Blog Widget by LinkWithin

« Winetasting invitation! + "Allez, zou!" | Main | Champagne party & Kristi's book signing in Paris + mystery man »

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

m. boisvert

Did your printer explain that image resolution starts with your camera? You're likely using a digital slr camera? Be sure to set image quality to the higher level (or even "raw" + high quality jpg) to have print-ready images of 300dpi at 5x7". Hope you can work it out.

Eileen deCamp

Morning Kristin!
I wish I could be there for the book signing! I love Ann Mah's book and can't wait for your new one! I submitted some photos for a local calendar contest. Mine was chosen for one of the months but unfortunately it was too small and they asked for a larger version. I seem to crop my photos quite a bit too! Have fun at the two book events!

Nancy Mulloy-Bonn

Have fun on Feb 6... The ad is beautiful!

Kristin Espinasse

To m.boisvert--yes, I do use the optimal image quality function, and sometimes raw, but I did not realizehow all that cropping was whiddling down the print value.

Thanks for your thoughts, and Eileen, congratulations on your photos. I am sorry you had the same problem as me!

Karen Whitcome  (Towson, Md)

I'm a little uncaffinated and therefore a little slooooww. But, I'm assuming the tickets (l'addition) is then billed to the employer?

Diane Gravitt


In regard to your photo problem...

I know one has to be careful of copyright infringement...but,have you thought about asking permission to use photos other than your own.

I'm thinking there may be some people who would gladly do this at no charge just to have their photo in your book with
credits to them.

I am an amateur photographer and people ask me quite often if they can use my photos and I am always happy to do
so..with no friend was going to use my photo as a cover for a book.

Knowing this is not the same as your own lovely photos, but maybe an alternative if you dont find enough of your own photos that are suitable.

Please dont give up...I know you will find a were meant to inspire us all!

Have a great day...and Good Luck!!!

Diane Gravitt

Oooops...forgot to sign my comment above about asking permission to use other photos.

-Diane Gravitt

Heather in Arles

Oooh, it took me so long to type out my response that my session timed-out! Life trying to tell me that I am long-winded maybe? ;) So, to shorten things a bit. From what I have learned from my honey (professional photographer), with the files that you have saved that are RAW, once you convert them into TIF, you should have a big enough file even with cropping to then save to JPEG 300dpi for it to be printable in a book format. I know that you have a gazillion photos to go through but perhaps you have enough saved in RAW to work with? Does that make sense?

And hooray for Paris! I wrote Ann to say what I wouldn't give to train up to be there. Alas no can do (moola) this time but I know it will be wonderful!!!

PS. Bisous to Smokey Doke Artichoke...adore that face...

Heather in Arles

Oh! And just my point of view but I LOVE that you create your photos and written text together. For me, it wouldn't be the same with someone else's photography in the mix...

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Heather. Im afraid Ive not taken enough raw photos (I tried shooting in raw for a while, but it took up so much space on my computer--plus it took doubles each time (strange glitch). Will miss you in Paris!

Diane, thats a thoughtful idea, but I really wanted to use my photos as this book is also a gift to my aunt and uncle, who do not use a computer and who enjoy catching up on my blogs and pictures!

lucille northenscold

We had Victory Gardens in WWII also. I helped my mom with one. Love your blog. Keep it coming.


I take photographs in RAW or if I shoot JPEG it's at the highest resolution that my cameras will allow. I save the originals completely unmanipulated in a separate folder and do any editing on a copy. If you don't have a large enough hard drive, you can always keep the unmanipulated images on external hard drives.

JPEG uses lossy compression, meaning it reduces file size by throwing away pixels. It starts out by throwing away information in your camera when you capture the image, whereas RAW gives you all the information. Then every time you open, edit, and resave the image in post-processing, more pixels are discarded to compress the file. So do all editing on JPEGs in one or as few sessions as possible, since the image degrades with every resave.

TIFF uses no compression (or lossless compression if you so select) so TIFF images can be opened, edited, and resaved without image degredation; however, simply saving an over-compressed JPEG as a TIFF won't help.

Any professional printers I've worked with in the USA want to receive image files as TIFFs. If you've edited a TIFF image, don't save it back to a JPEG.


Congrats on the book signing in Paris! Wish I could be there! Am compiling a recipe book with my Chef-husband and have had the same exact problem with the pictures- all the wrong sizes! We have to re-make the dishes to take new pics! (should get incredibly fat at the end of this venture) Perhaps you could take a week's whirlwind tour to retake your pictures? Just a thought!

