Conker does sleep very neatly

I have been playing with the new Lightroom 4 Beta and liking it very much. Most images seem to be pretty close to right, straight from the camera but the new tone correction sliders are so sensitive and effective that it’s really easy to make everything look even better. I love what Lightroom 4 has…

Prop hunting

Next week’s client has specified a ‘blue and white mediterranean style bowl’ for one of the shots and I am turning my cupboards out trying to find something suitable! The top two are French!

New props, new lens new Lightroom!

Using a new Magic SLR lens, focused wide open at f1.7 on my new wooden measuring spoons from Daylesford Organics with red peppercorns, and processed in newly downloaded Lightroom 4 Beta. I dropped my original Magic SLR lens and dislodged one of the elements – if there’s somebody out there capable of repairing it and wants…

Clementines with leaves

I have done so many shoots where we have had to make a special effort to find citrus leaves to fulfil the brief, so couldn’t resist these in Waitrose yesterday with loads of leaves!  

Merry Christmas

2011 has been a year of ups and downs for many of us – perhaps 2012 will be better – or maybe not – but in the meantime I wish you a very merry and peaceful Christmas with good company, food and cheer.   And here’s to a New Year full of good things!  …

My new Olympus xz1 as delivered by Amazon.

I have been listening out all day for a delivery from Amazon. It’s beautiful weather for once this summer and all the doors and windows are open. We’ve been here all the time and Conker has spent most of the day lying on the terrace sunbathing, and he always barks when the gate us opened….

Treats from Starnash Artisan Foods at the South of England Show

I was delighted to find these goodies among all the, no doubt delicious but predictable, chutneys and biscuits in the food tent at the South of England Show at Ardingly, West Sussex. These salamis from Starnash Artisan Foods were I think the best I have ever tasted – and as I love salamis and air…

The Art of Food Photography exhibition now on

It is often said of typography that you don’t notice “good typography”. It sits easily on the page or the advertising hoarding and you read the message without seeing how it has been conveyed. To the food photographer it can feel that food photography is also regarded like this by most people and that if…

Blueberry smoothie

This is the most wonderfully sustaining breakfast! It’s quick to make and good for you with blueberries for anti oxidants, egg for protein, flax seed for protein and fibre, yoghurt and milk for calcium and a little fat. And most of all it is totally delicious!   Blueberry smoothie 1 egg 1 tblsp Greek yoghurt…

Testing the SLR Magic 35mm f1.7 lens on my Olympus EP-1

This is a quick comparison series using the SLR Magic 35mm f1.7 lens I bought recently. The first two are shot with the Magic, the first at f1.7, and the second stopped down – unfortunately I can’t quite remember how much, and as the lens is manual there is limited EXIF info. The third was…

Making proper Gravlax the Swedish way

A friend just asked me how I make Gravlax so as I was sending her the recipe I thought I would post it here as well. It is something I make pretty often so have refined the method to make it as easy as possible. If you follow this recipe and the recipe for the…

Saturday brunch – shot on EP-1 at 6400ISO

Not a brilliant picture I’m afraid – I was too eager to eat this – and the anticipation was fulfilled – quite delicious. Ciabatta roll (gluten free) split and fried in goose fat with a slice of black pudding (also gluten free from Findlay’s of Edinburgh) and some chestnut mushrooms with a poached egg on…

Noodles with seafood in coriander and coconut sauce

Made this recipe for supper tonight although the shot is one I made earlier! Noodles With Seafood In A Coriander And Coconut Sauce 175 g (6oz) tagliatelle or rice noodles 30 g  coriander leaves 1 small red chilli, deseeded and chopped 1 cm root ginger, finely grated 2 cloves garlic, crushed 165 ml tin coconut…

100 photos: Reviewing photographic jobs, 2010

There’s something very contemplative about putting the year to bed by reviewing work and tidying up. I have been emptying out my portable drives to be ready for new year jobs and in moving the old files to archive I found time to glance through and quickly choose some favourites to keep around. Here they…

One of my first DSLR food shots

Going through my files I came across this shot from 2003 – one of the first food shots I took on a Nikon D100, The quality is still pretty good but I thought it fantastic at the time! Before the D100 I was using an Olympus E10, bought in 2000 and sometimes used for jobs,…

Fujifilm FinePix F550 EXR – another interesting camera

Lots of exciting camera news dribbling out from CES. This is the Fujifilm FinePix F550 which is the latest incarnation of the series of cameras that began with the legendary FInepix F10. These cameras have traded on their low-light capabilities which is the holy grail for many sorts of photographer. The Fujifilm FinePix F550 continues…

Another new camera to drool over – Olympus XZ-1

I have a long ongoing quest for the perfect handbag camera. One that I can carry with me always and that works brilliantly in low light and focuses close enough on a long enough lens setting to make the food on my plate look good without having to stand up!  A rather specific specification I…

Merry Christmas!

