08 May

Basics of Food Photography | Tutorial 5

Basics of Food Photography | Tutorial 5

In this video we will explore different types of editing one can do on your image using a smartphone. Just like any stream of photography, in Mobile Food Photography also you need to do some basic editing on the image before you can exhibit your creation to the world.

With various apps available it is quite a simple process. A lot of what you use depends on your own preferences and likes – how you wish the final image to appear.

Commonly used apps for both iOS and Android users are – VSCO, Snapseed, Instagram and Layout from Instagram. These apps are most user-friendly and my personal favourites. If you prefer something else then do go ahead and use that.

Using these apps you can editing like adjusting exposure, contrast, sharpness and straighten or crop an image among other things. You can also create blur or bokeh effect to bring Hero dish into focus. These apps are easy to use and requires hardly any time in creating great images.

You can also apply filters within the above apps or just use Instagram only to add filters to your image. Choose a filter which complements your image.

Layout from Instagram is a great app to create collages for your images when you wish to showcase more than one image in one post. It is a recently launched app and my go-to for collages/ diptych.

On an image you can do all these or either one of these editing. The choice is yours.

Hope you enjoy the video. If you like what you see, subscribe to my channel. Come back for more – like comment and share. XOXO!!

05 May

Does My Blog Look Good in This | May 2015 Edition – DMBLGiT

Basics of Food Photography | Tutorial 1

I am super excited and privileged to be hosting this month’s DMBLGiT – May 2015 edition. It is special because when I started blogging 4 years ago, it was my dream to have the coveted DMBLGiT Badge on my blog.

To all those readers who may not know what Does My Blog Look Good in This is all about, a small recap – DMBLGiT is community run food photography contest that was established way back in 2005. Yes a decade old!!! It is a contest which is hosted by different food blogger each month and is judged by food bloggers or people who specialise in food photography.

Bidding Adieu to Strawberry Season | Photostory

Bidding Adieu to Strawberry Season | Photostory

When I moved from wordpress.com to a self hosted blog with a makeover in 2013, I felt I was ready to if not win but at least to host the contest. Upon contacting Andrew, got to know that ‘the contest has run its course’ with hardly anyone coming forward to handle the baton to keep it alive. I still have emails exchanged between Andrew and me where I am begging him to let me host for all months till he gets other hosts.

I was desperate but for a GOOD thing. DMBLGiT encouraged newbie like me to participate, it provided an open platform to see good work and get judged on tangible criteria.

It was a definite good thing.

Incognito Restaurant at Baner| A Review

Incognito Restaurant at Baner| A Review

And when Neel posted on Learn Food Photography that DMBLGiT is coming back, I was jumping with delight right in front of my PC. It felt right to have one of the oldest and best Photography contest back. It was a foregone conclusion that this time I would not loose a beat to host this contest on LiG.

It is a great thing that Learn Food Photography has now taken on the responsibility to carry on the contest and give it a new lease.

Mahabaleshwar Photo Blog - Part 3 | Travel Story

Mahabaleshwar Photo Blog – Part 3 | Travel Story

I am happy to be today inviting all you lovely people out there who put in so much of effort into composing, styling and shooting food images to come forward and send in your entries for the May edition.

It is a simple contest where you submit your own food related photo and the same is scored for 3 categories – edibility, aesthetics and originality, by a chosen panel of judges. The scores are compiled by the host (me) to come up with the winning entries.

Mahabaleshwar Photo Blog - Part 3 | Travel Story

Mahabaleshwar Photo Blog – Part 3 | Travel Story

It is time to share the esteemed judges with you whose work I admire tremendously and very thrilled to have them on board.

We have talented and renowned Food Stylist, Ronnie D. Charlton who is based in Oklahoma and is a graduate from The Culinary Institute of America. He is a very good mentor and open to sharing his experiences and views. His inputs add value to a person. I am a huge fan of his work and deeply honoured to have him on the panel.

Second on the panel is Jasmine Waheed. Her creativity is just amazing. Diptychs and creating stories with them is one of her strengths. She is a BA Hons in Photography from London College of Printing. She brings a freshness and different perspective with each image. Her images speak, they make you think out of the box.

