Time Change & Tripod Tips


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I had a really busy weekend and the time change didn’t help.  Losing an hour made my whole Sunday feel very rushed.  It wasn’t even the hour of sleep but the loss of an hour of productivity. It sounds crazy, but I was scrambling around all day trying to get that hour back before I had to go to work.  I did run tons of errands:

The Mall

Grocery Store

Trader Joe’s

And more.

And I spent lots of time in the kitchen.  I have some recipes for you this week that I think you’re going to like!

I was wiped out after that but I plated up some plants.  Both for eating purposes and photography purposes.

Green salad with vegetables on plate with fork

I made some vegan Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing to go with my salad

Ingredients for Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing in bowl with spoonMixed up Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing

And then I proceeded to take about 50 pictures of salad.  Kind of like my photography lighting homework post. Except this was just “for me” rather than homework.

I am trying to figure out what happens to the photo when shooting in true manual mode when I adjust:

shutter speed


white balance

take my lens off auto-focus and manual focus it

and then throw in how light effects the shot, even while keeping all those other things the same...

…and the options and choices and settings are dizzying.

So just taking lots and lots of pictures is the only way I am going to learn.  I took about 500 pictures of food this weekend.  I know, crazy.

Close up of plated salad with vegetables
Some Caramelized Cinnamon & Sugar Chickpea “Peanuts” also hit the spot after taking entirely too many pictures of green food.

Caramelized Cinnamon & Sugar Chickpea "Peanuts"

As did some Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse5 minutes, 4 ingredients.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse in container

I am also thinking of getting a tripod.  They are not cheap and lately I have been spending a small fortune on camera equipment, lenses, bags, you name it.  But I am loving photography and exploring this new-to-me world.  It’s been a blast and I want to learn, learn, learn and try out new things and pursue this newfound hobby because it makes me happy and brings me joy.  It’s also one of those hobbies like yoga, you can do at almost any time, you will never learn it all, but it’s fun to try and grow in the process.

So I don’t mind spending some money on a tripod.

Ashley did this post on tripods.

I am torn if I should get a Gorillapod.

Pros = smaller, takes up less storage space, cheaper (and cuter-that counts too)

Grollapod tripod

Or if I should get something bigger and more substantial with all the bells and whistles like a ball head, pan tilt, longer/adjustable legs, etc. right from the start.

Camera tripod

And if I do go with a bigger and more substantial tripod, is there that much of a difference between a $350 tripod and a $100 one if I am primarily going to be using it in my house, to shoot food?  Probably not, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

From my last post about my Brazilian Blowout, thanks for the compliments on my hair.  I am really happy with it and am saving time, both of which are great things when it comes to hair.

If anyone is thinking of getting a Brazilian Blowout or a keratin treatment, I say just Go For It! You’ll probably end up loving it and wonder why you waited so long!  For all questions and thoughts, I addressed lots of them within the comments section, too, so go check that out if you’re craving the sleek look.

Dessert: Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars with Vegan Chocolate Frosting (No-Bake, Gluten Free)

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bar with Vegan Chocolate Frosting on plate


1. Do you change the clocks where you live?  And if so, are you noticing any effects?

In California, we do “spring ahead”.  I love that during daylight savings time, the evenings are lighter, later.  I don’t love the fact that I lost an hour of sleep on Saturday night into Sunday, though.  But as I said at the beginning of the post, I felt behind the eight ball and scrambling all day on Sunday!

In Arizona, they don’t “spring ahead” for daylight savings time, so for half the year (right now) Pacific Time and Arizona are on the same schedule and for the other half the year, Arizona is an hour ahead of Pacific Time.

Same with Aruba.  They don’t change the clocks there so for half the year (now) they are on the same time as Eastern Time, but for the other six months a year they are one hour ahead of Eastern.

Confusing much?

Part of me just wishes we’d never change the clocks.  Just leave them where they are.  We’ll all adapt!

2. Do you have a tripod?  Or if you’re into photography, do you want one?

Yes I want one.

