Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Making of Kedgeree

This week I received my copy of Pretty Nostalgic in the mail (a wonderful British magazine) and was especially excited about this issue because I have two articles in it, one of which is on Kedgeree, a delicious indian inspired British dish. Ah, kedgeree is sooo good! It has smoked fish, rice, coriander, lime, egg, cinnamon, and onions among other things. Sound strange or delicious? I had not heard of it before moving to London, and it's one of those dishes I wasn't too sure about after hearing the ingredients, but then once I tasted it, I became a kedgeree devotee!

It was really fun to shoot this feature and a little more challenging than some other things I've done. I thought I'd show you some of what's involved in putting together an editorial piece like this. Andrew was a huge help, so thanks to him that this turned out well! But it started with the editor giving me some direction as to what she'd like to achieve, including a mock-up illustration she sent over (see above). And then I familiarized myself with some of their previous food features from back issues I have. Pretty Nostalgic is a visual feast of a magazine that rarely just has white space in the background. I knew I wanted to use our dark wood kitchen counter as the backdrop. No fancy studio here! But I love our kitchen counters and thought the background would suit the style of the magazine. I also knew I'd use our 50mm 1.2 lens. I have a very nice Manfrotto tripod but it's not a boom tripod, so it isn't always easy to get directly overhead. To use the kitchen counter meant the ceiling would be in the way if I wanted to be straight above and still high enough for the lens. So Andrew had an idea. He turned two of the legs upward to the ceiling and one leg extended down all the way to the floor and wedged the tripod so that the camera could be directly overhead without a leg in the way. Brilliant! He's a great assistant. Please excuse our messy kitchen, which is not usually set up this way, with the table up against the island. (The cord across the ceiling just connects our lighting fixtures. Oh, and Lois was a good helper too!). I used a USB tether and controlled the shooting from my lap top. I also just used natural light, which was much lighter than it looks in the photo below and was quite even.
So after I played with many variations of the layout both with the ingredients and then with the finished dish, leaving room for text (more thanks to Andrew for cooking the kedgeree and getting the hard boiled egg perfect). I submitted about 40 edited photos and below are just a few of those. Better to have too many choices than not enough! And Andrew actually made the dish a few times previous to this day so we could tinker with getting the food to look especially photo ready. So that is a peek behind the scenes into the making of the photo for the article. The writing was fairly quick and easy in comparison but equally satisfying. If you'd like a peek at this issue of Pretty Nostalgic, you can see it here and also order the magazine online.


Mrs King said...

Lovely post and you just solved my ' what shall I cook for dinner' dilemma

marilu said...

Amazing!!! You would not imagine what's behind these photos! Great tripod architecture! You know, I got a Manfrotto tripod for Xmas - you suggested getting one in for my jewellery photos - and it's great! It helped a lot, but not quick to get it set up! Will be making this dish for sure! Xx

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