chinese chive turnovers (he zi) hot chorizo sweet onion dip huckleberry fudge california hand roll (temaki)


copyright jennifer yu © 2004-2014 all rights reserved: no photos or content may be reproduced without prior written consent

photography

I don’t think food blogging would be nearly so fun if I didn’t love photography. In fact, I love photography more than I love food. What I enjoy capturing most is nature. I do a lot of that.




I also take pictures of just about anything that appeals to me. You can follow what I’m seeing on my photo blog. If you are interested in purchasing a print, please visit my gallery for details.

The connection between photography, cooking, and blogging wasn’t apparent when I first started blogging, but it fell into place rather naturally because I find food beautiful.




For me, food photography is just another form of landscape photography – more like a mini-landscape, if you will. That’s my approach anyway.

I currently shoot with Nikon digital bodies, lenses, and flashes.

My biggest pet peeve is those people who think an expensive camera will make them a great photographer. A bad photographer who purchases a high-end camera is merely going to take bad photographs in high resolution.

I’m uncomfortable with some of the food photography advice I see on many food blogs and forums because it’s pretty myopic stuff written by a lot of people who don’t know enough to know that they don’t know enough. Photography is an art, not a set of instructions. The best advice I’ve heard or can offer to someone who wants to improve their photography is to practice, learn, and practice some more. That’s true for most things. It’s a feedback loop. In this day of digital photography, the learning curve can be a fast one. Experiment. Cultivate your own style. Most of all, have fun.

46 nibbles at “photography”

  1. Margaret Muravyev says:

    Jenyu,

    You are a great photographer. Keep up the skills and good work!:)

    Sincerely,

    Margaret

  2. Lynne says:

    Your photography is stunning! I love the way you combine your landscape photos with your food photos. Thanks for commenting on my blog-Cafe LynnyLu.

  3. flo says:

    wowweeeee.
    lovely pictures. What’s the resolution of your camera?

  4. jenyu says:

    flo – currently: 10 MP

  5. Pinky says:

    Is there any chance you could be persuaded to create some desktop wall papers? I’m a mountain girl living in the city, so I love having wide open pictures of nature on my desktop to help me feel a little less claustrophobic.

  6. jenyu says:

    Pinky – well, in light of everything on my plate, it’s unlikely I will have the time to do this before the year is out. You are welcome to download the photos from the web to put on your desktop (they are low res, but some folks don’t mind that).

  7. Danielle says:

    Oops, I asked the camera question before stumbling on this page – still enjoying your pictures! ;)

  8. Kristen says:

    It was so great meeting you at the conference. I couldn’t help but drool over your lenses :)
    You are quite talented!

  9. Sofia Hogan says:

    Jenyu,

    I picked up your site via someone on twitter. Your photographs are amazing! Real talent girl…real talent. I don’t bookmark many photographers…but his site, definitely.

    Sofia

  10. Dawn says:

    I am in need of someone to photograph food for my website. Do you have more information? I’m in Thornton. You pics are amazing!

  11. Caroline says:

    your food pics are awesooooome!
    i need a better camera :)

  12. Larry says:

    My wife heard about your site from Margaret Darling… a friend of her’s here in town (Pagosa Springs). I heard the photography was good so just checked it out. Indeed… the photography is exceptional! I’ve never shot food myself but loved looking at your stuff anyway. I might even try some food shots now. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  13. Liz says:

    I am in Parker and would love to learn more about your photography workshop. Food photography is something I really would like to get better at. Please tell me more!

  14. jenyu says:

    Liz – I can’t give you too many details as we are still hashing them out. The workshop website and registration will go online (hopefully) sometime this month. I will be sure to announce it on urb, twitter, and facebook.

  15. Denise @ Creative Kitchen says:

    Love your photography! I also love nature & taking pictures. Photography is something I’ve dabbled in all my life, but have yet to really learn much about the settings on my point and shoot. Now I am in the market for a new camera….dslr is not in the budget yet. Plus I kind of think it’s something out of my scope right now. I have 3 girls and keep quite busy. But I am thinking of purchasing my point and shoot from a local camera store that includes many free classes in the purchase. I think I’m better off learning all I can manually on a point and shoot I can/will take everywhere before branching out to something bigger. Do you have one you’d recommend? I’m mainly thinking food shots and pics of my girls day to day as well as nature. Thanks so much!

  16. jenyu says:

    Denise – I don’t have a p&s that I can recommend. I think there are many good ones out there. I have found that the act of researching various models helps you figure out what it is you want which will ultimately point you to a few choice models. I suggest going to dpreview.com to check out the reviews. Good luck.

