Confessions and White Balance

Anyone want another round of confessions?! Lets play ๐Ÿ™‚

confession: there are no words to express how awful i have been about keeping up with my recipe pages. i updated them a little bit today, but i’ve missed too many to hunt them down. you all have my permission to throw whatever it was that i’ve missed in my face.

confession: even though i initially hated the concept of overnight oats, i am now enamored.

confession: i don’t think there is any nut/seed butter better than creamy sunflower seed butter. another confession? i think i prefer full circle brand the best of all – even beating out trader joe’s! how did that happen?!

confession: even though i’ve been neglecting my jams and preserves in my oats lately – i think they’re going to be making a comeback.

The oats this morning:

mixed overnight:

mixed in a spoonful of greek yogurt and a splash more almond milk in the morning, and then topped with:

  • honey roasted cashews
  • galaxy granola – not so sweet vanilla
  • ginger preserves
  • maple syrup
  • full circle creamy sunflower seed butter
  • and a chopped nectarine – first nuked with some golden raisins, a splash of almond milk, and some maple syrup.

confession: i was really sad to see that almost all of the good berries are already gone ๐Ÿ˜ฆ additionally? i don’t think i’ve met my berry fill for the summer, and will probably just seek out the next patch ๐Ÿ˜‰

confession: i splurged on an iced coffee from dunkin today while i was waiting for my mom to finish work – and was instantly reminded why green mountain is so much better. how did i ever have the money to have at the very least one-two of those babies a day?!

salad with romaine, chickpea-quinoa bake, feta, and ragu

confession: by the time we got home from the barn it was 2:15 and starved!

additionally? i am ridiculously proud and in love with my pony.

toast with blackberry honey creme

confession: i’m always planning in advance – and half my bread was reserved for “dessert.”

balsamic-honey curry portabella

confession: i totally neglected and forgot about this portabella cap for over a week. tonight was do or die.

to marinate the cap:

  • 1/8 c. balsamic vinegar
  • drizzle honey
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sweet curry powder

for the honey curry sauce:

  • 2 T. greek yogurt
  • drizzle honey
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sweet curry powder
  • diced red pepper

confession: i’ve been loving my desserts lately, and yet strangely – i’m still not photographing them. just imagine peanut-butter banana bran muffins, coconut gelato, and strawberries.

confession: the white balance setting on your camera is definitely something you should acquaint yourself with.

Yep – today’s spiel is all about white balance! Or, color tone, temperature, etc etc etc.

I hear lots of apologies for lighting, color, etc – but with a simple click of a button – all that can be changed! While there may not be a cure-all (some lighting like fluorescent is just plain tough!) there are some things to keep in mind.

As you all well know – different lights have different temperatures. Different color temperatures/lights read differently to our cameras. Direct sunlight is surprisingly blue (cool) while fluorescents cast a yellow (warm) hue, even if these tones aren’t so obvious to our direct eye. And so, in order to not take photos of people that look shockingly similar to smurfs, or on the other hand, photos that make someone look like they accidentally fell asleep for a couple hours in the tanning booth – we must properly set our white balance.

most cameras today allow you to do this yourself – though often, not if you’re shooting in auto. i can’t speak for all, of course – but if you shoot in manual or at least the ap or shutter priority more or the “P” mode (for program) you will have much more control, and in turn – much better photos. i’d recommendย beginningย in program mode if you’re still grasping the concept of shutter speed and aperture, or don’t necessarily care to learn. you can still change your ISO, white balance, and other essential components in this mode.

auto, however – gives you no control.

so – what do you set your camera to? well – that depends what you’re shooting and under what conditions! some cameras give you more control than others – but with my d40, i have nine options. auto, fluorescent, tungsten, sunny day, flash, cloudy day, shade, and pre-set. While the pre-set is incredibly helpful in most circumstances (you photograph a sheet of blank white paper and tell the camera that that is white – do whatever you need to do to make it so) i didn’t much bother with it in this experiment. mainly because i’m not going to start photographing white paper before each thing i eat.

so first, lets take a peek at a nectarine, shot under the same conditions and with the same settings, changing only the white balance.