Katie Schwausch

I'm so glad I stopped by's been a while. While I'm of absolutely zero help with the techie part of your struggle, I will chime in to agree with Heather. Your photos always set such a wonderful scene for your audience as we read your stories. Thank you.
Congrats on the book event in Paris! It sounds like a lovely evening. :)

Kristin Espinasse

Passante, thank you for the technical info, even if it is hard to wrap my mind around it! I have always been careful to take high-res photos--but had no idea that each time I edit them I am throwing away information. YIKES! Also, I have a habit of taking horizontal photos... but given my book pages are vertical... this means I automatically have to crop them vertical. This is taking away what precious pixels I had left--halving them! I may have to do as Sally suggested: take new photos. But I have currently lost all motivation to do so!

Another option is to forget about full-bleed photos and settle for polaroid type frame pictures (or quarter page images). But I am not sure that this is possible, any longer, as Ive been chopping away at those jpegs!

Julie Farrar

I'm glad for the photography lesson today. I take my pictures in JPEG because I have enough filling up the space on my computer. For most editing (especially cropping), I make a duplicate rather than change the original.

As for the tickets, I think that would be a great idea hear because to go out for lunch here can use one or two hours of your pay that day. And a lot of jobs don't have break rooms where you could keep your food in a refrigerator and reheat it. I'm glad my son works in restaurants because I know he'll get one or two free or reduced meals (depending on the restaurant). After all, young guys don't cook at home and don't grocery shop, so I know he's eating something healthy each day, even if only for one meal.

Shari Reed

Bonjour--Can't help but comment on the news that Americans are food deprived. The media loves to exaggerate. There has been a big push to get people to go on food assistance--ads, lowering requirements, etc. Food is not a problem in this country but poor eating is. Obesity resulting from poor food choices is a national disaster which is impacting everything. So, your
suggestion about a kitchen garden is right on. If most people grew some
veggies the world would be a better and healthier place. The French definitely have it right about eating. Keep up the good work. Love your

Kristin Espinasse

Shari, thanks for your response to the news reports. Thats reassuring (except for the poor food choices).
Julie and others writing in about photo technical details: as I go through this needle in the haystack, I am realizing that I do not know much at all about my photos! Jean-Marc just asked me to show him WHERE my originals were. Huh? I work directly in Picasa. I do not even know where my originals are. If any good comes of this, it is that I will be more careful about filing and copying my photos (I never thought to work from the copies -- and not the original.

Ken Boyd

Dear Kristin
We dont have a lack of food problem, we have
a lack of money and jobs problem .

Diane, San Diego

Hi Kristin, Can't agree more with Shari's assessment about poor food choices as the real problem - there is no food shortage in the US. SNAP, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, once called Food Stamps, promises some level of nutrition to children, low-income families, disabled, the unemployed and the elderly. Not only does it help provide a person or family's next meal, research has shown that for every $1 spent by the government on the program, $1.73 is returned to the economy. By the way, the program began in 1939 when farm surpluses weren't reaching hungry people in the cities of America. The program was not just for children and the elderly, but for anyone who needed this assistance. Of course, no one can argue that a home garden, for those who have a place to plant one, is a great idea.

Nancy, San Antonio, Texas

So I see your photo issue as an opportunity to create something new. That is what I tell myself when a painting is not working and I decide to gesso the whole thing back to white. The art universe was telling me to try something new - color, texture whatever. I always resist being a stubborn person but eventually something I like better comes from the ashes. You probably have better photos in those 20,000. Not exactly what I want to hear when this is actually happening but . .

You will find the perfect pictures.

Nancy, San Antonio, Texas

How could I not say Congratulations!! on your book signing?? In Paris no less! The stuff of writers dreams. Wish I could be there.

Sorry I have no information regarding pixels, etc. I am lucky to get my photos off the camera and onto the computer. Looking forward to getting the new book.

gerry o.

I was unaware of the Food Ticket in France and am pleased to hear of it. In this country, god forbid, we should even think about our employees having meals. Many companies would rather have you work without a break and then send you home. I have worked fro some of them.
It makes for continuing commerce for businesses adjacent facilities and keeps employee moral positive.
Keep up the good work and do not be discouraged when you run into a roadblock, keep trudging the road of happy destiny!

Leslie NYC

This post makes me cry about the state of affairs in the U.S. We, as Garry noted, are lucky to sit down for 5 minutes. I work as a chef and, in spite of the glitz associated with this profession now, it is still decidedly "downstairs." I beg my co-workers to sit on a chair when they eat, in the middle of serving billionaires their buffet, but many won't take the time. We don't value quality of life throughout the normal course of our lives and days. In France, there is thought for employees; here there is only thought for employers. Unions used to help insist on the right to a lunch break, but unions have been broken.
On a fun note, I was an unknowing participant in a gleaning experiment called Bright Friday(the day after Thanksgiving). A man from Lyon, living in NYC, refurbished and gave away 12 pieces of furniture. You can see it all on his web site: just click on the chair that says "free" in the upper left corner of the home page.

