DMBLGiT May 2012 ~ The Winners

I may not get to feast on cherries or peaches this summer. But the promise of juicy, luscious Indian mangoes before the season ends, is lucrative enough to miss them all..

You might have guessed by now. I’m visiting home after two long years.. I’ve got to see what my Bangalore looks like, how it has changed or how it hasn’t, feel the inflation shock first hand and do all the things that I haven’t in the last couple of years.. Excited for my little girl to meet her grand parents, all of this and many things untold..

I will keep you posted of how excitement unfolds from Bangalore. Before that, it is time for me to announce the winners for this month’s DMBLGiT.

Statistics: 78 awesome entries, 4 extraordinary judges, 20 days of contest, winners

With so many serious contenders, it was really a tough decision.

Many thanks to the judges for their time and sending in the scores in the middle of a long weekend.. You’re all are simply awesome!

Before I unravel the winners list,

Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything

~ Vince Lombardi

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, without any more delay, the winners of Does My Blog Look Good in This? – May 2012 are:

Overall Winner – First Place

 Parigote – Carnets Parisiens – Filo boats sailing a sea of chocolate cream

Canon 7D with 50mm f/1.4

The Judges said:

“Great originality and aesthetics. Perfect styling and lighting”

“I have not seen food presented in a more fun way”

“This is absolutely adorable. Great set up!”

Overall Winner – Second Place 

Jenn Oliver – Jenn Cuisine – Coeur de Boeuf Tomatoes

Nikon D300s, 105mm f/2.8 lens

The Judges said:

“A smooth photo with catchy colors. Silky textures all over, great moody lighting”

“Great color scheme throughout. Not sure about the arugula scattered around the tomato”

“The lighting in this photo is superb. I love how it accentuates the ridges of the tomatoes and the colors are simply lovely”

Overall Winner – Third Place

Lisa H. – From My Lemony Kitchen – Red Bean Ice-cream

Nikon D7000 lens 50mm F1.4D

The Judges said:

“Looks good. Original idea. Good lighting. Good white balance, good exposure and great depth of field, right in between shallow and deep”

“I enjoy the use of ice cubes here and the negative space around the pops”

Individual Category Winners:

These are the photos that scored highest points in the particular individual category:

Winner – Edibitility

Asri Pamuncar – Food and Story – Orange and Lemon syrup cupcakes

Nikon D700 85mm

The Judges said:

“This image is all about the elegance. The colors, and the smooth light talks about a ladies-at-luncheon-party. A hat is a must to wear :)”

“Love the colors and lighting in this photo, very nice!”

Winners – Originality

Don’t know if it has happened before, but this time we have a tie. Since it is all about spreading DMBLGiT love, I’m so glad to say we have two winners sharing this category.

 Bharathy Vasudevan – Spicy Chilly – Chilli Chai

Canon EOS 550D, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens

The Judges said:

“The steam has it all. It is not easy to capture such a wonderful steam, the photographer did a good job. Hope she did not burn herself…”

“Would make any food stylist jealous with that perfect steam! Lovely cup of chai..”

Didi Bunova – Always lookat the tasty side of life – Chocolate mousse marzipan quail eggs

Canon EOS REBEL T1i, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens

The Judges said:

“Original presentation. Good light and white balance.”

“Love how the background compliments the chocolate as well as the spotted marzipan eggs that compliment the holders used for the mousse”

Winner – Aesthetics

 Kulsum Kunwa – Journey Kitchen – Farm fresh Eggs

Canon 7D, Canon 50mm 1.4 f lens

The Judges said:

“A serious photo with a vintage mood. Great use of light and textures to enhance the vintage feel. Ab ovo…”

“Not original since eggs are shot all the time lately by food bloggers but the aesthetics are through the roof”

“Absolutely love the light falling on the eggs. Shadows are beautiful and draws all the attention to the subject.”

“I love the fabric used here, it sets a rustic mood for the farm fresh eggs.”

