There are very few things in the world that are readily available and generously soul satisfying as food. A rainy day, a hot cup of tea and if you are Indian by birth, then perhaps a plate of bajjis and pakoras. There is a reason why there is such a thing as comfort food. It can stir up memories and fill you up with the warmth of the moment that penetrates your very core. But who says comfort food should be associated with just wet weather, summer can be comforting too. The feeling of fresh fruits and vegetables, traversing your gullet and cooling down your system as the mercury rises outside, is just as surreal. For a few weeks in July and August, while school is out, I had my nephews with me. From fresh cherries to shortbread cookies to pies and crumbles, we found a way to incorporate as much fresh fruit as we possibly could into everything we could possibly eat. I love summer for just that reason, its time to be out in the sun, scour farmers markets for fresh produce and gorge on some of the best fruit the country has to offer and not be a closeted gourmand. Now as the winds turn cooler, I still have some fond memories to look back at.
As a photographer, food gives me plenty of subjects of to photograph and the means to combine the two things I love the most – photography and cooking. I am evolving, atleast I hope I am, as a food photographer – I am still at the very beginning of the learning curve on this one, but it definitely isn’t something I will stop doing once I’ve mastered it. The very idea that I can get 10 different compositions just from changing the background is eye-opening to me. Do enjoy my bouts of gluttony, hope I leave you hungry!
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Summer is here in North America, and as I type this, schools are closing down all over the country for summer vacation. Beginning today, the drive to all points of interest on the Jersey Shore will take more than double the time, but all carnivals and summer fiestas will roll into town. The circus will come in, baseball season will reach a fever pitch ( pun absolutely not intended), the grills are out and people will picnick on every available patch of green grass. Except the heat, everything about summer is fun and we started celebrating it a little early with a carnival at a town close by.
It is so inviting to see a Ferris Wheel tower over the landscape, as your driving along a busy highway. It’s like a tiny beacon, beckoning the kids who pass by – irrespective of their actual age. Shiny, colorfully lit, surrounded by thrilling rides and the rising smoke of an open barbecue with the heady smell of grilled sausages. The closer one get to the grounds, the louder the screams. The louder the scream, greater the fear. There is everything, from laughter at the sheer exhilaration of completing a torturous ride to the disappointment of not being able to ride one; due to height challenges. For us personally the zinger was a ride called ‘The Tornado’, I think its more a reference to how vomit is induced rather than the motion of the ride itself.
Its candy land for a photographer, and if you have read this blog before you know I have a serious fetish for ferris wheels and any kind of lights that go around! One could go to a carnival for interesting portraits or for some fantastic long exposure shots to capture motion, which is what I did and always do. Its hard to resist swirling lights set against the backdrop of twilight. The resulting effect is that of a decadent, giant lollipop! I can’t find better words to describe the effect more eloquently. And if I sound excited, that’s exactly what it is – that’s the effect a carnival has, no matter how mature you attempt at being. Every time I look at a Ferris wheel, the little girl wearing the polka dotted dress comes out to skip along, look at everything with wide-eyed wonderment and eat cotton candy.
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