Monday, March 30, 2009

Refreshing Sugar Cane, Coarse Grass & Winter Melon Drinks - Photography? Cool or Warm?

Food photography. Ehm ehm ehm, this is a topic I hardly discuss. I made a fool of myself the last time I described my Crappy to Yucky food photography experience. I didn't realise that from that point onward, I've grown quite a lot (hopefully for the better).

What's my learning journey like so far? How and what did I learn?

Learning activities
- I stare and gawk at beautiful pictures in Flickr for HOURS
- I joined a Still Life Photography group, from which I learnt A LOT. Check out my submissions and my behind the scene antics through these links: Hard Candy, Kitchen Confidential, and Spicy
- More often than not, I take things very seriously and am willing to spend hours of my weekend to bend and squat and climb and basically contort myself to (hopefully) get decent shots
- Most picture taking articles didn't help me. If I read the phrase "play with everything, different settings, different modes, and you will learn" one more time.... Arrrrggghhh. I know it is so true, but I want shortcuts, baby. Shortcuts! Where do I get them?

- I practiced and practiced and practiced and practiced....and still think that I am never good enough ^_^

Camera & Other Gadgets
Having a great camera does not mean great at taking pictures. Most of my pics taken right after I got my DSLR (Canon EOS 400D) looked worse than crap. Ew, but yay. How else would I learn?
- I love my small lens (50mm f1.8) so much (it's light, it takes gorgeous pictures, it's cute!), my kit lens is left sitting at the corner of my top drawer, crying itself to sleep (poor baby)
- Despite all the temptations, I am not ready for a better camera/lens. I am not even close to achieving what my devices can do best
I hate hate hate tripods, despite my trembling hands. This is why you see so many out of focus pictures in my blog. Those aren't done on purpose for artistic reasons, they are just really blurry. Haha!
Camera Bag
I had a great camera bag, it's crumpler, it's brilliantly designed, it's green, it's cute, and everything, but I ended up carrying my camera in my normal handbag most of the time. Camera bags do not work with my outfits well (oh, I am such a girl!)
Brand Conscious?
There will always be arguments re: Canon vs Nikon. Who cares? All great. I have a Canon as it fits my tiny budget, but gimme your Nikon anytime, and I'll give it some serious loving. ;)

Photography bad habits I can't shake off
Instant formulas
Once I have a "formula", I stick with it and lazy to try other settings. Bad bad bad! My favorite "formula" is Aperture priority mode, f4.5, portrait orientation, object on lower left or right of the picture, taken from around 45 degree bird eye view, auto white balance (I knowww I know I know, you hate AWB ^_^)
Digital Photography Syndrome
I could take hundreds of shots for a single setting and there's no systematic method of doing it. I always ended up staring at my pictures for hours, trying to figure out which ones to select. Helllppppp!!!
I simply don't know where to focus, even if there's only one single object in the picture, I might focus on the background sometimes.
Yellow-holic Anonymous
I love warm, yellowish tones so much, you'd see it all over my blog. One of my good blogging buddy, Pepy, asked me "Why are your pictures so yellow? Was that intentional or ....". My reply was "To match the yellowness of my teeth". I love yellow sooo much, sometimes I photoshopped a bit of yellow into naturally lit pictures. Must I join Yellow-holic Anonymous? How about you? Are you a cool or a warm tone person?

Enough photographic rant. I could really use a drink now.
Sugar Cane, Coarse Grass & Winter Melon Drink
(Wedang Tebu, Alang-alang & Tang Kweh)

This is something I always had back in Indonesia when I was growing up (minus the sugar cane), it is believed to help reducing body heat and prevent mouth ulcer.
- Hot water
- A bunch of sugar cane
- A bunch of coarse grass (Imperatae Rhizoma/Alang-alang)
- Sugar coated dried winter melon pieces (add bit by bit to adjust sweetness level)
- Add sugar cane, coarse grass and a few pieces of dried winter melon, bring to boil, reduce heat and cook for about 30 minutes or until fragrant. You can drink it hot in winter, but in summer, I love it icy cold with ice cubes.


Submitting the second picture to Click photography event, this month's theme is wood, represented by my favorite background, a tiny small table, the sugar cane, and the alang-alang. Check out the other fabulous pictures here.

The pictures on this post were results from experiments of using different lighting and different color tones, some fabulousness are strategic and intentional, but most of the times, they are purely opportunistic and accidental (haha!). Check out the whole series in the flickr set.


Anonymous said...

I always have fun whenever I visit your blog. Good luck with Click event!

bee said...

you take wonderful pics!!! thanks for your entry.

Little Corner of Mine said...

I love this cooling drink too, maybe I should buy some and boil it myself. Hehe... Love the flowers as background, very nice.

Jagungmanis said...

huakakakakaka ngakak aku mocone..
iyo aku ngrti iku benda. ng tanah mas mbien ono sg do2l mbek es tebu. hehe

Dragon said...

Honey, I always love your photography. :)

Wandering Chopsticks said...

You know I love all your photos. They keep getting better and better. The styling is better too. Now, gimme some of your skills. And your camera too. ;)

Elsye said... me your camera bag :P....Btw aku wis tuku 50mm rit hihihihi...light, cute and greatttt ..

pam said...

I love your photos, they always capture the perfect mood.

SIG said...

Love the post and the photography. I think your photography is very good. You've been so hardworking and it's paid off. :)

Jin Hooi said...

Beautiful pics !! well done