Seeing Life through Camera Lenses

seeing life through camera lensesThose of you who follow my blog may have noticed I’ve slowed down on delivering recipes to you during the past few months. I’ve been on this amazing journey through a photography course I’ve taken this past winter semester. Now, I’m thrilled to tell you about it.

portfolio-5Hooray! I finished a 15-week photography class with an “A” at Washtenaw Community College (Ann Arbor, MI) last week that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t believe I took a total of 2124 images for all of my 5 assignments and the final portfolio (Thankfully they are all digital images). All of the images you are seeing here are part of my hard work for this class.


Why did I take this photography class?

I take it that you’ve enjoyed my food photographs while reading my blog posts. Perhaps those appetizing images are what brought you here. I owe my gratitude to Lindsay @ for the fantastic ebook, the Tasty Food Photography. After studying the book and putting this food photo knowledge into practice, my photography skills improved dramatically.

Final Portfolio-2

However, I’m always eager to improve by learning to create better images, get new ideas in food photography, and tackle challenging photo shoots.

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These numerous overcast Michigan winter days create a big obstacle in my food photography. So, I decided it’s time to learn everything I can about using artificial lighting in photography. What kind of lights should I buy/use? How should I set them up? It’s a whole new area I’ve avoided until now. To my surprise, Washtenaw Community College not only has the best studio in the state of Michigan, but they also offer a fantastic class called Introduction to Studio (which I’m going to take this Fall semester). I’m confident that this class will give me an indispensible wealth of knowledge as well as teach me valuable skills. A course in basic photography, the class I just took, is a prerequisite for this studio course. With encouragement from my wonderful husband, Brad, I was back in school again. No regrets.

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What did I learn?

Before I took this course, I hadn’t realized how limited my previous knowledge of photography was. In this class, I learned all the basic concepts of photography. I explored different subjects, such as moving objects, actions in food photography, depth of field, portraits, and all sorts of light conditions.   I also learned a photo-editing tool, Lightroom, which was totally new to me.

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Back when I registered for this prerequisite course, I didn’t think it was going to help me much with my blog, but it did help. Overall, it applied to the ideas of perspective and composition in food photography. I’m more comfortable with my camera and lenses now. All of these images are taken using Canon T3i (the newer model T5i has almost the same functions as the T3i) and 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6, 55-250mm f/4-5.6, and 50 mm f/1.8 lenses. Like David duChemin, a fantastic photographer and educator, said: “Gear is good, but vision is better.” Who we are really matters.

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Taking photos needs lots of patience and is time consuming, but nothing can be more rewarding than that moment when I’m holding my finished prints and sharing them with friends and loved ones.

seeing life through camera lenses

                                                          Healthy Oatmeal with Fruits (see recipe below)

Getting back to the blog. I made this healthy fruit oatmeal for both my breakfast and one of my photo assignments. Don’t hesitate to treat yourself to a bowl while enjoying my photo exhibition.

Seeing Life through Camera Lenses

Depot Town, Ypsilanti MI                                                                                                                                                              portfolio-3

Final Portfolio-6


Light Painting

seeing life through camera lenses


Oatmeal with Fruits and Chocolate Chips
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
6 mins
Total Time
7 mins
Tools: A saucepan with lid, measuring cups and spoons
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: GlutenFree/Vegan
Servings: 2 -4 servings
Author: Joyce @LightOrangeBean
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill quick oats
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds grinded
  • ¼ teaspoon pure stevia extract powder Now brand
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¼ cup blueberry frozen or fresh
  • ¼ cup raspberry frozen or fresh
  • 1 kiwifruit
  • 1 oz unsweetened Baker’s chocolate chopped
  1. Add oats, soy milk, and water in a saucepan and cover with lid. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat carefully. Approximately 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in ground hemp seeds, stevia, and salt. Garnish with fruits and chopped chocolate. Serve warm.



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