At-last I finally got down to blogging! After a huge gap of almost a month. Unlike I had forseen when I wrote my last! I had been quite stressed at my work place. And as much as I would like to rant about it, I’m going to keep it clean and healthy here. At least the talk, ;)! I love to organize events and execute large weddings or simple seminars but when people whom you call ‘team’ don’t team up..it gets dirty and messy. I’ve decided, I will work for myself. I take the risk of funding my fancy whinings at my own costs and accountability. If I can’t make the money, then there’s no honey either..simple! Ha!! I’m glad, I’m done deciding. Now for some food for the stomach and heart as well.
At times, I keep thinking of what to prepare for the blog so as to explain many processes and setups. Lately, though, I’ve just been doing a lot of free-hand camera work with available light (read natural light) or whatever little there is of it. It hasn’t rained during the monsoons as much as it is raining now and with a cloud cover that refuses to move on..it’s been a little bit of a slow-down for photography. BUT! It doesn’t keep me sitting on my butt! It is at times like this that I just set out and bake on a whim instead of planning too much. Result – a yummylicious apple pie..never before tried at home! And I am very happy with the outcome of my first attempt at what initially seemed to be an overwhelming process.
Which takes me to a very essential part of photography as well. It is definitely important to get a technically correct picture but it is equally important to present it well. There is a fine line between too many props and too little. Does it clutter the frame or does it look to drab? Showcasing just the dish can be made to look interesting if it is placed well and lit well. The importance of the technicals cannot be undermined since it is the beginning and end of the frame. Most of mine work concentrates on the main dish with very minimal use of additional props yet it works. There are many photographers and food bloggers who bring in other secondary elements to give a hint of the table or ingredients used in the dish and that’s okay as long as they use a bit of caution and not ‘over-prop’ and take the viewer away from the focal subject.
Here the focus was on the apple sliced arranged in a pattern. The redness of the apple has been balanced with the white of the chopping board used merely in the frame as a surface and to give it a bit of height. Although I’m a bit late for Aparna’s exercise no:4 on food photography, it works well for that post, as it’s about only one ingredient. This image also can be placed in the “less is more” category as trying to add more props to this frame would have just made the frame a bit too busy considering the angle it was taken from, the pattern that takes centre-stage and the completely off-focus background.
Once, I got done preparing the apple marinade and pastry crust ( I seem to have also overcome my initial anxiety about making short crust pastry. this is probably the third time in quick succession and guess what, I didn’t have to look up the recipe book!yay!), I just filled in the pie-shells and decided that I’d do a triptych style presentation of them. As is seen below. Note that in each of these three photographs, there are no additional props, as the size of the subject is pretty dominant. I could have added more props such as whisk, perhaps a scale but then my choice to do a triptych would have been passed over.
And, yes of course, I know all of you are waiting to see what I did when the pie came out of the oven. I could have laid a pristine table complete with a tea pot, some fine china with a piece of the pie on it and added some cream as a topping. NO! I didn’t do any of this. First my reason was since it was a single crust pie..it was a bit rustic in it’s look. And although it would have still sit pretty with the china..I wanted a more in-your-face straightforward look to it. So, here’s the final image of the series. The cooling rack adds to the cottagey – feel to the pie which is most commonly associated with the farm lot anyway. I let it sit in the pie tin to give it an additional at home and cozy look. The presentation works by showing part of the circle instead of a complete round and this also gives the frame a little more space to breathe to the right..where I have added my watermark. A complete slice of apple gives enough clue about the preparation. Simple, clean and clear. I am including two more simple compositions but since it’s filling the whole frame..there is no need for additional props other than what is presenting it and defining the item’s outer lines, giving it a fair amount of depth and separation from it’s background. I also included some text in post-process to give it a magazine approach. This cuts down on the viewer’s eye going towards any negative space that might be in the composition. Backdrop is but a glimpse to add to the depth and make it not seem that the canapes were just pasted on a grey canvas. Feel free to experiment. I too am learning along with you and I will also be trying out more options in presenting food. Incase you’ve noticed though..I like to keep it simple ;)
Cheers and have a fabalous week ahead. I’m definitely going to try making it to Aparna’s exercise at least this month. :)