Sunday, December 27, 2009

Musings on a Year's Worth of Blogging

Who thought this day would happen, so fast? And thank goodness enough, I got better from the stomach flu. Lucky.

At first I had all these plans, like reviewing my birthday cake for today, but being sick I never even forgot to finish editing the 50 photos of Pelican Hill STILL on Adobe Photoshop right now. RAM needs support.

Anyway, the first blog post was posted on 9:22AM PST, and so I need to to finish exactly at that minute. :) I wish I had gifts. I could have given all of you 10 dollar Restaurant.com certificates but it would be via my personal email. Not such a great idea?

Well, today I made the camera fall onto the carpet twice. Awful. At least CPK didn't screw up tonight's dinner like they did with my birthday. The server who previously was not our favorite was muy simpatico y amable (very nice and friendly), while our server during my birthday was our server today's opposite.

So anyway, I thought I would give you my thoughts on a year's worth of blogging. New experiences provide new insight. Before I had this giant paragraph of how I got online and how I got blogging, but that was too much. Separating into different sections would be just a tad better. And just before we go on, a belated third anniversary on Tripadvisor to my BSA126 account. Three years, and now a DE! Yay.

People:


Some people are really nice, such as bloggers and the people I have met online over the year. And although some may offend with a paragraph not meant to offend, they do, but I get over it and understand the meaning. However, some people are really mean, like commenters who linked to various weird websites. Leaving comments on this blog that are inappropriate for seventh graders and maybe (not sure), a first grader?! Crazy.

The influence of Bloggers, and a Thank You:

If it had not been for the talk about Dylan of Eat, Drink, and Be Merry being on Anthony Bourdain's show No Reservations and then later on Marvin of Burnt Lumpia's talk on an Anthony Bourdain giveaway, I probably would have an extra 40 percent left on the DVR not being filled by episodes of No Reservations. The advertising spot and the name never appealed to me in the first place, but I should not be judging a show by its cover...

And blog writings are also quite the factor. I would have never even thought about a blog if I hadn't seen Cindy's Food Makes Me Happy, since I wouldn't have known what a food blog was in the first place! Thank a search now almost two years and two months ago for this blog. Thank people like Elmomonster and Eileen who wrote about the OC and I in return had plenty of good meals due to their talks on where to go (Eileen) and food (Elmomonster). And Gourmet Pigs for a wonderful gift certificate to a good restaurant, Charlie Palmer. The food was pleasant, and her earlier photos made the place go ah ha, I saw this. I saw that on her blog. Ah ha! Later, thanks to that GC, a facebook link but with a photo stolen by the City of Costa Mesa for a small thumbnail. But a compliment saying I wrote a great blog post.

(I'm off topic am I?)

What I meant to say about all these bloggers like Cindy, Eileen, Elmomonster, and Gourmet Pigs is that if you do something good, you'll get something back in return. In this case it is a thankful me and a mention (least I could do, really). There's more of you to mention, like Wandering Chopsticks with her "How to start a food blog" series and Aji Man and Bon Marche (I'm visiting BOTH someday, like you are with Green Island). Or KevinEats and SinoSoul for introducing fine dining restaurants to try out. Or people like Vegas and Food, Jules of Lovely Las Vegas, and again, KevinEats who have provided so many much CityCenter photos it's almost like I am in CityCenter when I can not this year. (of course, I spread the info around when needed, and when Tripadvisor had a member asking about CityCenter's food? A link to KevinEats of course with his 3+meals already.) Or the fabulous White on Rice Couple whose photography tutorials made me easily understand all these photography terms. Or Mochachocolata Rita to provide intriguing quirks available in Hong Kong and many laughs from her writing style. Or foodbin and Selba of Selby's Food Corner who have both introduced me to many new foods. There's too many other bloggers to mention, so I will end with a short and VAGUE thank you, all of the fabulous bloggers and people I have met.

The name, Eat. Travel. Eat!:

The blog name is manipulated in many ways with variations on periods and exclamation marks. :) Quite tickling to see it manipulated. Just remember- period(s) for the first two words, exclamation mark for the last.

Or remember what I thought when making the name up.
Eat.- Eating at the community.
Travel. -Traveling around the community, flying, et cetera.
Eat!- Eating more when traveling and at the destination. (e.g. Hong Kong or Asia)

Stats:

Websites that you do not set up on your website for statistics (FOR your website can include places like Google Analytics or Statcounter) can be quite unreliable. For example, Alexa said I was getting less visitors when I was getting more. Some sites state Eat. Travel. Eat! earns 2 dollars in ad revenue per day. Oh, I wish I could! We only receive 1/20th.