I don’t have one.  Yet.

3. If you do have one, what brand/type do you have?  Do you think it matters how much I spend on it? 

There are some things in life that, in my opinion, are worth spending the extra money on, i.e. a Vita-mix rather than a cheapie food processor (check out my fave kitchen appliances post and what I spend on, and what I save on)

I’ve also posted on Does Price Paid Effect QualitySometimes yes, sometimes no, I think.

Then there are other things that I’d rather go el cheapo on and do, i.e. no shame in buying recycled (used) $3 tshirts from Buffalo Exchange

Not sure what to do about the tripod.  Any ideas?

Have a great day, everyone!

P.S. If you’re just catching up on posts from the weekend, here are mine since Friday.  Everything from candy to stinky things to boots to balance to hair.  Something for everyone.


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Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. Hey Averie- been awhile since I commented, but i’m still here reading :) I was interested to see what others thought about the tripod issue, as i’ve been thinking about it too. I got a 50mm lens and made a makeshift lightbox, but I do notice that I have a few photos that have that shaky hands look. luckily i usually have taken enough photos to have one or two that look good though :)

    i wanted to see, i’m not a canon user, but when i upload my photos using nikon’s software, I can see the settings of the camera. I can also check them on my screen, but it’s easier to see how the photo looks larger… i’m sure that information is stored, perhaps a google search will find your answer?

    1. hi shannon thanks for saying hi!

      i actually figured out on iphoto there is a place where you can get some numerical/settings and values for photos. Not perfect or totally “complete” but aperture and shutter speed, so that’s helpful at least :)

  2. I am pretty tired from losing an hour, but it sure was nice to have sunshine through my entire yoga class tonight! :D

  3. The time never changes in my province … and I am glad! It think it would be weird for the time to suddenly change – although time is arbitrary anyway.

    I have a tri-pod, but I have never used it.

  4. Taking pictures of food can be really hard. It’s amazing how the wrong lighting and can make a delicacy look like mush.
    I bought a cheap tripod a couple of years ago and have barely used since it’s wobbly.
    Time change this morning was nasty, for sure.

  5. Ugh, totally agreed on the time change, did not help my race or energy levels! Fun photography experiments! We have a decent tripod that hubby had with his last SLR camera and it works great for the DSLR. True, a good one isn’t cheap, but universally compatible with most cameras and will last a long time. We have a Gorillapod too, fun for timed self portraits and sticking the camera to trees and other outdoor props and easier to carry, but not great for professional group shots.

    1. Yes and it sucks, it’s when I curse having so many watches. Sure, I’m more tired than usual, I was dragging a bit getting out the door for work this morning.
    2. Yes, we have a huge, pricey tripod that hubby got from his father as a gift and a little one. I like having both, the big tripod is great for group shots and photography projects.
    3. For the big one, I’m not sure – sorry. It’s old, it’s been in hubby’s family for years and used with a lot of cameras. But it still works great with our DSLR.

  6. I have to agree that the time change has absolutely thrown me for a loop. I couldnt fall asleep last night and then this morning I needed a crowbar to remove me from the comfort of my bed! I look forward to adjusting so I can resume my typically early morning schedule!!!!

  7. Hi Averie

    Have you got a spiraliser and would you recommend a brand ? I really want to buy one and add some interesting salads to my diet but am not sure which to get. Storage is an issue teeny kitchen and I’d like it to be quite robust i.e so boyfriend doesn’t break it !!!

    Any advice gratefully rec’d.


  8. I absolutely despise DST. I hate springing forward, I hate falling back. I hate the entire disruption of my whole schedule and system! I wish we’d stop it already!

  9. I have a cheap, but full size tripod. I rarely use it. And even when I do, I end up getting annoyed, because its so much faster to just clickclickclick from different angles. unless you are shooting with really low light, not needed. I say make a lightbox and when you figure the white balance out, that’s all you need. And ISO.

