You may have noticed that the photographs on this site look a little “different.” Because I know folks are gonna ask, here’s the short of it . . .
Camera: iPhone 4S
Editing Software: Lots and lots of apps. Lots of ‘em.
For those a little more interested, here’s the longer version . . .
While researching food and baking blogs during this site’s setup, I came to the frightening realization that food blogs are all about the pictures. Sure, recipes count for something, but what really captures the attention are all those beautiful close-up shots of picture perfect cookies, gooey brownies, and crusty bread slathered in butter.
Oh, and the props. Gotta have those fancy baskets and bowls, cast iron, and top of the line cutlery.
And you’ve got to get the “bokeh” just right. You know, that beautiful creamy blur in the background you see in all these pictures. It focuses your attention right on what matters most — the cookies!
So how do these food bloggers get these wonderful photographs?
Equipment. Expensive, expensive equipment . . .
Canon EOS 5D Mark III — $3000.00
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens — $300.00
Canon EF 27-70mm f/4.0L IS USM Lens — $1500.00
Tripod — $100.00
Adobe Lightroom — $100.00
Now, I don’t wanna downplay the skill involved here. These bloggers are talented photographers, no doubt.
But I’m a baker.
And though the job may have many great benefits, a fat wallet is not one of them. So you can imagine my dismay.
I had an iPhone. Nothing else.
If you’ve ever taken a photo on an iPhone, then you can understand my dilemma. The pictures suck. There’s just no way around it . . .
Or is there?
A quick google search for, “How to take better iPhone pictures” will provide you the answer. It did for me. That was my introduction to the wonderful world of apps . . . and to the community of mobile photographers who use them to create absolutely stunning images.
Which brings me back to the pictures you’ll find here. These are not “straight” shots. Almost all of them have been edited in one way or another . . . often heavily. I tend towards a painterly and textured style. It may be hard to believe that some of these images were ever photographs to begin with. But I assure you, they were.
So, the question you may be thinking is, “How’s that a true representation of the subject?”
It’s not. I won’t lie.
But here’s a question for you: is a straight photo a true representation in itself?
Truer, perhaps . . . or perhaps not. But never true.
No camera can capture the full dynamic range of color and texture that a human eye can — no matter how expensive the damn thing is. And a cell phone camera? Even less. We’ve all had the experience of taking a picture of a gorgeous sunset, and when we show the picture to our friends a couple days later it’s nothing but a disappointment.
“You had to be there to really see it,” you say. And you’re right.
The camera will never capture the scene as you saw it. Never. Not as you experienced it. It’s not just dynamic range I’m talking about here . . .
Can the camera capture the warmth of the sun on your face? How ‘bout the cool breeze blowing through your hair as you snapped the pic? Will the photo reproduce the romance of the moment? The look you and your lover shared as you watched the sun setting for the night?
The camera will capture a token range of the color and light that made it through the lens. That’s it.
All else is lost.
You see, a photograph – even unedited and straight from the camera – is no true representation either. Too much has been removed. Filtered.
So I add back what’s been cut out.
Maybe not exactly, and certainly not entirely, but I add back to the photo. Every picture you see here has a bit of me added to the mix, just as every loaf I bake has a piece of me as well.
What you see then is actually closer to reality than just the straight cell phone picture. Maybe not as an exact visual replication; but as a moment in time, it’s a far truer representation of what was.
Some might not agree. Some might think I’m cheating. That’s fine.
My goal with this blog is to provide insight into baking that just can’t be found elsewhere . . . and to illustrate my points though a visual journey unlike any other food blog out there.
Something new. Something unique.
So haters gonna hate.
I can live with that.
Trevor J. Wilson
p.s. For instructive/tutorial purposes, I will keep related bread photos realistic and relatively untouched. Click to enlarge photos below.
p.p.s. For those of you who’d like a little more info regarding mobile photography and how to improve your own cell phone pictures, a few good places to start are Mobiography.net, iPhoneographyCentral.com, and iPhonePhotographySchool.com. In fact, those first two sites featured the picture of my barn that you see on my “About” page; here and here. Yes, I’m bragging.