Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Photography, Travel and Food

The obsession with taking photos of my food began in the summer of 2007 when my daughter and I traveled to London and Paris as part of a school tour group.

At that time I had a medium sized Canon Powershot camera. The wonder of pocket size photography in the form of a camera phone was not even on the horizon yet. I was on my second mobile phone at this point, a very glamorous flip phone, used only for telephone calls. Texting was torture and the camera was a joke.

It was our first day in London. We had arrived that morning on an overnight flight from Chicago. The hope had been that we would sleep on the plane so we could hit the ground running once we arrived in London. Staving off sleep until normal bedtime that night.

We walked all over the city that first day. Basically we were walking zombies by the time supper time came that evening, since very few of us had actually slept on the plane. I had been unfortunate enough to have a tall turbaned guy reclining into my lap for most of the flight, so there was definitely no sleep happening for me. I was beyond tired at this point, until I saw this sign...

Authentic English food, something nourishing in our bellies and the chance to sit down for while. The hardest part was going to be staying awake, of which some of the kids were not successful. 

When that plate of fish and chips and smashed peas arrived I knew I wanted to document this European culinary adventure with a photograph. This is were having that medium sized camera with a fixed lens comes into play. It was a bit of a tricky task to get far enough away from the food to get the shot, and standing on the chair was going to get attention that I didn't want. Also since it was quite dark in the pub I had to use my flash. By far not ideal photographic conditions or ideal equipment.

After that shot though I was hooked on photographically capturing the rest of our culinary experiences on the trip. Many shots have about the same photo quality as the one above, and it is hard to blend in while taking photos of your food in a restaurant with a camera only slightly smaller than a dslr. But the memories that are attached to each of these photos are priceless and bring back wonderful memories.

Pasties in the Village of Windsor, enjoyed after touring the Windsor Castle.

A baked potato at Covent Garden, shared with my beautiful girl.

A calorie laden hot fudge brownie and hot chocolate at a Cafe' in Paris.

I wish knew then what I know now about photography, but at the time I was still very much a scrapbooker concentrating on documenting the experience as opposed to the aesthetics of the shot.

Today I am still obsessed with taking photos of my food when we travel. Thanks to the wonderful iPhone I can do it much more descreately and the quality has greatly improved.

This was taken on our trip westward last summer at a restaurant in downtown Bismarck, North Dakota. Flourless Chocolate cake and ice cream to be shared with my guy. As you can see my obsession has spread to my family.  

How about you, do you photograph your culinary adventures while traveling? Or am I alone in my obsession.


  1. It seems you discovered all the fast-food options when you were travelling in England that time: fish 'n chips and mushy peas, pasties and baked potatoes! I do adore the latter!
    I do love those outside cafés in Paris! Although not an obsessions, I sometimes like taking photos of some food dishes when I'm out and about or even at home. Apparently, some restaurant chefs are getting annoyed about this as they say our photos don't do their food justice!

  2. You need to come again and travel to Cornwall and get a 'real' pasty they are sublime... Food porn has been part of my life since my first trip to Disneyland !!

  3. I love these 'past memories'! How fun to turn the pages and revisit. You know, food photography isn't my thing. Maybe because I don't get super excited about food at all. Oh, I eat, of course, and I like good food. But I guess my interest is in eating it, not taking photos beforehand.

  4. I usually don't think of taking a picture of my food until after I've eaten half of it. Unfortunately, it's not nearly so photogenic then!

  5. My problem is I haven't advanced to the iphone set yet. I'm still with the Flintstones and kinda like it that way, but taking photos discretely is still an issue for me.

  6. I do take pictures of my food when I'm out and about more than when I'm home! I began several years ago when my sister and I spent three lovely days in a small town filled with flea markets and antique stores. We located all the eateries and tried to visit each one! We made it to all but one!

  7. love your culinary view of England, I don't think you are alone in that obsession! great shots here

  8. I haven't taken many food shots, unless I wanted to send it with a text to my daughter. I'd love to have a bite of that brownie and ice cream! I wish I'd been a better photographer when our daughter was growing up.


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)