Leslie NYC

Your post touched such a nerve! I forgot to say that I love your cover. Have a great time at both events in Paris!

Phil Anderson

I believe the term "Victory Garden" refers to home and community vegetable gardens grown during WW2 in empty lots, backyards, any place some open land was available and such gardens are booming all over this country now, whether on roof tops, city lots, home gardens. I'm sure, also, that such gardens existed during WW1 but probably under some other name.

Keep the stories coming!


Hi Kristin,

About your photo issues I have a few thoughts.

Your originals are on your computer's hard drive in a folder probably in a library. I have Windows operating system so my photos are in my My Picures library. They will be in folders by date by default.
I DON"t know how a MAC works but, it probably is similar.

Once you find your originals you can rework them.
Hopefully you did a Save As when you completed your edits/cropping leaving your original in tact.
To get a larger resolution/image there are softwAre programs to "upsize" images. One program I know of that gets really good reviews is Perfrect Resize by NIK. I have it but have never used it so can't tell you how it works.

Regarding your computertaking double the space when you were shooting in RAW I suspect you have selected a setting on your computer or Picasa that saves/backs up every image when you upload them. I did that in my Photoshop settings and had many many duplicates to delete then I unchecked that box that asked to back up images. My computer has a back-up program that runs continuously so I didn't need to have Photoshop do it too.
It's something to check anyway.



Kristin Espinasse

Deborah, thank you for your very helpful note. Each time I back away from this problem (and go and make soup, or go pet the dog, or ...) a new spark illuminates a possible solution. It occured to me that those golden originals may well exist on my computer (behind the Picasa facade I use!). Your email gives hope! I will poke around some more and sleep on it if need be!

Leslie, I love the link you included to Grégoire Abrials project. It reminds me of my sister-in-law, Cécile, who works the same way (shes a reclaimed furniture designer. Now I understand what she does a little better. Heres a direct link to Grégoires page you mentioned:

Phil, thanks for the precision on the victory garden.

And thanks to all who have responded to this post, with helpful information and encouraging thoughts. Much appreciated!


Mary Li, Atlanta, GA USA

In November, of the first year we lived in France, a human resources employee came very huffy and puffy to my husband's desk. She impressed upon my husband that he had not picked up any of his meal vouchers for the entire year. He was puzzled given that he was an executive and thought this was for hourly employees. Not to mention no one in HR had come to see him all year regarding these vouchers. She explained these were not free, that money had been taken out of his paycheck along with the company heavily subsidizing the vouchers.

We thought they had to be used by Dec 31st. With several hundred euros in vouchers we ate out every lunch and dinner until the day before Christmas. Only to find out that we could have had them extended in some manner into the first quarter of the next year.

It was a fun few weeks!

Gordon Lyman


I like the cover of your new book, both the words and the picture. Good combo, tres cool.

How about posting the low-res photos you want to use in your new book, and have your readers make sketches of them, or maybe little paintings in the style you used on the cover of Words in a French Life?

I know there's lots of talent and willingness to help out among your many readers.


Marianne Rankin

I haven't commented in a while, though have read every FWAD I've received. I knew a new book was in the works. Is it for sale by now?

Re the tickets: this is a good idea, although if money is taken from people's paychecks, it's not as generous as it sounds. I guess it's six of one and half a dozen of another - paying with a ticket, or directly.

I have never heard of such an arrangement in the USA. One place I worked provided lunch items (heavily tilted toward yogurt, tuna, etc.), but the main problem was that by the middle of the week, most of the food was gone. One could plan, say, to have a tuna sandwich for lunch, then find out all the tuna had been eaten. I also didn't like spending my limited lunch-hour time having to make the lunch (without much of any side food, such as, say carrots or an apple)in a crowd of other people in the tiny kitchen.

In most urban areas, people don't have room to grow their own food.

I usually buy food at the grocery store and brown-bag it. Meals, even just a sandwich and a drink, are usually $9 and up in the establishments near businesses - too expensive to eat in every day.

In America now, there is definitely a mood of not wanting to help people if it means spending government money. And it's doubtful companies would subsidize meals if they won't even give people real sick leave, raises, or much of any other benefit.

In many ways, the French know how to live well.



I was mistaken about who makes Perfect Resize. It is OnOne software, not NIK. Sorry!


