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.
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.