Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Blank sets of note cards are available for purchase. In the past I have made these as gifts for a child’s teacher and for friends. They may be that extra item you were looking for to finish off someone’s stocking!

Profits from these sales will also go to Alivia’s Rainbows. A set of 5 cards is $15.

Here are the images:

See our Events page for more details about cards and the holidays.

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Food Photography Tips

From one beginner to another…??

While making Zucchini Muffins I decided to work on my food photography skills. Here are a few tips and tricks I tried.

  1. Buy extra ingredients IMG_5346

The photos show way more eggs and fruit than I would need to make this recipe. I added more food for visual appeal; to capture repeating patterns and play with shadows.

  1. Take way too many pictures

The pictures that appear on my blog are a small fraction of the number I took. I actually took over 350 pictures that day! I mostly took pictures of the same things but from different angles and under different lighting.

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  1. Play with camera settings

Throughout the day I tried different settings (close-up, landscape, portrait, etc.) and therefore got better shots depending on the situation. It is hard to really tell if the photo is what you like until it is loaded onto the computer. Therefore it is better to experiment with different settings and delete unwanted pictures later.

  1. Play with lighting

Half of the pictures I took inside my kitchen. There I played with the blinds; letting in different amounts of light depending on the details in the food I was trying to capture. I also set up another table outside! There I had complete natural light. Most of the food photos from my blog are taken outside.

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  1. DO NOT USE A FLASH

You will lose the details in the food! I would have lost the texture of the blueberries and the grains in the zucchini. Go back to point 4 for lighting ideas.

  1. Give yourself lots of time

It took me over 3 hours to make muffins! I wanted to capture each part of the process and then decide later if I was going to use the shot or not. As I mentioned earlier, I took some photos inside, but the best ones were taken outside. It took a lot of time to bring out certain foods, snap the photos, and then bring them back in the house. However, in the end I was glad I had the outdoor set-up.

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I started taking photographs of food last summer. My guide and inspiration was this blog post from Averie Cooks: http://www.averiecooks.com/2011/08/food-light-photography-tips-from-diane-cu.html

For Zucchini Muffin recipe click here— don’t worry, it will not take 3 hours to make!

Photos from Cuba

During our trip to Cuba, which you can read more about here, I did not set time aside to take photographs! I was completely in vacation mode. If we had gone to Havana then I would have for sure. Here are just a few shots of the market which was beside the resort.

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Initially this building reminded me of the church from the movie Vertigo. However, since watching the movie last week I would have to disagree with myself now. Regardless, the building is beautiful and now I regret not spending more time taking closer shots. Next time…

Cuba

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Cuba. We had a lovely time at the Royalton in Cayo Santa Maria! Our resort was an adult-only, all inclusive luxury. The Royalton is a small resort, perhaps only a few hundred people could stay at a time. The result was excellent costumer service! Each hotel building (about 10 rooms) has a butler who takes care of your dinner reservations, makes sure you are happy with everything at the resort– if not he/she will be sure to fix the problem, and is always available to answer your questions. Our main butler (they switch every other day since they work 15 hour days) was Noelivis. If you ever have the opportunity to go to this resort I highly recommend you request Noelvis to take care of you! He really made me feel at home while we were there. Noelvis also planned a special anniversary dinner for my husband and I– one that we will never forget. In addition he planned special treats as the week went on; wine in the fridge, champagne on ice, a beautiful bubble bath with island flowers, etc.

We have no complaints about this resort– only that we wished Noelvis was our butler everyday!! The food was excellent, the drinks were delicious, and the weather was hot! Just the way we like it! Being a vegetarian I found that there were many options for food each night on the dinner menus. This was a big relief for me. We never went hungry– actually we were often full! Everything was so good and presentation was excellent.

A typical day consisted of my husband and I sleeping until 8 or 9, walking down to breakfast and getting immediate service. We enjoyed a hot breakfast with fresh fruit. Afterward we would get ready and head for the beach. Once at the beach a gentleman would follow us to a grass hut, brush the sand off the hotel loungers, and set them up for us under the hut. Later a bartender would come and ask us for our drink order. What more could one ask for?! Around 2 we would head back to our room, order room service for lunch (although the snack bar was also a good option) and have a nap. We’d wake up for dinner, catch a show (the Michael Jackson performance was awesome!) and spend a lot of the evening at the Piano Bar. Again, great service, great bartenders, no complaints!

The resort also has two pools, each equipped with a pool bar. Surrounding the pools are shaded lounging areas. They essentially look like classy queen size beds with curtains all around them, but the curtains are tied up to wooden posts. We liked these spots as they were in the shade and we never had trouble finding one. The pools or the beach area was never over crowded! And, just like the beach area, the pool bartenders took care of you throughout the day. You almost never needed to get up!

My parents recommended this resort to us through Anne Frank at CAA in Thorold. If you are thinking about going to Cuba this is the place to go! Call Anne!

Perry Part 3: Textures

In my previous post I commented on how I was unsure how to title this next one. I guess the main things I take away from these photos are the properties of paint and the unique textures they provide.

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Perry has a number of murals, or what remains of murals, painted on the side of many buildings. Can you tell what is painted here?

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IMG_4493My sister giggled as I got up close and personal with this next mural:

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This was on the same wall as the Laundromat sign from Perry Part 2:

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IMG_4528Before this I had never used chipping paint as a focus of my photography. However, I have to say I quite liked it, and will probably try it again!

Please also see:

Perry Part 1: Storytime

Perry Part 2: Signs

Thanks for reading,

Lisa

Perry Part 2: Signs

And now for the more artistic photographs of Perry…

As my sister and I walked through Perry various signs caught my eye:

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This front window was so clean I was able to experiment with what is on, behind, and before the glass. What do you notice?

IMG_4487 - CopyOne of my favourites from the day. I like to see the natural, weathered look, that happens to objects.

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IMG_4501IMG_4501 - CopyThese photos make me wonder what Perry was like 5…10… 20… or 50 years ago.

IMG_4526IMG_4526 - CopyFor more information behind the inspiration to these pictures please see Perry Part 1: Storytime.

For more pictures of signs see Halifax: Part 2.

Stay tuned for the third and final part of our Perry journey– AND my FAVOURITE pictures from the trip! I am not sure whether I should title it “Paint” or “Textures”

Thanks for reading,

Lisa