February 3, 2011

Enchiladas and Ice Cream

Lately my food photos have not been turning out all that great.  It has been a long time since I have taken a picture of dinner that I have been proud of.  I realized that my problem boils down to one main issue:  the food is all the same color. 

Here are two recent examples, Pasta with Creamy Marinara Sauce and Thai Chicken Saute.  Both smelled very good, tasted very good, and looked very good.  In the photos...not so much:



Tonight I made Green Chile-Chicken Enchiladas for dinner.  Since part of the problem with the bland photos is a white plate I put the enchiladas on a red plate to contrast the light green sauce and added a sprig of cilantro to break up the color.  When taking the pictures I used several different white balance settings and f/stops in hopes of getting some appetizing photos.  Here is the closest I got to a decent shot:


It looks OK, but still very bland compared to how it looked sitting in  front of me at the dinner table.  In my basic editing program (I am still to much of a slacker to figure out Photoshop) I was able to make a few improvements to make the enchiladas look a bit more appetizing and true to real-life.


I decided to open Photoshop and see what I could do to improve the shot.  I couldn't.  I got frustrated and my husband kindly explained to me that there was no way I could spend 5 seconds in Photoshop and expect to perfectly understand and apply everything.  He made me a latte, told me I was obsessing, and gave me a big bowl of Brownie Moose Tracks ice cream.  {Both of these were consumed too fast for pictures.}  I was instantly in a much better mood and far less frustrated and just decided to crop the heck out of my photo to make it look good.  My final product:


Still pretty bland looking and very yellow.  There is no way this looks like it has a green chile sauce.  The food is still all one color.  BUT...I can quit obsessing about enchilada pictures, I got to enjoy a very nice latte, and ice cream put everything into perspective.

The enchiladas were very good.  Our spice-hating, cheese-despising, rice-refusing, and Mexican food-protesting, tired-of-chicken, sauce-distrusting Little Boy ate EVERY LAST BITE.....a much better reward than the perfect picture I was hoping to get.


Edit:  I just looked went to the Cooking Light website so I could link the recipe to my blog entry.  My enchilada pictures don't look a whole lot different from theirs!!  The Cooking Light enchiladas are in a different dish and no sauce is visible, solving the 'one color' problem that I was having.  Yay me!!

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