Sunflowers

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Sunflower photography by Edward M. Fielding

Sunflower photos for sale. Choose your favorite sunflower photos from thousands of available photos. All photos ship within 48 hours and include a 30-day money back satisfaction guarantee.

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Helianthus L. /ˌhiːliˈænθəs/[2] (sunflower) is a genus of plants comprising about 52 species[3] in the Asteraceae family, all of which are native to North America. The common name “sunflower” also applies to the popular annual species Helianthus annuus. This and other species, notably Jerusalem artichoke (H. tuberosus), are cultivated in temperate regions as food crops and ornamental plants.

 

The genus is one of many in the Asteraceae that are known as sunflowers. It is distinguished technically by the fact that the ray flowers, when present, are sterile, and by the presence on the disk flowers of a pappus that is of two awn-like scales that are cauducous (that is, easily detached and falling at maturity). Some species also have additional shorter scales in the pappus, and there is one species that lacks a pap-pus entirely. Another technical feature that distinguishes the genus more reliably, but requires a microscope to see, is the presence of a prominent, multi-cellular appendage at the apex of the style.

 

There is quite a bit of variability among the perennial species that make up the bulk of the species in the genus. Some have most or all of the large leaves in a rosette at the base of the plant and produce a flowering stem that has leaves that are reduced in size. Most of the perennials have disk flowers that are entirely yellow, but a few have disk flowers with reddish lobes. One species, H. radula, lacks ray flowers altogether.

 

The domesticated sunflower, Helianthus annuus, is the most familiar species. Perennial sunflower species are not as popular for gardens due to their tendency to spread rapidly and become invasive. Whorled sunflowers, Helianthus verticillatus, were listed as an endangered species in 2014 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final rule protecting it under the Endangered Species Act. The primary threats are industrial forestry and pine plantations in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. They grow to six feet tall and are primarily found in woodlands, adjacent to creeks and moist, prairie-like areas.

 

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How to Sell on POD or Print on Demand Sites Part I

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How does a POD site work?

You can think of a POD site as a store shelf.  Your artwork sits on the shelf until someone wants to buy it.  Then they take it down and sell a copy to the customer.  Then the artwork goes back on the shelf to be sold to the next customer.

Basically you open and account, upload your artwork and the POD site does all of the order fulfillment when an order comes in.

Is it really that easy?

Unfortunately no, it is not easy to sell work on POD sites because all of the marketing is up to you. Sure you can get the occasional random sale from the sites search engine but the chances are slim.  Many of these sites have over 100,000 artists with thousands signing up every single day.  All of these artists are uploading new work at astounding rates.  The chances of anyone finding your work is about the same as finding a needle in a haystack, depending of course on several factors including:

  • The quality of your work
  • The key wording and descriptions of your work
  • Pricing
  • The quality, key wording and pricing of your direct competition
  • The popularity of your subjects
  • The rarity of your subjects
  • How well known you are

And so on.  Its no different than the challenges faced by product companies like Johnson and Johnson or Unilever when they bring out new products.  They don’t just toss a new product up on the supermarket shelf (footage on the shelves are bought by the way), each product launch requires a great deal of promotion – news releases, coupons, advertisements, product giveaways, contests, etc, etc.

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The same goes for selling on Print On Demand sites.  The site doesn’t do any promotion of individual artists.  Mostly the artist is a commodity to the POD site.  They don’t care about one artist over another.  The only thing that matters is that the buyer purchases something, anything, that they can earn a commission on.

In fact if you notice how POD sites market themselves, they rarely talk about the artists, most of the marketing is not aimed at buyers but rather at sellers.  They all need a constant stream of new artists to upload new work because every artist will then be out there promoting their stuff and driving more traffic back to the mother site.

The reality is also that making consistent sales on POD sites takes a lot of work and most people give up before they have a chance at success.  It has been said that any new business enterprise takes three years before its successful and the large majority of people throw in the towel before even the first year.

So you have this tremendous and nearly impossible task of being found among the millions of pieces of art being offered for sale online and most people are not up to the task.  As one might expect, the POD sites have a tremendous amount of “churn” as its called in the magazine subscription industry.  People dropping out or not working hard have to be replaced on a constant basis.  Thus the need to constantly advertise for new artists with the goal of building up their numbers of “hardworking” artists in the sense of artists willing do a lot of self promotion.

