they've just stopped trying

I have a love of food photography. I love it almost as much as I love food - almost. I love the way good food photography captures my senses - the colors and textures help me imagine the smells and flavors. I also really love bad food photography for its disgusting irony (think Betos - the purpose of those photographs on the menu clearly is not to make you want to eat the "food"). A new trend is simply to photograph bad food - nothing particularly wrong with the quality of the photograph, there's just no attempt to hide the industrial quality of the food. (I have to wonder if these ads are creating or answering incredibly low expectations.) Here are a few of my favorites:


The strategically placed onions and the sponge on bottom really make this a work of art. And speaking of American "cheese" . . .

. . . would you like a square in your Jack in the Box taco? Oh, and please don't forget the drizzle of french dressing . . . and some well placed lettuce on the plate for authenticity.


And last but not least, and in a category all its own:

Finally, some truth in advertising.


to Zen and back

School's out for summer two weeks, and we're already back from our vacation (okay, this post is now officially a month old). It was wonderfully diverse - maybe the best vacation ever. 
We drove 1400 miles, flew 1600 miles, biked and walked all of Denver, hiked 5 miles, read two books, reunited with three old friends, met one beautiful baby, and took innumerable naps. We also stayed with strangers (via airbnb) and visited a couple of farmers' markets, an amusement park, a zoo, an art museum, a college campus, and a national park. There were many great moments, but the best part was spending some QT with Paul and Jess and their baby girls doing everything and nothing . . . including cooking and eating, which were our two favorite shared activities when we were neighbors. I was finally able to unwind after a ridiculously difficult, busy month of finals and other projects. I hadn't realized how crazy I was getting; I'm relieved to be feeling so much more centered again.
The ten days we were gone, I was largely unplugged - no internet, dead phone. I didn't read the news. I didn't even remove my iPod from my luggage.  It was interesting to vacation sans camera. (My old, despised camera is now part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem). The camera phones captured a few memorable moments, but even the phones died after a while and we were forced to live each delightful moment without the burden of documentation.  Living without a lens really helped me focus on the beauty of being, and what I thought would be an inconvenience became a learning experience. Here's to vacations and living in the moment.