Keeping up with the Joneseses – probably part 1

This post was born a nudge. It got me to the fridge, made me poke about a bit, and, having taken inventory, forced me to concoct something from what was available. It wanted to be a revelation. It wanted the world to see that maintaining a larder invites a varied menu. It was poised to show that button mushrooms wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with garlic, olive oil, Parmesan, and flat leaf and baked at 375° for ten minutes makes a quick and delicious snack. Then it saw the picture. Look at it. What little focus exists is misplaced. The colors lack contrast. It looks like someone dropped parsley from several feet above on the back four and forced a wad of the stuff in the front four. It’s enough to make an anthropomorphic blog post give up the ghost. And that’s what happened. Dying as it did, it failed it’s readers and became a mundane household referendum on how to bridge the photographic chasm between this blog and, picking one of the many great food blogs I read at random, this one.

There is also this, and this, and the consistently astonishing this. The most amazing single photograph I have seen on a blog page is’s fettucini with white truffle, Parmesan cream, and pepper sauce. You have shadow, light, fading, and most importantly it makes me want to eat it. I have out of focus pizzas.

It is a poor carpenter who blames his tools. My only recent experience in carpentry is
sawing to fit and nailing garden rails. Luckily, overhanging shrubbery hides how poor a carpenter I am, but I do qualify. My “camera” thus far in this endeavor has been a Samsung Galaxy S, pictured left. A poor tool for my needs.

You notice that the image to the left is clearer than those usually associated with Some may recall the tale of the man in a new town in need of haircut. There were two barbers in town: one with a bad haircut and one with a good haircut. Wanting a good haircut and reasoning that no man cuts his own hair, the man chose the barber with the bad haircut and was rewarded with eternity in hell for vanity. The astute among you may follow a similar line of thought and come to the conclusion that I have a new camera. You would be correct.

We have recently come into possession of the Nikon D7000, pictured left. In the future, we will have vastly improved pictures. I say in the future because I have no idea how to use this thing. There are dials on dials and icons that look like lightning or angry worms depending on your sex apparently. But soon, we will master the beast and keep up with the rest of the food blogging community. In the meantime we have secured a Cannon G7 point-and-click thingie for the interim.

I do have one picture that I thought was worth showing. It will stand as the pinnacle of the Samsung Galaxy S era: Sweet-and-Sour Huxi ribs. Out of focus, but appetizing. I know that food photography isn’t a competition (yet), but when I have finished the book, I hope take pictures rivaling what I have seen elsewhere. The level of talent, and I assume patience, with a camera was not something I expected to see when I started doing this. Now I need to find one of those backgrounds that seem to go on to infinity because my house just isn’t that big.

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12 Responses to Keeping up with the Joneseses – probably part 1

  1. debbrunson says:

    🙂 Congrats on the new camera! That’s exciting, and I’m a bit jealous 😉 And if you find one of those infinity backgrounds, let me know. My little condo needs one too. Fun post, and I’m looking forward to more pics now!

  2. emmycooks says:

    Let us know what you learn! I could definitely use a food photography tutorial. I don’t know how to use my real camera either so I also take pictures on my phone. (But thanks for the compliment!) 🙂 My understanding is that the advantage of a real camera is that you can focus on the foreground and blur the background, turning whatever mess is beyond the plate into appealingly infinite shadows.

    • Ben says:

      You take pictures with your phone? What kind of Odin phone do you wield?

      • emmycooks says:

        It’s actually a Sigrid phone (though you might know the name in its diminutive form, Siri): the iPhone 4s. I got it for the camera, which is great, but it’s annoying in other ways, so it’s probably wise to keep your phone and nice new camera separate. When are they going to come up with ONE thing that does it all? The phone/camera/hairdryer/dog whistle/microwave that fits in your pocket?

    • Szandusshh says:

      Wow, fantastic blog frmaot! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you make running a blog look easy. The total look of your site is fantastic, let alone the content!

      • Ben says:

        Well you are very nice. Come back often. As to the blog, I’ve been doing it for around six months. It’s fun so it’s easy.

  3. So amazed and humbled that you like my food photo! The Fettucine was pretty amazing and I think knowing it was a specialty dish with ingredients I rarely use was part of the awe for me! That and I got to eat the dish all by myself! 🙂 thanks again for the mention!

  4. I am so guilty of the phone pictures.. so so guilty. I just (very recently) got a camera that doesn’t double as a communication device. And I don’t have an infinity background. I try to get close enough to hide that fact.. sometimes you can see chairs, other stuff on my table, cats, the back of my couch, etc in my discard photos.

    I think I might suck at photography. I try to take straight forward pictures, and I get a lot of ‘but if you took the picture this way it would have interest’… type comments from my boyfriend. Sometimes I think he doesn’t really get it, other times I’m sure I don’t.

    Thanks for the mentions! If I’m supposed to be one of the Joneses, then worry not. I have no idea what I’m doing. 😀

  5. I just recently started reading your blog. Your wit’s oustanding. Bookmarked.

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