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The Secret Technique of Taking Awesome Food Photos

The Secret Technique of Taking Awesome Food Photos

You know when you go to a restaurant and you see something on the menu that makes your mouth water and you just have to have it? Have you tried your hand at taking pictures of your favorite dish and it looks like a hot mess? The tips we have below are going to help make the picture you take of a homemade super tasty burger look like the one on the menu—not what you really end up seeing in a greasy take-out bag.

Being that everyone has their phone on them at all times and people like food, it was a natural progression for us to start showing pictures of our food. Heck, even Vanity Fair has a Food Porn column that highlights the mobile photographs from chefs and food personalities all around the world. If you look on Twitter for the hashtag #foodporn or #foodie you can see lots of images people take of their food. Even Flickr has a lot of groups displaying nothing but food images.

Mobile Apps

The apps listed here are couple of the most popular camera apps for foodies. While you can use pretty much any camera to take a picture of your culinary creations, these are applications made specifically for food.

Hipstamatic (iPhone)

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Hipster

    The claim to fame with Hipster is the look it creates—very analog images.The added Foodie SnapPak is a combination of flash, lens, and film filters that create a very appealing look when it comes to food images.

    SnapDish Food Camera (Android)

    SnapDish

      SnapDish is an Android app made for food photography. When you capture the image of the great looking presentation on a plate, SnapDish processes the image to make it look amazing. Blur photos as if they’ve been taken with an SLR and share images on multiple sites at once.

      Be Quick

      Dishes don’t keep looking their best for very long: bread gets soggy, and food generally looks worse the longer it sits there. Make sure to have everything ready to take pictures as soon as the food is plated and perfect.

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      Try Multiple Angles and Different Exposure Settings

      When your food photo shoot is taking place, it’s a good idea to take a lot of pictures, but make sure to use different angles—you don’t always have to take shots from an overhead or seated view. See how the images turn out when you shoot from a level view. Get creative. The more images you have to choose from, the better.

      Lighting

      Natural-Lighting

        DO NOT use an in-camera flash. If you are using a standard camera app or other camera with a flash, try to use as much external lighting as possible. The flash from the camera/or camera phone app is going to be to direct and is much more likely to wash out parts of the image. If you have a good natural light source like a window, use it to your advantage.

        Have Something in the Background

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        food photo 2

          Having a contrasting background can really make make food pop out in the picture. Just like the dish itself, having a well placed fork or the angle of a square plate can change the look of the image drastically. Don’t crowd the space, just accent the area.

          Make Adjustments to the White Balance

          White-Balance

            Play around with the white balance a little; you want the whites in the food and/or background to look like they were bleached, not yellowish like an old jean jacket. Try taking a test picture of something white like a piece of paper first so you can make the correct adjustments. If you are in a public place where there might be lighting that can yellow the image, this step is really important.

            Aperture Settings

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            Aperture-Settings

              The aperture helps you keep things in focus. When you want your cupcake to be in focus but the half empty glass of milk in the background to be a little bit blurred, you can use smaller F-stop settings. Using small F-stop numbers will help also help with blurring in low light (like in a restaurant) by creating a shorter shutter speed. The opposite is true for well lit areas: for those, you will want to use a higher F-stop setting to get the whole image in focus.

              Get Right Up In There

              macro-settings

                Don’t be afraid to get really close when taking pictures of food. Using the macro to focus in on the plate of food can show the details. Depending on the app you are using, you may or may not have these adjustments.

                Final Thoughts

                When it comes to photography, each type of item you are capturing takes a different set of skills to highlight and focus on the right parts of the image, while the other parts act as accents. Foodie photography can take a bit of practice, but you’ll get the hang of it, and learning how to work the settings on your camera is key.

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                Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                Listen carefully:

                We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                1. Pray Daily

                You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                3. Smile Often

                Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                4. Organize Your Working Desk

                A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                How do you do that? This is my formula:

                First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                8. Go Exercise

                Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                The Bottom Line

                It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                More Resources About Mindfulness

                Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                Reference

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