AUTO - not bad. slightly cool for my liking.

INCANDESCENT - far too BLUE! (too correct for the warmth of a fluorescent light)

TUNGSTEN - while the nectarine isn't awful, the rest is pretty cool (as in, blue - not cool dude)

SUNNY DAY - a bit too warm (to counter blue of the sun)

FLASH - too yellow/warm (to counter the cool temp of your camera's flash)

CLOUDY DAY - my personal favorite, slight warmth but not overly so.

SHADE - too yellow (to counter the extreme coolness of a shady area)

obviously – a large part of this is also personal preference, and also note that monitor calibration is extremely important when it comes to color correcting an image. that being said – i prefer images warmer to cooler. warmth is inviting to humans naturally, and our skin tones also tend to be warmer rather than cooler. (unless you’re on the verge of hypothermia, in which i suggest you get to the E.R.)

i personally tend to leave my camera on the cloudy day setting, and may ocassionally tweak a hair in photoshop. (note that none of these were, other than resizing and adding a border) however – photoshop is not the cure-all. if you shoot in a fluorescent/incandescent situation, you will probably end up with a very yellow image. photoshop can rarely fix that and leave it looking great – so don’t leave it for photoshop. Simply shoot it right the first time! Change your camera to whatever lighting situation you’re shooting in, and you will have far better results. promise!

edit to add: even if you don’t have a “fancy camera,” you may have more options and settings than you realize! my adice is to just play. experiment! see what works, and what doesn’t. for instance, even if your camera doesn’t offer you an obvious choice for white balance, you probably have settings for indoor, outdoor, flash, landscape, etc. this is sort of a more user-friendly, snap-and-go way of setting the white balance and iso for you, without sounding so complicated.

p.s. send me your bulgar recipes for the B.S.I! you have until midnight :]



Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

23 responses to “Confessions and White Balance

  1. I agree with you on how good sunflower seed butter is- I like pairing it with chocolate chips sometimes in my oats to get the perfect savory and sweet combo! (double points if you use white chocolate chips with it!)

  2. I wonder if my little camera is fancy enough to do this kind of stuff?! If only I hadn’t misplaced the manual…! And I’m glad you are loving the overnight oats. They’re my summer fave! My confession: I really dislike sunflower seed butter. Weird, right?!

  3. I love all the info on white balance!!! I don’t have a fancy camera, but I’ve found learning what better cameras can do helps me make the best of mine :)(Although I still have the ‘need a new camera itch’)

  4. Mo

    Yeaaah my kitchen light is fluorescent, and sometimes I just want to take a friggin’ picture and be done with it, so my food has been yellow fairly often. ๐Ÿ˜› But my camera does have auto, sunny, cloudy, fluorescent, incandescent and what my camera calls “one push” which I guess is the pre-set? I remember reading something about that in my manual aaaaaaaages ago. I’ll have to find it again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Thank you Jess for reminding me that I have a crappy point and shoot ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I’m currently in looooove with overnight oats too.. and I need to try a portabello like that!
    My recipes page is so so so far behind too.
    Love ya!

  6. I have yet to try overnight oats. Your post is persuading me to trying them soon, but I’m pretty into plain old muesli, mixed with yogurt in the morning.

  7. I love your confession posts!!! I need a new nut or seed butter – I think sunflower seed butter might be it!

  8. Overnight oats are wonderful this time of year!!!! Yours look exceptionally good!!!!
    Thanks for all the info on white balancing – very helpful!!!!
    This is why I love your blog so much – its filled with the best recipes, great pictures, stories about my favorite animals (horses!!!!) and the photography lessons -!!!
    I love them all!!!! Have a great night and thanks for updating the recipes – i look forward to trying more of them!!! xoxo aimee

  9. i like your “confessions”!! i always forget about produce too… it’s very sad, seeing wilty greens after a week. i always plan ahead tooo.. or think way too far in advance. im pretty anal about white balance as well, and like you, have really specific preferences about how yellow/blue my photos should be. this was a great post!

