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Entries in pink (7)


Light Painting : then and now + a how to


I first read about light painting in 2007. I was fairly new to photography and intrigued, so I took my camera, tripod and off-camera flash into the backyard, set everything up, lit one of Sean's antique oil lamps and got the pictures you see above.

Ha! They make me laugh so much. Looking back, I clearly didn't grasp the concept of 'light painting'.

My favourite Facebook comments on these shots were 'By the power of Greyskull!' and 'What the hell are you up to? Is this some freaky pagan ritual you two nut-bars have started?'. I can only imagine what our neighbours were thinking.

Fast forward seven years.

I made this picture last night, in the dark, with a flashlight:


The pie plate, glass plates, fork and spoon were downstairs from a shoot last week waiting to be brought back upstairs. The pink ribbon was tied around the box my wedding anniversary flowers came in last weekend. I had the ribbon on top of the pile because I loved the colour and I didn't want to throw it away. On a whim I tied it around the fork and the spoon and thought it would make a pretty still life. 

Here's how I made this picture and how you can make your own:

You will need:

- an SLR camera

- a tripod

- a piece of black velvet for your background (you can use whatever you want but black velvet gives a true rich black)

- props 

- a small flashlight

1. Lay your black velvet out and arrange your props.

2. Set up your camera on your tripod and compose your shot in the camera.

3. Set your camera to ISO 100.

4. Switch your camera to 'M' (manual) if it's not there already. Set your shutter speed to 15 -20 seconds and your aperture to f16 - f22. Once you get started, you're going to want to play around a bit with the amount of time you leave the shutter open.

5. Turn off all the lights - close curtains to block out streetlights. 

6. Carefully make your way over to your camera (use your flashlight!) - press the shutter on your camera and then use your flashlight as a 'brush' to 'paint' light over the areas of your props you want to highlight.

I did about 10 shots altogether - some of them I left the shutter open for 15 seconds, some I left open for 20 seconds. I used my 85mm 1.2 lens which only goes as high as f16 so the final shot (above) that I liked the best ended up being:

Canon 85mm 1.2L lens - ISO 100 - 20 seconds - f16

It literally took me 15 minutes to set up, take my shots and upload to my computer. SO FUN!!!!


Lighting Practice : Pink Drink

At this point, I have a ton of experience with food photography, but little-to-no experince shooting drinks, so yesterday, for fun, I set this up to try and start learning how to photograph a cocktail.

I know I have a lot to learn, but the pink and aqua make me really happy so I thought I'd share :)


Martha Stewart's CAKES : Happy Birthday to me

My birthday was last week and it was sooooo boring. I took my cat to the vet to have his teeth cleaned. I went to Target. We had a quiet dinner at home.

It was exactly what I wanted.

Except for one thing.

For the first time in my entire life, I didn't have a birthday cake.

No cake.

No candles to blow out.

A couple of days later, Martha Stewart's CAKES arrived for review from Random House of Canada and my immediate thought was, 'I'm going to make myself a birthday cake'.

I pored over the pages, reading every sweet little recipe intro, drooling over the beautiful photography, trying to decide which one would be perfect.

It turns out that choosing a cake recipe was much like choosing my wedding dress. The first one that caught my eye turned out to be my favourite.

Maple Cake.

'The incomparable flavour of pure maple syrup is reason enough to make this sweet treat; that it is quick to prepare is an added bonus. Maple syrup is marked and graded by its colour, ranging from light to dark - the darker the colour, the more intense the flavour. If you can find grade B, use it here for both the batter and the icing.' - Martha Stewart's CAKES, p 120

Martha's book instructs the Maple Cake to be baked as a single layer in a 9-inch square pan, but who wants a flat, square birthday cake? I divided the batter between two 8-inch round pans and doubled the icing.

Oh my god. The icing.

Anyone from Canada that's ever gone on a road trip has probably eaten a Maple Dip Donut from Tim Horton's.

Martha's maple frosting has the texture of the top of a Maple Dip but the taste is about a gazillion times better.

The cake itself was light and fluffy on the inside and baked to a perfect light golden brown crust on the outside.

Martha Stewart's CAKES is being heralded as a '...one stop resource for cakes - birthday, chocolate, coffee, Bundt, upside-down, loaf, and more. From pound cake and angel food (with many variations) to genoise and streusel-topped, from comfort classics like red velvet, six-layer coconut, rich chocolate, lemon meringue, and cheesecake to sophisticated grown-up fare including chiffon cakes and tortes with luscious fruits, these 150 recipes and colour photographs cover techniques, decorating, and gifting ideas for every taste and occasion, whether no-fuss or fancy.'

A beautiful cake from a beautiful book.

Happy Birthday to me.

Martha Stewart's CAKES is available for sale on September 24, 2013.

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