The mobile food photography phenomenon has been cooking up alongside our affinity for our always-with-us smartphones.
Foodies flock to tap, snap and share the trendiest new treats on the culinary circuit, their camera phones now making it possible to document nearly every morsel. Our prolific posting of what's on our plates has become so popular it's actually been banned by some restaurants. But this trend isn't heading to the back burner anytime soon. And if there are to be countless millions of food photos circulating our Internet world, then let's all give them all the digital brilliance and accessibility they deserve with some easy mobile tricks. Here are a few places to start:
Free in the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Marketplace and BlackBerry World
The Foodspotting social network does a great job at quickly leading foodies and food-seekers to restaurants and their particularly popular menu items. The extremely intuitive interface works much like Yelp's ability to show you what establishments are nearby and delicious, except with an added focus on user-generated photos and feedback.
When you snap a photo, the app quickly determines where you are and makes a pretty good guess at the food item over which you are salivating. It will then, of course, ask you if you liked it. Over time, area restaurants build a stack of photos, with some menu items getting more attention than others. The app also allows diners to go back later and upload a geo-tagged food photo from the phone's menu, in case you need some extra time to reflect.
Free in the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Marketplace
While not specifically geared toward food, but rather "discovery" in general, EyeEm has a satisfying little food photo filter and quick editing functions. After digitizing a meal or snack, the app will ask you simply "What?" and "Where?" It makes a good format for restaurant or bar hopping. EyeEm also encourages a longer "story sharing" aspect to complement your image if you prefer.
Free in the Apple App Store and Google Play
The simple stream offered by Instagram lends itself to sharing food photography, and most anything else you experience in passing. The savvy foodie can even set up an account dedicated simply to great food moments. The Foodpostss feed has lured over 243,000 followers and the cleverly titled Foodporno has garnered nearly 80,000 fans.
And if you ever feel a little sheepish about sharing your more elaborate delectables online, there's FoodShareFilter, which donates a portion of app sales to a charity aimed at fighting hunger. The app works seamlessly with Instagram so all your followers can learn how help too.
4. Hipstamatic (Foodie SnapPak)
$1.99 in the Apple App Store, in-app purchase of Foodie SnapPak is $0.99
For the extreme closeup vintage look, Hipstamatic offers the in-app purchase of the "Foodie SnapPak" -- a Loftus lens, DC Film and the "Tasty Pop Flash." It does a nice job with simple backgrounds and the quick flash can bring out the details of your lemon sorbet or other treat.
That's what I was able to dish up in my short sojourn as a food photographer. What did I miss, dear foodies?
Dan Schreiber is a journeyman newspaper journalist currently based in California's Bay Area. Perhaps a little light-headed from too many hours in his high school dark room, he decided at a young age to make photography and writing his profession. Twitter: @danschreib