Mind shift

I bought some lovely fiddlehead ferns and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms yesterday at the St. Lawrence Market. When I got them home, I took some photos of them (along with some lovely oven-roasted slab side-bacon that I got at Witteveen’s).

Ingredients from the St. Lawrence Market

Then I made lunch, and took photos of it.

One skillet lunch


Today, I used the rest of the fiddleheads and mushrooms with dinner. Decided I wanted to play with the circularity of the ferns, and put pairs of shrimp on skewers. I barbecued everything. The fiddleheads had been precooked, so I was just trying to get them warm. I took the chunk of mushrooms and left it as a chunk and barbecued it — that’s a great way to do it. It gave some crispy texture to the ends, and it had rich, deep mushroomy flavour.

I sprinkled the shrimp with a little bit of paprika before grilling them: a sympathetic color and texture.

While I was taking the picture after everything was barbecued and on the plate, I started thinking about what is important on the plate. What is the editorial stance, and the focus? If this was for an article, the imagery should definitely reflect the editorial viewpoint. So I have one flat view of the whole plate (nothing is taking precedence: this could work if the article was about, say, barbecuing your whole dinner).

Full plate focus

However, I look at it now, and because nothing is dominant, it’s making the whole picture rather bland and boring. The picture is flat and documentary, but doesn’t really have an opinion about what’s on the plate. The lack of a garnish or unifying sauce doesn’t help it, either: just three static blobs on the plate.

This picture is about the shrimp.

Focus on shrimp

┬áThe fiddleheads and mushroom are there in the background, but it’s really about the shrimp on the skewer at the front of the plate.


I think I need to digest this lesson a bit.

This entry was posted in Food, Food - farmers' market, Photography, Photography - documentary by pat. Bookmark the permalink.

About pat

Visual thinker, first got interested in digital imagery in the early days of Omni magazine, back when it used to review what had happened at SIGGraph. I worked in the 3D software field for 23 years. Lifelong enjoyment of gardening grew over time; I was a Master Gardener (briefly) and had a vegetable and herb allotment garden in Toronto to grow vegetables, as well as perennial gardens at home. Gardening and enjoying fresh produce also raised my interest in cooking with really good local food. As more restaurants in Toronto are offering local fare, I enjoy dining out and sampling the visions the different chefs have.

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