  17. Ruth says:

    I don’t know which I prefer: your writing, your recipes, or your photographs! luckily, I don’t have to choose between the three.

    I’m taking a fundamentals level DSLR course next month. I don’t have any experience with photography (other than my P&S camera) and I’m definitely a techno-phobe (but looking to get beyond my fears). I do know that the world divides up between dog and cat lovers and Nilon and Canon lovers. I understand that you prefer a Nikon. What advice can you offer to someone just getting into the DSLR game with limited funds and experience? Which camera is more learner-friendly? What lens(es) should a newbie consider purchasing? I’ve read dpreview for advice and found that, for the beginner, the camera issues it discusses are too advanced to make sense of!

    Thanks,

    Ruth

  18. jenyu says:

    Ruth – I shoot with Nikon because when I first got into digital, I did a lot of research and decided I liked the feel of the Nikon in my hand, it’s shooting action, and they had the right model for me at the time. Since then, I’ve invested in Nikon lenses and so yes, I’m a Nikon shooter. Those are all good questions you are asking, but the problem is that I cannot answer them without more information like what sort of photography you want to do, what your limit on funds is (do you mean a few hundred $ or do you mean up to $1K?), how far you want to take your photography? Most likely, you’re looking at an entry level dSLR. Which brand? You’ll have to go and try them out in a store and see which one you like most (which one feels best in your hand and when you shoot?) If you’re a total newb, then get the kit lens with the body and just start shooting. It will become evident soon enough which lenses you will want to upgrade to next.

  19. Ruth says:

    Thanks Jen — I did feel a bit foolish asking you these questions so I really appreciate your answers. I will be maing my purchase in the next week or so, after playing with the models (and driving the saleperson batty with my questions) and then it’s shoot, shoot shoot!

  20. swan says:

    i found your site by accident. your photos are gorgeous, your food looks delicious, and your writing is brilliant and creative! i’m looking forward to learning a few things and have you now posted onto my favourites.

    i have been up since 3AM today reading all your recipes–it’s addictive!

    thanks for such a beautiful site, and i hope you’re feeling groovy…

    swan in san ramon, CA

  21. Leitha says:

    Was wondering if you have prints available for purchase on etsy or the like.

  22. Ruth says:

    Hi Jen,

    Just to fill you in: I purchased a Nikon D5000 which is a lovely entry-level DSLR and it suits me just fine. I’m loving my photography course, and loving shooting all manner of things because it’s so easy with digital — as you say, with instant feedback the learning happens immediately.

    Now I can only hope that you’ll offer the Food and light Workshop again next summer, when I’ll be in a better position to take advantage of it!

    Love your blog, love the images and the recipes!

    Ruth

  23. Jeremy says:

    Both nature and food photography are somehow makes me hungry. hehe. I’d love to take pictures especially for newly found food on a certain country. And do love also traveling, and of course taking pictures with a big smile. Love them both!

  24. Bea says:

    Hi Jen
    I love love love all of your photos whether they are of nature of food. Your photos are so inspiring & also they make me feel as if I’m standing there w/ you =) Your food makes me hungry all the time, too. Hehe
    May I ask what type of lens you use for both landscapes and for your food?

    Thanks a bunch!

    B

  25. jenyu says:

    Bea – thank you! These are the lenses I use (all Nikkor): 24-70mm 2.8, 70-200mm 2.8, 14-24mm 2.8, 105mm macro 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 20mm 2.8 and I have one DX lens 18-200mm 3.5-5.6

  26. Love Cameras says:

    Jenyu
    I love the winter shot, looks so peaceful.
    Is the ‘DX lens 18-200mm 3.5-5.6′ the sigma OS HSM?
    I use it on my D5000 was a great investment.

  27. jenyu says:

    Love Cameras – mine is Nikkor, not Sigma.

  28. Charisse says:

    What camera (model) do you use?

  29. jenyu says:

    Charisse – Nikon D200, D700, D3x

  30. Jay says:

    Ordinarily, I have little patience for cookbooks without pictures, but now I may demand art, as well! There is a unique quality in your work, as though you’ve captured the experience itself. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    How do you achieve the lighting in your food photos? Is it the type of lens, does your kitchen have spectacular natural light, is there a setting I don’t know enough to use? :) Novice though I am, I love to experiment and enjoy “landscaping” at close proximity. Thanks again… now, off to the grocery store!

  31. jenyu says:

    Jay – The lighting I shoot in is mostly natural light and occasionally speedlights. I also use reflectors and diffusers to control lighting. It’s going to vary on your environment and style of shooting, but I say just go for it and have fun!

  32. ji says:

    Hi Jen!

