Chocolate truffles

There are a few pieces I still have on my list of things that I want on my portfolio page. Chocolate truffles is one of those things. I researched pictures online, and wanted to do something that felt more like what I want to do – something that captures the sense of celebration that goes with having a really good truffle, even if it isn’t a special occasion.

The set had a number of elements in it that were only there for reflections and shadows.


Two lights in softboxes (just the modelling lights for my Sky Eagle flashes), three small cosmetic mirrors poking light in dark spots, gold foil wrapping paper, artificial tin ceiling tile, bottles filled with some lapsang souchong tea (nice amber tones) plus a bottle and some glasses from a Venetian set. Just for a few reflections. I ended up not using the silver lid in front, and switched to a red cardboard box. The two little name-card holders are stand-ins for the chocolates.

I tried two different lenses: a 70-200mm zoom, and my food workhorse, my 50mm macro. I ended up choosing a picture I took with the macro lens, because I didn’t like the compression and angle I used with the zoom.

Here is my picture.



I did some post work in Photoshop to clean up smudges, creases, fingerprints, crumbs and air bubbles on the chocolates.

Now I want to paint my walls a neutral gray instead of the deep avocado colour they are.

Looking forward to the Delicious Food Show 2013

It’s next weekend at the Better Living Centre, 25-27th of October. (more info)

Three things interest me when I’m at a food show: photogenic food, a great story, and things that taste awesome (not necessarily in that order).

Two of my favourite Canadian chefs, Michael Smith and Lynn Crawford, will be at the Food Network Celebrity Kitchen on Saturday. They champion creating real food, and use local food extensively (if not exclusively). Chef Michael’s just before the lunch hour, and Chef Lynn is just after it.

Some of the exhibitors on the floor I want to talk with include Barque Smokehouse, who are based in Roncesvalles village. I’m also looking forward to the booths of:

  • Berbician Foods, who look like they have a delicious range of salamis and sausages.
  • C is for Clean looks to have some promising natural-ingredient cleaners.
  • Kobe Classic Beef — I’ve never tasted beef from Wagyu cattle. Maybe this will finally be my opportunity!

Hmm, looks like I’m really looking forward to some meat! Hope to see you there next weekend.



End-of-September garden haul

Just a short note. Today I cut off my basil, harvested one more zucchini, and a single cherry bomb pepper. The eggplants still haven’t grown longer than my thumb, and are hard.

Tomorrow I have a meeting downtown, and will take the opportunity to buy some good Parmesan cheese and pine nuts, and then I should be able to create a couple of bottles of pesto.

Lots of kale left. And it’s quite happy growing, still. Temperatures this week are going to climb, so it will be happy all week long.

Harvesting in mid-August

I went to my allotment garden this morning to harvest and water. I knew that my garlic was ready to be harvested, but wasn’t sure how everything else was progressing (especially since I hadn’t been there in a week, and we hadn’t any rain).

Things… are progressing. I’m sure they’d flourish more if I visited more frequently and watered more. But they’re doing OK.

One of my spicy globe basils has flowers – I’m taking this as a sign to start harvesting, and to strip this one plant of its flowers.


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My allotment garden, end of July 2013

I neglected my garden for the two hottest and wettest weeks in Toronto. When it was hot (and not wet) I did water, and did some desultory weeding, but it was really half-hearted. This week I’ve spent 4 hours weeding, and I think I’ve got about an hour left. But the harvest season is beginning.

Here’s an overview of what I collected today:


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Photo shoot: Jonny Blonde food truck

Back in early May, I went to Burlington to photograph the food that Jonny Blonde was putting together for his food truck. Jonny delights in using local product whenever possible, and sources his meats in the rich farming lands around Hamilton and Burlington. I did not know that the area mills more dry mustard than anywhere else in the world!

He launched his food truck this past weekend, so I’m publicizing my pictures that I took of some of the food that he’ll provide at catered events or on his truck.

I took lots of lighting equipment with me to Burlington, but ended up mostly using natural light coming through the door, sometimes augmented with a bounced flash, mostly with reflectors and mirrors for fill lighting.

Chicken skewers


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Wondering about my allotment garden?

It’s growing! Actually, I need to make another trip down there, either today (late afternoon) or tomorrow morning.

Things are happening.

Here is the section that contains kale, curly endive, lettuce, eggplants, and two types of basil. So far, the weather’s been cool-ish, which has favoured the lettuce types. I expect that the warmer weather crops will gain the upper hand in the near future.


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