Last but not the least is Asha Shivkumar of Food Fashion Party. I connected with Asha on Instagram. I love her work. It is simple, rustic and everytime she posts an image, I want to reach out and grab a bite off the screen. Her recipes are also easy to make. I want to go out there and try each one of them.

The specific things the judges will be looking for are as follows:

  • Aesthetics: composition, food styling, lighting, focus, etc.
  • Edibility: “does the photo make us want to dive in and eat the food?”
  • Originality: the photograph that catches our attention and makes us want to say “wow!”, displaying something we might not have seen before.
  • Overall Winner: top overall scores in all three categories combined.
  • There are three overall winners for photographs with the highest point totals in all three categories combined, and one winner in each of the three individual categories. So… ready to participate? To participate simply email me your best photograph you took in April ’15 using the submission instructions below.
Spinach Cream Pasta

Spinach Cream Pasta

How to Participate – Photo Submission Requirements:

  1. Send your photos as an attachment to dmblgit[at]learnfoodphotography[dot]com and alika279[at]gmail[dot]com with Subject “DMBLGiT May 2015″. It is critical that subject of the email matched exactly to what’s mentioned above. You will receive an email confirmation of submission. If you don’t receive any email, please contact alika279[at]gmail[dot]com
  2. Include this information in your photo submission:
    1. Your full name:
    2. Your blog name and URL
    3. Title of your photograph
    4. URL to blogpost where submitted photo is posted
    5. Agreement from you agreeing to let us display your photo on host website, learnfoodphotography.com and DMBLGiT contest gallery. We won’t use your photo for any other purpose outside DMBLGiT.
  3. Important: File format needs to be jpeg format and longest size should be no longer than 500 pixels. This means for horizontal or landscape format max 500 px width and for vertical or portrait format max 500 px height.
  4. Photo must not have any text.

General DMBLGiT Contest Rules:

  1. Only one entry per person. One photograph. No diptychs
  2. This photo should be taken and posted in the month of April 2015
  3. This goes without saying but I will say it anyway – you must have taken this photograph and should have copyrights to this photo.
  4. Entries must be received by May 20th at midnight I.S.T (Indian Standard Time) using all requirements described in the photo requirements section.

You can also refer here for any further clarification – Participant Information and FAQs

30 Apr

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

As I am leaving the city for a good number of weeks for my annual travel to my home town, I leave you with a Masterclass for little chefs which my kids attended at EightyEight Hyatt Pune. When I was asked to attend the class with my kids, I was quite excited as I know that seeing their mother cook and bake one thing or another in the kitchen is a continuous source of entertainment for the kids. They want to knead when I knead, they want to whip creams, mix the batter and even roll out pizzas.

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

It was with pleasure that I wanted them to mess someone else’s kitchen. I know I can be a cruel mom. But that’s me.

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

The masterclass for the kids was a very enriching experience for the kids. They indulged in making cake pops or chocolate pops, some cupcake icing, cookie dough making and cutting shapes, and even rolling out pizza dough and prepping them. Kids had lot of fun and were quite hands on including mine. They got their baker hats, gloves and even a peek into the chef’s kitchen. Chef Satyaki was in his full element guiding the kids through various ingredients and making sure they are involved in each process.

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

It was a great afternoon spent and have only one small feedback to share with the team – it would have been nice if kids would have been segregated into smaller groups and given individual work counters for the group to work on from beginning – it was a great opportunity to instil team work in them. Kids were given smaller bowls and cookie sheets to work upon but it was more on-the-spot than planned.

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

My kids loved the experience and will look forward to some more of such fun. Thank you to Hyatt team for all the efforts they put in to keep the kids occupied and happy. Great job!

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

Kids Masterclass at EightyEight at Hyatt Pune

27 Apr

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Last week my oven gave up on me, and I am travelling in next 4 days, which leaves very little time and lots of things to do. I am being my usual busy bitch self – trying to meet personal and professional deadlines, taking kids around for every activity possible and more. What I find worse is the constant dropping each one-off to school and then picking them up. Going to two different schools with 2 different timing is taking a definite toll on me. I barely get to breathe in a feeling of peace.

