Food Challenge: Entry #9 “The Bomb”

As we are winding down the food challenge, I am leaving the funniest ones until last so let me post mine now.

When strawberries were so plentiful, I decided to make some strawberry-jalapeno jam.  It sure did kick-start my mornings spread on buttered toast.  And then I read that in the UK they have a National Doughnut Day and the proceeds are donated to a good cause.  I think that is a great idea and I really think we should do the same in the country.  We certainly eat our fair share of doughnuts.  Thinking about doughnuts got the gears going and I decided to try a new dessert using a glazed doughnut!

This is really quite simple and could have many variations.  So here is the recipe:  Slice a glazed doughnut in half horizontally and fill it with vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with strawberry-jalapeno jam, garnish with strawberries and whipped cream.  Easy!  And I call this dessert… “The Bomb”

(Support your local cardiologist!)

“The Bomb”
(Photo by Lala)


Food Challenge: Entry #8 Party Limes

So today we have a submission by Vickie… and I can confirm that this gal likes a good party!
“This was taken outside in natural light.  Love limes and always have some around the house.  This martini glass always makes me smile and feel like a party!!  I love pictures that make me happy because of the colors!”

Party Limes
(Photo by Vickie)


Food Challenge: Entry #7 Marzipan

I know this entry will bring a smile to your face and it is sent to us by one of our newest members, Lily.  If you have not yet visited Lily’s website under favorite links, please do so.  It is there that you will learn that… “Lily Mirsky is a native of Riga, Latvia. She immigrated to the USA in 1980 to pursue her dream of living in a free country. Many years went by and Lily underwent a long and exciting professional career as a case manager with Family Services helping new immigrants resettle in the USA.”

“This is my virtual sweet treat for all ‘crazy women’.  It’s a tray from the bakery store’s window with the marzipan candies.  I shot it in a small and very old city of Avila in Spain, where Alex and I had a wonderful trip this year in May.”
Thank you Lily for joining this challenge!

Marzipan Candies
(Photo by Lily)

Food Challenge: Entry #6 Dark Chocolate Mousse

So today, Gina treats us to dessert, and quite frankly… I’m not sharing!  It’s all mine!  And this is what she says…

“This is a Black Tie Dark Chocolate Mousse from the Olive Garden.  It was irresistible!   It was deliciously made and not very heavy … Calories… I do not have any idea .
Try it yourself.   You will say yummy !!!”

Black Tie Dark Chocolate Mousse
(Photo by Gina)

Food Challenge: Entry #6 Watermelon

Debbie sent me this message with her food entry:

“We had tried to have a successful garden this year but the grasshoppers had other ideas.  We had cleaned out all of our garden area except for one area.  Our watermelon vines were still growing but hadn’t produced anything this season.  We thought we were going to just have green watermelon vines until a couple of days ago when Gary noticed this watermelon growing.  I couldn’t believe it in the middle of September!   Can’t wait ’til it’s ripe and see how it tastes.”

(Photo by Debbie)

Food Challenge: Entry #5 Popcorn Photo Op

This entry directly speaks to CRAZY!  Seriously now… have you ever done this?  NEVER!  But I bet you will now!  Eating popcorn will never be the same.

So this is what Dana had to say…

“Food….hum I asked myself tonight, with my hubby and daughter gone I am
being bad and having popcorn for dinner. I took my iPhone out and snapped a few  images of the bowl and then box…no luck.

I started eating and decided that if  I held a piece maybe it would be more interesting. I took the first shot and  popped it in my mouth…BIG mistake! I reviewed the pic and it looked like an angel!!! I could have sold it on ebay for LOTS of money! The next 4 or 5 pieces came to life as I stood under the can light in my kitchen and played with them moving around until I saw something. I had so much fun and could not keep from  popping each piece in my mouth. Hopefully you see them too :)”

Popcorn Photo Op
(Photo by Dana)

Food Challenge: Entry #4… Simplicity

Tess had a couple photos in mind for the challenge as she has been enjoying food photography for the past several months.  We would often e-mail dinner back and forth!

So as she “reflected” on her choice for the challenge,  she decided on something a bit different… and it is called “Simplicity”!

“Food Photography is what started me with the love of photography.  I love food and that started the love of photography, and it is just natural to blend the two together. The desire to produce more photos that looks delicious made me explore for more images that truly expressed the beauty of the food.   I took several pictures just for this food challenge and even cooked some, but I was not satisfied with the result.  I found out that to do it as naturally,  organically,  and as  simple as possible is the best way and so this image was created.
I used my Canon D60 and Canon macro lens EF100mm with settings of ISO 200, 1/40 sec.,  F/8.   I added lots of lights, dark background and a large mirror. ”

(Photo by Tess)

Food Challenge: Entry #3… P07 Phở Gà (Chicken Noodle Soup)

One of our newest club members is submitting this image.  As you probably previously read, Merrie had inherited an Olympus camera from her dad and needed some help in learning some of the basics, so we met for a Vietnamese lunch at Yogurt Wasted in Rowlett and we reviewed her “destruction” book and had a crash course to get her started.  As our lunch was served, she decided to get her food photo for September.

And this is what Merrie says…  “I chose this one because although there is some glare in it, the soup looks like you could just eat it.   I liked that it showed the bubbles too.  I didn’t notice that so much in the restaurant but I think it shows that the soup is still hot and ready to eat.   Most of the ones with the chopsticks came out with a lot of glare on the chopsticks, which probably is not a bad thing as it looked natural.”

