Archives for August 2012

#NicheMommy12 Collective Bias Workshop #2 – Food Photography For Bloggers

 

Workshop by Stewart Cox – Product Manager – Collective Bias

What does it Take to create Good Photography?

Photography can be very intimidating, sepecially among peers or other photography hobbyist.

  • Anyone can learn to create beutiful images!
  • Desire to learn and a willingness to invest in your time
  • Working with a goal in mind
  • Inspiration

 

Overview Video shared:

 

  • Keep food focused

Lighting Tips:

  • Sunlight: Direct sunlight – missing something vs Overcast – Shadows on overcast non-exiting
  • Photography tip: Outdoors taking pictures of your children/family/object keep everyone out of direct sunlight.
  • Window Lighting: Window shadow – Put plate by the window.  You’ll see better results by taking advantage of natural light that comes from the window.
  • Golden hours 5-7pm — Sexy lighting.
  • Bounce vs No Bounce:  Best light is natural light.  Not direct light.  Great example of site is Vegan Yum Yum http://veganyumyum.com/
  • Avoid on-camera light.

Styling & Composition

Try to be as consistent as possible using natural window light to have seemless set of images.  Feel free to look for inspiration in lighting.  Look at what professionals are doing for inspiration.  A lot of times — less is more.  Try to show the beauty of the food.  If the viewer isn’t enticed by the food you need to do something else.

  • Theme
  • Simplicity
  • Less is More
  • Classic
  • Inspiration
  • Empahasize beauty of food.
  • Shoot, Shoot, Shoot
  • Style, Style, Style

 Camera Tech

Help!

  • Exposure
  • Aperture
  • Shutter
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • +/-
  • On Camera Flash
  • Shutter Priority
  • Aperature Priority
  • Manual

Editing

www.pixir.com/editor <– Free Web Based software

  • Dodging
  • Burning
  • Sharpen
  • Level Adjustment

(Demo)

Roadtrip to Petrified Forest National Park – Arizona

The Petrified Forest National Park is a United States national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona.  It is considered one of the largest concentrations of petrified trees in the world.  The tree trunks in the forest have fossilized as petrified wood and is noted for its agates and late Triassic fossils.

A Spanish explorer is rumored to have named the area “El Desierto Pintado” (The Painted Desert) because the hills looked like they were painted with the colors of the sunset.

The trees in the petrified forest look like someone sawed the logs apart but are actually cracked over a period of time.  We were very fortunate to hike throughout the park.  The climate changed several times during our visit at the National park. At the beginning of the exploration there was heavy rains, winds and monsoon warnings.

In the middle of the trip is was hot but very clear.  It was a perfect opportunity to see all the colors of the Petrified Trees.

Towards the final hour of our hike we were alone in complete silence with the petrified forest and we were able to capture the beauty of the forest and a close and personal view of a colorful collared lizard which makes the Petrified Forest their home.  It was a surreal experience for a city girl like me that loves trees.

One of the things I couldn’t help but wonder is how the Petrified Forest was formed.  According to the Petrified National Park the forest dates back to 218 million years ago.  There was a large river system with coniferous trees, tree ferns, and some gingkoes trees along the waterways. As the trees died naturally, some floated downstream to form log jams.

The mineral silica, from volcanic ash, in stages of crystallization replaced most of the organic wood to form petrified trees.  The various “forests”  are those log jams which form the individual parks.   Today some people use petrified wood as a semi-precious gem.  However, it is against the law to remove petrified trees from the National park.

For additional Petrified Forest National Park photos, please go to my FB page HERE.   To plan a visit, go to the Petriefied Forest National Park website:  http://www.nps.gov/pefo .

 

Disclosure: The Latino Heritage roadtrip was partially funded by American Latino FundVerizon Wireless & General Motors.  The vehicle driven during the roadtrip was provided by General Motors.  All opinions and content rights are my own.

Tech Tuesday: How To Find Out How Many Fake Twitter Followers You Have

Have you ever wondered if your Twitter Followers are real people or fake accounts? As a Media professional agency or brand the task of vetting the quality of a users Twitter Followers may be a challenge and sometimes painful task.

The typical way to check for fake Twitter accounts is to check for followers that have a “goose egg” or very little updates. A fake account also tends to follow many users but tends to have very few or no followers.  However, when checking the quality of accounts with more than 1,000 users it can take an eternity to validate manually.

Social Media Management Platform for Business startup  Status People has developed a really cool application Fake Follower Check to check the quality of Twitter followers.  This makes it easier for marketers and media professional to vet Twitter accounts with a click of a button.  Fake Follower Check checks your Twitter followers to see if they are real or fake.  And  you can check your friends and ‘frenemies’ too.

Why did Status People develop the application?

According to Status People:

“There are two reasons. First it’s important for you to be sure when you communicate on Twitter that you are communicating with real and active followers. Because the more active your follower base the more likely they are to share your content.”

