This recipe is a golden oldie (as far as one can speak of ‘old’ when one’s blog isn’t even a year old). Besides the fact that it’s a delicious salad, that is really worth making on a hot summer day, I have another reason for re-posting it.
As you can see, the picture in the original post was one of the first I ever made, and it’s not quite perfect. Which is fine, because I keep on improving my food photography skills, and I know so much more now than I did one year ago. But still, I sometimes feel sorry for those really good recipes that didn’t get the attention they deserved just because the image doesn’t do it justice.
I mean, when comparing this pic, taken in August 2013….
…with this one, taken recently, the latter is better, right? (though admittedly, the above picture is not that awful, I’ve got worse examples on this blog)
I get a lot of questions about my pictures, which camera I use and how I work. So here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes on “set”. Yeah, that’s in brackets on purpose. I usually take my pictures on my kitchen table or in the living room, depending on the time of day. For decent pictures, you really need the best light you can get, and I prefer daylight. So obviously, food photography takes planning, waiting with preparing the meal until the sun is gone is not an option, and this means hard times in winter! (when there isn’t enough light to take pictures after about 16.00 pm)
THIS is my set!
REAL professional, right? I usually use a board (cheap foam board, with a white and a black side) as background, a piece of paper or my table as surface and another white board as bouncer. I use side light mostly, as you can see on these pictures, and the white board on the left bounces back that side light, so shadows are less strong (those can be distracting) and the food is illuminated more evenly.
And let me tell you, that even after all this work, I still have a lot of work editing the pictures. For this I use iPhoto, no fancy program yet, but I’m thinking about investing in one. For those of you who want to do a bit of editing yourself, give iPhoto a go, it works pretty well for me so far.
I normally crop my pictures (to get the couch that’s somehow always on the picture out of there), and tweak lighting, saturation and contrast. I sometimes do some airbrushing, but that’s a lot of work and the results are often not that natural. That’s why I try to make my set as perfect as possible (and sometimes fail miserably, when I see in editing that the same ugly stain is very visible on all my pictures). Cotton tips to the rescue! They seriously save the day and are so very useful to get a nice clean bowl of soup, or wipe away that spilled sauce on the plate.
Now with all of this work, I’d almost forget the real star of the shoot. My camera. I use this fantastic Sony, a truly great camera. It’s not an DSLR, but I can set everything manually (shutter speed etc) and it’s so easy to take with you. And for a serial-traveller like me (going back and forth to Paris every single week….), keeping things light and practical is a real life saver.
It was actually my, very unexpected, Christmas present and I think I didn’t even thank Mrinthekitchen for the first 5 minutes because I was too flabbergasted about what I’d just found under the tree!
Well, back to the star of this post, the salad! It’s a very simple salad, but do trust me, the result is spectacular. It’s not my recipe, I’ve seen it many times on many different places, so I can’t take credit for it. It is, however, absolutely great, especially on a hot summer day, so give it a go!
- 1 large slice watermelon, in cubes
- 50 gr (1/2 cup) good quality feta, crumbled
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, shredded
- Cut the watermelon in cubes and mix them with the feta crumbles. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice on top of the melon and feta. Coarsely chop (or tear) some mint leaves and mix everything together.