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This is completely different from a gallery model.  In a gallery situation the artist mostly has to promote themselves to the gatekeepers or gallery owners who select their stable of artists.  Once selected the artist agrees to a commission structure in the order of 50% of sales.  For this the gallery is responsible for showing and promoting the artist to its cultivated audience of art buyers.

Most POD site don’t have any “gate-keeping” they allow anyone to upload and rely on sale-ability to bring the good stuff up to the top. Unknowingly, “artists” with poor quality work see their offerings drop to the bottom of a black hole only to be seen if they have a particular location or unique keyword.

End of Part One

Edward M. Fielding successfully sells his fine art photographs on Fine Art America, Red Bubble and Society6.

Food Styling Book Review

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I just got my copy of Food Styling: The Art of Preparing Food for the Camera by Delores Custer and its one hefty book. Considered by many in the food photography and food styling industry to be the bible of food styling, Custer puts over 30 years of experience into what could be considered a textbook for anyone interested in entering the field.

At just shy of 400 pages, this book is packed with so much information that there is value for anyone from a “do it yourself” food blogger to someone interested in a career as a food stylist to professional photographers wanting to work with major clients on big production food assignments.

I myself shoot a lot of food stock and fine art food related still life photographs, so I’m always up for learning some new tricks.  Plus my wife and I are fooling around with a new food blog – 325 degrees.

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Delores Custer has had an amazing career, working with the big names like Julie Childs and TV shows like the network morning shows as well has local and national advertising campaigns. In the book she not only shares her hard earned tips for shooting everything from bacon (and how to get those perfect waves) to ice cream be it fake or real.

There is hardly and blank white space in this book. No fluff. No filler. Its 400 pages of dense material from the practical to the entertaining. No space is wasted. She starts out with an overview of the industry and the business side of food styling. And then goes into the day to day job of the food stylist (basically getting the food to look great for the camera), tools of the trade, overcoming challenge foods, and then tips for chefs, caterers and bloggers who want to stylize their own food and lastly a review of food trends. At the end of the book there is a glossary and extensive index as well as resource list.

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Basically if you could pick clean the brain of a professional food stylist with tons of experience and a client list of all the top brands, this is the result. Its a wonderful reference book.

Getting perfect eggs for the camera

This book shows you how to make perfect eggs for the camera

I say reference book because there are parts of the book you will read through to get the background on the industry and the job, and the rest of the book you will be referring to when certain situations come up, like photographing sandwiches or something. Like a good cookbook, this book will sit on the shelf and be taken down time and again for reference, if it doesn’t just sit on the coffee table for years.

 

From the Inside Flap

Behind every mouthwatering image of food is a dedicated food stylist whose job it is to consider, plan, and perfect every detail from the curve of an apple stem to the fan of a shrimp tail.In Food Styling, master stylist Delores Custer presents the definitive reference in the field—complete with detailed information on essential tools and useful equipment, step-by-step guidance on achieving the perfect shot, and a wealth of tried-and-true techniques for everything from voluminous frostings to mile-high sandwiches. Based on her thirty years of experience styling for advertising, magazines, books, television, and film, Custer shares her expert guidance on how to achieve stunning visual perfection for all media.
Chapter by Chapter

Chapter highlights include:

-Food Styling Overview
-The Medium is Everything
-Your Food Styling Teammates
-You Got the Job…Now What?
-Prepping the Assignment
-At the Shoot
-About Photography
-The Basics of Propping
-The Basics of Tv & Film Production Work
-The Food Stylists Tools of the Trade
-Working with the Food
-The Business of Food Styling
-Beyond Food Styling
-Tips for Chefs, Caterers, and Others who want to Style their Food
-Reviewing the Last Fifty/sixty years of Food styling and photography

Food Styling: The Art of Preparing Food for the Camera by Delores Custer

it’ll tickle yore innards!

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I live in the New Hampshire country side. On one side of our property I could hook a golf ball through a window of my neighbors house, but in the other three points of the compass on our 4.5 acres we are surrounded by wetland, a horse pasture, a patch of forest and a farm.

Landscaping or simply beating back the wilds with scythe, weed trimmer, chainsaw and loppers is a rather constant activity around here. Its good old fashioned exercise with a side benefit of providing fuel for the wood stove and sunlight for the garden.

Yard work never fails to provide photographing opportunities in surprising ways. I don’t know if its the mind numbing hum of the weed trimmer (I have this nice quiet battery powered one that includes a built in timer called battery life that keeps one from over working themselves – Black & Decker LST136W 40V Max Lithium String Trimmer) or its just nature interrupting but I always seem to find a good excuse to stop the yard work a grab the camera for a couple of shots.

