Tuesday 5 August 2014

It's a hard life food blogging here in New Orleans!

[Brown food at the Gumbo Shop]
You might have noticed that I'm finding it much harder to blog here in New Orleans. So maybe now is a good time to trot out some lame excuses - and perhaps my other fellow bloggers can relate to this.

My first problem is that New Orleans restaurants are atmospheric - or dare I say gloomy? Twice now I've found myself reading menus by the light of my mobile, and that's not really conducive to quality food photography. Trust me, flash never helps, unless you're prepared to set up a whole lighting rig in the restaurant. Strangely, that can cause problems with the management.

[Cocktails are hard to photograph]
Secondly, I'm no longer dining alone. It can be hard to interrupt the flow of conversation to start rummaging in for the SLR, asking your companion to 'just hold this lens', move their dinner to the right to improve the composition, decide that their dinner would actually make a better picture than yours, so you swap the plates round - and so on.

There's also a risk when you're with someone else that you just start eating when the food arrives - and realise halfway through you're supposed to take a picture. Occasionally, I've resorted to rearranging the plate to hide the bite marks, but normally, it's too late.

Also, the food here often shares a problem with the dishes I discovered on my Tex Mex road trip - it's mostly brown. Sorry, but red beans and rice, gumbo and jambalaya don't really photograph that well. It's all a bit, well, monochromatic. And sloppy.

We've also been exploring the world of the cocktail here - and again, glasses of similarly coloured liquids rarely photograph well.

[Fried chicken is also brown, if very tasty]
Now, that's not to say I haven't taken a few good pictures here in New Orleans - I have steamboats, Mardi Gras floats, balconies, bands and graveyards. If you'd like to pop over to my Flickr account, you can see those there. But food? not so good!

However, I have one awful picture that I won't share with you here - that's going to need a post all to itself. I'm not sure even perfect lighting could have saved that one. I'll explain all very soon ...

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