    There is a HUGE difference between 100 and 350 tripods….if you are outside in windy conitions. But for food inside, nope.

    1. good to know on the “HUGE difference between 100 and 350 tripods….if you are outside in windy conitions. But for food inside, nope.”– it’s what i assumed.

      And “I end up getting annoyed, because its so much faster to just clickclickclick from different angles. ” — yes I feel that would be the case, too.

      However still may get the gorillapod. Cheap thrills :)

      1. No, for sure. I have a mini tripod that I use more than the big guy. Good for traveling, too. And CHEAP.

        I learned in my photography class that when you take a ton of photos, you should always write the settings down, which I never remember/care to do, so I end up forgetting and not learning a damn thing. Oh, well, at least its digital, right?

  10. That dressing looks good! I’ll have to stray away from my normal homemade vinegarette and try this one out!! :)

  11. Way back in the day when I did a ton of photography I had access to tripods all the time and truthfully, unless I was doing huge shots outside, I thought they were more of a pain than anything else. I’d rather use the money on an external flash!

  12. know you’ve got received a fan appropriate the next who valuations what you have got received to say along together with the way you’ve offered on your own.

  13. No tripod for me so I have no clue! I would think that little tabletop one with the black/white legs would be good for food pictures. And this seems like something you are really getting into which is so cool! Your photos are looking so great — that salad looks so fresh and amazing. It is kind of ridiculous how much better pictures look with a great camera!

    Yes we changed the clocks and my entire week will probably be pretty thrown off. I didn’t like getting in my car this morning and seeing 6:20 when I should have seen 7:20 — that made me feel really tired :(

    1. “It is kind of ridiculous how much better pictures look with a great camera!”-

      Ok yes that is part of it…But….

      Food styling and lighting! HUGE HUGE HUGE!

      you can have the most amazing camera in the world but if your food styling is sloppy and your lighting sucks, you will just have sucky pictures in great resolution and detail :)

  14. I think that’s definitely the best way to learn camera skills– just take a MILLION pictures of the same thing!!! Of course, after I do that, I always forget which setting went with which picture, etc….and then I start back from square one :-)

    1. omg YES!!!

      after taking 500 pics this weekend (3 recipes, each with about 175 pics)…I don’t remember what settings were what. I do remember obvi moving around my house and walking around the food and sort of the general gist of what i was doing but sometimes a f/9.0 vs a f/11.0 makes a HUGE diff and I have no idea what was what….

      oy vey.

  15. Hey! Yes- the one hour loss of productivity was SO annoying! We had guests in all weekend, so I really needed the extra hour to clean up, cook & bake & prep for the week after they left! I got most of it done (thank goodness). A tripod sounds like a great investment. I should totally get one too. I could pretty much leave it in the same spot too (since I photograph most of my food on my kitchen table). Hope you have a good Monday

  16. One word about the time change: ugh. It totally makes Sunday feel beyond rushed. Can’t we lose that one hour during the work week???? We have a tripod that rarely comes out. It’s just a pain to lug around.

  17. Oddly enough, I barely noticed the time change this year, but I am definitely enjoying the longer daylight hours!

    I think photography is a wonderful hobby! It’s a huge part of your life with blogging, and you definitely have a knack for it. So glad you found another hobby you enjoy!

    Question, do you have a good simple recipe for a light salad dressing? I can never seem to find one I really like.


    1. my dressings and sauces tab.
      holiday orange spice vinaigrette. very light and easy. you can flavor it more savory than sweet, too, by adding other spices that you enjoy, garlic, onion powder, etc.


  18. We have a tripod and I never really use it. I would go for a smaller one to begin with to make sure you would use it. They have pretty good tabletop tripods. I don’t mind the time change. I think I am more in line with this time change than when we fall back. I never felt like I completely got in to that time frame. I hope you have a great Monday!

  19. i just like the word gorilla pod, haha. But it is pretty cute too! I’m all about less space, especially if you have to travel with it!

