As most people do, I set goals for my self at the beginning of the year. These may be new things that I want to try, something I want to achieve or a variety of other things. Over the last few days, I was able to cross two of these goals off of my list. The first was to shoot a video on my DSLR and the second being to attend a food blogging conference.
I will start with the DSLR. I am fascinated by video. I am sure most photographers feel the same way. There are many similarities between still and moving pictures, but there are even more differences. This fascination has been hindered by an intimidation. Video is all about the post production and editing, also there is the element of sound. With advances in technology causing the worlds of stills and video to be forever intertwined, I have no choice but to try my hand at the moving picture world. The same camera that I shoot stills with can also shoot amazing HD video, but I have yet to embrace this new medium. Well, I promised myself that in 2011 I would give video a try. Last week, I was in Charleston helping my friend Helene on her new book. I was taking pictures of her working for the book and decided it would be a good time to try my hand at video as well. Here is what I came up with.
This was my first attempt at video, so there are many improvements that I know I can make, but I am very excited with the possibilities of where this will lead me. Video is a completely different animal and takes a different approach that shooting a still. I am excited to see where my experimenting in video will lead me in 2011. ( For you fellow camera enthusiasts this was shot on a Canon 5dmk II with a 100mm Macro lens and edited in i movie )
On Friday, Helene and I headed to Birmingham for the inaugural Food Blog South Conference. In my 54 weeks of being a food blogger, I had yet to attend a food blogging conference. I had always wanted to go, but most of them were on the west coast or in New York, or I had something else going on. Upon hearing about Food Blog South, I knew I would have to find a way to go. After all, I grew up in the south and live in the south, shouldn’t I attend a conference geared towards the south? I was excited, but with this being my first food blogging conference, I had no idea what to expect. For those of you reading who have no idea what I am talking about, let me explain. A food blogging conference brings together anyone who has an interest in blogging and food. There are presenters that talk about a wide array of topics that deal with food and blogging. These topics include photography and styling, social media and marketing, recipe writing and testing, restaurant reviewing and many more. I attended a variety of presentations on these topics and definitely left the day wiser than I when I had arrived. If you are interested here is the agenda and a list of presenters. The speakers were all from the south or had ties to the south, with their presentations being geared towards issues and themes that concerned the south.
With this being a conference about food, there was no shortage of great food to eat. For lunch there was a delicious meal of shrimp and grits, but the afternoon snack was what I enjoyed the most.
Before the last session there was a pie break! Sponsored by Pie Lab, this break was full of pie! There were several different varieties to choose from, but my stomach was drawn to the Apple Cheddar (pictured above) and the German Chocolate pie. Both were delicious.
It was great listening to the speakers and eating delicious food, but what I enjoyed most about the conference was meeting other food bloggers. I was able to catch up with Jay and Jeremy ( who I met while tailgating at LSU) I was also able to finally meet many people who I was “friends” with on twitter and facebook, but had never actually met in person. I had a blast eating dinners with Chris, Tami, Helene, Merry Jennifer, Paula, Kelly, and Christina. Yes I do realize that I was the only guy, the food blogging world definitely has a higher percentage of girls in it, but I was impressed with how many guys showed up at the conference. Meeting and hanging out with all of these bloggers in person was refreshing.
The internet and blogging are amazing technologies that allow you to connect with people all over the world. At the same time, all this connection also creates isolation. Sitting behind a computer screen and interacting in 140 character messages will never be the same as an actual person to person conversation. I am the type of person that would choose meeting in person over talking on the phone. Maybe it is just me, but having personal interaction with all my blogging friends was my favorite party of the conference. Combine that with the interesting presentations and I would say Food Blog South’s innagural run was a success! They have definitely set the bar high for future conferences.
Thanks again to Shaun and Jason for organizing the event! Thanks to all of the speakers for sharing their time and knowledge, and most importantly thank you to everyone who came out to make this event a success. I look forward to more conferences where I can talk with fellow bloggers face to face!