Food Photography Course – night 4 of 30

Tonight’s lesson — Depth of Field

cameraLinz | depth of field study

Although the next shot doesn’t represent DOF per se, I thought it looked, ya know, good enough to eat!

cameraLinz | brownies

This brownie recipe came out of a Star Wars cookbook and I have to thank my (now) 13 year old for baking them up the first time – when he was just 11. Now its my go-to brownie! I’ll share my spin on the recipe soon.


Food Photography Course – night 3 of 30

I signed up for an online food photography course on I tried to do it once over the summer but fell behind right off the bat. I’m determined to finish it this time!

Today is technically day three of the course but its the first day of shooting. Day one we studied some famous food photogs. Day two we decided what our subject would be throughout the 30 days. I decided that using produce would be my best bet. Having to make a meal and shoot it tends to get hectic every evening. Keep it simple, keep it simple… So for day three we are studying different camera angles — the 0 – 15° range, the 45°, and the 90°. I realized that shooting at 45° comes most naturally to me, though its my least favorite result.

45° —

cameraLinz | oranges at 45°

90° —

cameraLinz | oranges at 90°

straight on —

cameraLinz | oranges straight on

I think the straight on was my favorite this time around.

Also, I white balanced these using my Kelvin setting. For the first time ever. Little to no PP involved. I like it, definitely something worth practicing more!

Pumpkin Bread

Oh hello there, fall. I’d like to welcome you into our home by making this pumpkin bread that just doesn’t taste as good any other time of year…

Pumpkin Bread :: cameraLinz

I received this recipe from a friend a few years ago. I’ve made it countless times for my family and for holiday gifts. It is always a big hit! One year for my middle son’s birthday he wanted these muffins (or cupcakes if you put cream cheese frosting on top, oh don’t even get me started on how good those are!).

Get ready to really feed a crowd or freeze some because this recipe makes a LOT!

pumpkin bread :: cameraLinz

Pumpkin Quick Bread


15 oz can of pumpkin puree
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup apple sauce (or vegetable oil)
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°.

Stir together the wet ingredients (pumpkin – water).
Sift dry ingredients together.
Add dry ingredients to the wet, stir until moist. Batter will be a little lumpy.

Grease 1 loaf pan & 1 9×13 pan (or 2 loaf pans & 12 muffin cups). Fill about half full.

Bake about 55 minutes. Times vary per pan though — the 9×13 will take about 55 minutes, the muffins would take about 10 minutes less.

Simple Focaccia Recipe

focaccia bread | cameraLinz

I was craving a focaccia bread. The grocery store ones just aren't cutting it, ya know. Something easy and tender that I could rip apart with my fingers was necessary. So I checked out Joy the Baker's site in hopes of finding just the thing. I found this recipe. It uses strawberries, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Not the flavor combo I was seeking. So I just borrowed the base dough recipe. Focaccia’s flexible right?

Jalapeno cheddar is such a classic flavor combo, I love it. And when you bake those peppers they tend to lose just a little bit of their heat. But I was taking this loaf to my mother-in-law’s house so I didn’t want to make the whole thing jalapeno. Not everyone there is a fan of the spice like I am. So I did halfsies with an herb topping on the other half.

[jalapeno cheddar]
Focaccia Bread Recipe


5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (+/- 115°)
3 cups of flour
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
12 slices of jalapeno (I used the jarred kind), cut in half
2 tsp herb mix (parsley, basil, garlic pwd, etc – whatever blend you love)


Pour the warm water into a large bowl & add the yeast. Stir it up until it dissolves fully. Add 1 cup of the flour and blend it together until it becomes a smooth dough. Cover and let it rest for 1 hour to rise.

After the hour has passed and the dough has risen, stir in 3 Tbsp olive oil and sugar.

Add 1 cup flour and stir.

Add the last cup of flour + salt. Stir it up and form a dough.

Take the dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be a little sticky, but if its unmanageable its ok to add a little more flour until you can work with it.

Using a clean bowl, coat the sides with 1 tsp of olive oil. Put the dough ball in the bowl and flip it around until its coated all around.

Cover the bowl with a clean hand towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour (until its doubled in size).

After the hour, punch the dough down and knead it for a minute.

Then shape into a long, wide rectangle. Approx 16 x 9 inches.

Place the rectangular dough onto a greased baking sheet and let it rise for a half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Before placing the dough in the oven use your fingers to press indentations all over the surface. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with cheddar cheese & jalapeno slices (or herb mixture).

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. The bread should be golden and crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.

Meanwhile… this was happening in the front yard.

box turtle | cameraLinz

boys and daddy with box turtle | cameraLinz

The turtle gets away –

box turtle - getaway | cameraLinz

I love having boys.

34 things


In honor of my 34th year on this planet I’d like to make a list of 34 things to accomplish before I’m 35.


So in no particular order:

  1. Read 10 books
  2. Publish 12 blog posts (hey, once a month would be huge!) 😉
  3. Make a photo book of my family
  4. Keep in touch with my girlfriends and hang out at least 4 times (not counting our kids’ bdays)
  5. Advertise my portrait business
  6. Paint a piece of art for our bathroom
  7. Donate a lot of old clothes & shoes
  8. Date night with the hubs once a month
  9. First Fridays in KC + a hotel room that night
  10. Go to 2 concerts
  11. Make Halloween costumes by hand
  12. Make a few homemade gifts instead of buying them (like paint this for my mom)
  13. Go to 2 new states
  14. Discover a favorite new band (or 2 or 3) (Rilo Kiley is already starting out strong!)
  15. Yoga, at least every-other day
  16. More veggies/ less starch at every meal
  17. Oil pulling
  18. Paint my bike
  19. Bake bread
  20. Make homemade jam
  21. Make a water barrel to catch rain & water my garden
  22. Plant 2 – 3 more apple trees
  23. Build a big sand castle
  24. Can salsa — made from veggies in my garden
  25. Can marinara — also from home grown veggies (or maybe farmers market)
  26. Taste some new veggies (Mustard greens? Fennel? Beets?)
  27. Carry my sketch book with me and USE IT
  28. Visit a vineyard — and taste!
  29. Orchard — pick apples (that is so fun)
  30. Family photos
  31. Dining room — find new (to me) chairs and paint/ stain them
  32. Do Family Game Night, like once a month
  33. Go Camping!
  34. Build a chicken coop (for Spring 2015)

Sounds like a good project to follow up on here. With photos and all! Cheers to birthdays and changes and goals and growing.

Update: Since posting this I’ve thought of a couple more things I want to do over the summer

  1. Figure out grilling, so I can get some consistent results! (I think this will help.)
  2. Experiment with making cocktails. Because those shaky drink maker cups look like fun! And cocktails are yummy.