It was a learning curve for both of us when I discovered Merrie was shooting tiff images and after some reading we decided that for now she should be shooting jpegs, so this tiff image was changed to a jpeg image in photoshop.

We sat in the restaurant for almost five hours going through her equipment and reviewing some photographic basics.  Thank you Tim, for letting the “crazy women” hang out!

Chicken Noodle Soup
(Photo by Merrie)

Food Challenge: Entry #2 “Sundays in Malta”

This next entry is submitted by Donna.  I have found that Donna has a very emotional aspect and response to photography and so it is with this entry.  Let me have her tell you about it in her own words…

“My mother immigrated from Malta with her family in 1937.   On Sunday afternoons my mom and grandpa used to make Pastizzi for snacks or dinner.   My mom and I made these for the food challenge so I could capture her and this famous Maltese tradition.

Pastizzi are ricotta or pea filled pastries which are the most popular and…best known culinary export of Malta.   Pastizzi (singular: pastizz) are popular amongst Maltese people, and are also produced amongst the immigrant communities of Maltese in Australia, the US and Canada.  Pastizzi lend their name to “pastizzerias” – the dozens of fast food outlets dotted around Malta which primarily sell pastizzi (along with pizzas, qassatat, timpana and sausage rolls).   Pastizzi are typically cooked in batches of 30 on wood furnaces on black metal trays. Pastizzi come in the two standard ricotta and pizelli (pea) varieties,  with the ricotta version notably the more popular of the two. Pastizzi are particularly popular snacks on Sundays in Malta, with vendors all over the islands opening in the early hours to cater for late night clubbers.  Pastizzi have a particular place of pride in Maltese culture and are light-heartedly considered one of the nation’s unique achievements.  Locals consider no visit to
Malta to be complete without eating some pastizzi. ”

For those of you who do not know where Malta is… it is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily, Italy.

Thank you Donna for your very personal submission and for sharing the history of this favorite Maltese treat.  Now if we can just get some samples!  YUM!

Sundays in Malta
(Photo by Donna)

September Food Challenge

For this challenge we focused on (literally, focused on) some type of food, be it fresh food or a prepared dish.  No need to spend hours in the kitchen to get this shot…  it could be a favorite fast food.  Just get in close, pay attention to your background and shoot!  But I was not prepared for the effort and time that went into getting our first entry.  And with that hint, I am sure you now know who I am referring to.  Lorraine does not  take the easy route to getting her shots.  She obsesses over them and rarely gets her shot on the same day that her quest has begun.  And so it was with her desire to shoot the “perfect” apple.  No cooking involved!

So I get an e-mail from Mike saying that Lorraine has gone to the store to find the perfect apple.  I can picture her now picking through the apples, discarding any with a blemish, poorly shaped or not red enough.

And then came another e-mail from Mike along with a photo!  Seems that Lorraine was setting up her apple shot in the back yard when she remembered that I had said to look at the background and not to have it too busy as that would distract from the focal point of the shot.  Indeed she had a problem with the background.  Seems that she had set her apple on a post and put her camera on a tripod but when she looked through the view finder there was a dead shrub in the background detracting from her perfect red apple.  Rather than shoot from a different angle or move to a different area, Lorraine did what any crazy woman would do…  she armed herself with serious tools and chopped that dead bush down!!  Thank you Mike for getting this sneaky shot of Lorraine doing the dirty work!

Now when I asked Lorraine if she would mind if I posted Mike’s shot… this is what she said:

” Now…..about that “other” photo! Oh man…I didn’t bring that up as I was hoping that would be forgotten! I am kinda embarrassed about it and was going to say no….BUT Mike said it was HIS picture.  I told him, but it was a picture of ME and that I wasn’t aware when he took it.  I was so involved in cutting that stupid dead shrub down that I didn’t hear him come out and snap the picture!  He then reminded me that back in 1982 when he got his first SLR that he had me sign a “Consent to Photograph” form.  At the time Mike worked for the Wichita Public Schools Cable Television Station and had to get forms signed from teachers and students.  When he started taking pictures of me he had me sign it as a joke but he still has it and WON’T let me out of it!!!!   Its like I have the Paparazzi with me at all times now!  GEEEEZ!!!!”

Soooo… here is the infamous shot in preparation of Lorraine getting her food photo.

Chopping Down the Shrub

(Photo by Mike)

   So once the dead shrub was chopped down and carted away, Lorraine could concentrate on shooting her apple.  But we are not done yet!  This was the e-mail I got from her about her quest to shoot the perfect apple…

“When I learned that the next challenge was going to be photographing
food, I thought to myself…I am in trouble now! I spent some time looking
over photos of food like Fay suggested. Fay made a statement when
giving us this challenge about making or keeping it simple and with this
I found some hope.

Enjoying the outdoors so much, I decided to start with this being the
setting and working the food into it . I had thoughts of visiting
orchards but decided I would stay in my own backyard and create my own
little setting with a simple food item.

First, I had to find “the perfect” apple. I must admit I did get some
funny looks from people watching me so carefully analyze the apples in
the store. I had it all figured out and thought to myself about how this
should be fairly easy. I was wrong!!  I ended up having to work on this
three different days….about two hours each time. Temperatures over 100
degrees didn’t help the situation. The angle of the sun had to be just
right. The depth of field was a challenge and I had issues with things
in the background interfering. After all that, I ended up using an image
from the first day!

I used a cross screen filter for the star burst effect. I like the
effect and hope to use it on other images. I used aperture priority
mode. I also learned more about my camera and adjusting the exposure compensation.  It was another good learning experience for me.”

The Perfect Apple
(Photo by Lorraine)