  20. I was a photography major in school, and food photography is the number one thing I am still struggling with on my new food blog (www.thepreppyvegan.com)! Basically, if you are shooting still images in your house, a basic tripod is all you need. The large and heavy tripods are better for people shooting large format images out in fields and whatnot.

    But a tripod in general is essential so you can have longer exposures with natural light. But I always think your food photographs come out great! Seriously…even the most delicious looking things I make do not photograph well. (My tripod is also broken, which is unfortunate).

  21. that’s great that you’re so enjoying photography as a rather new-to-you hobby, averie! sorry, i can be of no help at all re the tripod; heck, i don’t even have a dslr camera!
    and i agree – i don’t mind the loss of sleep with the time change ahead one hour; i mind the loss of one hour of time to DO STUFF.
    i lucked out because aruba does NOT skip ahead one hour. so when i arrived last weekend, i changed to their time which is always one hour ahead of my time zone. then, this weekend, when i left, i didn’t have to change back at all (got that?!) – score!
    have a great monday!
    i so love bargain t’s – plus worn/broken in tshirts have that bohemian vibe that i really like!

  22. Hi Sweetie! My boyfriend is a photographer so I’ve learnt a lot from him – my blog photos are taken using my iPhone though! I really should start using the Nikon D70 he gave to me! I’ll send you an email with a few tips :-) I know what you mean though – the world of photography is bamboozling!! You really are doing great with your shots! http://www.philiproxby.com – as you can see my man shoots wildlife over food!

  23. Whoa, that’s weird – I never knew some places didn’t change clocks?!
    I love hearing about your newfound passion for wanting to learn all there is to learn about photography. It is refreshing to hear someone truly wanting to learn about it, not just pick up a camera and hope for the best.
    I have a tripod…I don’t really use it. I suppose I should use it more…but I just hate feeling like I’m attached to something! I’d rather click-click-click, move around, click and be done. I suppose if I gave a tripod a shot it’d be easier, but I just feel like I move around too much! And (in my opinion) you’d be just fine with a $100 tripod. We sell giottos and pro at work (not trying to sell you one just based on that, don’t worry) and I think they’re made pretty well, and are a range of prices. Mine is a Davis & Sanford; I think it’s the Courier model? that’s pretty sturdy but I’m not crazy about the head on it. Just make sure you get one with a level! haha. A lot of people seem to like the gorillapods too – really just depends on you! Might be handy to have with you if you’re out with Skylar and want a shot of the two of you w/o having to lug a tripod around. Go to a store and play with them all and see what you like best :)

  24. We just started changing the clocks here about 5 years ago. We are SO not used to it and I didn’t even do cardio this morning so I could sleep longer :)

    I need to try those chickpeas for sure!!!

  25. That first salad pic is wonderful!!

    Girl, I am right there with you trying to learn about food photography. Practice, practice, practice — and research! I take hundreds of pics a day, but still am nowhere close to where I want to be.

    Yes, I need to get a tripod. That’s next on my list of food photography must-haves. Dustin’s been telling me to get one for awhile now, but I have to buy it when *I* decide that I need one, LOL. ;) I like that cute little tiny one! I want to get two; one table-top small one that’s easily portable and a full-size one. However, I think the smaller table-top model would be good for food photography being it’s right there at food level? I could be wrong about that. I hope to try both. Thanks for mentioning the ones you are thinking about. I feel like I am buying everything that you buy, LOL. I like tried-and-true testimonials from people I trust. It’s hard to decide from random web site reviews. :)

    I want those chickpeas! They look sooo yummy.

  26. I don’t see the necessity of needing a tripod unless you’re a professional. It makes just the tiniest bit of difference if you’re going to print out the picture in big proportions, but for online purposes…meh, waste of space and money.

    I have a tripod for school purposes, and I never use it, it’s just a menace.

  27. I have a small tripod and I love it, but honestly don’t use it a lot. I can tell a big difference in my photos when I do use it, though. I wouldn’t spend a ton of money on a tripod unless you need a specific one.