Saturday, May 11, 2013
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Over the last few months I have been facing a peculiar problem.
Some of my friends have reported that they have seen some of their friends on a popular social networking site using Kitchen Karma's food photographs. Now when I go to check these out, I cannot, because of privacy settings of these people.
Not once. Three different friends have reported this at various times.
Of course any food blogger would like the free publicity. But no, those who share apparently remove the watermark and then share. They do not make any claims that they have taken the photograph, but then neither do they give due credit.
Of course I am not alone. Most of my blogger friends have to deal with food photography thefts. Unfortunately not only fellow bloggers steal from them, so does the general public. The assumption is if a photograph is out there in the cyber world, it is perfectly legal to erase the copyright and use it as your own.
I will not go into the morality of this. There is no point.
But of course, neither do I want people to use my photographs/ ideas/work without giving me due credit.
I am not the world's greatest photographer, but I work really hard to make this blog look attractive and I certainly do not want people to steal my ideas/work.
Husband and me, we started discussing this. We read up various proffered solutions. None of them seemed feasible or practical. Hence we started brainstorming. Soon we found an ingenious solution.
The solution, when we stumbled upon it, was so easy and straightforward that it kind of took out breath away with it's simplicity. No wonder they say that the best things in life need not be the most complicated.
Okay, without further testing your patience, let me share the solution. The solution is that these thieves can easily remove the watermark using various photo editing software. But what if we put in the watermark in the original layout in such a way that try cropping it and you spoil the photograph?
Once the idea emerged I started using it in my various photo layouts. And you know what I have started enjoying painting these cute name badges.
Like this badge I made for my cold coffee recipe.
I have been using this idea since August 2012. The first time I used this was in my lemon curd post. Of course my style has changed over the months. And of course I have not been able to do this to every food I photograph. I just do not have enough patience.
I did not realize that I would enjoy making these tags so much. I create one appropriate for my post and then simply place it strategically next to the food I am photographing. Any bit of paper including dress tags, discarded greetings cards, bookmarks, discarded theater/movie tickets, odd pieces of paper does the trick. All you then need are some colours or coloured pens.
So what do you think of the solution?
It is working for me, now even if people do not give me credit, the name Kitchen Karma is hard to remove from my photographs.
It is also helping in creating the Kitchen Karma brand.
I have been meaning to write about this solution for ages, but me being me, the regaining queen of procrastination I kept delaying it. Then I saw one popular blogger using my solution, of course without credit, that is when I realized that it is time I floated the idea! Please feel free to use it, but credit would be appreciated.
The cyber world is not a safe place. But there are some nice people out there.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I have been visiting Kolkata for the last five months and yet not have had the
time opportunity to see Victoria Memorial up close. Oh I have passed it lots of times, but at the best of times the roads surrounding this monument are tremendously busy and cars are not allowed to dwindle. I am sure no policeman manning the hectic city traffic would take kindly to my taking photos while holding up traffic! So I always zoomed by, with a true local taken-for-granted attitude for this white marble edifice.
But a decade of living away from the city, or as the Bengalis would say being a probashi (someone who lives outside Bengal), I felt a small hankering to get up-close to this monument. Of course once I decided to go the ''tourist way'' that is actually go to visit the memorial with my camera, I was ready to face the disdain and the surprise.
Why disdain? Because Victoria Memorial is visited by tourists and not locals who actually live in the city. They give me suspicious looks, muttering to themselves ''so this girl has really changed, no longer a true blue Kolkatan, hmmmm''! Why surprise? Because the month of April is totally the wrong time of the year to visit open air public places in Kolkata. Summer has already come, with a mighty sun in tow, and people prefer being away from the sun. I realized that the temperature is rising rapidly and there would be no respite till the blessed monsoon rains come in late June. So if I have to make this trek, I have to make it as soon as possible. I shared the idea with my brother-in-law who is a keen photographer himself. We decided to make an early morning visit. It was around 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning, yet it was deserted except for some dedicated morning joggers and a few stray tourists.
