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    • If you've ever done a "pic-a-day" challenge you find yourself thinking about what to capture...what looks interesting, aesthetically pleasing, etc. Typically...I find the most photogenic aspect of my day tends to be food. So I tend to be the guy who whips out his camera at the dinner table to snap pics of the meals before I thoroughly demolish the delicious creation.

      And hey...the plate makes for an excellent white-balance reference!

      Here is a Vietnamese summer roll in the making...usually served with a sweet/savory peanut hoisin dipping sauce. The carrots and daikon are lightly pickled in a sweet vinegar sauce for a tangy zing. The mix of ingredients makes for really flavorful exploration of the fresh herbs....thai different taste with each bite. Lots of fun for the family, as everyone assembles their own works of art on their plate.

    • I haven’t done a pic-a-day challenge, but it sounds very tempting. However, I’ve been lucky enough to have a girlfriend who makes delicious meals that to me taste simpler yet more flavorful than ones at a restaurant.

      Maybe it is the simplicity of the recipe or the quality of the ingredients, but the dishes she makes really do make my day. I used to go out to restaurants on a daily basis and take pics of each dish for “posterity”, but now the only dishes I actually care to take pics of are those she makes for me.

      Here is one of my favorites - oven roasted potatoes sautéed with mushrooms, sprinkled with parsley and cilantro. Taken on a kitchen counter with an iPhone:

    • Mmm... simple can be wonderful. And a savory serving of meaty mushrooms can be a satisfying substitute for protein-heavy meals.

      and yes...iPhones take outstanding plate pics.

    • I understand that good food photos are ones with highlights, like backlighting? For example, they have a window on the other side of the food and you shoot into the light. Yours seems to be like that, and very bright. Love it.

    • Ya, Chris, Soft indirect natural lighting helps alot. But if you don't have that, a little fiddling with the white balance, and exposure compensation goes a long way.

      The exposure typically need to be pushed brighter when shooting at anything with a bright white dishes. Camera exposure logic will normally attempt to render the whites into greys, which will under expose the actual interesting parts of the pic.

      And you always have the option of pushing the image exposure in post to compensate for mistakes. I always under-expose my shots, and push my raw file in post production, because you can almost always pull up details from the shadows, whereas it is impossible to pull back details from over-exposure.

      Today it's our first attempt at cherry vanilla ice cream....This was shot with center-weight exposure, -1/3 stop, but then pushed nearly 2 stops in post.

    • Mixed greens with mushrooms stir fry with a side of brown rice (not pictured). Took a few photos of it inside the house and outside. This one I liked the most because of the texture of the wood in the background and a soft light of the shade.

    • I really should have taken a portrait of the disaster that came before this one, because it was a hot mess. I made a perfectly gorgeous pizza...but forgot that I needed to make it on the pizza peel. The resulting disaster was still baked into a half- pizza-ish half calzone-ish big hot mess...and it was still friggin delicious. It all tastes the same in your mouth.

      This one is more photogenic....but definitely has less character. But this one did have some culinary merit too. The onions and garlic were carmelilzed over pretty low heat, and took like a half hour to turn into that sweet 'n savory mess. The eggplant was salted and pressed all afternoon. Fresh mozz...heirloom tomats... So...lots of love went into this sucker, and the results were delish.