Here comes 2017

Here we are coming to the end of 2016. While everyone wants 2016, I do not.  I am not fond of who is coming in 2017.  Keeping it 100.  But, nevertheless, I will survive.  Just like you all.  If you follow me on instagram and the other socials, as well as being a reader to my blog and Exposure, you know the big thing that has happened to me this year was going to Vietnam for the month.  

It's a pretty tough to sum that adventure and experience into sound bites.  But read the stories linked and you will hopefully see my viewpoints as I traveled around Vietnam.  As well as get inspired to go there, and or travel, yourself.  All I planned when I went there was to eat and I achieved that goal.  All I did was eat.  

But what else was cool about this year, for me, was that I photographed two stories for Edible Philly and two shoots for Philadelphia Magazine.  As well as photographing a #right2work dinner.  And the Weckerlys finally opened their shop.  

Also, I finally upgraded to the Canon 5D mk IV and purchased a 85L mk II.  I now have two camera bodies!  Not only that, but I got into printing prints on a Fuji Instax and been printing 12 x 16s to put together a print portfolio.  I been printing photos from Vietnam, at that size, for a proposed idea of putting together a show on "In Search of Little Saigon in America."

My day job in Princeton, finally, made me a permanent full time.  Pretty sure that I wrote that I had a day job, here or somewhere.  So I have been able to fund more food photo walks.  As well as go to Vietnam for under $3k.

This was my 2016 in a snapshot.  I am hoping to travel more in 2017 and work on more socially conscious work onward.  Hope your 2016 was great and an even better 2017!

Orange you glad about fruit?

Over the weekend, I had a two bushels of oranges to eat, drink, make pictures of and went on a street food walk around east Passyunk ave in Philadelphia.  Check out the story here

Having sliced and squeezed some oranges after work one day, I thought to myself to make some test images of the oranges on the weekend.  Using my one flash, some natural light, and bounce v flats, I set up these shots in the middle of my living room. For these images, what I think could have been better is that I could have added some more variations of citrus fruit- blood oranges, grapefruit, maybe a lemon.  And at the last image with the juiced set, some food associated with breakfast.. waffles, eggs, maybe some hash browns and bacon.  Probably will need to find more things to use as my base to shoot on. 

Food Styling

I wrote this post and forgot to save.  Guess what, Firefox was like.. NOPE!

I was reading a post on Petapixel about food styling.  Maybe from the 90s to early 2000s.  In the photo series are images that described with what stylists used to "enhance" the food for the photographs, e.g., items like motor oil, shaving cream. 

Bagels and cream cheese from  Philly Style Bagels .  Coffee from  ReAnimator Coffee .  No other added things to style this.

Bagels and cream cheese from Philly Style Bagels.  Coffee from ReAnimator Coffee.  No other added things to style this.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, food stylists did use motor oil to make meat more brown, shaving cream to make cake icing, mashed potatoes and food coloring to make ice cream.  I am sure that you can google the rest to find out yourself on what food stylists used to "enhance" the food.  Now I can understand why, preparing to photograph the food back then took much longer and with food photography, time really is of the essence.  But today? 

First, let me put this out there, all my food photographs are all natural.  You can eat the food and drink the drinks after I photograph them.  Well my fingers do get in there.. For myself, it is prepare the scene first then plate the food. 

Food magazines have gone completely all natural since 2004(?) for their food photographs.  Bon Appetit had a story on their staff photograph, Alex Lau.  It's a fun read.  But helps show what I am writing about.  Food publications food photographs are all natural.  Commercial?  That I am not so sure, but I am hoping that it is all natural too. 

So I hope this helps elaborate how food used to be stylized and how I work with making food photographs.