Today we have a short one, bringing together my two great loves: food and photography. In fact, this very blog had started with a food-photography post I put up almost four years ago!
This time I wanted to participate in a photographic-recipe contest arranged by the student body at my institute. I don't know if the contest ever did happen or if I just missed the deadline, but I was making food one day and decided to document some of the process.
It took me twice as long to make the damn thing because I had to stop and fidget with the flash for some of these shots... but once the food was cooking I didn't have that much time for setting it up just right, and when it was ready I wasn't thinking about the pictures anymore - I was way too hungry!
A list of ingredients + instructions after the break...
The initial setup was just the ingredients, with a flash up and behind them, and a reflector on camera left side. It took a while to get the right mix of key and fill, and the right angle of flash to camera to get some reflections but not too much (especially on the knife).
Basically you take any veggies you like to fry/cook, in this case red peppers, onions, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, chilly peppers etc... either fry the veggies one after the other or just steam them in a closed pot until they get soft. Add coconut cream and curry powder (or sauce if you got it) and let it simmer with some lemon-grass (this gives it an aroma of Asian cuisine and some freshness to balance the spicy peppers). It's really easy - just try it sometimes!
Here the veggies are all ready to cook, with basically the same setup (I let my dining table be center stage for these shots, so I didn't need to move the lights).
Once I started cooking it was hard to bring in a lightstand and reflector, so I made due with some light from the window on the left.
Now you all know I just love the detail shots... If I remember correctly I also put in a flash, with just the small diffusion dome, on camera right - to add some specular highlights.
And that's it! This is actually a fully vegan meal, where even the fatty-but-oh-so-good cream base for the sauce uses coconut instead of dairy-cream. This of course goes really well with some fried chicken or bacon if you have some...
The last shot was taken quickly under the first lighting setup, so the back flash goes right through the steam and highlights it. I couldn't spend too much time shooting the finished product, I was way too hungry!