  10. Thanks for all the camera tips! I introduced my brother in law to the white balance setting on his new camera and he was amazed!
    I still haven’t tried overnight oats! For some reason I’ve been extremely resistant to this but I should probably try it at some point! Yours looks so good! But then again everything you make looks amazing!

  11. Confession: I love confession posts and am constantly writing one in my head but haven’t gotten around to blogging for myself.

    Additionally, I’m an overnight oats conver and am crazy for strawberries, too. Oh, and sunflower seed butter? Count me in. Have you ever tried Naturally Nutty’s? I just ordered a jar of vanilla cinnamon sunflower seed butter and it literally smells like frosting (but not the sickeningly sweet kind, of course). My, oh my… I will definitely keep you updated.

    Great advice on camera settings! I have a little point and shoot but this was really helpful for me to determine the difference. Thanks for tall the examples! You are such an artist, girl :D!

    Have a lovely day!

  12. Ah cool photo setting info :). I love all of your confessions! I have been loving over night oats more and more. I think I’m starting to find the perfect combinations and they are SO much better to eat in the summer than winter. (why does weather have so much impact?). I’m proud of your new dessert love. Is it sad that I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have dessert? Hope you had a great weekend!!

  13. You know I love the camera info posts and this was no exception! The little digital I’ve been using is all wacky with the white balance these days and it just won’t change! I am gonna play with it when I get a chance though cause this just won’t do!

    Oh, those overnight oats do look wonderful..heading downstairs to prepare some for my first day at work tomorrow!

    Hope you had a good weekend lady! Love the confessions…I definitely share a few.

  14. I love your confessions! We all have our fair share! As for the white balance…I can’t figure out how to change it on my freakin’ camera! I have read that darn manual so many times! I think I need to look at it again! Thanks for the tutorial!

  15. my recipe page is BORINGGggGGG ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    im always on the hunt all summer for the best berries. in fact my first strawberries and cherries were so good.. the second batches.. awful and almost unripe eek.


  16. I have nooo idea about camera and pics. I just do a white balance sometimes, take my food pics in macro and that’s it. I dont even touch the other settings. I might try “cloudy day” if my camera has it though, just to see ๐Ÿ™‚

    I loooove nut butters too. I think AB is still my fav OR a realllly good jar of PB (like Krema) Tahini is really good too.

  17. I am loving these camera posts. So informative! I’m working with a baby point & shoot during my time in Europe, but I’m investing in a Nikon when I get home – you’re getting me so excited!

  18. I’m really not that fond of my sunflower seed butter…is the one you use all natural? Mine has a random few e-numbers in (hurrumph) – maybe that makes the difference….
    Verrry informative post! As with the last one, I’m going to have to sit down and analyze it in detail ๐Ÿ˜›
    Have a great day!!

  19. I’m going to have to add all your camera posts to my favourites menu so that I can reread them once I’m able to get a better camera! They will be SO helpful.

    I recently bought sunflower seed butter and I’m not sure what I think of it yet! It’s not sweet enough for my tastes. ๐Ÿ˜› It tasted alright in a stir fry sauce though.

  20. I just discovered how helpful manual white balance is on my camera!! Especially when photographing in kitchens with weird lighting. I am still trying to warm up to overnight oats.. but perhaps I’ll have to give them a gazillionth try. Maybe chia seed are the magic ingredient?

  21. LOVE the layout of the confession posts! i’m imagining those peanut butter bran banana muffins right now! YUM!xx

  22. thanks so much for posting this! white balance is what i struggle with the most. the fluorescent lights in my apartment ruin everything!! i usualy put it on the fluorescent lighting, and it helps, but i am definitely going to play with it some more. love this post ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Pingback: Capturing Oats » Live Life, Eat Right - Love what you eat. Live a full life.

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