Category: Food

The Art of Dining Out

As a photographer, I am keenly interested in how images help persuade me when, where and how to spend my hard earned cash.

I travel on a regular basis and I like my food. Unfortunately, the two rarely mix well , so I’m continually searching for great locations for dining out. If practical, I’ll ask a friend or colleague for a referral and often, I’ll brave searching my favoured online advisers. Once I have my dining out shortlist, I almost always visit each restaurant’s website to get directions, check the menu and scan the prices so that I won’t be too surprised when presented with the bill!

So why do I choose one restaurant over another?

In order of preference, I would say…
1. Value for money
2. Perception of quality (Referrals/Reviews/Website)
3. My food preference
4. The location

Of course, everyone’s priorities differ! With that in mind, I have included links to several relevant articles that I found interesting and I hope you will too.

40 Tasty Restaurant Websites to Inspire You
Since the main content of a restaurant is their food – or at least it should be – there is no better thing to do than show beautiful images of the food…

An Excellent Series of Marketing Articles
From “Strategies to Help Google Find Your Restaurant” to “How to Incorporate Your Restaurant Website into Your Customer’s Experience”

The Art of Food Photography
They say a picture paints a thousand words. But it can also tempt the appetites of millions of hungry customers…

Restaurant Marketing: What Do You Need?
This is the second article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your restaurant and make it a success.

Triggering Taste Buds Through Imagery
Considering the incredibly competitive nature of the restaurant industry, maintaining a steady flow of foot traffic can be a tall order, especially since the dining experience begins long before a customer walks through a restaurant’s doors.

Restaurant Statistics
Find out some interesting (and not so interesting) stats about the restaurant industry, you may be surprised!

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I certainly did enjoy taking in the sights…

…cuisine and culture of Bucharest, and what a cultured city it is.

Firstly, the food… I had already scouted out a few good restaurants so when we mistakenly stumbled upon ‘the Artist’ it was a relief to break for lunch away from the midday sun. The staff are fabulous, the chef is a genius, and the food is divine.

Lunch at the Artist Restaurant - Bucharest Lunch at the Artist Restaurant - BucharestIt was so enjoyable that we vowed to come back…

…later that week for an evening meal (and so we did, but I recommend you book to ensure you get in)

There is a great selection of coffee shops in Bucharest with influences from France and Italy. In fact, we enjoyed tracking down out of the way cafés as well as the popular ones including ‘Camera din Fata‘, ‘Origo‘ and a three out of six of the ‘ Chocolat’ boutiques (just look at their menu to see why we visited three times).

Chocolate Cake Time - BucharestThat’s just the eating, and having so many great places to regain our energy allowed us to explore the many of Bucharest’s museums, galleries, government buildings, parks, theatres , monuments and the old city.

What a fun weekend playing with water during the short time the sun showed it’s face.

It all started as an idea, here’s a sketch of my original concept.

Concept Sketch Wet

So how to achieve this in a photo?

I don’t mind water but to get this right would require many shots and as many changes of clothes.

First things first, let’s get the water right. Aiming the garden hose at a sheet of Perspex just didn’t work; this created way too much spray, and other than soaking the camera (and photographer) it would be almost impossible to isolate the splash from the background.

Spray Hose Splash

Eventually, I tried a small bucket of water. This proved far more effective and created interesting shapes as it arced through the air, even the splash was more controlled.

Splash Bucket

At the computer, it was fairly easy to isolate the water using Photoshop.

Bucket Splash Cutout

Almost there but the background could be better, then I looked up at that clear’ish blue sky, just the job!

Bucket Splash in Sky

Back to Photoshop for a little experimentation… I had a substitute image to practice on, a lovely red apple that I’d shot a day or so before. I bit of Photoshop layer masking / blending and a filter or two later, and here are the final Apple Splash images.

Wet Apple Splash

Making Apple Splash has been fun with surprisingly effective results. I hope I will be able to use my new found techniques and do the original concept some justice. Click on any image on this page for a closer view or click here to see even bigger photos on my Flickr site.

**Update: Kept with the red apple theme for the assignment submission but will try to complete the original concept in the near future

Red Apple Splash in a Globe