.

    • Hi Kristin! Thanks for following and your comments. There’s a lot in there that’s pretty helpful.

      I’m definitely working on getting photos up at the same time as the entry. It’s been a challenge, but it’s where I’ve been focusing most of my time. Going back and adding photos is more for me and anyone else who wants to read the archives later, so it’s less of a priority.

      As for the RSS point, it’s interesting to hear. I actually hate trying to read out of my RSS system, so I click through for everything. (Bill’s more like what you say is the norm.) It wouldn’t have occurred to me that having to click through might be an irritant. Bill and I will put our heads together and see what we can come up with.

      Finally, on lighting, it’s good to hear I’m on the right track. I’ve been looking up homemade light boxes, actually. My big stumbling block there has been that it doesn’t seem entirely safe to put a hot pan on foam-core or cardboard. I hadn’t, though, considered just using the lamps.


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