I've Got a Secret and am Letting You in on IT!

I'm sure not many of you know that I have a food blog here on the blogger platform which I had begun a little over 2 years ago. The blog's title...

To be honest it has been sitting on the back burner for awhile now since I have been completely immersed in 21 Rosemary Lane. But in the last month or two I'd given serious thought to re-exploring the idea of a blog focused on just food and food related topics. So with all of my new skills which I have honed during the past almost two years of blogging here at 21 Rosemary Lane, I decided to take on the task of breathing new life into my otherwise stale old food blog. 

As a result of this decision I have to tell you that I have been one busy gal revamping the blog. I've been working on giving it a new look and feel along with recreating and re-shooting many of the recipes I had previously posted. The recipes themselves haven't changed much but boy oh boy has the photography!

Let give you a little peek at a few of the recipes on the blog and on what I have been doing with regard to the food's imagery. (Some of these recipes have appeared here at Rosemary Lane, and others are completely new!!!)

Lighting was something my photography was seriously lacking when I first started The Big Giant Food Basket. I pretty much shot everything on the kitchen island with little regard to time of day, proximity to a light source, and under the awful yellow glow of indoor tungsten lighting. Look at the below photo of my Pomegranate and Banana Tossed with Lime and Brown Sugar

You can see that the photo was under lit and the bananas themselves look somewhat blurry. There is no intensity in the picture since all the fruit is lackluster in appearance...overall not very appealing in my opinion.

Now look at the re-shoot taken from about the same distance...

Over the course of the last 12 months or so I have learned the value of using natural light in my food photography. In the new picture you can see that there is a light source coming in from the right which illuminates the mint leaf and provides the pomegranate seeds a variety of tones. The fruit is now bright, clear and far more vibrant...not all yellowy looking like in the previous pic. This photo was shot on my back patio where I shoot most of my pictures. From time to time I will use Michael's room for food photo shoots since the room gets several hours of the very bright afternoon light, and his furniture has a clean white surface.

I also learned a little bit about photo composition, and have since incorporated it into my images to make my food shots more interesting. For example look below at the original photo of my Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup. 

(source: yawning and stretching)

In 2011 I was pretty much a point and shoot kind of gal...but once I learned about photo composition I was able to create more of a story with my pictures.

Here I chose to off center my subject so the entire bowl of soup is not visible. A few carrots and some contrasting chopped parsley were scattered next to the bowls as part of the background. Two of the bowls were stacked together so you see a repeating pattern, this helps to create a more interesting image. And if you look at the surface the bowls are sitting on, you will notice it has two textures...that of the wood and of a rush place mat. The solid orange color of the soup has been broken up with a contrasting swirl of sour cream which draws the eye to the soup. Also this picture was taken from about a 45 degree angle, the angle of which you might view the bowl of soup while sitting at a table. 

Here's another example of my Chicken Margarita I shot earlier this week. Below is the before photo...

Not bad looking but again it has a yellow cast along with the good old point and shoot technique. This photo makes the food seem a bit bland in appearance, which is a total shame since this dish is nothing less than scrumptiously unique in flavor.

The new picture utilizes natural lighting and a white backdrop. This photo was taken in Michael's room against his closet doors. Using Picmonkey's editing site, I was able to blur the line created by where the dresser top meets the doors. This gives you the viewer the sense of a seamless white background which affords the colors of the pasta to pop out of the picture. I also wanted a vertical image so the vibrancy of the pasta was balanced by a tall bold colored margarita glass placed behind the plate of food. The glass has just enough bright color to draw the eye to the image, but it doesn't define the picture or take away from the plated food. Mr. Rosemary Lane was a bit bedazzled by the photo since he had questioned me on how I was planning to make a plate of pasta look interesting. You'd think he'd know me by now!

Also, as you've probably already noticed, I've added verbiage and watermarking to my pictures as well, again all done using the Picmonkey editing site. So here is another photo of pasta...this time it is my Sausage and Pasta Toss.

I re-shot the picture outdoors, off set the subject, placed a few tomatoes and basil on the table along side of the bowl, took the photo from directly above, and then got totally creative with the post shoot process of editing, watermarking and titling of the photo.

Recreating over 100 dishes is something that will undoubtedly take me a good bit of time to do, but in a few cases I was able to embellish a recipe's existing photograph.

For example here is my "Delicious" German Pancake.

and here is my German pancake embellished.

The Big Giant Food Basket will encompass all of my recipes but I will continue to feature many of them right here at 21 Rosemary Lane. I plan to officially relaunch The Big Giant Food Basket sometime before the end of April...I may even do a giveaway. So if you'd like, grab a cup of Joe and hop on over to take a sneak peek...I would love to see you there!

Click here to check out and follow The BGFB

Wishing you a super sparkly day!!!


  1. I'm excited to follow your new blog! Those recipes make me hungry, and your photography is really good!! I probably should use something like Picmonkey for my own blog, too. Have fun with your new venture!

  2. Barbara, we sure have all come a long with the our photography skills since beginning our blogs. Yours are fantastic! Good luck with continuing the new food blog, I wish you much success!

  3. Wow, Barbara, your new photos are so professional and gorgeous. I am your newest follower on the foodie blog. What could be better that 21 Rosemary Lane goodness x two!! xo

  4. How wonderful to have a second blog like that. You have come a long way with your photography skills. That is one thing I need to work on-xo Diana

  5. I'm happy for you, your new pics look gorgeous! And I've always enjoyed your recipes. I'm heading over now to follow!


  6. This looks great! Congrats on the relaunch of your new/old blog!


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