Host’s Award:

As the host of this month’s contest I get to choose one photograph that I loved but, which wasn’t a winner in one of the above categories.

What I loved is the magazine look and feel, choice of colors beautifully complement each other, diffused light and the lovely composition with off-centered bowl and shallow depth of field.

Kankana Saxena – Sunshine and Smile – Sabudana Khichdi

Cannon Rebel T1i with 50mm/ f1.4 lens

The Judges said:

“Love the color scheme. Perfect use of opposite and adjacent colors. Would have preferred the bowl to be more toward the bottom of the frame than right in the middle though.”

Hearty Congratulations to all the winners! Very Well Deserved..

Thanks so much to each and everyone who sent in their gorgeous entries and made this contest a huge success..

If you’ve missed out earlier, check out the DMBLGiT May 2012 gallery and Meet the Judges

If you want to participate in DMBLGiT – June, then go visit Sunshine and Smile who is hosting this month.

If you want to host the contest yourself in future, Contact Andrew 


Winning is only half of it. Having fun is the other half ~ Philips Bum

We all know when a photograph is a winner. But, most of the times, those who did not make it are left wondering why they didn’t. DMBLGiT should not just be a platform to laud the winners, but also a platform for improvement is what the judges and I sincerely believe. So, here are a few pointers to the reasons that differentiate the rest from the winners:

    • White balance is off
    • Too bright light
    • Saturation is off
    • Aesthetics are off
    • Can’t see the subject
    • Focus point is too small/low/not adequate
    • Blown out highlights distracting
    • Props completely covering/ hiding the subject
    • Artificial light directed right on the food is not really pleasant
    • Color palette is too dark to be enticing
    • Styling not rendering the food appetizing
    • Camera angle not bringing out the the Yum factor
    • Plating, color scheme, shot, camera angle

Improving upon these should certainly take the photographs to a different level.

Also, the judges have been very kind to share their favorite tips. Here’s what they stand by:

Vera says:

Please, use diffused light. It results in silky light, and smooth shadows, changes the overall look of your photo.

If you are already familiar with the light where you usually shoot, you can start to experiment. A piece of carton or reflector changes the mood and redirects the light. The same setting will get a complete new look.

But first of all, study the light, this is the key to a good photo!

Joy says:

When photographing a subject, whether it’s food, people, landscapes, always use a sense of imagination.

Connect with the moment, the light, and most importantly your heart — worry about all the logistics later as they are much easier to learn than finding your distinctive sense of creativity. Feed it well, honor it often, and have fun with it!

Helene says:

Make sure your focus is good, white balance is good and lighting is interesting and pleasant. Pay attention too shadows and highlights, color schemes and camera angle.

These will really make the quality of a food picture. More than all the props you can use.

Prerna says:

Study your equipment inside out.

I always recommend that you pick up your camera manual and read it page to page. Play with your camera and try different settings. Doesn’t matter if you own an expensive and fancy DSLR or a simple point and shoot, if you are not sure what and how much you can do with it then it will always come in your way of taking great pictures. Then once you know your equipment, start practicing those skills.

Carry your camera everywhere (well, almost everywhere!) and see how you can play with different settings, lighting conditions and so on.

Last but not the least, hosting has been a whole lot of fun, excitement, anticipation and a lot of learning through interaction with the inspiring judges, receiving the entries, co-ordination and whatever else it takes..

Many Thanks to Andrew of Spittoon Extra to have started such an event and given me this  one of a kind opportunity to host this prestigious event!

Treat yourself to more :


DMBLGiT May 2012 ~ The Judges

The time has already come to reveal the panel of judges.

But, before that, a BIG thank you to all of you who have been sending your beautiful entries. Keep them coming, they are just awesome!

You can have a look at them on the DMBLGiT May 2012 gallery

And, those of you who’ve missed out on the scoop and wish to enter DMBLGiT – May 2012, there’s still time.

