This week I am lucky enough to have an extra day because of Presidents Day! With the extra day off it gave me the perfect opportunity to take a Photoshop / Lighting workshop that I have wanting to attend. I’m still not sure how I found him, but one day while googling who knows what I unexpectedly came upon the website of Harold Ross, a professional photographer that specializes in a technique referred to as light painting. If you’d like to see why I got so excited about this technique please stop by Harold’s Food and Product Photography website and you’ll soon understand!
While light painting may be a little complicated for everyday blogging photography, it produces images that you just won’t believe you could have taken, and as a former Black and White Fine Art Photographer I have finally found a way to truly express what I see and how I feel. This weekend I was lucky enough to be able to attend a one on one workshop with Harold Ross, as he taught me the fundamentals of light theory, light painting , and photoshop. I even got to complete an image from start to finish myself, under his supervision and direction. I think its safe to say I learned more about light that afternoon than I knew existed, and how to correctly use it, and how to apply these techniques to properly light the images for my blog.
With my work schedule I rarely get to shoot with available light and that of course means I have to rely on artifical light which really doesn’t have the quality that natural light possess. During the workshop I was shown alternative forms of lighting, and how to more effectively use my existing lighting. Now don’t expect to see changes overnight, I have to relocate my shooting area to an upstairs room that will give enough room to do it properly, and that’s going to take a while until I can get everything reorganized, but now I have a better understanding and will be able to use the light I do have better.
The second day of the workshop was more focused on Photoshop and how to use it with Light Painting, which translates very easily to my blog photography, I also learned to use the Wacom tablet I had gotten for Christmas. As you can imagine with all this information going in, my head was about to explode! This is when you have to take a step back, take a deep breath and realize that everything worthwhile takes practice and takes time. I certainly didn’t learn to cook over the span of a week, and I can’t expect to be proficient in Photoshop or Light Painting that quickly, but at least now I have goals to work towards and a better understanding oh how to achieve them.
If you would like to see my first lesson in Light Painting, before I set up and shot my own, check out the Harold Ross Fine Art Photography Blog where he actually did a very nice post about our workshop! You can also see the type of lights he uses to achieve the results he gets, and it will amaze you and how simple and inexpensive the lights are. You can also keep up on the workshops he will be holding….I’m trying to talk Harold into gearing more workshops towards food bloggers and our style of shooting, and Photoshop, I know I would go back in a heart beat for another course! Harold is also moving his studio to Lancaster which would be a great place for a weekend getaway! But don’t forget to stop his and see his Food Photography and see the results you can get with this method, they are truly amazing!
Ok, now lets get to creation for this post! This is a variation of my Butter Cake that I first posted using apples, and then again with Pineapples, I don’t think there are many fruits that it wouldn’t go with well, there is just something magical about butter and how well it works with this cake. If you remember I had a bag full of Meyer Lemons that I used to make my Lemon Gelato with and I kept thinking about a lemon cake. When I walked into Wegman’s and saw the display of fresh blueberries I knew right away what I wanted to make. I do love how blueberries just naturally go with lemons, and I knew they would even be better with the Meyer Lemons, and I wasn’t disappointed!
The sweet tartness of the Meyer Lemon in that buttery moist cake would have been enough on its own, but with the addition of the plump, juicy blueberries it was beyond my expectations, simply delicious, and as it sat it became even more dense, moist and flavorful! If you have any Meyer lemons on hand, you have try this cake I know your family and anyone you share it with will be glad you did!
- ½ cup unsalted butter (melted)
- 1½ cups blueberries
- ½ cup Meyer Lemon Juice (about 3 lemons)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp grated Meyer lemon zest
- 10 x sugar to dust
- preheat oven to 350 degrees
- butter a 9” round cake pan.
- In a small bowl mix together flour, salt and baking powder.
- In a large bowl beat the whole eggs and egg yolks until blended.
- Add the butter, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest.
- Coat the blueberries in the flour* and set aside
- Stir in the remainder of the flour and then the floured blueberries.
- Spoon into prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- Bake until cake is browned, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool in pan for
- minutes. Invert cake onto plate to remove the pan and then invert again and return to rack to cool completely.
- Before serving dust with 10x sugar
I hope you enjoyed the cake, in fact I wish I had a piece right now to enjoy with coffee! I have so much to do today to catch up for the weekend spent at the workshop, and I’m just so thankful that I have today off to try and get a few things done around the house. You know how that is…..it just never ends!
Have a wonderful week and don’t forget spring is just around the corner!