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Tips To Finding Your Food Photography Inspiration

latte with camera foam
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Actress Jamie Chung once jokingly said, “If acting doesn’t work out, I plan to do food photography and just eat my way through the entire world! I’m a big foodie, and if I could make some career out of it, that would be fantastic.” She’s probably in good company. In a world that’s overwhelmed with smartphones and picture-apps like Instagram, you’d think everyone is a passionate food photographer! However, few are aware of just how difficult it is to sustain the drive. We’re giving you a few tips on re-igniting your passion and finding your food photography inspiration. Here we go!

1. Invest in a few renowned cookbooks and magazines

Where do the best food photographers ply their trade? Well in cookbooks and magazines of course! Granted, these resources aren’t free and you may have to shell out a couple of dollars to access these books, but its’ money well spent. Fortunately, you don’t have to purchase actual hard-copies which tend to be more expensive. The digital versions do nicely.

2. Dabble and experiment with other forms of photography

The world of photography is vast with numerous genres – wedding photography, product photography, fashion photography, aerial photography to name a few. What’s interesting is what you can learn from each genre. Lighting, composition, and editing are all done differently. The skills you learn by dabbling with other types of photography can give you the inspiration you’re looking for with your own food photography.

3. Study light, airy, bright photos to understand aesthetics

What makes one photo breathtaking and another bland? A quick scroll through Instagram and you’ll notice something remarkable. The most popular food photos are almost always light and bright. This is achieved largely by employing three concepts: white balance, neutral color filters, and bokeh. White balance, to quote Photography Life, is simply “adjusting colors so that the image looks more natural”. Neutral color filters help the images retain their natural look as well, while bokeh  (from the Japanese word meaning ‘to blur’) is simply the technical term for blurring out elements such as the background in your pictures. Studying beautiful photos can invoke the inspiration you’re after.

4. Look beyond food images at what’s around you

Perhaps you need to stop looking at food images for a while. You see, inspiration can come to you when you’re not even thinking about it; when you’re simply out and about living life. It may be that the more you obsess over your food photos the less likely you’ll find pleasure in your own work. Instead, look beyond food photography itself. Go visit a museum, watch an old movie, and look at some classical art. You never know where you’ll find food photography inspiration

5. Join a few social media groups and follow fellow food bloggers

The tech-centric nature of our world and globalization means you can follow anyone from anywhere. You can join social media food photography groups such as Food Bloggers Central to connect with like-minded people. With plenty of food photography inspiration to be had and conversations with photographers from all walks of life, you’re likely to have your own fire re-ignited quickly.

One final word: don’t worry about every photo being perfect. As Henri Cartier-Bresson laughingly remarked, “ Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst .” Just remember that with every photo you snap, your skills will improve!

David Shrigley, Memorial

David Shrigley Memorial
All Photos By Gail

Across the centuries, memorials have acted as public sites of collective remembrance and markers of our shared cultural heritage. Some monuments continue to hold a contemporary significance, while others have become obsolete in an ever-changing urban and social landscape; their meanings often lost from civic consciousness.

Memorial, Rear View
Memorial, Rear View (Plaza Hotel in Background)

Memorial, by British artist David Shrigley honors one of the most common of all acts: the writing for a grocery list. By engrave this ephemeral, throwaway list on a solid slab of granite — a material ubiquitous with the language of monuments — the artist humorously subverts both a daily routine and the role of the classic memorial.

While Shrigley’s shopping list might appear to posture as a counter-monument, through its celebration of common activity, its anonymity and absurdity, the sculpture becomes a memorial both to no one and to everyone — perhaps standing as a simple but poignant ode to humanity.

David Shrigley: Memorial will be on view through February 26, 2017 in Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street. 

Modern Art Monday Presents: John Baldessari, Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell

Tips for Artists
Photo By Gail

John Baldessari (b. 1931) never touched this painting. He did not paint it. He did not write the text. “There is a certain kind of work one could do that didn’t require a studio,” Baldessari said, “it’s work that is done in one’s head. The artists could be the facilitator of the work; executing it was another matter.” This concept – that an artist could present an idea rather than a material object from their own hand – was a way for Baldessari to take apart the notion of what art could be. In 1966 art meant painting, sculpture, or drawing, and with wry humor, Baldessari challenges this expectation. The viewer receives a painting in Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell (1966 – 68), but the painting is completed by sign painters. The viewer is presented with a painting’s content, but the content is text taken from an art trade magazine dictating what content should be. Clever!

Photographed in the Broad Museum in Los Angeles.

 

 

Top Ten Things I Learned from Hurricane Sandy

Sandy Mercedes Mail Box
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Your Neighbors are looking out for you, even if you think they don’t know who you are.

Keep Your Mobile Devices Charged to Maximum Power at all times.

Eat Everything in your freezer and all of your perishable food before the storm hits.

When the power goes out, unplug your Refrigerator.

Buy D-cell Batteries at least a few days in advance.