    Recently, I’ve gotten into wanting to take beautiful pictures of food and nature! But, I’m not planning on spending alot of money on a camera… I was looking at Nikons website and was wondering if you knew anything about the digital compact cameras. I’m looking into the higher end products of the compact digitals and wanted some info on them. Do you think the higher end ones are able to take similar high resolution/beautiful pictures such as the DSLR ones? Again, I don’t know alot about cameras so any thoughts/information on the digital compact ones would be so helpful! And, also comparing them to the DSLR ones!

    Thank you!! And your food/pictures are absolutely amazing!

  33. jenyu says:

    Ji – Sorry, I know next to nothing about digital compacts. Beautiful pictures depend on the photographer and how well they can use the equipment available. There are differences between compacts and dSLRs. No matter if the resolution is the same, the sensor quality will differ as will the lens(es) – that’s part of what you pay for. I suggest doing some research starting with dpreview.com. Best of luck!

  34. ji says:

    ahh okay!! thanks jen!! i’ll do some research on dpreview! :)

  35. Christy says:

    “A bad photographer who purchases a high-end camera is merely going to take bad photographs in high resolution.” This made me chuckle. I’m new to the world of DSLRs (using a Nikon D3100) now, but I’m bemused at the number of people who are now “photographers” simply because they bought a (more) expensive camera.

    I’m a long way from calling myself a photographer, but I will say that doing a Project 365 is teaching me a lot about my camera, lighting, composition, editing, etc.

    Beautiful photos…happy to find your blog.

  36. Renuka says:

    I never leave comments, but feel the need to say that you are incredibly talented and I admire the adventure you are living. I love your pictures and your clear passion for food. What I love most is that you are creating your own path, and having an amazing life doing this.

    I have started shooting with a Nikon D80 and am loving the adventure. I have not done food yet, loving the portraiture and architecture currently. I agree, that you need to learn the basics of your tool and then find your own view.

    looking forward to following you in the future.

  37. Barbara Bell says:

    I love the macaroon peek-a-boo shot here!

  38. Liz D. says:

    Found you through a search for blood orange curd- can’t wait to try it out!

    Lance Armstrong, who was my idol when I was a very enthusiastic (but very very bad) mountain bike racer in New England in my 20s, used to say it’s not about the bike. And while I agree to some extent, I think there’s a point where upgraded equipment can only help. I’m looking at DSLRs now, because I want to grow into something a little more advanced than my current P&S.

    So SO many food bloggers use Canon, but I’ve always been a Nikon girl and doing research and talking to folks convinced me to go with a D5100. And I’ll admit that it was with no small amount of joy that I read this post and saw you use Nikon. :)

    Looking forward to reading through the rest of your blog, and many posts to come!

  39. Jon @ vodkitchen says:

    Great advice that I love to see put so clearly here. Learning about light and spending time practicing will pay off so much more than a big camera purchase. So true!

  40. Maia says:

    Hi Jen!! Your photos are just ridiculous – I love the clouds, the Perseids, the lightning, the flowers. Amazing – not just a photo of something really beautiful (and they seem technically difficult) but I love how appreciative they are of whatever you’re taking a picture of! I love them; also love this blog. Hope you’re well in Ned! Maia

  41. jenyu says:

    Maia!! – Great to hear from you, sweetie :) We need to get together sometime. I’ll ping you on FB xoxo

  42. Matt says:

    The top photo of the snow is stunning.

  43. TJ (MusiChef) says:

    I’m just getting into food photography as well and learning more about photography in general. I have a point and shoot (canon S110) which I love and Nikon D80 I got as a graduation gift long time ago which is still an enigma to me. I’ve been wanting to get a macro lens for D80 for a while but you are so right!

    “My biggest pet peeve is those people who think an expensive camera will make them a great photographer. A bad photographer who purchases a high-end camera is merely going to take bad photographs in high resolution.”

    I need to practice and shoot way more before I invest in an expensive equipment… thanks for your advice! I will first master the basics of photography then move on to the next. Please let us know when you have your next photography workshop, I would like to attend one in the near future. thanks Jen!

  44. Zinnur says:

    Jen, I have been a follower of your blog for years. I admire your food, photography and approach to life. That said, I have a totally unrelated question which I suspect you have the answer to. Can you recommend a good telescope for an astronomy aficionado that is a good buy for its price? It will be a gift. Thank you so much in advance.

  45. jenyu says:

    Zinnur – I really have no idea, nor does Jeremy. He does suggest getting one with tracking motors though. Good luck!

  46. zinnur says:

    Thank you, Jen, for taking the time to check with Jeremy and to respond. i will search accordingly.

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