Photo experimentation: Panzanella

As you regular readers know (especially those on Instagram - follow me - "lauralutz"), I recently returned from a trip to Europe (Dublin, Zurich, and Hamburg).  We had some jetlag to deal with when we returned, of course, so I've been keeping my meals relatively simple.  One of those meals was Panzanella.  There are lots of recipes for Panzanella (here and here, for example), but I just did my own thing: bread, mozzarella, and tomatoes.  For the bread, I tossed the cubes in olive oil, salt, and pepper; I tossed the oil-saturated bread cubes in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat until they were toasted: croutons!  (Note: croutons are not necessary for this recipe; in fact, this is the first time I've ever toasted the bread.  Usually, I just tear up old bread and that's it)  For the tomatoes, I tossed those in olive oil, salt, and pepper as well.  At which point, I plated the dish.

So here's the thing: I'm not a trained photographer (obviously), and I've never taken a single class.  I have recently acquired a bunch of lenses, plus a fancy flash, and I'm in full experimentation mode.  Add a huge chunk of non-blogging, non-photo-taking time...and I'm such a newbie with all this.

So for fun, here's a sample of my photos for this dish:

I didn't use a flash here.

No flash here either.

No flash.  Just kept changing the angle and F-stop.

I got my Greenmarket flowers into the action...

My particular favorite, of course...lordy...  Obviously, I introduced the flash here.

Less flash...

Even less flash...

I started playing with the flash angle.

I tried using less flash.

Still. Not. Right.

I'm unhappy with all of them, of course, but I kept the whole series as a learning experience. And it adds to the whole experience when Adam says over my shoulder, "Why are all your shots centered?  Try something off-centered!" and Bug says, "Mom!  Mom!  I can get the white board to bounce the light!  Can I be in the picture?  Can we just eat now?"  Lordy.

As for the Panzanella, it's such a lovely end-of-summer dish: simple, light, flavorful.  Normally, I dump all these ingredients into bowls, toss it around, and serve it as a bit of a mess.  This is the first time I've plated it this way and I thought it was pretty classy.

Between teaching at Pratt and our European vacation, this summer has gone by so much faster than I expected.  This was the perfect way to celebrate our return home (and our break from restaurant eating!) and the end of an incredible season.

Eat, drink, and enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

1 comment:

carina said...

Welcome back. I hope you enjoyed Europe. This post made me laugh. I'm like this everytime I have to photograph my cakes. They just won't look right!