Food Styling by Delores Custer

I bought a copy of Food Styling by Delores Custer because I’m getting back into photography…. again. Maybe I won’t get bored so soon this time around.

At any rate, I doubt I’ll start photographing food, but it gave me an excuse to invest in a new book.

Food Styling by Delores Custer:
cover of food styling by Delores Custer

Ms. Custer doesn’t hold back when she gives you the step by step instructions on the tricks of her trade. –Which is why I bought the book in the first place.

Most of the books I’ve read on this subject tend to gloss over the physical necessities required to set up the shot. In fact a lot of the authors I’ve read seem to be too busy telling you how wonderful they are to teach you how they do it. –Self promotion has it’s place, but at the end of the day, those are the books I donate to the local library or Goodwill.

She takes the opposite approach. She goes in to great detail on which tools she uses and how she uses them.
picture of spatulas used by a food stylist

There are lots of things in the book on making food look like it’s delicious and not plastic.

She also shows you how to substitute or add ingredients so the product looks good long enough to get the shots.

For instance this is what’s involved in preparing a turkey for it’s close up.
photograph of the steps used in photographing a turkey
And this is the finished product:
photo of final turkey shot.

On a side note:
When I was helping with a food shoot, we did things like painting partially cooked chickens with strong coffee, so they look perfectly cooked. -Then I would drink what was left.
We also put marbles in the soup so it looked thick and creamy.

If you look closely at the TV ads you’ll notice that the soup bowls are brilliant white and very shallow. This gives the same effect as using marbles.

Police on the Job

About noon a bunch these guys showed up.

As soon as they got out of their cars they had their hands on their weapons, then they started an apartment by apartment search with weapons drawn.

They even checked and then rechecked for loose plywood sheets covering the doors and windows on the unoccupied apartments.
LVMPD police SUV cruiser

According to the officer I spoke to, these three kids were robbed by a younger black man. –And judging by the number of cops and the drawn weapons I assume he was armed.
robbery victims

Here the officer was pulling the paperwork out of the back of his SUV.
cop digging out paperwork for robbery victims
It seems to me that there’s something out of whack when you need to carry so much stuff that you keep it in a bunch of storage containers.

Such is life. — Welcome to the neighborhood.

Armalite AR10-T 308 Rifle

My new Ar10-T 308 target rifle.
Armalite AR10-t

This rifle was a gift from my bosses.

It’s got thick, heavy handguard and 24″ heavy barrel which makes it the heaviest weapon I own, but I’ll only use it at the range so that’s okay.

It only came with one 20 round magazine, but that too is okay, because they’re easy to find and I’m too damn old to be getting into any long range gunfights.

The only downside to my latest toy is that match ammo is freaking expensive.

Still, it’s cool and it was free.

So come Monday I’m driving to Boulder City and rejoining the club. OOPS. No new memberships until November…. maybe.

I Bought a New Camera

I bought a new Canon 80d camera with an 18-135mm lens.

I know I said, “So tomorrow I’ll go to the park and walk the trail, taking pictures with my little Panasonic and no more than two lenses, then decide if I need to upgrade.” –Well, what can I say? I lied. Once again I talked myself into spending more money than I can realistically afford. Such is life.

I also bought a Tamron 150-600mm. I didn’t even consider the new G2 model, because it was almost twice as much money, nobody had it in stock and I didn’t want to wait.

I know it’s not the best long lens out there, but it’ll do for now. If I decide I really need something higher end I’ll rent it. –At least I’m not spending multiple thousands of dollars on a lens that will wind up living in my closet.

This was handheld at 600mm, f/6.3.

I also got a kit Canon sells that consists of a 50mm f/1.8 and a 10-18mm. Neither are high end lenses and it shows, but with a newer camera I can compensate for the slow speed by bumping the ISO and not lose too much image quality.

This was shot with the 10-18mm at about 15mm and processed using DPP from Canon (it comes with the camera). It’s heavily cropped but still passable.

What makes what is at best a mediocre shot worth posting is the small check pattern on his synthetic shirt. It makes most cameras crazy, because it’s one of those shirts that creates a moire pattern no matter what you do, especially under florescent lights. But the new software removed the worst of the moire and kept the photo usable.

What can I say? I’ve got a new toy and will wax poetic about it, right up until I get bored with it. Then it goes on offer-up, so I can afford to buy different stuff.

Pioneer Pawn is Selling Their 1931 Buick

Pioneer Pawn has decided to sell that bright red, 1931 Buick parade car, that’s sitting in their showroom.
1931 Buick

It took several people, four wheel dollies, removal of one set of doors and the relocation of the display cases to get the beast in there and now the owners are talking about selling it.

I guess it didn’t draw the crowds they expected. –I just hope they don’t ask me to help.
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Being a parade car, it’s allowed to have some issues:

You can see the aftermarket radiator frame, isn’t a really good fit.
radiator mismatch

And this is the jury-rigged rumble seat hinge.
rumbe seat hinge

An interesting thing is that all production years from 1931 through 1953 came with an eight cylinder overhead valve engine.
Straight eight buick engine

You can see from the strip they left along the hood hinge that it was originally green.
Almost the Leland green the British used to like so well.
green strip

I don’t know how bad they want to sell it. –I asked how much they were asking and they told me they were “taking offers.”