Plate To Pixel

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As a child, I was an avid fiction reader. I loved anything from Chronicles of Narnia to The Babysitters Club to Anne of Green Gables to Amelia Bedelia. …and…wait for it…Choose your own adventure!!!

I think I actually believed they were non-fiction though!

Wrapped in a blanket hiding away in one of my homemade forts, I would read my favourite series over and over until the pages were falling out and the glossy coating wrinkled away from the fading cover. I loved nothing more than getting lost in a fantasy world.

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Nowadays, my passion has evolved from reading story books to informational books. I still occasionally enjoy reading a good fiction book (mostly if I’m on vacation though), but I love to read non-fiction books to learn more about my passions. My love for non-fiction books started when I fell in love with health and nutrition. I bought books like Dr. Oz’s YOU series, Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Cancer, Howard’s The Owners Manual for the Brain, and later, Pollan’s In Defense of Food. When cooking and baking became a passion in my life, my cookbook collection grew, and grew, and grew and I found myself inspired to follow a similar path.

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And then there’s the photography.

Growing up, my family would always teasingly call me, ‘the little tourist’ because I took pictures of everything…every moment…everyone…nothing could escape my wrath! Mom in her robe first thing in the morning? Photo worthy. My sister Kristi taking one of my beloved belongings? Also photo worthy.

My love for photography started with a Polaroid camera and progressed to using my dad’s film camera and eventually receiving my own point & shoot digital camera from Eric as a birthday gift. I think Eric’s words were, “I think you need to switch to digital so we can stop wasting so much money on film.” He did have a point, but little did he know that I would soon require more computer storage to fit all my digital raw photos and a new lens to go with it. ;)

There was just something about capturing the beauty of real life in a photo that excited me to no end.

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Even though I always loved photography, I never expected that it would blossom into something that I do everyday as part of my career. Now, rarely a day goes by that I am not practicing.

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When I started the blog in 2008, I used my old, beaten up Point & Shoot camera (we now call it the “point & shit” because it doesn’t always turn ON). Eric bought a Canon DSLR in 2007 and I was so intimidated by it, I didn’t start using it for my blog photos for over 1.5 years. Over time, he was able to show me the difference a professional camera (and the right knowledge) could make in a photo.

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After several months of shooting in “auto” mode with the DSLR, I decided that it was time to shoot in RAW format to give myself the freedom to post-process photos without compromising the quality. When Ashley was visiting, she showed me how she uses Adobe Lightroom to edit photos (something I had been using blindly for a couple months prior) and with practice, I fell in love with it a bit more each day. Now, I couldn’t imagine shooting in auto mode because shooting in raw is just so much more fun. Post-processing is also super quick once you get the hang of it. It typically takes me less than 30 seconds per photo.

I typically have a few books on the go at the same time (including several cookbooks), because as always, I can’t just pick one thing to focus on! I like to spend about a half hour at night reading, so I don’t get through books very quickly. ;)

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Right now, you can find me reading through a ton of vegan cookbooks as well as my recently purchased Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin, otherwise known as Tartelette!

I fell in love with Plate to Pixel from the moment I opened the book. Not only does Helene’s passion for food photography jump off the page, but it’s brimming with full colour, stunning photography throughout the book. I’m only a quarter of the way through and I’ve already learned so much and brushed up on some skills that were a bit foggy. I highly recommend it to those of you who are interested in pursuing food photography at a deeper level.

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What are you reading right now? What were your favourite books to read as a kid?

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

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Mary Claire December 17, 2011

Great food that looks amazing, just how can you beat that? Thank you for sharing this tasty snapshots and the great book that I hope to find somewhere. A holiday gift perhaps?

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Tracy November 9, 2011

I know this is kind of late but if you liked “choose your own adventure” books as a kid you should really read Pretty Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton. It’s such a great book. I’ve started over about 25 times and still haven’t read all of it yet! It’s so entertaining. :) I loved those books as a kid too….and Ramona, Amelia Bedelia, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Sweet Valley High, Little House on the Prairie and all the Judy Blume books!