Needless to say the sun was really fierce. Though it was rather pleasant under shades of those big trees which dot the garden in which this memorial is housed, move a little away from the shade and you are scorched. The sky was almost grey with heat and not at all conducive to photography. We stayed as long as it took me to click a few hasty photographs.
|The monument reflected in the water of the lake facing it!|
|St. Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral of the Church of North India - a united church which is part of the Anglican Communion - in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. The building itself stands on the "island of attractions" in Kolkata - beside the Victoria Memorial, Nandan, Rabindra Sadan theatre complex, and the Birla Planetarium. Source: Wikipedia|
Of course all this early morning photo-shoot made us really hungry. We decided to try out Chinese breakfast on Tiretta Bazar. Now this is a really hyped Kolkata tradition. In and around Bentinck Street, which is the chosen seat of earliest Chinese migrants in Kolkata, you get nourishing breakfast. The breakfast has many takers from the intellectuals and the elites of the city to the labourers who work in the area.I have heard so much about this I was almost jumping with excitement. Yes I have never been here before.
My excitement vanished when I reached the place. First of all it was dirty, secondly there were far fewer stalls than I had expected. The food we ate was fresh, tasty and rather cheap, yes even by Kolkata standards. But it was by no means anything out of the world. Would I go back there again? Probably not in a hurry. Some of the photographs I took before I started eating.
|Open the lid and the steam hits you with a force!|
|Fried pork dim sums!|
|Hot & steaming buns, stuffed with both chicken and pork!|
|Gluttonous rice balls!|
|Prawn chips and tofu for sale!|
Saturday, April 6, 2013
The ceiling fan makes a whirring sound while it struggles to circulate the air in the room. All the window shutters are firmly closed and the curtains are tightly drawn to keep away the fierce afternoon sun. The DJ on a popular FM Radio channel rattles on with
determined single-minded cheerfulness. Sometimes, just sometimes she remembers to play a song or two.
It is mid afternoon on a hot & sticky April day. Lunch is over and so are the household chores till evening. Siesta time in Kolkata.
I lie on my bed trying to read a book. But it is so hot I can feel the sweat trickling down my back. I cannot concentrate on the words, which all seem to be jumping around randomly. After a futile attempt, I give up trying to read the book and instead gaze at the ceiling. The swift circular motion of the ceiling fan fascinates me. Also in a heat induced stupor I feel that if I stare at the fan earnestly enough, for long enough, it might, just might move a little faster. I am too lazy to get up and go to the next room which has a blessed air conditioner. Instead I start thinking of the various drinks/foods which at that moment could cool me down. I daydream of sundae ice creams in tall frosted glasses, a super chilled watermelon drink, pati lebu ur sorbot (a traditional Bengali drink made with local limes)....
Somewhere between kesar kulfi and mango lassi I fall asleep. But daydreams are difficult to shed off, so when I wake-up I rummage through my mother's refrigerator and pantry looking for ingredients for a cool and refreshing drink. What I find are-- few remaining pieces from a bar of coffee flavoured chocolate, vanilla ice cream, milk, coffee....more or less all the ingredients for a cold coffee.
It takes me less than 5 minutes to whip up a frothy cold coffee. To make the drink cooler, smoother, tastier, richer, more calorie heavy, I add a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is bliss. The drink, that is. Needless to say it takes me much less than 5 minutes to drink it up.
Do you want to drink some too? Oh well I can share this easy-peasy recipe and I am sure you can also make this in no time.
Ingredients (Makes two glasses of cold coffee):
- 1 and a half glass of chilled milk
- 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream
- 2 tea spoons of instant coffee, more if you like your coffee stronger
- 2 table spoons of sugar, more if you like your coffee sweeter
- Lots of ice cubes
- Chocolate shavings for garnish
How To (Takes About 5 mins):
- Take twon ice glasses and keep the empty glasses in the fridge
- Mix the coffee and the sugar with a little water
- In a juicer add the milk, two scoops of vanilla ice cream, the coffee and sugar mix and the ice cubes
- Blitz away till everything is well mixed. The mixture will be frothy
- Take out the glasses from the fringe, add a scoop of ice cream to each glass
- Pour the drink equally in both the glasses
- Garnish with some chocolate shavings
- Serve immediately
Now sit back and enjoy the drink!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Dol/Holi is a Hindu religious festival to usher in spring. It's a favourite festival because of all that playing with colours. Some of the photographs from shopping for Holi.
|Kitchen Karma wishes you happy #Holi|
|Some of the Holi treats---Moth and Murki|
|Paint me red!|
|Now for some pink!|
|Now for some glittery red, purple and yellow!|