My first foray in to photographing food was while my fiancee was baking. While she was distracted with the flour and eggs (I don’t bake for the record), I snuck a few photos. My first inclination was to try out my macro lens since I generally feel that amateur food pictures suffer from the depth of field being too large, and professional culinary photography always features close ups . . . turns out this was probably a mistake, as Linda’s muffins looked like creepy technicolor lunar landscapes in my photos. The looked quite normal (and tasted delicious) in real life.

Ok, so in an effort to redeem myself I cooked dinner the next day (I do cook, pretty well if I may say so myself) and tried a few photos with my standby 28mm-135mm lens. I did have to break a few rules of composition to avoid taking a picture of an unsightly range burner or stray bottle of vinegar in the background, but I think it came out pretty well. This shot was beautifully backlit by the range hood’s light (believe it or not, this seems to work quite well) with a bit of ambient light from the overheads in the kitchen behind me. White balance was a little painful, but I think it came out in the end – this is a really critical piece for culinary photography! A poor white balance can completely ruin the appearance of food.

Capellini Puttanesca

Capellini Puttanesca

Ok, and if you’re interested here’s the recipe. I love this stuff, and it’s really easy.

1 box Angel Hair Pasta
1 lbs Crawfish (tail meat), or substitute shrimp, crab, etc
2 cans Diced Tomatoes (get the kind with green chilies, and drain most of the liquid)
1 bulb Garlic
1 cup Fresh Basil
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garnish with Parsley and Grated Parmesan Cheese

Chop the garlic into rough slices (This will result in garlic that maintains a bit of it’s raw flavor. If you don’t like that, mince it instead). Shred the Basil and set aside.

Boil water per directions on pasta box, salt to taste.

While the water is heating, add olive oil to a large pan and warm over medium heat. When the oil thins and begins to flow, add the garlic. Saute 2 min, then add oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue to saute until garlic begins to brown around edges.

Turn heat to high and add tomatoes, stirring until mixture begins to bubble. Turn heat back to medium and add basil. Mix in basil and let cook 2 min. Cover and turn heat the medium-low.

Add pasta to boiling water. Cook to short end of package directions, or about 6 min. Drain pasta.

Add pasta and crawfish to sauce pan, mix thoroughly. Cover and cook 5 min.

Serve immediately, garnish with parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.