Food Photography Behind the Scenes eBook!

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My food photography eBook is here and I could not be more excited about it!! Many of you have asked me for behind-the-scenes photos and info about my “bright food, dark shadows” photos and I have all that and more in this book.

Food Photography Behind the Scenes Bright Food Dark Shadows eBook

What is this eBook about?

This eBook takes you behind the scenes and teaches you how to create dramatic food photos that showcase bright, colorful food in dark and rustic settings. It’s a detailed look at how to create this particular style of photography.

It doesn’t matter whether you use natural light or an artificial light source, such as the Lowel Ego Digital Imaging Fluorescent Light or a strobe. I show you how to use each of them, step-by-step and with clear behind-the-scenes photos.

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What’s inside?

I start this 71-page book with an overview of the food photography process in general and then dive into three separate case studies in which I explain in detail how I created the three food photos you see on the book page below. I lit one photo with one Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe, one with a Lowel Ego Digital Imaging Fluorescent Light, and one with window light.  

Food Photography Behind the Scenes Bright Food Dark Shadows In this BookI walk you through each shoot from start to finish. Each case study begins with a description of my conceptual and artistic thought process with respect to styling and lighting. Then I document the practical steps I took to set up the scene, style the food, and light the set. I tell you exactly what I did and show you clear behind-the-scenes photos for each setup. Lastly I walk you through the editing process and show you what I did to each photo during post-processing.

I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you so much for making The Spice Train such a fun and rewarding journey for me.

–nicole

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Food Photography Behind the Scenes eBook Announcement and Giveaway!

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The giveaway has ended, thank you all for entering! Congratulations to the two winners, Janette of culinaryginger.com and Traci of vanillaandbean.com!

Hello my web friends! I have a very exciting announce to make: I have written a behind-the-scenes eBook about how I take my dark food photos and will release it next week!!

Food Photography Behind the Scenes Bright Food Dark Shadows eBook

The book focuses on how to create food photos that show bright, colorful food in dark and rustic settings. It’s a detailed look behind the scenes that teaches you how to create this particular style of photography. It doesn’t matter what lighting equipment you have, I walk you through three separate case study photos, each shot with a different light source (a strobe, a Lowel Ego Digital Imaging Fluorescent Light and window light).

To celebrate the release I am giving away two FREE copies of the book. All you have to do is leave a comment to this post by Sunday. (Say anything you like, from a simple hello to what you love or hate about The Spice Train :)). I’ll select two winners at random and will send the book out to them upon its release next week.

Good luck and thank you all for being here and making this whole blogging thing so much fun!

–nicole

 

Cinnamon Oat Sandwich Cookies with Raisins and Pecans

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An easy recipe for delicious cinnamon oat sandwich cookies with raisins, pecans and a vanilla buttercream filling.

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I’m not an oatmeal eater and never will be but oats baked into cinnamony, sweet, soft and crispy cookies with a buttery vanilla filling? Yup, I can eat those all day long. I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Pie in the Sky: Successful Baking at High Altitudes. We live at 7,500 feet and baking can often go, um, awry up here in our thin air. The author of Pie in the Sky, Susan G. Purdy, traveled all over and perfected each of her recipes for different altitudes, from sea level all the way up to 10,000 feet. Ingredients and amounts change drastically with altitude for some of the recipes in this book, but these cookies here are “safe,” in other words, measurements and ingredients listed were exactly the same for all altitudes. (The recipe is called “Danish Oat Cookies” in the book). I added in the cinnamon, pecans and raisins and sandwiched the cookies around a simple vanilla buttercream filling. They were super!

Cinnamon Oat Sandwich Cookies with Raisins and Pecans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 28
Ingredients:
For the cookies:
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
For the filling:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions:
For the cookies:
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. Beat in oats, wheat germ, flour, salt, cinnamon, pecans and raisins.
  5. Scoop the batter onto a baking sheet in small balls, then flatten them into a 1-inch disc by pressing down on it with a cup measure or a spatula.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown.
For the filling:
  1. Beat all ingredients until you have a smooth cream.
  2. Spread onto a cookie and fit another one on the opposite side.

Food Photography and Styling:  It’s not easy to make oat cookies look interesting and the only idea I had was to stack them on top of one another and set them in a dramatic spotlight. To do that I lit the set from the side with my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe and my Hensel Ultra IV Softbox – 35×58″ (90x150cm) and blocked the light in the foreground and background with flags (I used black cardboard for that). I set the cookies on a plate onto one of my rustic wood surfaces and darkened the very front of the surface in Photoshop to make it look like the edge of a table. To complement the somewhat boring-looking cookies I set a glass of milk in the background. (I bubbled up the milk with a little eyedropper just before taking the shot to make it look as though it had just been poured).

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

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Cinnamon Meatballs with Marinara Sauce

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An easy recipe for delicious cinnamon meatballs with marinara sauce.Buy 509
This recipe features my new favorite flavor combo: beef, garlic, tomato and cinnamon. Those four are an absolutely perfect match! I love them by themselves but together they are unbeatable. What I did here was adapt America’s Test Kitchen’s meatball recipe, changed a few things around and – most importantly – added the cinnamon. It came out wonderfully, I hope you give it a try!

As for the food photography and styling, I am going to tell and show you exactly how I took this (and other) shots in my upcoming eBook titled Food Photography Behind the Scenes – Bright Food, Dark Shadows! Stay tuned!! :)

5.0 from 4 reviews
Cinnamon Meatballs with Marinara Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Main
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread, cut into cubes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • ½ cup red wine
  • one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (plus more for garnish)
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Mix sour cream and milk together and soak the bread crumbs in the mix for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add beef, parsley, egg, garlic, salt and cinnamon to the bread and mix well.
  3. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven.
  4. Form the meat into balls.
  5. Working in batches, fry the balls in the oil until brown on all sides.
  6. Take the meatballs out of the pot and set aside.
  7. Add the onions to the pot you fried the meatballs in and cook for a minute.
  8. Add the wine, cook for another minute.
  9. Add tomatoes and oregano, then add the meatballs back into the sauce.
  10. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer, without a lid, for about 20 minutes.
  11. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F (if using parmesan).
  12. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  13. Sprinkle the cheese on and bake until it is melted.
  14. Sprinkle with more parsley for garnish.

 

 

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