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles November 7, 2011

Babysitter’s Club was my absolute FAVORITE series when I was younger! Now I love books like Diet for a New America and Food Revolution, The China Study, In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and others of the like. I bought and read Plate to Pixel and loved every page! Definitely need to go back and reread now that I’m working with darkness and artificial lighting and trying not to hit a stall in my progress :)

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Amber B November 7, 2011

I was a huge reader as a kid. I loves Little Women and anything by Lurlene McDaniel. I have no idea if that is how you spell her name. They were sad books…not sure why I was so intrigued. Right now I am reading Skippy Dies. Fiction. I love fiction and sometimes struggle to get through non-fiction. Mainly because I struggle to get as involved.

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Katie @ BloomEveryday November 6, 2011

Great post! Can’t wait to check this book out. :)

– Katie

Check us out sometime at BloomEveryday.wordpress.com! :) We can’t wait to start sharing recipes with you.

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Emily @ The Divine Carrot November 6, 2011

Thanks for the book recommendation…. I am struggling to get a better grasp of photography. Unlike you I never had any interest in photography before; I just like to write.

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Mariannehg November 5, 2011

When my life gets a little crazy and stressful (like it is right now!) I have a tendency to duck into fantasy and science-fiction books as a way to escape to another world for a little while. Right now I am revisiting A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle. I had forgotten how good that book is! And it’s an easy, fast read. I may have to read some of L’Engle’s other books after I finish this one!

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radioactivegan November 5, 2011

I’ve been reading Nickel and Dimed (on NOT getting by in America). It’s really interesting, and well written. I go back and forth between non-fiction and fiction, but it’s hard to pick a favorite!

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Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day November 5, 2011

I read constantly as a child… I have so many favorites!! I used to even read while I was riding my bike.

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Jane November 5, 2011

I love to read and have ever since I was a young girl (Ramona Quimby is a fave). My mom says it is because she read to me while she was pregnant with me (She didn’t with my brother and he never reads for pleasure hmmmm) Now, I enjoy everything from magazines to biographies, fiction, and of course cookbooks. All of which I read cover to cover. Ending my day reading has become a ritual along with never being able to leave the library without a stack of material. If there was ever a good “problem” to have I guess this would be it!

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Katrina November 5, 2011

I need this book. So creative!

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Ricki November 5, 2011

Angela, your photos are SO stunning. You could totally do a book like that now! What you are doing on this blog is so obviously just what you should be doing. . . I receive a lovely perk every time I read one of your posts, no matter the topic (and those PB Pillows didn’t hurt) ;) Thanks so much for including my book in your cookbook stack, too! ((((Hugs!))))) :D

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Emmy (Wine and Butter) November 5, 2011

Hi love! I just saw the ohsheglows won best blog at foodbuzz – that is awesome!! Your honesty, heartfeltness, details in recipes, inventivesness, gorgeous photos and most of all humble and sweet personality have truly paid off. You’re a very inspirational little baker!! xoxox

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Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl November 5, 2011

I love that book. I even discovered aperture mode (didnt even know it existed – was foreighn to me for a long time). So i had fun practicing taking picture in different aperture ranges.

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Stefanie November 5, 2011

I seriously love your blog. I have only been blogging a month, but even though I dont get as many comments ad I would like yet, I still do it because u love it. I love cooking. You are such an inspiration thanks girl!!

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Sheila Dereba November 4, 2011

Next to eating healthy foods, I love to present them in a very irresistible manner. I have always been a fan of reading, aside from blogs like this, I get my inspiration from blogs as well.