Photography:

Sometimes the cost of something gets you going. As a teacher at Art Center said (paraphrased):

"Film makes the students pay more attention to what they are taking pictures of. A digital camera is almost like a toy. Click click click as many times you desire. I do it too. Somehow, the cost of film plus the developing process makes them pay extra attention to make their pictures better."

So, with a "new" Point and Shoot which I used last year and now a D-SLR, I got into paying more attention. Because not only due to the cost of Nikon D90 itself, the thought of the camera's shutter mechanism only being able to take 100,000 actuations (OH, so LITTLE) made me concerned. You see, in three months I already took approximately 2000 photos. Too fast! (Although in reality this means 10 years+, and I still can replace the shutter anyway).

And yes, I still need to pay more attention. And be creative to make better prints. After a good camera (good as in performing well, not expensive), the rest mainly is about the person's thinking and limitations, lighting, and composition. As a photographer, a person must think carefully and compose their shots so that they can shine without further editing needed. It doesn't matter if it is a cheap or expensive camera. Anyone can make beautiful shots from either camera, as long they think carefully and that their gear does not affect them from making a shot.

Restaurant Photography:

Anyone under 20 to take photos with a camera in a restaurant of the food, whether it be a P&S or D-SLR, will capture attention of the employees easily. Especially when you take multiple shots at different angles. Yes, I've been in both situations already. I bet it still happens with adults too though but I haven't seen anyone over 20 in a restaurant holding a camera taking pictures of food. I think I just did last night, but he was taking pictures of family, not food.

And to be forewarned, there's probably a big chance that large chain fast food restaurants have a no photo policy. Chipotle, I found out, has one too after an employee was friendly to me and said, take plenty of photos. But he went off his shift, and you know how the other employees went. Shout, shout. I was done though before I heard them so, too late? But I'm not going back to that other location anymore.

Lighting at all restaurants is not the best and so know your camera before the food comes if you are going to take photos in dark lighting situations. Like bumping the ISO, slowing the shutter speed, opening the aperture to make the image sensor more sensitive and allowing more light in to hit the sensor.

Is it just me or do fine dining restaurants make a big deal about people with D-SLRs or was I just too obnoxious? Tee hee.

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As for this year, I will be simplifying the layout a bit. There is a bit too much information on the sidebar and so instead I will be putting them into pages and linking them near the top of the blog with the other tabs. Hopefully after that then it will be switching to the regular Mimima format and not this stretched version, because as of current, if you make the page tiny, you will cut off all the photos, the main text, and the third column. It's also bad for anyone with lower resolution computers, so yes, switch soon. Hopefully it works. Wish me luck! (UPDATE January 10, 2010- Yes, it did, and you see the results now.)

Hoping for another fun filled year of blogging, but I do know posting until June will be a bit difficult (school). And then, if I do choose to take another English course at my favorite community college, then it's until August for six weeks. Lots of important things coming my way. I'll do my best to balance it all out.

Coming up next are About and FAQ.

6 comments:

kevinEats said...

Congrats on making it one year, and thanks for the mention!

EatTravelEat said...

Kevin,
Thanks and no problem :). If you're posting more Las Vegas restaurants only more mentions can go up. People on Tripadvisor love to read about restaurants and hotels!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Happy Anniversary!

Yes, I will go to Green Island one day. Funny, but someone else had told me to go around when I first read about it on your blog and I still haven't gone.

Blogging seems to take so much time and energy these days. I barely have time to blog occasionally, much less visit other blogs. :(

EatTravelEat said...

Wandering Chopsticks,
Thanks! Blogging is very time consuming. I'd say a post at least takes one hour to do?

Good news on Green Island BTW. They just changed their menu (again) to have more items on the lunch menu, and the lunch menu has photos now :). You'll have more to try. If they keep on updating their menu I'll have to keep updating my articles on them. Haha.

elmomonster said...

ETE!

Thanks for the mention! Yours is one of the few food blogs I have an RSS feed on! Keep up the good work!

EatTravelEat said...

Elmomonster,
You're welcome and thank you :). Your blog is also one of the few blogs on my RSS feed too! Easily convenient to read, while some other blogs I have to go to Blogger to read. :)