There is no such thing as having too many Candles on hand.

The DVR is not recording your scheduled shows if there is no power.

In the battle of Black Clothing Versus Cat Hair, Cat Hair will win every time

The pleasure derived from being able to take a Hot Shower cannot be overestimated.

Friends you’ve know for over 10 years but whom you’ve never hung out with for more than a few hours at a time will let you sleep on their couch and feed you for a week.

Today's Percentage Group I Most Relate To

Click on Image to Enlarge

“I think everything Michele Bachmann says is insane. I’ve watch the Shawshank Redemption on TNT, like, sixteen times. I’ve always had one friend I hate. I do not enjoy waking up. I never update my iTunes. I’m fatter than I used to be. I would have sex with Ryan Gosling. I am the 100%.”

Happy 64th Birthday, Brian May!


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Queen Guitarist Brian May was born on this day, July 19th, in 1947. Read a list of Brian May’s Top Ten Awesomest Guitar Moments at This Link. Happy Birthday, Brian!

15 Albums That Changed My Life

“HELP!”

15 Albums That Changed My Life is one of the more interesting notes that are going around on FaceBook right now, and I felt compelled to share it on the ‘Gig. What you’re supposed to do is make a list of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you’re over 40) that had such a profound effect on you that they, literally, changed your life.  It wasn’t hard for me to think of that many. In fact, it was hard to limit it to just fifteen. The glaring omission of any album released after 1987 certainly says something about the lack of vital, ass-kicking, earth shaking rock released since that time. Sometimes it’s advantageous to be an old fart. Here’s my list, kind of in chronological order but undoubtedly with MANY omissions.

1. The BeatlesHelp! (Original Soundtrack)

2. Led Zeppelin 4

3. ELPWelcome Back My Friends

4. The Who Who’s Next

5. Peter FramptonFrampton Comes Alive

6. GenesisThe Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

7. Peter GabrielWet Windshield (First Solo Album)

8. QueenA Night at the Opera

9. Alice Cooper’s Greatest Hits (original band)

10. BuzzcocksLove Bites

11. Generation XS/T

12. Julian CopeWorld Shut Your Mouth

13. The SmithsThe Queen is Dead

14. BlurPark Life

15. Guns & RosesAppetite for Destruction

 

Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part One

Bowl of Smiley Face Fried Potatos. I Would Eat Them.

I consider myself to be a happy person with a (mostly) positive attitude about life. But the truth is, when you write a blog, it is much funnier to complain and rag on shit constantly. And it is much, much easier to make hilarious, mean spirited jokes when you are talking about how much something sucks. But today I am having a really good day. Here is a Top Ten List of random stuff that has put me in a good mood just at this moment.

1. Having a “Good Hair Day.”
2. A girl in the office made cookies and she gave me one.
3. Great TV on tonight: Top Chef, Man Vs Food and Important Things with Demetri Martin – Woo hoo!
4. I had delicious street meat for lunch. Mmmm…street meat.
5. New season of Survivor debuts tomorrow!
6. Saturday is Valentines Day (aka Valloween) and I don’t even care that I have no boyfriend.
7. Sunday is my Birthday and Bigelf are playing at the Mercury Lounge!
8. Oh my god, this blog is so effing popular! (But I wish more people would leave comments *hint hint*).
9. Barack Obama is President.
10. It is a beautiful day and warm enough to be outside with a bare head – yay!

Tomorrow I will get back to looking for something worth ripping on.

Five Rad Books I Am Reading Right Now

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb!

Ever since the summer, when I served for two weeks on a New York City Grand Jury and was able to read three entire books in ten days, I’ve been on a bit of a reading jag. Here are some books I’m working on right now.

Cherry Bomb by Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna

Carrie was my editor back when I occasionally wrote for the late great All Stars News. She’s the one who assigned me to cover the Shakira Press conference at the Rainbow Room where I got so overwhelmed by my love for Shakira that I actually started crying. Carrie is awesome. Cherry Bomb is her new book where she interviews a bunch of rocker chicks about how and why they rock so hard. Sort of a Guide To Style for Rocker Chicks like me! Expect a more detailed review of Cherry Bomb on this page some time in the future once I finish the book.

Haunted By Chuck Palahniuk

I recently saw the movie Choke, based on one of Palahniuk’s novels, and it made me want to read all of his books. This is the one I am reading now. Think “Survivor meets The Donner Party.” Very scary!

Naked by David Sedaris

Geoffrey let me borrow this one after a friend of a friend of mine made me promise I’d read it.

The Lovely Bones By Alice Sebold

I always wanted to read The Lovely Bones just because I like the title so much. I got a new, hard cover copy on Swaptree.com in exchange for a Katy Perry CD. What a bargain!

I Hate New Music, The Classic Rock Manifesto by Dave Thompson

This book doesn’t come out until November, but I got a reviewer’s copy in the mail just yesterday and I can’t wait to read it, because I hate new music too!