Food Photography can be absolutely fun!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

For Valentine's Day this year, I decided to do something different! Inspired by a friend's photo of a very unique cake, I decided to give it a try myself! A couple of weeks ago when I saw the picture, I was very curious to find out what it was. I had never seen anything like it before. Now I don't bake very often, in fact a week before this was the 1st time I'd successfully baked a cake for a birthday, so taking on something of this sort felt like a good challenge. I also wanted to bake it mainly so I can get some awesome pics!
You must be wondering what I'm talking about. One of the most colorful of cakes, the Rainbow Cake. This is what I ended up making!

1 pack Pillsbury Moist Supreme Cake Mix, Classic White, 18.25 oz
1 pack Betty Crocker, Food Color Gel, 2.72-Ounce
Eggs (# on box)
Oil (amount on box)
2 Chicago Metallic Professional Nonstick 9-Inch Round Cake Pan
1 Baker's Joy No-Stick Spray w/Flour: 5 OZ
Camera for loads of fun! I use this but any will do!

You can get as creative as you'd like. I did it a certain way and if I make it again, I'd definitely try something different!

The Dirty Work:
What it looks like after adding color

1. Make the batter as you would normally for a white cake (adding everything on the back of the box- oil, water, eggs and whisking it (or using a fancy machine that I don't have).
Some more spiffy photography
2. Once the batter is nicely mixed, separate into bowls (however many colors you want to make) Then add food coloring to each and mix. A couple of color combinations to use:

Red + Yellow = Orange
Red + Blue = Purple
This is what is should look like now.

3. Now its time to pour it into the pans. **Don't forget to grease the pans... In all the excitement, I  forgot to do so and it was pain to get them out! lol**
Pouring the batter was fun, but make sure to do it quick!
The best way to get a nice design is to pour one color at a time in the middle of the pan, that way as you add another layer, the one below spreads out.

The batter gets a bit thick (mine was quite thick coz I was taking tons of pictures) and I had to shake the pan to make sure it reached the edges!

It looks very vibrant before going in the ove
TIP: Since the lowest color does not seem to be visible, I flipped the color order in the 2nd pan (so if red was at bottom on one, it was the topmost color in the other. That's what gives it a cool rainbow effect when putting the two layers together!
Pour half of each color into the first pan, one at a time in the center (look at my picture)

I baked for about 28 mins (again, follow instructions on box) put a toothpick and make sure nothing sticks!
The colors on the outside of the cake were quite dark, and I was very disappointed, but the insides stay nice and vibrant! I was not sure of this till after we cut it...

Once done, let it cool for a while and frost however you want! this is what I did with it, since it was for Valentine's Day.

Let me know if I left anything out... I'm no professional baker and this was only my 2nd attempt at baking so I might not know all the correct terms!

Have fun with it.. and lemme know how it turns out!

Enjoy the remaining pictures, and feel free to share this delicious cake recipe around! I thought I was the only one who didn't know about this cake, but there seems to be a whole lot who had never seen something like this!

1st Post- Welcome

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hey Everyone,
So I finally decided to start this blog up to share my photos as I process new ones, and figured this was the best, and fastest way to get them seen instead of updating my site with a new photo or two everyday! I will try to update this as often as I can, with new posts about something new that I did. I will also try to post some tutorials on how I achieve these pictures and you will get an inside look on how I "beautify" a picture! Keep reading as I will post some free shoot days as well, and how you can be part of it.

Feel free to post anything back.. thoughts, reviews, ideas, your stuff.. anything :D I'll look at it and reply back! I promise!

Here's a daily photo to get you started:

Occasionally on beautiful cloudy days, I love to go out and shoot downtown Austin. Cloudy days make for the best HDR pics in my opinion, just because it creates the most amount of dramatic light! Here's one from my recent trip to Auditorium Shores. There were a TON of people running and doing their thing, and tons of people bringing their dogs for a dip in the water. It is so peaceful here, and I wish I had the enthusiasm to go out and run everyday like these people do!
After processing this picture as HDR, I still felt like it wasn't the best depiction of what I perceived that day in my head. I went ahead and duplicated a few layers, made a bunch of layer masks, a little bit of pop, crispness, and smoothness later I got the colors as I wanted. While I was editing this picture, I started reading up on some quicker Lightroom techniques, and came across one for Selective Coloring. Now in the past, I've always saved 2 copies of the picture. One color, one Black and White, copied the BW picture as a layer onto the color photo. Then I make a layer mask, and paint with black to reveal whatever areas I want in color. This has always worked for me, but I want to consolidate all my workflow into one software, mainly into Lightroom because I really enjoy the interface. So when I read about selective coloring through lightroom, I was quite intrigued and I wanted to give it a try. This one's just a simple one where I removed all the colors from the bottom part of the photo, and Lightroom does say me about 2 steps, but overall it's still the same process as it was in Photoshop. I was hoping that there might be a way to possibly just be able to select a color spectrum and only keep that color in the picture or remove only that color, but no such luck! My search for this possible method continues. If anyone finds something, do let me know! Anyway, that's plenty for today. Enjoy the picture!