Take pictures of your food without being a jerk about it
January 28th, 2013
07:15 PM ET
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Editor's Note: Mark Hill is Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. He's very worth following on Instagram @photomark16

I read an article in the New York Times Dining section last week that filled me with dismay. Helene Stapinski wrote an intriguing piece discussing restaurants that ban photography because it’s a disruption of the dining experience.

But wait, am I really a bummer just because I love shooting my beautifully prepared food before digging in?

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Filed under: Etiquette • Photography • Restaurants

January 4th, 2013
07:00 PM ET
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While you were scribbling down your 2013 resolutions, is there any chance you thought to include "Get really good at making cocktails"? Nope?

Well, the year is young and we're here to help: "we" being Turner's photography director Mark Hill and Greg Best, mixologist and partner in Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta.

In a 62-33 vote, Louisiana House of Representatives declared the Sazerac to be New Orleans' official cocktail. It's a potent blend of rye whiskey, sugar, two kinds of bitters (including the city's native Peychaud's), lemon peel and a little hint of absinthe. For many years, that last one got in the way because it was banned in the United States. New Orleanians made do with Herbsaint - a kindred licorice-tasting pastis - until absinthe's legality was reinstated in 2007.

December 5th, 2012
08:00 AM ET
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Editor's Note: Mark Hill is Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Although I have been in love with photography since I was 12, my first serious relationship with the subject began as a wide-eyed intern in New York City. A well-regarded food photographer took me under his wing and taught me all aspects of the craft, starting with a respect for the food that nourishes us.

For me, the key to good food photography is that whatever you are shooting needs to looks fresh from the kitchen. Not all food is inherently beautiful - a rack of ribs, for example - but if it appears fresh and hot out of the smoker, it will look appetizing.

The plate needs to be composed in the kitchen as carefully as you frame your camera. Look at how the food is plated. Ask yourself if the most important element is highlighted. If not, rotate the plate to make it more prominent. Does the garnish enhance the plate or distract? If it distracts, reduce or eliminate it all together. Don’t be afraid to move things around.

Here are a few tips that will really make food images their best. They all apply if using the fanciest digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) or mobile phone camera.

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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Photography • Think • Travel

That first cone is king
June 9th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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Mark Hill is Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. He really loves coffee.

I know it is hot outside. Really hot. But what can you do? It's still technically spring, but the heat isn't likely to break for another day or two.

We all search for relief in sterile, air-conditioned homes and offices, but is that really the solution that will bring a true smile to your face? I have an idea: have an ice cream cone.

Close your eyes and try to remember the first time someone handed you an ice cream cone on a really hot day. You walked out of the store and the heat of the afternoon sun blasted your face. You held the cone tightly, but gently so as not to crush the delicate waffle that held your scoop. As you gently licked, your tongue burned with the cold and then succumbed to the creamy goodness that is unique to ice cream - and you were happy. Really happy.

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Filed under: Dishes • Ice Cream

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