I can’t believe I’ve written this many posts on StartingToCook without mentioning even ONE Jamie Oliver recipe. I absolutely love his cooking and recipes. I wanted to try a recipe with mini shells, like the ones they use in soup and I ended up finding this creamy bacon sauce pasta.
Once I made this recipe, I was even more of a fan of Jamie Oliver. This is a very “home cooking” meal. Make it on a cold night, sit back with a bowl and enjoy! (And it has bacon – call it good!)
Ah, good ole mac and cheese. My girlfriend’s daughter came to us a few nights ago after some Kraft with “this tasted nassssty.” I’m glad she is growing up. Now we get to test better recipes for family classics. This one had to be the first. While it came out “slightly dry” (don’t overboil or overbake it, hey) I think we’ll enjoy it next time. I always have tweaks after the first and second cook.
This recipe was an amalgamation of all the ones I was able to find for fancy mac & cheese. Call it an “original” – maybe my first.
As you can see from the lighting diagram in photo #2, the setup is very simple again. Softbox on left, reflector(s) on the right. We shot this a little after dark so the background was simple enough to control. Photo #3 was taken in the oven. I thought I’d sell more if I got some cooking shots and oven baked photos. The light was a simple stove light with the kitchen light. I had to shoot these with a really slow shutter though, so I was on a tripod the whole time. #5 should definitely sell the best. Graphic designers love that copyspace and I try and give it to them with all the food photo setups I shoot.
I’m going to try submitting #4 to Tastespotting just to see how it does. (Edit: This is my 2nd most popular post thanks to TasteSpotting, FoodGawker and StumbleUpon! Thanks!!)
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This is a 2-for-1 post and this is the second part of my two-part post. Last week I thought about making shrimp pasta. I really wanted to photograph shrimp pasta. It sounded tasty. Then I somehow didn’t bring the recipe ingredients to the grocery store. I crossed shrimp pasta off my recipe list and grabbed everything for beef stroganoff.
The recipe I wanted to make is this (from MyRecipes.com): Shrimp Pesto Pasta
I ended up picking up a box of frozen and made that (Part 1 post here). It was decent but definitely nothing I’d call “great.” I knew when I was eating it that yes, the photos would be ok, but no I wasn’t done. I had to eat this the right way. So Thursday (grocery day here) came again but this time I had my ingredients list with me. We read the recipe and couldn’t believe how fast this was to cook! Basically you cook the pasta, toss everything together, mix, heat the shrimp through, and serve. It was done in under 20 minutes including boiling the water.
Photographically I’m done with shrimp for awhile. It is pretty tough to light. I always feel like I’m *slightly* blowing out the highlights. I don’t like dark food but I can’t find an exposure I like for these. For the stock photography of it, I knew I wanted some closeups as shrimp is a “main food” – something people can search for and may want to see pretty much nothing but shrimp. It’s also a food mainstream America is familiar with so I knew I was good getting close and personal. My designers would want some copyspace so I gave them that and my restaurants, foodies and such would want the whole dish so I shot that too. I have other angles and props but I wanted to show you a little of each set we did. Mise en place, ingredient closeup (frozen shrimp), shrimp pasta closeup, copyspace version and finally restaurant/foodie version.
This recipe is an exact make of the MyRecipes one so again, no recipe here. I’m going to be posting more recipes – I am just not a good enough cook yet (there’s that “Starting” thing again!) and I don’t want to mess up people’s great food so I stick to the plan, make it, shoot it and link you to it.
This is a 2-for-1 post and this is the first part of a two-part post. This week I thought about making shrimp pasta. I really wanted to photograph shrimp pasta. It sounded tasty. Then I somehow didn’t bring the recipe ingredients to the grocery store. I crossed shrimp pasta off my recipe list and grabbed everything for beef stroganoff.
The recipe I’m going to make is this:
So why am I telling you about a recipe I haven’t made Well as I was walking through the frozen food section I happened to notice a very similar meal – in a small, “microwave me” bowl. Nahhhh – I couldn’t! I’m trying to learn to cook – frozen is cheating, right
Well, one thing I love is to photograph food. ANY food. I am learning to cook in order to shoot the food so I thought a little practice round would be perfectly acceptable. Now let’s be honest – this food pales in comparison to that recipe – but it was definitely good practice. I know that I want a lot more shrimp in the dish than the puny (and discolored) pieces in the frozen food. I want a bit more color as well. I will also likely toss some parmesan cheese over the top of this dish to finish it. The photography of this frozen meal actually worked. I’ll sell these photos – but yes, I’m making this again, the right way!
Let’s just say this could taste fresher. I am excited for part 2, for sure.
I originally found this recipe on Slimming Eats. I’ve made a few changes to suit my palette. Slightly more tomatoes, double the Canadian bacon, a bit less cheese…Basically I love this but wish it had a bit more sauce to it. It’s a light, summer pasta I will definitely have again and again.
Instead of just one shot of the food I’ve done a series this time. First is my mise en place shot for the mix. Second is my masterpiece. Third is a stock photo I will be selling with copyspace. Finally, I included another lighting setup shot. This lighting is much simpler than my last lighting setup shot. One strobe, one reflector, great light.
Trivia: A pound of garlic cloves can produce 7 to 10 pounds of mature cloves the following summer.
Bonus! This is the setup photo for my mise en place shot. I shot this to give you an idea what went into today’s shoot. Light from the strobe hit the left side of the food. Bounce from the reflector filled in the shadows. Reflector was closer (it loses some light on reflection so closer = more power gained back. It balances the two out to have the reflector about half the distance of the strobe.)
Recipe after the jump!