Saturday, January 30, 2010
I want to talk a little today about photography. I know I haven’t approached the subject in the past. That’s because I’m still learning to shoot food well and don’t feel I have much to offer you yet. Though today, I want to acknowledge something that’s been bugging the hell out of me since my first photography course in 1996. Light. Or supposedly proper light rather.
From early on I always liked shots with shadows. I know I’m supposed to do all kinds of stuff to get rid of such atrocities, but I don’t want to. If you look at the above picture you’ll see shadows in the soup, and nearly all my shots won’t be “properly” lit.
For me, I feel it’s more powerful, more realistic, to have light and shadow move in a natural way or often in a dynamic way. I’ll even work with high contrast light sometimes when I need texture to come out of something like a boring looking peanut butter cookie. So my point is this. I can’t follow the rules, nor would I want to. Even if my work isn't sometimes well liked. Although often, the opposite happens and I catch the attention of people who can use my work.
This is what I challenge you food photographers and budding food photographers to do. I want you to confront convention. I want you to think, to explore, and to step outside of these ridged regulations sometimes. I think when we’re able to accept food photography as more of a free art than an exact set of rules to be religiously followed, then our medium will be brought to new levels not experienced before. Think of it this way, even Ansel Adams had to shoot his own way as he recreated the rules.
I’m not afraid to be me, and I want you to be brave and explore your own talent and style. Even if that means it takes awhile to catch on with everyone else. This isn’t saying you shouldn’t learn the rules of photography if you don’t know them. Great artists start with the classics. But once you understand them, you’re almost always better off starting trends and breaking new ground.
Who wants to be on the tail end of an outgoing trend anyway? Not me, no thank-you.
Fast & Fresh Pea Soup
"This classic French soup made with fresh peas and shallots comes together in a snap!"
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 cups water
3 cups fresh shelled green peas (I used frozen)
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons whipping cream (optional)
1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook the shallots until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Pour in the water and peas, season to taste with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the peas are tender, 12 to 18 minutes.
2. Puree the peas in a blender or food processor in batches. Strain back into the saucepan, stir in the cream if using, and reheat. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
Serves 4. Ready in 17 minutes.
Submitted by Lizz C. to Allrecipes.com. Photograph by Laura Flowers.