Last date to enter is 20th May 2012, midnight; So HURRY and ENTER to WiN

Did you know that, YOU could host a future edition of DMBLGiT? Know not how? Details are on the Announcement post

Winners will be announced on 1st June 2012.

Now, for the judges:

Right from the day I chose to host DMBLGiT, I have waited for this and it gives me immense pleasure to introduce the very talented and accomplished panel of judges. I’m pretty sure you know them very well already. If not, the bio should get you started.

I’d urge you to take the time to explore their spaces and be prepared to be inspired!

Helene Dujardin

Helene Dujardin was raised in the mountains of Provence and moved to the US in the late 1990s. The creator of the award winning site “Tartelette”, Helene dedicates herself to the craft of food photography.

She has photographed numerous magazine features and cookbooks to date. Clients include Ten Speed Press, Running Press, Le Creuset, One Kings Lane, Food&Wine among others. Her work has been praised by Elle Magazine, Martha Stewart, The Times online, and many other publications.

Her photographs reveal her passion for natural light, seasonal and fresh ingredients, a love of travel and genuine interest in people.  Helene currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina. | |  @helenedujardinfacebook

Having been mesmerized by Helene’s “work of art” from the time I discovered, I got lucky to attend her hands on workshop in Salt Lake City in the summer of 2011. It was a dream-come-true learning experience to gain insights into her meticulous methodologies and tips and tricks. More details here

Her autographed book Plate to Pixel is always on my book shelf, handy whenever I need guidance and/or inspiration


Prerna Singh

Prerna is a food photographer, blogger and the face behind the wildly popular Indian food blog IndianSimmer. She spent most of her childhood in a few small towns in central India – a time she fondly remembers for Rotis straight off the clay oven and mom’s cooking with produce plucked right from the farms. She went to business school in India to get an MBA and worked in the advertising industry for a few years.

Six years back she moved to the US and now lives with her husband and a naughty two year old daughter who keeps her on her toes. She loves traveling, exploring new cuisines and then trying them in her kitchen to later share them with the world. She started her food blog in early 2010 as way to share the recipes she developed and was soon drawn to food photography as a medium to present her recipes. Since then her blog and recipes have been featured on some reputed food sites like Food Network and Nana 10.

Indian Simmer was nominated as a Best Food Blog 2011 finalist by Savuer magazine and she is in the process of writing her first cookbook which releases towards the end of this year. | @indiansimmer | facebook

Last fall, while I was visiting friends in San Fransisco, I got to meet Prerna and Sala, two of the bloggers I have admired from the time I started blogging, in a lucky rendezvous of sorts, all thanks to twitter. Prerna is as endearing in person as she comes across on her blog.


Joy Zhang

Joy Zhang’s love for food and photography began as a small child, where she spent most of her time in the kitchen with her mother and picked up her first camera at the age of 10.  She began her journey as a food-blogger at Joylicious, which gained recognition from Elle Korea, Gourmet Live and Huffington Post Food.

Her passion for food, love and photography has transformed into a dream-job where she spends most of her time working as creative photographer based in Dallas, TX. She’s currently working on a cooking show, 1-2 Simple Cooking, to encourage singles and couples to cook efficiently at home. In her free time she enjoys gardening and traveling with her husband and teaching piano. | @Joyzhang516 facebook

She is quite the joy as her name suggests and comes across as a very down to earth person. Joylicious beautifully sums up her passion for breathtaking photography and enthusiasm for life.


Veronika Studer

A Hungarian girl living in Switzerland with her hubby and a beautiful 8 months old little girl, Veronika a.k.a “Vera” to her readers, always had a great interest in art. She learned how to draw and paint, but really found herself through photography. She combines her two great passions in her work, food preparation and photographing at her english blog The Kitchen Finesse | @finessekitchen | facebook

It was through DMBLGiT that I discovered the hugely talented Vera and ever since, I have been in love with her beautiful photography and her keen eye for great composition. It may be impossible to believe that she started cooking (and photographing) only five years ago!

Treat yourself to more :