Following a recent discussion with colleagues about the technicalities of food photography, and it being some time since I ventured out do shoot a landscape, I felt the need to take a photo, and thought I’d give food a go. Its something I’ve tried before without success, and there are issues with this one, but I think its my best effort to date.
It being a nice summers day, we were having Mexican style burgers and salad for dinner so an alfresco shot seemed a good idea. I set up the camera on the tripod on the patio at maximum aperture for minimal depth of field. I needed an out of focus drink in the background, so set up a bottle on one side of the frame, and a glass on the other. An empty white plate completed the composition, so then I went in to cook the meal (previous efforts at this kind of thing have seen me trying to set up the shot after cooking. Big mistake).
Once the food was complete, I plated up, taking extra care not to make it look messy; took the plate outside; filled the wine glass; and rattled off several quick shots. Then the best bit – eating it.
The result is below. Some fill light reflected from the left hand side wouldn’t have gone amiss, and a little more time arranging the plate perhaps. There is also an distracting pattern in the green background which I can’t quite explain. Anyway, for the curious (M.I.L perhaps), the recipe is below the photo.
250g minced beef
250g pork sausage meat
small tin kidney beans
Waxy new potatoes
1 ripe avocado
6 ripe cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
3 birds eye chillies
small handful chopped coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Good pinch Maldon salt
Good pinch black pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Chop onion and garlic. Fry until browned. Add salt, cumin, chopped chillies and pepper and fry off spices. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile crush the kidney beans with a fork and add to the meats in a bowl. Add the cooled onion mixture and the chopped coriander the zest of the lime. Mix thoroughly. Wrap in clingfilm and leave overnight in the fridge for the flavours to develop.
Next day, chop the avocado and tomatoes, and mix with more chopped coriander. Dress with lime juice and set aside.
Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes. Drain, slice and set aside. To the pan add a good knob of butter and, when melted, add the paprika and cayenne pepper. Fry gently for a minute and add the potatoes. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Form the burger mix into small patties and fry gently on each side until browned and cooked.
On a plate place a small amount of rocket. On top, add some of the potato salad and arrange three burgers on top of this. On top of this sprinkle the salsa and drizzle all with a dressing made from chilli oil and lime juice.
Eat with a flavoursome acidic white wine. Sauvignon blanc would be fine, but Kenton Vineyards Bacchus worked perfectly.