Since technology is so advanced in photography even a novice can quickly learn to capture beautiful pictures. Almost weekly I see the prices for fabulous cameras, lenses, accessories, etc. drop in price at places like Costco, Amazon, Best Buy. Having the right equipment and taking mouth-watering pictures of food is imperative for a food blogger, and, even more essential if you’re going to be entering recipe contests. While not all contests call for pictures of your entries, many do, and being able to show the details of your food down to the layers in a slice of deep-dish lasagna, the microscopic ‘hairs’ on a fresh raspberry, or the sheen and glimmer on a homemade pie crust or chocolate ganache is what can make one’s mouth water! Now, I am by no means a trained photographer~~but, with practice, some reading, and great friends who’ve shared their knowledge with me like my dear friend, Sherron, from Simply Gourmet, I’ve muddled my way through an evolution of taking food glamour shots. I started about 4 years ago with my dinosaur cell phone, moved to a small Sony digital, then on to a Nikon D3100 and quickly thereafter to a Nikon D5100 complete with some fancy lenses. Along the way, I’ve worn out my share of tripods, have tried the portable lighting studios, and have some other gadgets for the camera!
I still don’t understand all the ins and outs of things like ‘aperture’ and the other thousands of terms, However, I do know that even knowing those things may not be as important as having an ‘eye’ for what looks good through the lens. Some of the things that I’ve concentrated on and continue to try and improve upon are things like lighting, composition, food styling, and making my food look as realistic as possible even down to showing a messy work space, the crumbs that come from cutting a pie, the drippings from a ladle when serving soup~~this is what ‘real’ food is about to me~~being able to identify with what happens when it’s plated, served, baked, fried, oven roasted, among other things, and grilled on an outdoor grill!
This grilling on the outdoor grill is precisely how this contest was won. Ewe’ll see! Sponsored by the ‘American Lamb Board’ the objective was to submit a picture of your lamb dish (American lamb), give a brief explanation, and let your friends know about it, so they could ‘like’ on Facebook. Well, I decided I’d submit my ‘Cowboy City Slicker Grilled Baby Lamb Chops‘ that I’d created this wicked killer marinade for. Instead of submitting a photograph of the lamb marinading or plated, which I had because I take so many each step along the way of preparation of any recipe, I chose a picture of those littl’ bah bah critters cooking on my open grill~~this is where the proof was in the pudding, no the grilling! The grill marks were distinct, and you could even see the ‘smoke’ wafting as I’d just turned them on the grill. I’d set my camera to ‘night/dusk’ and started snapping. Believe me, when I’m taking pictures, I get very excited as I look through this pinhole and see Mother Nature’s beauty~~food being stunning!
Being notified that my baby chops were selected as the winner was a thrill. I asked for more details on how the selection was made~~it’s important to know what appealed to the judges~~I was told that the ‘…lamb expertise staff , betcha didn’t know that existed!, at the American Lamb Board made the selection based upon the quality of the photo, number of shares/likes the photo received, the written response, if the lamb is American and a few other inside criteria.’
If you’re a ‘fan of lamb’ then join the club~~FANS OF LAMB~~you’ll find great recipes, ideas, and see some even more mouth-watering and drool-worthy photos! For now, grab a napkin and start salivating ‘The Cowboy’s City Slicker Grilled Baby Lamb Chops’!