“The second reason is there are a growing number of Fakers out there. People who buy followers in a vain attempt to build legitimacy. “Look at me I have 20,000 followers, I must know my…” They are essentially trying to game the system and it’s important for you to be able to spot them, and steer clear of them. Because ultimately if you’re willing to lie about how many friends you have you are not a very trustworthy individual.”

I put the application to the test and verified my account and was very impressed with the ease of use of the application.

After the check was complete, the tool also allowed me to Tweet my results!

I definitely recommend this tool to anyone that needs to validate the quality of their Twitter followers, vet Twitter accounts or account of someone they may be considering working with.  Go ahead and give it a try here:  http://fakers.statuspeople.com/

 

Question: Have you ever wondered whether you have fake Twitter users?  Did you test Status People’s Fakers application? What was your thoughts on the app results?

El Joe La Leyenda – Celebrate Memory of Salsa legend El Joe Arroya

 

I received a copy of “El Joe La Leyenda” DVD for review.  The DVD celebrates the memory of Salsa legend El Joe Arroyo and his music.  El Joe La Leyenda, a telenovela will debut on Mundo Fox starting August 13.  I’ve been watching and listening to the DVD  a couple times a week since I received it.

Cast

The Spanish telenovela features Colombian actor Jair Romero (El Joe),  actress Estefanía Borge (Jackeline Ramón), actor Andrés Suarez (Fransisco Vergara) and  Colombian actress Jeimmy Paola Vargas (Adela).

Telenovela Overview
The Colombian Caribbean has a color, rhythm and a unique taste, and in the center of it all was Joe Arroyo, the salsa star who redefined the genre with his  infectious music and charming personality. This thrilling story is is set during the 1970s and is based on his life, when Joe had no idea the influence he would have in the future of music.  His failures and successes, tumultuous relationships and health problems, come together to tell the story of the famous Colombian singer and songwriter.
The telenovela will also feature a lot of music, dancing, El Joe Arroyo live music and performances.

I’m looking forward to the telenovela.  Check your local Mundo Fox listing for programing.

Question:  Will you be watching El Joe La Leyenda telenovela?  What is your favorite El Joe Arroyo song?

Disclosure:  This is not  a sponsored post.  I received a copy El Joe La Leyenda DVD for review.  All opinions are my own.

Comfort Plus Provides Resources for Families Caring for Family Members or Friends

According to the The State of the Hispanic Caregiver white paper developed by researchers, there are roughly 4,000,000 Hispanics over the age of 65 in the U.S.  There are also currently over 50 million Hispanics in the US.  By 2050, elderly Hispanics share will almost triple to 17 percent from 6 percent in 2005.

When I think of the statistics, I wonder whether or not people will be able to care for their loved ones.  I also wonder how they will be able to care for them. Most importantly I wonder how I will care for my family when they get older.

I recently found out about Comfort Plus.  The company is family-oriented and believes that everyone needs the best service when dealing with the care of their loved ones.  Comfort Plus, Inc. launched www.comfortplusonline.com in March of 2012 with the intentions of making products and services more accessible to at-home caregivers.  Comfort plust also distributes  Tranquility products and provides ample resources and services to help and ease the job of home caregivers

Furthermore, Hispanics have higher rates for the causes of incontinence (diabetes, overweight, Alzheimer’s, etc.) Also, Hispanic women reported more urinary incontinence than did non-Hispanic white women. These higher prevalences were largely associated with diabetes and other physiological issues (Firouz Daneshgari, 2007). 21% of Hispanic caregivers cite that they help their care recipients with dealing with incontinence.

Thanks to Comfort Plus I am prepared when I need to use the services to care for my family.

If you or someone you know is caring for an elderly  family member or friend, visit Comfort Plus at www.comfortplusonline.com.  You can also “Like” Comfort Plus on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Comfort Plus is also currently offering a discount code to my readers: Use LMB2012 at checkout for $10 off any case of Tranquility products.

Disclosure:  This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers andComfortPlus Online However, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Roadtrip to Socorro, New Mexico established 1598

On our Latino Heritage trip through New Mexico we decided to make a stop off the beaten path just to explore a city. Definitely found a lot more than what I was expecting in the small town of Socorro, New Mexico — population 10,000.  The town is so small if you don’t purposely look for it you will miss  it.  So thankful we didn’t miss it.

The city is full of Hispanic culture and history.  Many the buildings and business in the small town were established by Hispanics in the 1800s.

San Miguel Church est. 1821

 

San Miguel Church est. 1821

 

The Lupe Torress House est. 1898

I have a lot of appreciate for this small town because they preserved this history and their heritage proudly.

For additional photos and historical facts about Socorro, NM, please go to my FB page HERE.   To plan a visit, go to http://www.socorronm.gov/ .

