Assignment 5: Applying the techniques of illustration and narrative.


The object of this assignment is to produce a series of photographic images to illustrate the steps in the preparation and process for the creation of a Soft Brown Sugar and Spicy Plum Meringue.
Meringue often being associated  with French cuisine.
Each image will have a short narrative caption that will aid in the story telling and also link each picture.  The narrative will be the key words that explain the process through a method of making, baking and presentation of the dish.

I have set myself a challenge here, using the elements that I have studied throughout the course, The art of photography, if successful it will come together in this final assignment.  Layout and design elements will play a key feature in my final images along with the use of the light available, with my kitchen being the darkest room in the house, I will be utilizing other spaces inside and out to achieve the images I require.

My aim is to keep my images simple and clean, having researched many exceptional food photographers and colour supplements in newspapers and journals, where I find images of outstanding quality, magnificent images where there are no distractions to the viewer, simply natural food photography.         Deputy Art Director at BBC Good Food    Professional food, drink and still life photographer.

Food and Drink     The Guardian Newspaper.

Planning for this assignment made me realise that I had to look at certain aspects of food photography and consider:

  • Keeping it simple
Simple plates and accessories, backdrops and bases to compliment and cause no distraction.  Take out from the image whatever is not needed. Keep an eye on contrasts.
Isolate subject against background to draw the viewers eye
  • Show steps in preparation and cooking process, work in progress shots
Show steps in preparation, include some utensils.  Images should lead viewer to understand the final image. Food speaks for itself, tell a story in images.
Be methodical, take time to get it right.
  • Human element
The human element, such as a hand holding utensil or ingredient, reflect lifestyle.
  • Camera angle
Various angles when shooting food, ones to consider are, directly overhead, tilted, shooting into plate or along edge of bowl.
Use of tripod to reduce chance of camera shake allowing longer exposures in low light situations.
Go for detail, capture details in shapes, textures and contrasts.
Slightly off centre compositions are more pleasing to the eye, look at rule of thirds.
Simple composition is better.
Selective focus, get close to the food....
  • Emphasis on colour
This dish is colourful and flavoursome, Autumnal fruits from the orchard.  Colour and vibrancy, Autumnal colourings, warmth and hearty, flavoursome.
Orange cast for warmth and moods.  Explore these options.
Light emphasises colour....Control the light, backlight or sidelight will give dimension to my subject.
Use natural light and diffusers when necessary
Check my white balance for each series of images.
  • Final Image / Cover Picture
A bit messy, adds charm and reflects lifestyle and choices. 
Final image to make recipe more approachable to the viewer, this dish is never neat and perfection.
Vanilla Essence, Wine Vinegar and Corn flour, blend together, create a paste. 
Binding agent and flavouring.  The vinegar creates the marshmallow centre. 
Fig 1

Fig 2

Brown & Caster Sugar

Fig 3
Fig 4
Three eggs to be separated and egg whites retained for meringues.
Fig 5


Fig 6

Egg whites to be whisked to firm consistency, before adding the blended Vanilla essence and both sugars gradually.
Fig 7
                 The key to a successful meringue is  the formation of stiff peaks.             
Fig 8
 Well beaten egg whites should be glossy and firm.
Adding the two sugars, creates a caramelised look to the whipped egg whites 
Fig 9

Fig 10
    Pile meringue into large heaps on a lined baking tray and place in oven which has       reached required temperature                                      
 Bake very slowly
Fig 11

Gather together food items for topping

Fig 12

Fig 13

Cinnamon quills add sweet woody flavouring to the red wine syrup.                                                                                                              
Stoned, sweet plums
Fig 14
Fig 15

Infuse the cinnamon flavour

Fig 16

Dressed with France's favourite cream for cooking....Crème Fraiche 
Add gently poached plums
Fig 17

 Tempting the taste buds, a light, airy and sweet confection

Fig 18
ENJOY, try saving some for later!!!

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