Joanne Ablan

Congratulations on the book signing event! Don't dwell on the
technology issues. This is a minor setback and technology is
always evolving. And thank you for pointing out the
cultural differences between our two countries. I have been
raised to believe that the French culture has always revered a
high quality of everyday life for all citizens. I am glad to see
that this is still true in France today. It seems like the American
palate still has a lot to learn from the French. Joanne, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA.

Jonathan Bellos

Interestingly, Luncheon Vouchers have virtually disappeared in the UK.
I think this is because the only places where you could redeem them would be "greasy spoons"
and that anywhere decent would think that to display the sign would lower the tone of the restaurant and attract undesirables ! So, basically in the UK you could only use an LV if you were prepared to eat lousy food. Shame on the Brits. The French have got this one right.

Joan Simon

Hello, Kristin,

First I loved the photos today- especially the willow + sky. Then, what a surprise to hear that dining rooms for employees mandatory or distribution of these tickets. I absolutely love the idea because I think both employer and employee gain from this very nice consideration. My husband works for a company which used to provide some very nice perks, such as taking out the employees and spouses for dinner as a thank you for hard work on a project's completion. Those days are long over now, and I believe it has really affected morale.
Joan in Auburn

Cheryl in STL

I really wish I could be there for your book signing with Ann! I met her at your Shakespeare & Co event. Ticket resto----I would love gladly have traded my high school cafeteria "meals" for one of those!

John Bell

Not one sip. Remember: not one.


So wish I could be with you & Ann in Paris - maybe another time.


Our dear Kristi,
Though we can't actually be there for your book signing,we will be(always are)there with you in spirit,sharing your well earned pride,and also your joy.Congratulations!
The FWAD family has been so fortunate to learn of so many new things through your blog:Southern Fried French,Bien Dire Magazine,countless books,music,and now Chocolate and Zucchini. These are bits of pleasure that otherwise we might never have known about.THANK YOU!
Tickets have been around for as long as I can remember.While I was privileged to grow up in Scottsdale,and never knew of either hunger or Tickets (though I remember my mom talking of her Victory Garden during WW2),
my husband grew up in Europe and though called by another name,this was a completely normal event.I believe that for many it was a major meal of the day.When I first saw beggars on the street I was appalled that people didn't give them more;it's only now that I realize it was because they didn't have it to give.Thinking of all the hunger and suffering that present day is engulfed in,what comes to mind is to end it,and NOW.
Natalia XO

Patricia luboff

When I lived in Paris, tickets restaurants provided us with the only chance to eat out. We were poor.. 50 per cent of the cost was absorbed by the state. I love France. I never, ever, have had better medical care.

Sarah LaBelle, near Chicago

I have never been in an employee cafeteria in the US where the meals were paid by the employer. However good the food, the employee paid. This French idea sounds much better !

I wish you luck in figuring out where your photos are saved so you will likely have more that can be printed at the page size. Vertical versus horizontal, that is a big issue. The composition of the photo is your strong suit. Maybe the whole book should be in what I call "landscape" format, to match your mainly horizontal images.

Diane Young

Best of luck with your new book. Looking forward to it being available through Amazon.
I don't think the US will offer the restaurant tickets to employees plan in my lifetime. When there were "company stores" in some parts of the country, it was a bad system which benefited the employers more than the employees. The people worked in "company towns, which owned the housing, the stores, etc., and there was no free enterprise. The thinking now is pay the employees what is fair and right, but no "paternalism". I worked for a few years at a company that had a cafeteria with good food but we had to pay for our food. It was nice in that we probably paid less than we would have at another food establishment, but when the company moved to a much larger building and had floors rented out in addition to company floors, the cafeteria was a commercial one and open to the public.
I can't believe your almond tree is already budding. In sunny Florida it is cold and rainy today, but it's still better than most of the country. Poor California, on the other had, is suffering badly from drought and Alaska is setting records for highs. Crazy Winter.


Victory gardens in the U.S.A. started in WWI. In England they were -- and still are -- called "allotments" (because the parcels of land were assigned or allotted to people). In England allotments came into official being in the 19th century with the first of a series of Acts of Parliament, though they had existed since the 18th century. A chunk of a green near my childhood home was turned over to allotments during WWII and continued after the end of the war because of the continuing food shortages. We children used to go "scrumping" on the allotments, which is simply a nice way of saying stealing! Young peas were a great favorite.

A friend of mine who has an allotment in London to which she is devoted tells me that eighties there was a resurgence of interest in allotments and now there are waiting lists for them in many places. She has a book describing the history of allotments that I flipped through with interest on my last visit.

Prasad Joshi

It sounds like a cool idea of a garden restaurant. In my previous Paris trip I enjoyed my food in Bistrotters Restaurant. I liked their food quality and service. It sounds like a great idea of dining with close to the nature.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)