Let’s just do another easy one, I thought to myself when going through one of Donna Hay’s cookbooks. It should be a simple recipe but enough of a challenge in getting it right. Well… if only I had thought about that a little better..I failed, I failed miserably in recreating the original that you will see below. It seemed fairly straightforward but the trick in this particular image is not so much the recipe as that is real simple, but the angle of the photo.. You’ll see what I mean soon! In the meantime we are already on the 6th version of the Donna Hay Styling and Photography Challenge and I loved all the entries from last month! I would say spread the word..
Above you can find the challenge recipe photograph by Con Poulos. it’s from the cookbook Seasons and let’s face it; it doesn’t scare you just by looking at it, does it? But wait until you analyze this a little further. First of all there is the issue of the size of the props. If you compare the size of the bottle with the size of the bruschetta then it can’t be very big and they appear fairly close together. The tricky part for me however is that the bread in the foreground is big. There is a lot of focus on that plate of food so it is prominently featured in the frame. However I tried to place it and however I changed my lenses I could not – for the life of me – get it right. I’ve tried a wide angle and going in really close but that didn’t give me any blurred background. I tried placing the plate in front and the bottle in the back and using a telelens (which makes objects appear closer together) but then I only got a small piece of the bottle in the frame. I tried so many things I forgot to pay attention to the actual position of the bruschetta but ok…
My plate is probably bigger too or maybe the bread in the original is bigger. It’s shot on a round table and I didn’t have a round table obviously but still I just failed completely in getting it right. I know you are all eagerly awaiting the next challenge so postponing it until I got it right was not an option so you’ll have to do with my failed attempt. Can’t wait to see what you come up with! And please, please let me know how you did it.
I tried it with a smaller plate above (only had a little christmas plate at hand..lol) but again not good! The light in the original is coming from above right and is mildly strong. I had a beautiful clear day and so much light that it was a bit too much but I gave up and just did my own version, which you see as the first picture. Rather different but still with the same elements mostly.
I will try again but also curious what you come up with! Good luck on the challenge! You’re gonna need it (or maybe it is really simple and it is just me..lol)
Feel free to change the recipe to suit your needs and/or allergies/preferences. If you’re vegetarian you can use maybe some slices of eggplant or courgette and if you’re glutenfree, change the bread etc. All options are allowed! The rules are below the recipe.
Bruschetta with mozarella, prosciutto and rocketpesto
- 8 slices bread
- 1 clove garlic (halved)
- extra virgin olive oil (for sprinkling)
- 3-4 pieces bocconcini (in small slices or you can use regular mozarella)
- 8 slices prosciutto
- black pepper (coarsely ground)
- 1 handful basil
- 2 handfuls arugula (rocket)
- 1 handful basil
- 40g pine nuts (roasted)
- 20g grated parmesan
- 1/4 garlic clove
- 60ml extra virgin olive oil
|For making the arugula (rocket) pesto put arugula, basil, pine nuts, parmesan and garlic into a foodprocessor and puree roughly. While the motor is running add the olive oil and mix until it is a thick, rough substance. Don't make it too fine. Chunks are ok to have.|
|Heat a gridlepan and bake both sides of the bread golden brown and crispy. Rub this with half a clove of garlic and sprinkle with some olive oil.|
|Put some of the slices of mozarella on the toast and liberally cover with the pesto. Top this with a slice of prosciutto and finish with some salt and pepper.|
- Once a month (on the 3rd of the month) I will give you a recipe plus the accompanying photo out of the Donna Hay magazine. I will try to make it seasonal but can’t promise anything.
- You have that same month to produce your post. You can post it any day you like just as long as you finish it before the end of that month at the latest.
- You have to produce that recipe, alterations to the recipe are allowed to make sure any dietary restrictions are met. But only minor changes!
- You have to cook and STYLE the recipe trying to replicate the photo as best as you can. If you think you can do a better job then the original photo, by all means feel free to make your own changes to the styling.
- Shoot the dish and then write a blog post about it. It would be great to add notes on how you took the photo and how you styled the dish, so that other people can learn too.
- Link back to this months blog post about the challenge and link back to the Donna Hay Challenge page here
- Leave a message on the post that is up here for that month, saying that you completed the challenge and link to the post on your site so others can find it too.
- If you want to use the original photo in your blog post as well as the recipe be sure to link back to the Donna Hay website plus the photographers website. They will both always be mentioned in the monthly challenge posts.
Each month a winner will be picked who will be featured in the Hall of Fame page. If you like you can add a badge to your site saying that you are taking part in this competition. The badge is featured below and should link back to this page.
Above all this challenge is about having fun styling and photographing a dish by taking Donna Hay as our great example. You can join all months or whenever you feel like joining in. Using an example of the great photographers that Donna works with, I always find that it is a good learning experience to see how did they light the scene, where does the light come from and how did they manage to make it look so beautiful. Try and analyze all of that and then come up with your own version.
While taking food photos is all about finding your own style and certainly not copying anyone else, it does help to analyze how your hero’s do their job. It’s about learning to light and style a scene properly. In no way am I trying to suggest you copy another person style. Find your own unique style! This challenge is just a tool to help you along the way..