Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dangerous Times in Food Photography

I confess to a certain degree of perfectionism. I'm not a neatnik, I don't compulsively wash dishes or take tweezers to my arm hair, but I am aware of details. For example, when I put pictures up for public viewing, while I may not be the most skilled photographer, I want them to look decent.
I tend to take pictures of food on my porch. Natural light is better than the nasty apartment lights in my kitchen, leafy trees make better backgrounds and overall, it makes me happy. But well, there are occasionally issues.

See, I made this lemon berry dessert. Lemon mousse, a berry gelee, almond crumble, and a nice joconde with a pink abstract pattern. I really like the joconde. Came out awesome. And the whole thing tastes pretty good. The plan was to plate, garnish, snap a shot, write something about it. I got it in my head that I would rather do a sugar curl than a tuile. So I made one with the leftover nearly dead isomalt I have lying around for practice. This is a neat trick because 1. I was warming up the sugar in my toaster over 2. This sugar is really crystalised and dead. Inevitably, I hated it. And the next one. The next one as well. Then I broke a few.... you get the idea. I get one that is passable and now it's time to plate. I have an image in my head of what I want the plate to look like, so the sauce goes on easily. Dessert on the plate, almost perfect temperature now because it has been out of the freezer for a while. On to the garnish!

Strawberry, ok, blackberry maybe... oh hey, I have raspberries! Oh, they've gone moldy inside. Skip the raspberries, we'll make do with strawberry and blackberry. Ok, half a strawberry, yes, blackberry ok, sugar curl and...

No. Plate itself looks kinda empty and I don't like the balance of the fruit (Even as I am sitting here now I have another idea that would have been better. Oh well.) Try fruit on the plate. Nope. What if I move that strawberry? Oh, well, I guess the mousse isn't frozen anymore, will have to cover that and whoops!


Adult that I am, I duck in the house so the kid who just got a mousse covered strawberry on his head can't see me.

Anyway I have another strawberry and you know I think I'll use one of those raspberries that's just moldy inside; it's just for the picture. Rearrange, no no no, ah screw it, I'll just cut this one open and get an inside shot. Decision made, I decisively pop the garnish fruit in my mouth. Including the moldy raspberry.

So here's the inside of this dessert, crumbs on the plate and all. I have to go drink something.

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