“Food photos are never just about food. They’re equally about people, landscapes, capturing moments, and a sense of place.”
Penny De Los Santos

Dulce de leche bundt cake There’s something about food photography that makes the heart skip a beat. It’s a truly rewarding experience, a visual delight, an instant connect. The immense sea of talent that food blogs now offer hits the ball out of the park. It fills me with pleasure to have the privilege of hosting this months DMBLGiT, a food photography contest, on PAB.

DalsDMBLGiT – short for Does My Blog Look Good in This, is a community run food photography contest that was established in 2005, 10 years ago. It’s a one of its kind contest that is hosted by different food bloggers every month and is judged by outstanding food photographers who love DMBLGiT. I still remember the shock at picking up a badge many years ago while timidly blogging in my little corner of the world. That was a post in November 2008. It’s really been a while…

dmblgit_blue dec2008 In 2014, Neel @ LFP “acquired” this food photography contest from Andrew who was running this contest for several years. I’ve known Neel for several years, and was thrilled to catch up with him in Bangalore last year at the IFBM. He has done more for food photography than anyone can imagine to ‘capture’ food in frame! DMBLGiT was relaunched last month … and the announcement filled me with nostalgia. It was but natural that he would revive DMBLGiT some day!bundts 800 It’s a simple contest. Photographs are reviewed by a panel of judges, who score them in three categories: edibility, aesthetics, and originality. The host {me in this case} then compiles the scores to determine the winners. I have invited 3 food photographers I admire to be part of the panel this month.Mulberry fro yoThere is the very talented Bulgarian born Sophia Terra-Ziva from Sydney whos work I hugely admire. She has a very clear perspective, plays with colours beautifully and has won several food photography awards. Her frames tell a compelling tale, her energy amazes!

Our second judge is the sweet and uber talented Ludmila Slokoski, coincidentally again from Bulgaria and based in Sophia. She is the author of one of Bulgaria’s most popular food blogs Salted Lemons which reflects her love for the tastes and colors of great food. The last two years Ludmila has been working as the editor-in-chief and photographer of BBC GoodFood Bulgaria magazine.

… and last but not the least, our third judge is Neel who really needs no introduction as he is the force behind resurrecting this beautiful DMBLGiT concept! Neel is also the star {with his better half G} who has successfully run Learn Food Photography for the past so many years. From an old Russian 35 mm film camera, Zenit, to plugging in his memory card, Neel, the hobbyist photographer and professional engineer, is living a dream life!

 Food Styling @ PABThe specific things the judges will be looking for are as follows:

Aesthetics: composition, food styling, lighting, focus, etc.
Edibility: “does the photo make us want to dive in and eat the food?”
Originality: the photograph that catches our attention and makes us want to say “wow!”, displaying something we might not have seen before.
Overall Winner: top overall scores in all three categories combined.

Vine tomatoes with LFP There are three overall winners for photographs with the highest point totals in all three categories combined, and one winner in each of the three individual categories. So… ready to participate? To participate simply email me your best photograph you took in Mar ’15 using the submission instructions below.

How to Participate – Photo Submission Requirements

  1. Send your photos at an attachment to dmblgit[at]learnfoodphotography[dot]com with Subject “DMBLGiT April 2015″
  2. Include this information in your photo submission
    1. Your full name
    2. Your blog name and URL
    3. Title of your photograph
    4. URL to blogpost where submitted photo is posted
    5. Agreement from you agreeing to let us display your photo on host website, and DMBLGiT contest gallery. We won’t use your photo for any other purpose outside DMBLGiT.
  3. Important: File format needs to be jpeg format and longest size should be no longer than 500 pixels. This means for horizontal or landscape format max 500 px width and for vertical or portrait format max 500 px height.
  4. Photo must not have any text.

General DMBLGiT Contest Rules

  1. Only one entry per person. One photograph. No diptychs.

  2. This photo should be taken and posted in the month of Mar 2015.

  3. This goes without saying but well … you must have taken this photograph and should have copyrights to this photo.

  4. Entries must be received by Apr 20th at midnight I.S.T (Indian Standard Time) using all requirements described in the photo requirements section.

Food Styling @ PABDon’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“Skills are never taught, they are acquired. I can give you a camera, but can’t feed your vision.”
Raghu Rai

World Photography Day
Mumbai, Aug 19th, 2013

It was Aug 19th, 2013. I landed in Mumbai early that morning armed with my camera. Shot the above as I was driven to the hotel. Google was celebrating World Photography Day in Mumbai, the city of dreams. Shantaram’s Mumbai for me, the book that brought the city virtually alive for me. It played out like a film in my head as I read the book. Then came Slumdog Millionaire. It offered the world this bustling city frame by frame, captured to take your breath away! The Mumbaikers, the colours, the light, the smells of Mumbai … all fascinating! All this has one common thread. IMAGES.

World Photography DayMy world is dominated by the moments that I capture. I have a million pictures that I love to look at, share, tag, and use on the blog. I’m no different from most of us. Cameras and mobiles have resulted in photography enthusiasts like never before. An active social networking community means that we like to share the pictures we capture. We need to curate too, organise them. That’s just where is where Google steps in.

World Photography DayGoogle celebrated World Photography Day in Mumbai with an event at the Race Course at Mahaluxmi. It was  a day when professional photographers and photo enthusiasts were invited to  step into Googles dynamic world of photo sharing. Google invited photographers to embrace technology with its easy to use features.

“Google+ offers plethora of advanced features for budding and professional photographers to add effects, edit, and improve the quality of their photos. It provides a powerful platform for photographers to showcase their work, receive suggestions, and network with other photographers with similar interests.”

