In the past few years, Instagram has surpassed Facebook, myspace, and twitter in user popularity. That being said, its only natural for us Americans to find ways to capitalize on it. With a substantial amount of followers on Instagram, a user can be quite influential in starting trends or simply promoting things. People with followers reaching the thousands have used their influence to promote beauty and dietary products, clothes, services, and most of all, food. Posting a good photo is all a user really needs to do to advertise a restaurant to thousands of people.
I’ve generally relied on Yelp for restaurant reviews and recommendations but more and more i find myself looking at foodie blogs to find interesting places to dine around NYC. Somehow on Instagram the lighting is always just right, the plates are always neatly set up and the photos are always perfect. That is what you call a photo taken for advertisement.
A picture of food taken for art can really be anything. It can be a photo meant to look appetizing but it can be focusing on shapes, abstraction, textures and so on. Our egg project was clearly an art project. We took pictures of eggs not to make anyone want to eat an egg, rather to have that egg represent something more than just food.
I do think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, i seldom have any breakfast in the morning. When I was younger I had a habit of waking up late and hurrying to get ready for school. I would race out of the house without even a glass of water. I wouldn’t eat until my lunch period at school, by then i’d be starving. I would eat my school lunch, come home eat a bigger lunch, and then finally eat a huge dinner really late at night. There would be some sugary/salty snacks in between those three meals as well. That pattern followed me through high school and into college. But now, i’ve found some improvements in my diets. There is no way I can start my day without my morning cup o’ joe. If I have time I make it at home and sip it while getting ready. Other than that i have it on the go. If i do take my coffee to go, its with a bagel or muffin. That will last me up until lunch and then finally my dinner meal if i have one. There are no longer any sugary snacks or chips from a bag.
I would like to think that many other Americans, New Yorkers in specific, have the same dietary patterns. The on the go coffee is a must during breakfast and maybe a breakfast sandwich will accompany it if we’re lucky. I think we would all agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but most of us just don’t make the time to enjoy it.
Around the world, people make a special time to prepare healthy foods. They sit down, consume fruits, grain, and nutrition around a table and gear up their energy to last them through the day. Thats the way breakfast should be treated, thats the way our days should begin. We just have to change our New Yorker habits.
Walker Evans took fascinating photos. I personally love learning about history. One of my favorite forms of learning about history is seeing it through the eyes of someone that was there. This man took his camera into the NYC subway during the 1930’s and just shot photos of everyday life. Its incredible to me that these people are living in such a different time, such a different world and yet when I look at the photos of them, I see myself in them. I admire the everyday fashion of that time period and i admire the way in which those passengers carried themselves. The slightest tilt of the head or placement of the hand shows me culture in these people. I was glad that whilst looking through these photos I found the picture of at least one colored person. I’m sure it wasn’t popular to see photos of one in that time period. On top of everything i noticed (hats on just about everyone, subway ads to endorse cigarettes, newspapers, ect.) I was most drawn in by the fact that no matter the facial expression, each and every photo reminded me of today’s subway riders. I think a photographer today would get the same reaction. Some passengers looking directly at him, suspiciously and friendly. Some looked away pretending not to notice, and some genuinely looked like they didn’t notice at all. Each person had a behavior similar to that of any NYC Subway rider today.
I think everyone can agree that appearance plays a huge part in a food being appetizing to someone. When you take a photo of food you want that picture to encompass all the fine details that would make that food appealing to people. Texture plays a huge part in this. A good quality photo will should you the difference between two grains of rice, it will show you every single fault in a food, no matter the size. You can almost know exactly what eating something will be like by focusing on the texture in a picture.
Nothing hits the spot like a steamy, hot plate of pasta, especially Penne ala Vodka. I crave it at least once a week and almost always, my cravings stem from a good picture. You can see the creaminess of the sauce and the ridges on the penne. You can sense the thickness of the vodka sauce by focusing on how it sits in and on the pasta rather than sliding off the way a watery sauce would. Just studying this picture, my appetite increases… I think its time for some Penne ala Vodka!
I don’t know why but when I think of Civil War era, I think tea. It shouldn’t really surprise me that soldiers depended on coffee since coffee plantations were popular during that time. It’s quick and easy to make, gives you warmth when you need it, and of course it gives you that power boost when you’re tired. No doubt it was a necessity in the army during this war. The quote, “Nobody can ‘soldier’ without coffee.” was used back then and I think it still applies now to everyday America. I definitely can’t get through my day without a cup of coffee or three and it’s definitely a huge part of the American culture. It never occurred to me that America’s dependency on coffee could have very well been rooted in our Civil War soldier’s reliance on it. I can say one thing for sure though, no one in this day and age is making their coffee with mud water, or “water even the horses wouldn’t drink”. If it ever came to that (which it wouldn’t, theres a Starbucks or Dunkin’ on every street corner) yeah, I’d give it up and walk around like the sleep-deprived zombie I really am.
A food I can’t live without… can’t live without any food.
It’s no secret that photography has taken over this generation. With the ongoing development of technology, and the growing dependancies on smartphones, you almost always have a camera available when needed. That being said, cell phones are being used less for direct contact and more for communicating via social media. Things like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and especially Instagram are changing the way we express ourselves to the world. Instagram specifically targets photography. You take a photo and upload it within seconds and almost immediately after, you get a notification of someone liking it. Like the “Iphone 5” video showed, it gives you this false sense of fulfillment. I myself am guilty of posting photos on Instagram and waiting for the likes to add up. And though I have never posted pictures of food, I do follow several food blogs. I follow blogs that post recipes and blogs that give recommendations to different restaurants around NYC, you can kind of say its purely educational. I think the only time I personally take photos of my food, its food that I make and pictures of the steps to get to it. Maybe its because i’m not that great a photographer, or maybe its because I don’t really get the point, but I don’t see myself posting a picture of my dinner anytime soon.