One time it was this strange and wonderful mushroom:

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The next time it was a huge black toad that found its way to the bottom of the newly delivered wood pile:

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Or the little guy who hopped around just under the whirling string of the trimmer. Sorry about the haircut little fella!

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Today’s find was an old soda bottle that started poking up out of the ground. Unfortunately it was just the bottom half because it was rather interesting. I washed it off but the water and soap started to peel off the paint. Here is what was left:

old soda bottle www.edwardfielding.com

Old soda bottle by Edward M. Fielding – http://www.edwardfielding.com

The front label has a picture of a hillbilly firing a rifle at some kind of animal up the hill near an outhouse while a startled pig looks out at the viewer.  It has the words “Made from flavors specially blended in the traditional hillbilly style”  what ever that is.  On the back there is the slogan “It’ll tickle yore innards!” and has an arm raising a glass.

I love it!  The typeface alone is so awesome.  Wish I had the whole bottle.  I did some Google research and found out that low and behold, this was an early bottle for “Mountain Dew” and most likely from the 1960s.

The Hartman Beverage Co. of Knoxville, TN, first introduced Mountain Dew. The soda’s success attracted the attention of the Pepsi-Cola Co. who eventually purchased the brand name.

Early Mountain Dew bottles with the Hartman name on them are very scarce. The first bottles were clear, not green glass. A 7 oz. clear glass bottle sells for $100 and a 7 oz. green glass bottle is valued at $75

 

The bottle dates from the 1960s and are Pepsi-Cola products. Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola licenses local bottlers to produce their brand name soda. Each franchise used the name of a different hillbilly couple to identify soda bottled at their plant. The extact number of participating plants is unknown. Bottles are collected by plant. A green 7 oz. bottle has a value in the $12 to $15 range, a green 10 oz. bottle in the $8 to $10 range.

 

The whole bottle would look something like this:

Early Mountain Dew soda bottle

Early Mountain Dew soda bottle

Back in the day, the concepts of “landfill”, “waste transfer station” and “recycling center” were foreign concepts. Most of the trash was paper, cardboard, metal or glass. Not like all of the plastic that we have now. People out in the country typically had enough land that they could parcel off as their own little junkyard. That’s where the empties went along with the old car. Taking the car for a Sunday drive out in the country might have included tossing the bottle of pop out the window. Why not? There was so much country to go around. Times change. But I bet this is not the last little time capsule from the past I see pop up out of the ground.

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Reving up my Canon EOS 6D with SD Cards

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Heading to Banff in the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the next few weeks. Still need too order a few items. One of them is another SD card. I plan to shoot some video on the trip and want to make sure I have enough storage. Plus be fast enough as not to slow me down.

The Canon 6D supports UHS-1 cards. The UHS-1 standard allows a theoretical bus speed of 312MB/sec. It is “theoretical” because buses have overhead (usually one “large” file will transfer faster than lots of “small” files) but more importantly, nobody actually makes SD card technology that can transfer data that fast. So really it’s the physical speed of the card that becomes the barrier and not the speed of the bus.

I’ve used Transcend SD cards in the past and they have been good performers at a good price. A Transcend 32 GB High Speed Class 10 UHS Flash Memory Card retails on Amazon for under $20 and provides a transfer rate of up to read 85 Mb/s ; Write 45 MB/s.

Waterproof case for my Panasonic LX Point and Shoot

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Might be heading out on the lakes in Banff via canoe. I’ll leave my Canon 6D behind but I’d like to take my Panasonic LX5 along for the ride as well as grab some underwater footage of Grandpa pulling in a lunker of a trout. So I’m looking at this inexpensive waterproof bag.  Only $25 or the price of a good SD card.

20M Underwater Waterproof DSLR SLR Camera Case For Sony NEX-7 NEX-F3 NEX-5R Panasonic LX5 LX7 LX2 GF3 Z3 Nikon S8200 P7100 J1 V1 Casio zr1000 zr1200 Fujifilm X20 Cannon G12 G11 G10 G15 G16 Samsung NX1000 (lenses port long?4cm) – Brown

20M Underwater Waterproof DSLR SLR Camera Case

20M Underwater Waterproof DSLR SLR Camera Case For Sony NEX-7 NEX-F3 NEX-5R Panasonic LX5 LX7 LX2 GF3 Z3 Nikon S8200 P7100 J1 V1 Casio zr1000 zr1200 Fujifilm X20 Cannon G12 G11 G10 G15 G16 Samsung NX1000 (lenses port long?4cm) – Brown

Recommended books for Food Photography

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Here is a collection of great books to get you started on your food photography and food styling for food bloggers, amateurs and professional photographers wishing to take better food photographs.

