Hot Polka Dot
31Aug/11

How To Tuesday: Photography Lighting Part I.

Lighting is the most important factor to consider when snapping the perfect photo. Light is what makes sight, colour and, more specifically, photography possible. Without the proper light your photos can appear dull, lacklustre and tinted.

Because I am primarily a natural light photographer that is the method I will discuss with you, but artificial light is an option as well. I prefer natural light because of it's ease of use, consistent abundance and that it conveniently streams through my kitchen window. It's not without its challenges, but in the next few weeks we'll talk about how to overcome each of them.

One prominent challenge that natural light presents is white balance. Not everyday is filled with bright, sunny and cheerful light. Some days are cloudy, rainy or maybe you've lost track of time and the sun is quickly escaping.

You might have noticed that bright high sunlight is somewhat yellow or orange in colour. Cloudy or overcast light is very white. Rain clouds, evening light, shade or winter sunlight create very blue tones. That's why it's important to adjust your white balance settings to communicate the truest colours possible in your subject.

This effect can be achieved one of three ways. The easiest method and the one I use is to choose one of the premade settings on your camera. Most cameras, DSLR or otherwise, have a selection of at least seven basic white balance settings: auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent and flash.

The auto setting meters the light and adjusts the colour balance accordingly. This might seem like an easy choice but auto is definitely not foolproof and I would only recommend it in situations where you don't have the time to play around to find the right setting. Daylight white balance leans towards a bluer tint to counteract the orange casts of direct sunlight. It can be tricky to use in diffused sunlight, but it's still the setting I use most often. Shade is obviously the setting best suited to shady situations as it defends against the cool tones of true shade with lots of warm tones. The cloudy setting is also warm like shade, but not as extreme. In the cold winter months I use this setting almost exclusively. Tungsten is very blue to balance the super yellow tint that comes from indoor lighting. Florescent is very green and flash is slightly warm. I have never used the last three settings personally because I've never played with shooting in unnatural light, but it would be a good idea to get to know them.

Here you can see the white balance presets hard at work.

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19Aug/11

Fashionably Late Friday: Afternoon In The Kitchen.

Afternoon In The Kitchen



Sons and Dot-ers Dress, In Your Sunday Vest, Gold Pearl Studs, Sarah's Heirloom Style Pink Pearl and Crystal Cameo Brooch, Elie Tahari Vena Ballet Flat, Faux Leather Ruffle Shoulder Bag, Lacy Ribboned Pearl Necklace.

I love how comfortable and feminine this outfit is! The lace details, mini dots, ruffles and shiny pearls in soft pinks and powder blues are just crying out to help you bake up some brownies in style. You should probably put the purse down to work the oven though. Just an idea.







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18Aug/11

It’s 12am, Do You Know Where Your Cookies Are?

You're awoken by the sound of distant thunder. Flashes of heat lighting stream through the drapes and reflect off the wall. Restless, you lay awake in bed, a thin sheet your only protection against the crisp night air. The heavy blanket long since set aside for colder weather. The scent of imminent rain filters through the open windows and a new breeze disturbs the curtains.

Curiously drawn, you carelessly throw off the sheet and pad downstairs in your bare feet. The light from the refrigerator floods the kitchen and you squint, you're eyes not accustomed to the sudden brightness. You snatch a midnight snack and welcome the darkness back.

Blindly, you find your way to the window. The storm rolls in, clouds of violet and black blanket the sky decorated with intermittent shimmers of silver and gold. You nibble idly on your Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Cookie as the rain falls in an impetuous torrent.

These cookies are fresh, sweet and quickly disappearing. Just like Summer. Best enjoyed with an accompaniment of thunder and lighting.

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18Aug/11

And The Winner Is…


Suzy, you are the lucky winner of the adorable Teacupcakes Cake Molds! You are going to bake the cutest cupcakes ever! Yay you!

Please email me at hotpolkadot (at) live (dot) com and give me your mailing address to receive your awesome prize.

Thank you to everyone else who entered and don't forget to take advantage of your I'm With Cupcake promo code!








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16Aug/11

How To Tuesday: Photography Composition Part III.

Some subjects cry out for certain camera angles. Not listening to their pleas can result in awkward ill-composed shots that make the viewer feel uneasy.

Today I'm going to talk to you about camera angles specifically popular among food photographers and how they can work for you. I'll start with the safest or easiest angle and move up to the more dynamic or fun angles.

The head on or eye level camera angle is perhaps the most straight forward and basic approach to photographing your subject. I would choose this angle when shooting a scene that is rather plain or simple with very little depth or detail. It creates drama and an undeniable focal point. With the photo of the Cherry Almond White Chocolate Ice Cream I wanted to accentuate the drips and texture of the ice cream. The head on angle makes the viewer feel like the cone is being handed right to them. In the photo of the Focaccia I used this camera angle to emphasize the uniformity as well as the natural flaws in each piece of bread. I also force the viewer to analyze the angles created by the brown paper and the slices.

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