Monthly Archives: December 2013

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Thinking Out Loud #2

Happy Thursday!

1. I know I said that I probably wouldn’t be doing Thinking Out Loud Thursdays very often, but I liked it so much last week that I couldn’t help participating again this week!


2. Two exams down. Three more to go. Tomorrow morning I have Business Communications at 8:30am and then Astronomy right afterwards at 10:45am. I already have a nap planned for the afternoon somewhere in the neighborhood of 2:00pm.


3. While I am really looking forward to Christmas Break, I don’t like all the work that comes before it. I have to defrost my fridge and mini freezer before Friday. Also we have to do a major cleaning of the common area in our dorm. Fun.


4. Even though it’s not Sunday, Arman’s Spill It Sunday link-up is still open so I figured that I’d jump on the chance to join in:

Spill It Sundays

What is your favorite genre of film?

The real question should be- why do I have to pick just ONE? Action, Sci-Fi, Romantic Comedy, Musical, Adventure, Fantasy, Superhero… I think this would be better phrased as what kind of genres I DON’T like. Easy. Horror and Gross rated R comedies.

What is your favorite ever movie?

Boy Arman, are you full of tough questions this week! I would have to go with Harry Potter. And yes I know that there is more than one film in the HP series, and no, I am not going to pick which one I like best.


What movie do you think deserves to have never been made?

You all know my professed hatred for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and that was the first movie that popped into my mind when reading this question.


However, there is another movie with which I’m not even sure how it was conceived let alone produced. Bubba Ho-Tep. 


Just read the description and you’ll know where I’m coming from.

Mud Creek, Texas, is about to get all shook up. When mysterious deaths plague the Shady Rest retirement home, it’s up to an aging, cantankerous “Elvis” (Bruce Campbell) and a decrepitand black”JFK” (Ossie Davis) to defeat a 3,000-year-old-Egyptian mummy with a penchant for sucking human souls! Can the King show the world that he can still take care of business?

Here is a trailer in case you need more convincing. I’m sorry, maybe it’s just me and it’s a fantastic movie. For some reason I don’t think so though…

Wait! Hold up. I just thought of an even worse movie. Jack Black’s Bernie. We literally could not finish it and just skipped to the end so we knew what happened.


What movie should be considered a legal sleeping pill?

The Avengers. Before you all protest, I will acknowledge that the second time I saw the movie it was slightly better, but the plot line was just not good. I fell asleep twice during the movie.


If you made a movie, what would it be about?

I really want to see a new spy series. Jason Bourne, Mission Impossible and James Bond are so good but they all feature older males. It’s time for a new female spy series!

A movie which you love but you’d never admit…

I know that as a superhero fan I am supposed to hate the ones that deviate from the originals,  but I just love Batman and Robin with George Clooney.


5. Somehow I have watched six and counting episodes of Glee tonight. I saw one of the auditions on Youtube and got the sudden urge to rewatch the first season. I just love Rachel and Finn.


6. Ending on an even number today, I am so happy with all of the contributions so far with 12 Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes! If you haven’t been keeping up, make sure to check out this page (also listed on my menu above) with links to all of the posts so far. We actually have all but one day filled, so if anyone is interested, let me know. And keep up the great work everyone!




Questions for you:

  • What are your movie favorites?
  • Are there any movies that you love but everyone else hates?
  • What are you thinking about on this beautiful (cold) Thursday?

What Food REALLY Looks Like – The Ethics of Food Photo Editing

There’s always something in the news about deception in the media. Usually it is in reference to photoshopping the images of models or celebrities to make them look skinnier. On rare occasions they have even photoshopped an image to make someone look larger. In both cases though, we all recognize that in small amounts photo editing can be okay, even encouraged. Think about it- do we really want to open up a high fashion magazine and see a blurry, dark photo? And what about all of the cool effects that photoshop can do?



Certainly some fall more into the artistic lines of photo editing and I bet that most of us can all agree that in those cases it’s perfectly fine.

While there currently isn’t much in the way of guidelines on what should and shouldn’t be allowed in photoshopping, a line, albeit faint, is starting to be drawn. Simply, from my perception, photoshopping can be said to have gone too far when an image is altered and drastically changed from the original. Under marginal or even moderate changes that are acceptable could be saturation, exposure, lighting, and erasing (in the case of flyaway hairs or unwanted background extras).


Christmas pictures for 2013! We have more that I will have to share with you soon.

Drastically altered is when someone’s size is changed, their wrinkles/cellulite are erased to unrealistic proportions, and when the person in the image looks nothing like they did before.




While not everyone may agree with the list I just wrote out above (and just note that is in no way comprehensive, merely an example) I think we all have at one time or another at least thought about what should or should not be allowed when it comes to photoshopping people.

One thing that we may not have thought about is the photoshopping of food images. As social media users it is to be expected that a majority of us have used a photo editing software before. I personally use it for almost everything. My profile pictures, my family’s annual Christmas picture, vacation pictures, and yes, my food pictures. When I first started blogging I had no idea that photo editing software even existed, let alone that so many of the bloggers that I was reading were using it.

And if you look back to my first blog you will see that my photos were not just lackluster but very blurry and unappealing.


Oy vey. Doesn’t that just make you cringe?!

Of course I’ve learned a lot since then though, and while in no way am I a photo editing expert, I do know the basics of improving a picture.

Isn’t it amazing how much better food looks after a quick touch-up?


Still not great, but a little better and WAY less embarrassing. I can’t believe I even posted the BEFORE picture on here.

Quick, make a guess as to which side is the before and after! 😉

The same goes for a number of more recent pictures on this blog as well.



Now, it’s easy to believe the recipes on blogs just naturally look that clear and crisp. I’m not trying to discredit the hard work and time that is put into setting up the food shots and then the time it takes to edit all of those pictures. Really, what bloggers do is incredible. But, similar to the question posed with photoshopping models and celebrity images, where do we draw the line with editing our photos of food?

before-after-microwaverollsbefore-after-biscuits-tallMy take has always been that I will make the food look as best as I can without altering it. I don’t try to deceive anyone with serving size, color, shape, texture, etc. My editing consists of clearing up blurry photos, fixing saturation, and occasionally removing some annoying little crumbs. 

I’ve always made honesty my policy and that’s why I am sharing these before/after examples to make my point.



I enjoy photo editing. I think it’s incredibly fun and exciting. Making my photos look nicer makes me feel like a “professional” almost, even though I have a long way to go.

What bothers me is those who try to deceive readers with their food pictures. I don’t have anyone specific in mind when I’m writing this out, but I know that there are those out there that set up their food, and edit their photos in a way that doesn’t really reflect the recipe that they are posting. Have you ever followed a recipe 100% and it turns out looking completely different from the promised picture? I have and boy is it frustrating!

I do know that this also happens a lot with food advertisements. Take for example McDonald’s hamburger. If you haven’t seen this video yet, you really should.


This article also gives some great picture representations of food deception in the media.



And since WIAW is all about food honesty I am linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons today so I can hear everyone’s thoughts on this topic.

No questions for today. Just tell me your thoughts on food photo editing in blogs and in the media.