I recently went on a summer vacation with the family to Hawaii and for the first time, we went there on first class. I travelled first class once before, 15 years ago, when my then manager was nice enough to upgrade us both after a business trip. I consider myself a frugal person and I would never pay for first class, however we were using our airline mileage and first class had the only available seats. Luckily we were able to get coach tickets for the trip back home.
I discovered something during the short time I lived life like those other people–the rich, the jet-set and frequent fliers. Airplane food can actually taste really good! This was a revelation to me. Sure, I expected wider seats, more room and good service, but actual good tasting food? I just thought those small airplane galley kitchens were not capable of producing decent food.
Even the nuts were different. Not only were they served in real ceramic containers, they were warmed up. The lunch that was served during our American Airlines Los Angeles to Honolulu leg was better than expected. They had several courses and for the main course, my wife and I chose the salmon. Now maybe I don’t get out enough or don’t eat at the right restaurants but I could swear that this salmon was better than the stuff I get at the typical Austin restaurants. The fish was softer and fresher than the places I’ve been to. Maybe its an indication of the quality of fish in Austin. After all, Austin is landlocked and I don’t eat much lake fish–such as catfish. Certainly the fresh fish I’ve had in Hawaii is better but my wife and I were tickled with the quality of this airline food.
The photograph below is the breakfast we were served on the American Airlines flight from Austin to Los Angeles. Again, it was very good though we enjoyed our lunch even more.
All of these images were taken with my small Sony DSC-TX5 point and shoot camera. I purchased this camera specifically for this trip to Hawaii, since its waterproof. It worked very well and I hope to have a review of it in an upcoming blog post. I also brought my Canon 7D with me but I decided to do these closeups with the Sony. To maximize the image quality, I usually have the TX5 set to ISO 125, its lowest setting. I actually used a mini-tripod to get nice clear, blur-free images.
My Thought Process
The Sony takes surprisingly nice closeup/macro images. Much better than what I can do with my 7D, since I don’t have a macro lens. The small sensor works to an advantage since it was a very deep depth of field, which usually helps for macros. Also, the camera has a decent wide-angle that starts at about 25mm (in 35mm equivalents).
All 3 images were framed similarly. I wanted to get a wide-angle on the food but wanted to be close enough to have nice detail. When I usually do these type of food images, I try to get close and slightly cut off parts of the plates. I’m not an expert in food photography, but the composition seems to work for me. I used a mini-tripod to get nice blur-free photographs.
The 3 images were taken with the Sony DSC-TX5 as a 10MP JPEG.
Post processing in Apple’s Aperture 3 program included some sharpening, added some color saturation, adjusting highlights and shadows and added a slight vignette. The image of the lunch was also warmed slightly by increasing the white balance value.
Image 1: f3.5, 1/6 sec, no exposure compensation, ISO 125, 5.8mm (about 33mm equivalent)
Image 2: f3.5, 1/40 sec, -2/3 exposure compensation, ISO 125, 4.4mm (about 25mm equivalent)
Image 3: f3.5, 1/13 sec, no exposure compensation, ISO 125, 4.4mm (about 25mm equivalent)