Disclosure: The Latino Heritage roadtrip was partially funded by American Latino Fund, Verizon Wireless & General Motors.  The vehicle driven during the roadtrip was provided by General Motors.  All opinions and content rights are my own.

Question:   Have you ever planned a roadtrip or a vacation to learn more about your heritage?

 

Roadtrip – White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

My heritage is both Mexican and American with a huge influence on Latino culture due to my upbringing by a Latina Mom in Mexico and border town of San Ysidro, CA.  I embrace my bicultural heritage and through the Latino Heritage road trip discovered Hispanic Heritage across America and influence of Hispanics in each of the places we visited.

I had the pleasure of visiting the White Sands National Monument during our Latino Heritage road trip.   The visitor center and monument is located  on U.S. Highway 70, 52 miles east of Las Cruces, New Mexico.   The white as snow dunes were created over three million years ago and look like a comma from outer space.  The White Sands National National Monument was established in 1933 and is one of the world’s natural wonders.

The visitor facilities has a lot of Hispanic influence and was constructed over a period of six years during the Great Depression.   The building was designed to reflect traditional regional Pueblo architecture in the area.  The architects also relied  on the local craftspeople including Hispanic woodcarvers for some of intricate designs.  I really admired the workmanship, latillas and vigas of this adobe building.

The visitor center also features a fully bilingual state of the art museum exhibits with English and Spanish text.  The exhibits provide the history of the architecture of the adobe visitor center and tell the story of the geology of the world’s largest gypsum dunefield, unique plants and animals.

After checking out the exhibits we headed towards the sand dunes.  I jumped out of the car and started snapping photos and literally dancing in the Sand.  This place is phenomenal! It’s a beautiful site to be on top of a White Sand Dune. You can also walk on the dunes with bare feet, even in the hottest summer months.  The sand feels cool and soft to the touch.  White Sands Monument is also very popular among hikers and photographers nationwide.

I also had the opportunity to interview two National Park Service Rangers during our visit as well who shared tips for visiting the glistening White Sands National Monument.

 


If you’re planning a recreational or educational trip to New Mexico head on over to the White Sands National Monument, bring a camera and stay awhile.  Some of the best Park Ranger guided events are scheduled around sun down. We’re definitely coming back! Plan your trip here: http://www.nps.gov/whsa

Disclosure: The Latino Heritage roadtrip was partially funded by American Latino FundVerizon Wireless & General Motors.  The vehicle driven during the roadtrip was provided by General Motors.  All opinions and content rights are my own.

Question:  Did you know that the National Parks have online resources to help you discover historical sites in your local city or nationwide? Have you ever planned a roadtrip or a vacation to learn more about your heritage?

Win 2 Tickets to LA Times THE TASTE 2012 With Unlimited Food, Wine & Fun #TasteLA

I’m super excited about The LA Times “THE TASTE” 2012 on September 1-3, 2012.  I attended the event last year and tasted the best appetizers, food and desserts.  My taste buds are still dancing!  I was also  introduced to Watermelon Lemonade among other things.

This years event will showcase Los Angeles Top Restaurants, Cooking and Mixology Demos, Wine Seminars, Star Chefs, world renowned Food Critic panel discussions & more.  If you’re looking for ideas for Labor day weekend make sure to make time for THE TASTE and consider making it a weekend celebration!

I’m looking forward to going again this year.  LA Times “THE TASTE” 2012 is truly going to be a foodies paradise.

The Taste of LA 2011

For more information about the program schedule, chef lineup and current list of participating restaurants for all 5 Labor Day weekend events check http://www.latimes.com/thetaste.

For more information about LA Times The Taste event, please follow the live tweets at @TasteofLA or “Like” Taste of LA on Facebook.  Follow the conversation via #tastela hashtag on Twitter.

 

The Delicious Details:

Event:  LA Times THE TASTE 2012

Dates:  September 1-3, 2012

Location:  Paramount Pictures Studios

Cost:  $50-$100 per event *

*Promotions:

If you’re an LA Times member you can receive a 20% discount on individual THE TASTE tickets.  There is also an Early-bird ticket offer, $50 per event, ends on Monday, August 6.  Event prices increase after August 6, Register now! 

Giveaway:

To celebrate the LA Times THE TASTE 2nd annual Food & Wine Festival, The Taste has provided two lucky Tech Food Life Blog readers a pair of tickets for any of the Taste  events.  You and your guest can attend Field to Fork, Cocktail Confidential, Flavors of LA, Dinner & Drinks or the Labor Day Picnic compliments of Taste of LA.  The  all inclusive ticket includes unlimited beer, wine, spirits and food tastings, plus access to all wine seminars and cooking demonstrations for you and a guest (value $100-$200).  We are offering this giveaway to 2 lucky winners.


Disclosure:  This giveaway is open to to US entries only. 18 and up. This is not a sponsored post.  I did receive Media passes to facilitate review of the event. All opinions are my own.

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