Photo Of The Day: Some Som Tom Salad

Photo of the day - Som Tam salad
I don’t mind food photos, even when they clog up my Instagram feed or distract me from my dinner companion. As long as they are interesting and tell me something I don’t know or might not have experienced otherwise, I think they are a great expression of social networking. I spotted today’s Photo of the Day in the Gadling Flickr pool taken by Ladyexpat of a Som Tom Salad. This turns out to be the Thai version of a green papaya salad. Not sure how she grated those amazing shapes that look like waffle fries, but the dish is a combination of the four local flavors: hot chili, tart lime, sweet sugar and savory fish sauce. The photo is full of color, texture, and the brightly painted nails and jewelry give it character. I’ll have what she’s having!

Share your favorite travel food discoveries for the Photo of the Day by adding to Gadling Flickr pool.

[Photo credit: Nancie (Ladyexpat)]

Instagramming Food: Fun Or Faux Pas?

instagram food - Questlove in TokyoA big topic around the water cooler Twitter this week is a New York Times story on restaurants and food photography. Some chefs like David Bouley encourage snapping photos of your dishes, even going so far as letting you in the kitchen to get the best shot, while others like Momofuku‘s David Chang have outright banned cameras. Restaurateurs argue that constantly whipping out your phone to document each course distracts from the meal, your dining companion, and even the chef. Instagram-loving patrons feel it’s a “tribute” to the chef, and even gives the restaurant free advertising.

We’ve discussed Instagram and travel photography before, and how all those fun filters can be considered “cheating” at getting a great travel picture. You could say the same about food photography, that using effects can alter the presentation of the food, to say nothing of how it alters the dining experience. It’s another symptom of the cult of foodie-ism and the tendency to not live in the moment while you try to share your experience with the world. But are some meals worth remembering past the dessert course?

This week, hip hop legend and Roots drummer Questlove made a pilgrimage to Tokyo‘s Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant – subject of the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” and the start of Questlove’s obsession – and Instagrammed the whole meal. He respectfully asked permission and even took a pic of another photographer nearby. His photos are nothing groundbreaking, but his refreshingly unpretentious and conversational commentary makes you feel like you are right there with him, enjoying some $300 sushi. It’s eating vicariously through social media at its best.

Do you Instagram your meals? Where do you side on photography in restaurants?

[Photo credit: Instagram user Questlove]

Photo Of The Day: Sea Creatures In Penang

photo of the day - Penang sea creatures for lunch
The rise of social media and photo-sharing platforms like Instagram has meant an increase in the number of photos floating around the Internet of particularly appetizing, unappetizing, and downright inedible foods. This has lead to a certain backlash, with articles bemoaning this trend, asking people to stop taking pictures of their meals. Still, I think there is a place for it in the world of travel photography, particularly for the more unique and bizarre finds. So for today’s Photo of the Day I chose this food photo from Flickr user ourmanwhere in Penang, Malaysia, an epicenter for adventurous foodies. Rather than just showing an outrageous calorie-laden burger or an arty close-up of a grape, it’s intriguing, unusual, and rather beautiful (plus, it was taken on a cellphone, and we at Gadling love to ditch the DSLR). In another part of the world, you might see this subject in an aquarium instead of a restaurant. So keep the “food porn” coming, travelers, you just might have to work harder at keeping us guessing at what’s on the menu.

Add your lunch photos to the Gadling Flickr pool for another Photo of the Day.

Food Landscapes: Carl Warner replicates landscapes with food

If you’ve ever gazed upon a landscape so rich you’d like to just eat it, you might be interested in Carl Warner‘s Food Landscapes. Warner is a British photographic artist with, you could say, a taste for travel. He’s an architect of edible landscapes. With minimal Photoshop assistance, Warner creates fantastical images of believable landscapes… but there’s a twist: the trees in the image are broccoli. The water in the image is salmon, the rocks are potatoes. He builds his landscapes on tabletops with real food, but he builds these 3D scenes in such a way so that a brilliant landscape can be reflected in a photograph of the tabletop construction. So attention travelers and fans of travel! If you appreciate both scenery and food, this book might be a safe bet for your next coffee table book shopping spree.

John Elkington on the Future of Food Production

Photo of the day – What’s for dinner?

photo of the day
Food photography (or less delicately, food porn) are always a popular travel subject. Travelers love to capture the unusual, the delicious, and the beautiful eats of the world. This shot by Flickr user Marisoleta of

a live lobster tied up in Kyoto, Japan manages to be all three. Marisoleta explains that it was part of an offering demonstrated by a priest in one of Kyoto’s largest festivals, and as usual, the Japanese show their flair for food presentation. The lobster seems to be at peace with his fate, whether it’s to be boiled and eaten with melted butter, or untied and set back into the water.

Add your favorite food shots to the Gadling Flickr pool and if they make us hungry, we might use one for a future Photo of the Day.