Hi everyone. I don’t consider myself an expert at all on food photography or someone who should be giving tips. I live where other food bloggers give lighting tips; they are always helpful. But I thought I would share my piece of advice that I did when I was shooting these photos.
Do you see how the light is fine? Perfectly acceptable, but still not very special. The amazingly fresh peaches, so ripe that you touch them and they bruise, are looking a bit dull. The light is not accentuating their juicy flesh. The soft and subtle light is not working in these two photos for me. So I decided to switch it up a bit. In these first two photos, the light source, a window, is coming from slightly above and to the left.
In these next three photos, I switched the light to where it was coming from above and directly behind the peaches.
Notice the deeper shadows? The glistening flesh of the fruit and the shine that you can see in the blade of the cleaver? A much more intriguing photo to me.
So for anyone beginning food photography and having trouble with lighting, here’s my tip. Move your subject around and take photos of where the light is coming from all different angles. You never know what you are going to like or what is going to work for your aesthetic until you try all possibilities. And have fun! Don’t be too serious 🙂
So on Sunday, my Sous Chef at work was telling me about this amazing peach stand just a bit up from where we work. The guy only sells peaches, ones he picked just that morning, minutes before he brings them to the stand. People line up for these peaches, and they all sell out incredibly fast.
We must take a field trip there today, she said. It sounded amazing. Then her end on savory got a bit busy, and my end on pastry got a bit slow. So while I was trying to work on a new recipe, making many variations of it, she thought I should use currants in the recipe instead of raisins.
So shoved a five in my hand and sent me off to the store to get some. Yay! Outdoors time! I thought. Then she went, Wait. You have to get some of those peaches too! So with a bit more cash, I was off.
After getting a box of currants, I figured out my way to the peach stand. Just on the side of the road, on the way out of St. Helena. It was just a bit before 8 am, and there were already probably a dozen cars waiting for the man to swing back the fence so they could all get to the stand.
I didn’t realize it really would be that popular. So when 8 am rolled around, all the people jumped out of their car and hauled ass to get in line to buy boxes of them. So I waited patiently, in the very cold wind behind an old man that kept looking at me and saying, ‘These boxes are mine! I called them! To find your own’ ‘Okay….’ I said, not that I had even gone to grab them or even had been looking at them. So I picked out my chosen ones, and it was back to work I went.
And the peaches really were amazing. They were so ripe and juicy. I knew I had to make something with them fast because I didn’t want them to spoil. So after searching for something to do with them, I remembered my ice cream maker.
Oh, I can make peach ice cream! I thought. Oh wait, I have no milk and not enough cream. Scratch that. Well, I will just do peach sorbet! Was the next thought. But then it came to me. Sherbet! The perfect compromise. I had just enough cream to do it.
And it was great. Mine did freeze up, though. Quite a bit. Maybe I under-churned in the ice cream maker? Maybe over-churned? Or perhaps my ratios of ingredients are just a bit off, so where it freezes to that proper ice cream consistency. Either way, I just let it thaw a bit on the counter, maybe 10-20 minutes, and it was perfect.
makes 1 quart
- 7 peaches
- zest and juice of 1 moderately sized lemon
- 3/4 cup (148g) white sugar, plus a handful additional for sprinkling
- about 1 cup (236 ml) of heavy cream
Cut the peaches into quartering, discarding the pits. Place on a baking sheet, flesh up and sprinkle with a handful of white sugar.
Roast for 30 minutes.
(When done, you can remove the skins if you like, but I preferred to leave them on. It adds a bit of a nice texture)
Then place the peaches and the rest of your ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Place in container and chill until completely cool, at least 1 hour.
Then churn in an ice cream maker and freeze until set.