Lights & Rain

About a week ago my best friend and I were out looking for some good photo opportunities. It was really raining that night, but we ended up finding something great to photograph. We sat inside her car and shot through the water droplet covered windows. The photos are abstract and some are even painterly which is different than what I usually photograph. I thought it was really fun to experiment with water and colorful lights, and I’m happy with how my images turned out. I’d love to try this with a piece of glass sprayed with water in front of colorful flowers or an evening sky.


I recently photographed granola for a school publication’s recipes section. I don’t think these photographs are as fun as the truffles, but I’m still happy with the results.

This one is my favorite. I think it shows the granola well, but also has an interesting composition and background.

This is a slightly more detailed version of the first one. It actually might show the granola better.

I don’t like the blown out background in this one, but it’s a different view.

Presque Isle

A few weekends ago I went up to Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA with my best friend. We heard that it was beautiful in the winter, but we really had no idea what to expect. It was cold and extremely windy that day, but it was definitely worth it. It was absolutely breathtaking; I felt like I was on another continent. I’ll let my pictures show you what it was like…

I also converted some to black and white…

Check out my Flickr for more of my photos from Presque Isle!

Photographing Food

I help out with a publication at Point Park and one of my duties each issue is to find recipes, try them out, and then photograph the end results. I took on this task thinking it would be fun and easy. I get to make food and then take pictures of it… sounds simple, right? Well it ended up being a lot more challenging than I thought. Even though I’m not too good in the kitchen, cooking actually wasn’t the hard part—it was photographing it! When you photograph food, you obviously want to make it look as appetizing as possible. But it’s also very important that it’s still true to life. In the past I’ve photographed several different kinds of cookies, a parfait, a smoothie, and soup. These turned out alright, but I knew something was missing. So I headed to Google in hopes of finding a few tips.

I found several really great tips for photographing food, but the best one was definitely natural lighting. Yes, this should have been totally obvious, but it wasn’t at first. I was previously photographing most of the food in my dining room, which has low lighting (silly on my part). But when I recently went to photograph a bowl of soup in our sun room, I still had trouble with the background and coloring. Well that’s where the next tip comes into play: Setting. It’s recommended that you choose a simple background that doesn’t include anything distracting (such as an oddly placed fork). However, some photographers suggest using a few props. I think this really depends on the food you are photographing and where you place your props. Another important tip was color balance. This is important for all photography, but with food you need to make sure it looks as true to color as possible. A few other great tips were to try many different angles, work quickly, get in close, and focus on the details.

I put most of these tips to the test when I had to photograph my Valentine Oreo Truffles. I took my truffles out to my sun room so I could get natural lighting. It was a cloudy day, but with the snow on the ground, it added some extra brightness. I put my truffles into little pink paper cups and placed them on a white plate in front of a window. Luckily, these truffles were already cute, so they didn’t need a lot of “styling.” I began shooting away. I shot from several different angles because I was unsure of what would look best. I uploaded my pictures and… SUCCESS! I was really happy with the way they turned out. I only had to do a little bit of color adjustment and brightening in Photoshop, but I think they turned out great. I can’t wait to put more of these great tips to use and hopefully continue to improve my food photography.

This one was probably my favorite. I like how close in I got, and like all of the truffles in the background (even though this doesn’t follow the “keep it simple” rule).

I think this aerial shot is fun, but it might not be the best way of showing the truffles.

Just another composition of the truffles.

Probably the most simple of the bunch.


Some helpful links for photographing food:




Ice Storm

A few days ago Pittsburgh was hit by a massive winter storm that dropped snow, ice, and rain. Forecasts were calling for a little snow, significant ice accumulation (0.25+ inches), and then rain for our area. Well, Pittsburgh didn’t see much of anything besides rain. I was a little disappointed because everything looks so beautiful when it’s encrusted in ice, but it was probably better that we dodged this one. There was definitely a little ice in the morning, but nothing like what they were calling for. Point Park  canceled morning classes, so I used this time to snap a few pictures in my backyard. Once I ventured out, everything was dripping and mostly wet, but some surfaces had a little coating.

I liked how some of the strands were completely encased in ice.

I wish I would’ve gotten in a little closer on this one, but I liked the spiral of little ice droplets.

It was nice to see a little green somewhere…

We have several bushes around our house, but this was the only one totally encrusted in ice.

I really like the painterly effect on the branches in the background. I was definitely going for a blurred background, but this came out better than I expected.