It snowed last night and at around noon today the sun was coming through a thin layer of clouds—perfect for shooting food with available light. That’s the view out the window and that’s my setup for this photo. I did this just to talk about using available light, white fill cards and also I just wanted to take a photo of the cool pewter antique dish I found a couple of days ago. These two photos were both shot at ISO 100, F5.6, a 6th of a sec. shutter speed on a tripod. The first is just window light and the second has a white fill card placed to the right bouncing the light back filling in the shadows in front. You can see a big difference in the single clove’s exposure. I only used Read On »

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Today, this is my favorite shoot of these rolls. They were photographed last night before dinner, edited after dinner and delivered via email to Michael before I went to bed. I decided quickly and now I’ve changed my mind. I really want the table in the shot. Another request to pull out the camera now because these babies are going on the table. In situations like this when you don’t really have time to consider what will make the best shot; out of pan, in the pan, cutting board, pulled apart, while buttering—not? The best thing to do is shoot away, try different things, and move as quickly as possible. We decided we liked this shot—OK, but today I’m wondering if I should have cropped it tighter for his blog. After he brushed the butter Read On »

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When Michael asked me to do a salt shot, I thought, “what can I photograph the salt on that’s interesting and makes sense?” Salt—mined—rock—salt of the earth—Hey, I can use my Home Depot slate floor tiles. I bought some that are 12X12 inches and some 5X5 inches.  I’m the kind of girl who likes hardware stores so I have fun looking for interesting inexpensive surfaces and props just about anywhere. And as long as you’re taking a shot like this to illustrate a point, take some others for future use. I love these tiles so much I’m afraid I’ll use them too much. Here they are used for a bread shot taken not so long ago. I stood one tile up in back and blurred the crack line where they met in photoshop.

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After the last shot that ran—Styled Chicken & Dumplings—I am so glad Michael asked for this roasted chicken shot that I just took on Monday. Every Monday Michael serves a roasted chicken, and when this came out of the oven, I decided we should quickly shoot it because; 1: He talks about roasted chicken a lot and we can’t keep running the same photo (even if David Lebovitz loves it). 2: It just looked so beautiful and 3: My lights were all set up. Michael let me get two frames off before he whisked it away. You can see Michael’s hand towel on the handle because he had no intention of letting it go. Flash-flash, and away he went to carve away on his Boos cutting board. I turned off my camera and lights and Read On »

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Because of a few great tips I got from food stylist Adam Pearson at blogger camp, this photo probably looks a lot better. I’m a big fan of showing food in it’s natural state, but rich stews can look like ugly creatures in a dark lagoon. First I paid a lot more attention to the props, thinking about shapes and textures. If this bowl rim was not etched with a hounds tooth pattern, it would look like a giant hot white collar.  Thomas Keller gave us these that he designed with Raynaud Limoges. Thanks TK. And the same with the napkin. Just the addition of texture can help the image be more interesting and less flat. Then, instead of photographing the stew completely mixed, we first put the plain sauce in the bowl, then carefully Read On »

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