Breakfast News

Today am on reverse gear, backing up to a few food shots I did a couple of weeks prior to the Acadia Trip. I had been yearning to photograph Indian food since I started shooting food and this concept was stuck in my head and bursting to come out. I have always seen Indian food being photographed within a very “Indian” context and set up and I wanted to break the rules. I wanted to shoot it in a more contemporary set up and just wanted to showcase the actual food in a less formal and more accessible way with the cleaner compositions and colors of a Scandinavian design ethic that is far more modern.  So I decided on making brunch, since the mid morning light in my office is perfect for food photography and I could cook and set up ahead of time(read scramble like a maniac).

The food in the photograph is what I am used to eating since childhood, but this isn’t something we make all the time. Its a rather special brunch and needs some advance planning if you insist on making all the requisite batter at home. The breakfast comprises of Rava Idli & Paniyaram(steamed savory semolina cakes & fried rice cakes) with a Tomato chutney and a coconut-coriander chutney. All of these are South Indian delicacies and actually non-spicy.

f/11, 1/60, EV +1

I knew I wanted to photograph on a white background and everything else came out of that original platform.  If the background is white you know you want things on the plate with color and can absorb and deflect light well. So the colors on the plate had to be complementary to each other. A lot of Indian food is brown and I had one main dish that was going to be brown and the other a more pale greenish beige ( pardon my knowledge of names of colors). To offset it, I needed greens and oranges, so I tweaked the coconut chutney to be more green by adding coriander and added more green elements to the composition to balance off the lack of color. The oranges/reds are to break up the monotony and to push the eye into different parts of the picture. Worked well, I think.

October 1st was also the day we released the fifth issue of the online magazine that I edit, do the layout for and also wrote a piece for this time. Its a good magazine, with plenty of tips for every type of photographer. Give it a read, its completely FREE!!  Here is the link to the October-Dec 2012 issue and here is the link to the previous issues. Here is a look at the cover that will give you an insight into what you can find inside.

For the piece in the magazine, I shot some extra shots of food that I had made on various occasions.  The recipes to each are in the description section of the photograph. You will have to click on the photograph to view it.

f/5, 1/180, EV +1.5

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Breakfast News

Fallen for Maine

It’s a fantastic fall day in New Jersey – sun is bright, skies are blue with long white streaks of clouds, the leaves are falling off the trees every time the wind blows.,the forest in the backyard is rife with colors and yet my heart is in Maine…..I have never seen the turn of a season look so beautiful, despite the incessant rain and a broken camera.  For weeks I had agonized over tide charts, weather reports, foliage reports, sunset timings, nautical sunset timings, moon phases and a ton of astronomy that I never knew I needed to know for photography, just so that I would know what to look forward to and be prepared. The thing that surprises me the most about myself  and most human beings is our inability to accept that expectations are far different from reality – maybe this is the key to zen living(?), I don’t know – but clearly I don’t possess the ability, in-spite of know-how. The two days that were spent in Maine, were supposed to have been sunshine and mildly cloudy, but in reality it was rain, fog, cold winds and more rains.

I had a schedule of places I needed to be and shoot and no one had warned the weather gods of my plans. The thing about Acadia National Park is that, weather is just a backdrop, nothing takes away from its real beauty. The park is like a queen, tucked away on the coast of Maine and the drive from Jersey winds its way through New York, Connecticut,Massachusetts, New Hampshire before finally entering Maine. I say queen because Acadia has a sense of arrival, Maine is beautiful no matter where you go, but as you move towards the park the fall colors keep getting bigger and better, until it finally explodes in your face at Acadia.

Save a few expensive hotels, Acadia’s main stay are BnB’s and we stayed at one this time as well. We were the last guests at the Inn for the season before they close for winter and so we had a chance to meet the owner and her wonderful little dog – Rosie. Floridian by birth, Rosie – a tiny shihtzu – was decked out in her favorite sweater and was crumpled up on her bed by the fire place, the whole time that we were there. The weather had got to her and all she wanted was a nice and warm place to rest her tiny little head.

The very first evening was the only time the sun was out, but it was bitterly cold and windy, that should have stopped me from going up Cadillac Mountain but the lure of a sunset was too much to ignore. It was by far the biggest mistake, at sunset (although pretty), every square inch of Mount Cadillac and especially the Blue Hill Overlook is covered by photographers. From those leading tours to workshops to individual enthusiasts alike. By next morning the weather took a turn for the worse and crowds quickly started dissipating out of Acadia. Perfect! But just one day in, my camera broke along with two lenses – one of them was my favorite 18-55! What I got till that point was all I had and I regretted passing by opportunities and scenes which I had promised to come back to during lesser rains and better light. Lesson learned – never let it go by, get some shots in even if you think the light maybe bad and never have an assistant who thinks he is too macho to put down the camera bag safely before attempting to cross a stream from rock to rock in rubber waders after a rain! The few shots that I did get in that time are here  and until camera and lens come back repaired or replaced – there will be a break in posting ( hopefully it won’t be too long, cross your fingers for me).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It goes without saying that all photographs and written material on this blog are my copyright and cannot be reused or printed in any manner without my explicit permission to do so. If you are interested in purchasing prints or getting in touch with me about work, please drop me a message here and I will respond by end of day.  Thank you for your interest.

Fallen for Maine