With best wishes to you all for a Merry & Peaceful Christmas Marielou

Some of my favourite foods combined to make a great salad

This salad is just so self indulgent! Just like a list of my favourite things really! Prawn, Mango and Avocado Salad for 2 I packet large hot water prawns (shrimp) – raw a little sunflower oil I avocado I mango 1 tbsp Thai chili dipping sauce 1 bunch coriander (cilantro), chopped Quickly stir fry the…

Roast tomatoes with goats’ cheese recipe

Eating out of doors is probably the greatest pleasure of summer, whether it’s a quick lunch under the sunshade or a lingering dinner when the day is cooling. Everthing tastes better but this dish is I think distinctive enough to carry one away in imagination even when the weather isn’t as good as it might…

Most viewed picture on thePictureKitchen.com

Curiously this picture of cicatelli pasta has been viewed ore than any other on thePictureKitchen Photoshelter site. I suppose it’s because it’s slightly unusual and very specific?

Swedish Nettle Soup

 A spring institution is nettle soup made with the soft tops of young nettles. I went out in red rubber gloves to pick a bowlful of these delicacies from the abundant supply in our garden, brought them in, washed them thoroughly and spun them in a salad spinner to get rid of all the little…

Mincepies and notes on suet

Not being quite English I have a problem with the classic Christmas mince pie. Certainly the standard mincemeat mixture is far too sweet for my palate and the usual thick doughy pastry has always seemed most unenticing, and then they have always given me indigestion, which I used to put down to the rich mix…

Little Almond Cakes

I’m gluten and lactose intolerant so use a gluten free flour mix and Lactofree lactose reduced milk to make these fragrant little cakes but it’s impossible to tell that they are not made with regular ingredients. They work perfectly well however with ordinary wheat flour and milk. ● 4 oz olive oil based margarine ●…

What a difference a change of depth of field makes

Just a simple comparison of two shots of the same rose in our winter garden. The left hand image was shot at 1/250th at f8, while the one on the right was shot at 1/4000th at f2. I’m in no doubt which one I prefer. And just in case it isn’t obvious to everyone –…

Nordic Diet Found To Be A Healthier Choice

In the past 20 years, the Mediterranean diet has been a top choice among body conscious people. But while this diet may have benefitted a lot of people, scientists have found a new and healthier diet. The Nordic diet is the latest eating plan that could surpass the benefits provided by the famous Mediterranean diet…

Polaroid PoGo Pocket Photo Printer

Polaroid PoGo Digital Photo Printer with Zero Ink (Zink) Technology Have rather wanted one of these for ages but at over £100 it seemed a lot for something that might just be a gimmick. Now that it’s only £23.79 on Amazon the Polaroid PoGo Printer is cheap enough to buy as a toy and if it…

Pork larb with lamb and mint

I love the way the internet has brought dishes I’d never heard of onto my table. I always try something that sounds interesting and different, especially when the dish uses something basic and simple as this dish from Laos. I hope I found an accurate recipe to follow when I first made this but have…

Pickled pork – Carne Vinho e Alhos in evening light

I have a rather wonderful old cook book – World Cookery. It has nearly 600 densely packed pages with very few illustrations and the recipes do indeed come from all over the world. It has a foreword from Andre Simon but I can find no credits for the sources of any of the thousands of…

Comparing lenses and lighting for food photography

Here’s another comparison of direct versus diffused light. This time shot outdoors on a sunny day, and also comparing the effect of four different lenses, all used on a Nikon D60. And it’s a picture of a Thai or Kaffir lime. When I go on a location shoot for summer food I often find the…

Using daylight for food photography

I love shooting food in daylight. But many people imagine that it is easier than shooting with proper photographic lighting. In fact there are as many things to get wrong when shooting in daylight as there are when controlling the light with studio lights. The decisions I make are much the same whichever way I…

Carrot cake for tea

I was given a pack of Glebe Farm’s gluten free carrot cake mix which I made up today. I had to add 3 eggs and 6ozs of margarine so there were quite a few ‘real’ ingredients in it and it tastes great. Instead of making it in two sandwich tins and adding buttercream, I made…

Mung beans for lunch

I have recently discovered Mung Beans and how quick and easy they are to cook compared with most beans. They are also much easier to digest and have a fresh and delicate flavour. I spent ages looking for appealing recipes for cooking Mung Beans, but what I found was mostly rather hefty and didn’t seem…

The new Canon PowerShot S90 looks promising for food bloggers

The Canon S series used to be very popular compact cameras for serious photographers as they had plenty of manual settings. The series has returned with the S90 and it looks intriguing. It boasts an F2.0-4.9 28-105mm stabilized lens and if it has a close up capability at the longer end of that, with it’s…