Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Photography Therapy: A Cry For Help
Seriously though, can we talk this through? I'm having an issue. See, I am MTV generation through and through. I have the shortest attention span of them all. So I totally get that, for a food blog to actually be read, you could write like David Foster Wallace himself (still makes me sad), but you better have awesome pictures. Hello, it's called food porn. And, the fact is, people are actually doing professional-quality photography out there. I look at blogs like Gastronomy or Sinosoul, and they go to restaurants, with their unpredictable and often low light, with the stigma of being that guy taking pictures of his food, with the fact that you are actually there to enjoy your food by ingesting it, before it gets cold (and clearly they do), and yet their photos are mouthwatering -- delicious things bouncing off the screen in vibrant technicolor, fancy depth of field focusing your eye on just the right bit, blurring out all the rest.
I have a little Canon point-and-shoot. (Before that, I had a little Sony point-and-shoot, which I think I may have liked better, but then I got mugged.) And my photo processing consists of little more than hitting the 'Enhance' button in iPhoto. Sad, but it's all I know. My only saving grace is that my kitchen at home gets quite bright. Now you know why there are never dinner posts around here.
I am very interested in improving this situation. I would love nothing more than a dslr camera, the know-how to wield it honorably, and the photoshop (or whatever) skills to take its photos to the next level. But I don't even know where to begin. Furthermore, there is the catch-22 of the inability to learn how to use a dslr without having one, but the hesitation to commit to a very expensive piece of machinery without the foggiest notion of what to do with it. On top of this, I guess there's this whole lens thing? Evidently, you shell out for a fancy camera, but you can't actually use it without a lens as well? This is a strange and confusing world.
So, you can see that I need some help here. I'm standing at the bottom of the hill, looking way up. I need a mentor, I need handholding, I need advice. I need a photography sensei. Tell me people, what's a photographically-remedial food blogger to do?
In the meantime, I have discovered Hipstamatic. It's a cop-out, and it's amazing. A 2-buck iphone app that takes my crappy photography skills, and seals them over with its own flavor of untouchable I-meant-to-do-that coolness. It eschews the invasive world of gigapixels and high-def and gives us the beautiful retro-sexy blur that we crave. I know it's splashed all over facebook so much it's a cliche, but the fact is, it's pretty awesome.
So for now, you're gonna see some Hipsta-shots in these parts. Because it makes my blog pretty. But, really, I want to learn the ways of the true masters. Someone, please, show me the way.
Incidentally, if we're going to talk LA food blogs with amazing photography, we really need to mention eat drink & be merry -- he really elevates it. For one, I can attest that his Sunset Junction photos are a lot more beautiful than the real thing. And he does all these actual professional photo shoots at local restaurants, butcher shops, bars. Lovely stuff.