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EDSC book nook: Food with style

Photography is such an under-appreciated art. In this digital age, it seems like everyone with a camera has hung out their “Photographer for Hire” shingle, but it’s the rare duck who can touch the soul with a photograph. I’m in awe of my photographer friends who can transform everyday subjects into things of beauty. I recently started thinking I should educate myself a little on a subject I’ve always found enchanting, but incredibly daunting: food styling and photography. I love watching food stylists do their thing, setting up dishes and poking at food with tweezers and paint brushes, trying to get the perfect shot.

There are two books on my nightstand that I’ve been waiting to dive into. The first, “Food Styling & Photography for Dummies” by Alison Parks-Whitfield (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012) is a good, basic place to start. Like the rest of the “Dummies” books, it gives a comprehensive overview of the topic and offers helpful hints and other resources. The book covers everything from the right equipment to how to work with chefs and art directors. It’s a great look at how the whole food styling and photography business works.

The other book, “Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling,” by Helene Dujardin (Wiley Publishing Inc., 2011) places a lot of emphasis on the artistic side of things. Camera settings, lighting and composition are discussed in detail. The photos are beautiful, almost to the point of distraction. Just looking at the book makes me hungry, which I suppose means the author certainly knows her stuff. Hopefully I can learn a thing or two from these books, if I can ever get past drooling over the photos.

And speaking of food photography, check out this week’s print feature on local blogger Hannah Kaminsky. Her blog (and her books) include her amazingly beautiful food photography. At only 23 years old, Kaminsky is well on her way to a promising career in food photography.