Food Styling: The Art of Preparing Food for the Camera

Based on her 30 years of experience in food styling for advertising, magazines, books, and films, Delores Custer presents the definitive lifelong reference on food styling-complete with lists of handy tools and vital equipment, recipes for artificial foods, and guidelines for running a successful food styling business.

Full of ingenious advice on styling in any media and packed with full-color photographs, Food Styling reveals every trick of the trade, from making a beverage appear to sweat to producing those perfect grill marks on meat without a grill. Filled with resources and organized in a simple problem-and-solution format, this is an ideal resource for both experienced foods styling pros and first-timers alike.

  • This is the only book of its kind on the market, shedding light on the art and craft of food styling
  • More than 300 full-color photos reveal the process of styling and the spectacular results, teaching and inspiring anyone interested in food and how it is presented in media
  • The book features a timeline of 60 years of food styling, a glossary of important terms, and a listing of vital styling resources
  • The only book the aspiring or professional food stylist will ever need, this exceptionally thorough resource covers challenges from flawless fried chicken to fluffy, cloudlike cake frostings-and everything in between

Whether you’re looking to break into the food styling business or just touch up on the latest and most effective techniques, Food Styling is the ultimate guide to creating stunning culinary visuals.

Food Styling: The Art of Preparing Food for the Camera

Tips and techniques for making food look good—before it tastes good!

Food photography is on the rise, with the millions of food bloggers around the word as well as foodies who document their meals or small business owners who are interested in cutting costs by styling and photographing their own menu items, and this book should serve as your first course in food photography. Discover how the food stylist exercises unique techniques to make the food look attractive in the finished product. You’ll get a taste of the visual know-how that is required to translate the perceptions of taste, aroma, and appeal into a stunning, lavish finished photograph.

  • Takes you through the art and techniques of appetizing food photography for everyone from foodies to food bloggers to small business owners looking to photograph their food themselves
  • Whets your appetite with delicious advice on food styling, lighting, arrangement, and more
  • Author is a successful food blogger who has become a well-known resource for fellow bloggers who are struggling with capturing appetizing images of their creations

 

Food Styling for Photographers: A Guide to Creating Your Own Appetizing Art

“You eat with your eyes first,” and no one turns a photograph of food into a culinary masterpiece like a food stylist. Food Styling for Photographers is the next best thing to having renowned food stylist Linda Bellingham by your side. Linda has worked with clients Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, McDonald’s, Tyson Foods, FritoLay, and many, many more. Professional photographer Jean Ann Bybee has worked with Harry & David, Dominos, Sara Lee, Seven-Up Company, and more. Jean Ann provides a seasoned photographer’s point of view with helpful tips throughout.

If you are hungry for unique photo assignments and want to expand your portfolio, this guide provides the well-kept secrets of food styling techniques that can make your photos good enough to eat.

Each chapter covers step-by-step instructions with mouth-watering photographs illustrating techniques for the creation of hero products that photographers at any level can whip up.

 

Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

Are you a “foodie” looking to take eye-catching photos of your culinary concoctions? Do you have a food blog that you’d like to enhance with better visuals? Do you want to create photos that conjure up the flavors of your favorite foods but lack the photographic technique to make it happen? Then this book is for you!

In Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots, photographer Nicole Young dishes up the basics on getting the right camera equipment–lights, lenses, reflectors, etc.–and takes you through the key photographic principles of aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. She then discusses lighting and composition and shows how to style food using props, fabrics, and tabletops. Finally, she explains how to improve your photos through sharpening, color enhancement, and other editing techniques. Beautifully illustrated with large, vibrant photos, this book offers the practical advice and expert shooting tips you need to get the food images you want every time you pick up your camera.

Food Stylist’s Handbook, The

Acclaimed food stylist Denise Vivaldo shares the tips and secrets of the trade with cooks who want to become master stylists. It takes a steady hand to arrange the chocolate curls and drizzle the caramel sauce in elaborate designs on top of that sumptuous tiered cake. Whether for food blogs, television, books, magazines, movies, menus, or advertising, food stylists and photographers learn to slice, plate, tweak, and arrange so the dish becomes less a bit of food and more the work of an artisan.

 
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