Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shooting in Raw & Crab Cakes

Do you shoot in RAW??

On Saturday I attended the 1st (annual?) Blog Better Boston event put on by one of my blog friends, Amy, and her blog/friend/business partner Alana.  It was a conference type event especially for Boston area bloggers, with panels, workshops, and awesome sponsors.

Not gonna lie, I was most excited about just spending the day with some of my favorite bloggers, but I found a number of the speakers/sessions VERY helpful!

BBB Eliz Ali Me
Elizabeth, Ali, and Me!

Some of the sessions I attended were: Photo Editing, Awesome Metrics with Google Analytics, Wordpress Tips & Tricks, and Food Photography!

Some of the info, esp. on Analytics and Wordpress, was a little over my head, but I still came away with a lot more knowledge than I had before.

One of the terms that kept getting thrown around a lot during the two photography related sessions was shooting in "RAW".  I have heard this many times before but really didn't think much of it.  I also had no idea if I was shooting in RAW or not.  Well, I wasn't and had the instructor show me where that setting was. 

food photog

Basically if your not shooting in raw, you're shooting in jpeg... I still don't fully understand this, but as I was uploading my photos tonight I found out the hard way that I'm still such a newb! 

And if you have no idea what I’m even talking about, check out this webpage with a great comparison of Raw vs. JPEG.

So my new and improved "raw" photos needed a special plug-in on my computer to be able to view them! And now I'm converting them back to jpeg so that I can actually use them…oy.  Probably shouldn’t have just switched over so nonchalantly! 

Moral of this story is that I still have a lot to learn!  But I’m also super excited to apply all my new knowledge!!

I was able to try out the set up our Food Photography instructor had of some Pretzel Crisps (another sponsor!), using a wooden board and her Spider Light set up

pretzel crisp

Also applied some of my new editing knowledge, and I must say it came out pretty good!

Not sure if I see a Spider Light in my future…not exactly a small piece of equipotent!  But it was cool to see how it created such natural looking light!  That photo above was taken in a pretty dark room, lit by her spider light. 

And now that I’ve converted my files back to “normal” I can give you a brief overview of the delightful crab cakes I made tonight for my mom and Brian.

crab meat

That premium lump crab meat is actually pretty darn good!!  It was $8.99 at Trader Joes.  Pretty good for a when I have a crab craving :)

I used this Cooking Light Recipe, but halved it as I only had 8oz of crabmeat.

The recipe is for 4 servings as a meal.  I wanted these as an appetizer, so I made smaller cakes and ended up with 9, 1.5” diameter cakes.

crab cakes1

My changes to the recipe were:

  • using red bell pepper instead of green
  • I used the whole egg, instead of a half even though I had half the amount of crab
  • Used dried tarragon in the sauce, and half as much
  • omitted the ground red pepper (mom doesn’t like spicy), used some fresh ground black pepper though

crab cake mix

crabcake in panko

Prepped the cakes a couple hours before dinner

crabcakes precook

Then cooked them up right before serving

crabcakes cook2

I LOVED the Remoulade sauce!!  We had a panko crusted Cod for dinner and used this sauce for the fish too!

crab cakes     

And just for fun, some flowers…these were my 2nd “replacements” for my Valentine’s day flowers ;) 



Gorgeous spray roses!  $9.99 for a big bunch!!  So many that I had extra to fill two mini bud vases for the window sill!

So back to my camera issues…

Anyone have any tips about shooting in RAW and still being able to easily upload/use my photo files??  Something that can convert them to jpegs easier??  I had to save-as each photo!!  So annoying!

Is there a different setting on my camera I should use??  I have a Canon Rebel XTi if that helps. 

For now I’m going back to my old setting in jpeg until I really figure this out!

Happy Sunday!


  1. Emily @ A Cambridge StoryMarch 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    I have so much to learn about photography. Sounds like a great conference!

  2. I know nothing about photography! I use a point and shoot :) glad the sessions were helpful. I havent made crab cakes in forever! Great price

  3. FunandFearlessinBeantownMarch 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    I definitely have a lot to learn about photography too!

  4. Bridget - 
    I didn't get a chance to sit in on the workshops so I loved reading your recap. Glad you had a good time and it was lovely to see your smiling face again!

  5. Man I wish I had been able to go to this workshop! Your photos look pretty good to me!

  6. I'm still trying to figure out the RAW thing myself.  My camera has the option to shoot in RAW + JPEG.  I try editing the RAW files and saving them, but then when I post them to my blog, none of my editing changes go through.  Clearly I am doing something wrong.  I just bought Aperture for the Mac and I am going to be looking for a book on how to use it.  Do you still have the manual for your camera- it should tell you how to change your settings to RAW in there.

    Also, I've made this recipe before and the remoulade sauce is definitely the best part.  If you ever need a quick, easy meal, check out Whole Food pre-made crab cakes at their seafood counter (get the Christopher's crab cakes, not the ones with a ton of stuffing).  I whip up a batch of this sauce, throw the crab cakes in a pan, and serve it with a simple green salad and a glass of white wine!

  7. I'm in the same boat as you with the camera stuff.  I don't shoot in raw. it sounds like a pain!! Sorry I can't offer any advice!

  8. mmmm crab cakes! nice to see you briefly on Sat :)

  9. I don't know how I missed you! I was at BBBos on Saturday and I too loved the food photography workshop.  It was my favorite session by far. Great recap and the crab cakes look delicious! Hope you enjoyed the rest of your weekend!

  10. Sounds like a cool class. And my gosh those flowers are stunning.

  11. Hi Bridget,

    Thanks for coming to the workshop!  Your pretzel shot looks great!

    It took me awhile to understand the whole RAW thing, and I know it can be frustrating at first.  There are a number of different programs to manage the files - I always import the RAW files into Lightroom, make the adjustments, and then export the jpegs.   

    Good luck and please let me know if I can ever help with anything,


  12. I don't shoot in RAW either.  I actually REALLY need to take some photography lessons.

  13. Thanks Kristin!

    Yeah I think I just need a better program.  I have a PC and usually just use Windows Live Photo Gallery, but there doesn't seem to be a good way to export them as jpegs aside from doing a save-as of each file. 

    I'm going to keep working at it though!

    Great workshop!!

  14. Aww!  Bummed I didn't see you!! 

  15. Yeah my manual is somewhere, probably should dig that out.  I think I really need to get some better software for this sort of thing. 

    Yes!  That remoulade sauce was SO good!  And I have gotten those crab cakes from WF's before!  Esp if they are on sale :)

  16. I know this post is from a couple of months ago, but I thought I comment anyhow. Did you Canon come with software? My camera (the basic Canon Rebel SLR) had software that came with it. That's what I use to edit my RAW files because I'm too cheap to buy Photoshop for my casual hobby. You have more editing options in RAW than JPEG in that program. The program also allows you to select a bunch of edited photos and do a "batch process." You still have to convert them to JPG, but it does it all at once.

    Also, if you're unsure about RAW, you can dig up your manual and find out how to change the settings to RAW and JPEG. The camera saves two versions of the same image, so you'll have choices. It takes up more space on the memory card, though.