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

In all this chaos I am barely getting time to cook/ bake and post her but the blog must go on… These invites for restaurant review come as a welcome breather as I don’t need to pre-plan or cook or shoot while kids are away. But they are managed along with kids most of the time.

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Prem’s has been around for 42 years in Pune and really needs to introduction by me. But yes it was first visit for me.

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Since I have never eaten there ever before, what I thought of the food there is purely based on what was served to me that day. I usually let the restaurant/ chef/ manager decide what they wish me to review. I suggested the same here as well. Avishek, the stand-in manager, presented a lot of food but to his credit, he really took care to make all the dishes into smallest helpings possible.

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

For starters I was served, Stuffed Panner Malai Tikka and Makai Methi Seekh Kebab. The malai tikka as the name suggests was marinated in cream and milk rather than spiced curd, a bit too sweet for my taste. Seekh kebabs also were pretty basic and really felt like kebabs when I ate them with accompanied spicy salad.

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

The main course had Spaghetti Aglia Oli, Malfatti di Spinachi and Veg Banjara with Butter Naan. For me among everything that was more or less bland or needed help of salads to bring out flavour and taste, the veg banjara was really out-of-place and very spicy. As an individual served with complete Indian menu it might have been a great dish but served between spaghtetti and malfatti di spinachi it was out-of-place. I recommend the malfatti di spinachi platter, it was good – the moment I clapped my eyes on it, I knew V would love something like this.

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Desserts were the biggest disappointment – Gulab Jamun looked very tempting but were uncooked and hard from inside and Banoffee Pie made with dulce de leche served with 2 huge slices of banana were a let down. I know the pie is served with slices of banana sometimes but huge ones? Really!

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

The meal had too many flavours. I would have preferred if the chef would have stuck to serving me one type of cuisine to sample. I feel that when a restaurant caters to many different types of cuisine under one roof, it is confusing for patrons to choose what they want. I am partial to places which stick to one particular type of cuisine rather than pleasing everyone.

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Lunch at Prem’s | Restaurant Review

Disclaimer: I was hosted for the food review by the restaurant. The views expressed are my own and are not biased by/ or lack of any service extended.

24 Apr

Basics of Food Photography | Tutorial 4

Basics of Food Photography | Tutorial 3

After earlier videos on food photography where we discussed composing an image, creating bokeh and depth of field and understanding direction of light, in today’s tutorial we will learn about the angles to shoot you food from.

Depending on the Hero dish, one should choose the angle. Just like Direction of Light, there are 4 main angles to work on – 90 degree or a Bird’s Eye View, 40-45 degree, 10-15 degree and 0-5 degree angle with respect to the dish being shot and position of camera being held. If the dish is considered to be a point, then camera position can be defined in angle it is making with the subject.

90 degree Angle – Is most commonly used for Dishes which look best when viewed from top. Usually these subjects don’t have height to show off. Some examples would be pizza, tart, flat salad like the Beetroot one which we showcase in video.

45 degree Angle – This is the angle at which we see food. It is the most exploited angle because it is easiest to shoot. One doesn’t need to move to shoot food from this angle. You can bring out your smart phone and go click happy at this angle. However, this angle doesn’t always flatter the subject well. A pizza shot from this angle will only show some crust and little topping. The beauty of the whole pizza wouldn’t come across.

15 degree Angle – This works for subject when there is a height to show-off or even if there is a flattering background to picture. At the same time it becomes imperative to remove all clutter from the background here as it would be there in the frame.

0 degree Angle – This is when you place the camera of your smartphone parallel to the dish. This works superbly well when the subject has a height. In the Insanity Slice Cake shown in video, there are 7 layers making this cake, so it is important to put across those 7 layers for the viewer. This angle works beautifully. In this also one needs to be careful about the background.

Hope you enjoy the video. If you like what you see, subscribe to my channel. Come back for more – like comment and share. XOXO!!