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Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner November 4, 2011

I LOVE ANNE OF GREEN GABLES!!!!! :D

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Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn November 4, 2011

I’ve really started enjoying reading non-fiction books lately too.
Particularly cookbooks (I’m obsessed!), books on writing, books on nutrition… I haven’t read any on photography yet but I have actually seen Plate to Pixel before and I really want to read it!
Your photos are always beautiful, I love looking at everything you photograph :-)
I’m with you that there is something wonderful about capturing everyday moments of lives, special occasions, meaningful events!

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Cat @Breakfast to Bed November 4, 2011

I am obsessed with cookbooks!! When I was a kid I was all about nancy drew!! I still want her car!!

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Jenny November 4, 2011

Reading now: ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin (I’m already quite a happy person… but it’s such a neat idea, and I love the positivity and even the pointing out of what you would think is common sense!) and ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki (as expected of a commerce undergrad…).

I’m exactly like you, though, that when I was a bit younger (ten years ago, haha not too long ago!) I would go through fantasy book and series at an insane pace. I always carried them in a little folder with me, though, because I *love* keeping my books in good condition, and I read them so often that that was the only way to protect them. :)

Your photography has clearly only gotten better and better over time. There is nowhere else to go, but up! I love the colour and brightness of your photos. They are all so gorgeous. Your enjoyment of your job (and hobby! Though I guess it’s not a hobby if it’s your job?) is so clearly conveyed through the images on the blog… Thanks for always sharing all of the eye candy. :D

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Raquel @ Ovenmitts Vegan Blog November 4, 2011

I just bought this book! It is so inspiring and informative. I’m reading it like it’s a novel – I just can’t wait to see what comes next!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh November 4, 2011

I’m reading Plate to Pixel right now too!

My favorite books have always been celeb autobiographies, even of people I don’t necessarily like. I think it’s fascinating to read stories about how people got to where they are in life. I just finished Rob Lowe’s book which was really good and I’m anticipating John Taylor (Duran Duran) and Billy Idol’s books!

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suzanne November 4, 2011

The book looks great – after being abroad for 6 months with only a little point and shoot digital, I have developed a desire to learn more about photography and get a better camera! It is the first ‘creative’ thing I have ever really been drawn to – though time and money are keeping me from exploring it at this moment…someday though…
I loved reading – Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, Little House, …It is good to hear you mostly read non- fiction now. I love fiction but feel like I only have a little time before drifting off to sleep to read – and usually spend that reading a parenting, spirituality etc book . I miss getting lost in a book though (I just do not get ‘sucked in’ to non fiction in the same way) and have some friends who still spend lots of time reading fiction (I have NO IDEA how they fit it in!). It calms me somehow to hear your experience of embracing your non-fiction life while enjoying fiction on vacation… Thank you

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Lindsey November 4, 2011

I was never a big reader as a child, i can’t think of any one particular book series that I read. I think because i was outside all the time. Now that I live in an apartment, I don’t really have that same luxury…Right now I love the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series. They’re a refreshing read with characters that are easy to relate too…other than the fact that they live in Africa…lets face it, I don’t know what it’s like to live there. But I really love them. You’d swear they are written by a woman, but they’re not! Highly recommend then to people of all ages.

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miranda November 4, 2011

I have seen that movie!!!! I did not know there was a book series!! Thanks!

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Joann@womaninreallife November 4, 2011

I also loved Anne of Green Gables as a child, as well as Little Women, Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. I liked books with strong female characters. I think they helped to raise me! I also am addicted to cookbooks. I read them like they are fiction. I just talked about the new Skinny Bitch cookbook on my own blog, in fact. It is way better than I expected! I hope to work on my photography as well…might check out that book you are reading!

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Lisa Broadley November 4, 2011

I have gotten into Nora Roberts. I like reading fiction since it helps me escape from work when I’m travelling there and back! Love the bookends :) On a side note, have you worked with carob chips? I put those in your chocolate pudding I made the other day and it tasted pretty awesome…probably not as chocolaty as the original but worth a try!

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