World Photography Day I have been using Google images in my G+ account for a while. My first real insight into Google’s world was when I was invited for Google Day in September last year. AMAZING GOOGLE were my thoughts that day. I hadn’t realised how dynamic, how responsive, how brilliant Google was. There are subtle changes that I notice as I use this platform increasingly. Non invasive, good helpful features that attempt to make life easier.

Mumbai, Aug 19th, 2013

For a world now obsessed with images and social networking, cameras and mobiles rule the world. The whole worlds clicking, and Google’s here to simplify things! Being the dynamic and proactive company that it is, Google has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make G+ image friendly.

ITC Grand, Parel, Mumbai
Mumbai, Aug 19th, 2013

They chose to celebrate World Photography Day in a big way. I was privileged to be invited. They flew me down, hosted me at the beautiful ITC Grand Central, assigned me a chauffeur driven car for the day … everything taken care of like magic. {Photography is everywhere; above adorning the walls of the hotel room}.

World Photography Day The event was hosted at the beautiful Tote on the Turf. An inspiring array of photo exhibits was on display, each celebrating India and photography…. with G+ of course. After a brief welcome, the stage was handed over to one of India’s best known photographers and photojournalists, the celebrated Padma Shri Raghu Rai, for the keynote session. {I have included some of his stunning B & W photographs below}Raghu Rai's IndiaRaghu Rai’s India is inspirational. Full of characterNo one has shot India like he has; extensively and evocatively. At the event, Raghu Rai spoke about the evolution of photography over the decades. Also about how creativity is pushing new boundaries with the easy to use technology available on hand. {The shots below are ones I took on a recent visit to Lucknow. I love the emotional connect and vibrancy that India offers}

Lucknow, India
Lucknow, March 2013

If your mind is not connected to what you are shooting then you are not a good photographer” Raghu Rai went on to explain. You need to connect with your inner self, your maker to try and ‘capture the moment’. Of that moment he says ” A photograph has picked up a fact of life, and that fact will live forever‘. He held the audience captivatedwith his stories, ending with how dangerously fascinating Google was for him.

World Photography Day From there, Sandeep Menon, Director, Marketing, Google India took over. “The advent of technology has brought easy-to-use, advanced photography tools within reach of all photography enthusiasts. Recognizing the evolving needs of photographers, Google is focused on providing useful photo-editing tools and services to help people share the special moments that matter.

Mumbai, Aug 19th, 2013

Sandeep Menon went on to demonstrate salient features that Google has silently built into it’s photo sharing sites. With features like auto back up, auto-enhance, auto highlight and auto awesome, g+ promises to make your picture better automagically!

Mumbai, Aug 19th, 2013

As Raghu Rai said,  “The world of photography has seen a paradigm shift over the past decade. It has moved away from isolated dark rooms to highly interactive social platforms.” With increased awareness and interest in photography, travel etc, and the growing popularity of such platforms, g+ fits in easily.

World Photography DayIt leverages the power of technology to capture and curate photographs, helps address common bottlenecks like skin tone enhancing, denoising, local contrast. In a nutshell, Google offers intelligent photo editing on the go! These are all available free at g+.

World Photography Day Also interesting was the animated gif composition where image series can be merged to make an animation. Auto awesome! Take a look at my gif below; it’s quite animated yet could have been better!! This is my first attempt to stitch a strip!

IMG_0841-1-MOTIONThe event wrapped up with an interactive panel discussion with celebrated photojournalists and photographers which included Sooni Taraporevala, Sumit Sen, Mulchand Dedhia and Ketaki Sheth. Thank you Google for having me over! 

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“I believe that photography has the power to tell stories, inspire generations and initiate change in the world.”
Korske Ara

World Photography Day originates from the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic processes developed by Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre. On January 9, 1839, The French Academy of Sciences announced the daguerreotype process. A few months later, on August 19, 1839, the French government announced the invention as a gift “Free to the World”.

Another photographic processes, the Calotype, was also invented in 1839 by William Fox Talbot (it was announced in 1841). Together, the invention of both the Daguerreotype and Calotype mark 1839 as the year that photography was invented.

 Over 170 years later, we have chosen this date, August 19th to celebrate photography, It’s past, present and future, technologically and artistically.

Irish Creme Chocolate Cakes with an Irish Creme Caramel Sauce What an inspiring day to begin the week. As a food blogger, I learnt one thing pretty early – we eat with our eyes first. There has been endless inspiration over the years. So much to learn. I can spend all day long flitting from flickr to pinterest to 500px  to tumblr and drown myself in images. Photography never ceases to amaze, creativity astounds!

world photog day 3

The photographer’s job is to cut a frame-sized slice out of the world around him, so faithfully and honestly that if he were to put it back again, life and the world would begin to move again without a stumble.
Raghu Rai

… words that this hugely talented photographer proves each time he clicks. He has captured India like no one else.

I have had the privilege of being invited to Mumbai by the Google+ team for the Google+ World Photography Day event today. While I fly off to discover how Google has changed the world of photography and images, I leave you with some of my favourite food  shots. It’s a mixed bag  yet one thing runs common – there is always a story behind my shots, a memory, an emotional connect, a season, maybe a reason.

Food photographsIMHO, it’s important to connect with the subject to lend the photograph a soul. Soulless photography doesn’t work for me. The image must tell a story. It must also arouse curiosity. The mind should look at it and say how, when, why, who? I ask these questions a hundred times a day as I look at inspirational photographs. So much to learn and so little time. I leave you with one last photograph … a non food one. It’s very ‘India’, it has a story, the monkeys have names {Ramlal & Chameli}. It reflects a poignant part of  Indian folk tradition …

Ramlal & Chameli

“ Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
Imogen Cunningham

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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