Today’s the day. Our annual Labor Day Barbecue. The smoker and grill fill the air with that tangy sweet aroma you can only find at food barbecue. And good friends will devour it all, along with the side dishes I prepare. A favorite tried and true red potato salad. Also a new one this year – Southern-Style Collard Greens with Ham Hocks.
Both recipes and food photos follow (with some behind the scenes extras for other fellow food photographers at the end of this post):
Red Potato Salad
Inactive Prep Time:
12 cups cubed red potatoes
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Cook potatoes, covered in boiling water, 10 minutes, or until tender; drain well and cool.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, bell pepper and onion.
In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate.
Food Photography Section:
I photographed this near my usual north facing window – it’s very cloudy today so I needed to warm the temperature and the cloudy setting worked quite nicely. Especially with a white plate, it looks too blue if you leave it on Auto White Balance (or custom white balance if I have the time, but the Canon T4i does a pretty good job of figuring it all out.
For this shot, I wanted to get in close and show detail. These are the settings I chose for the photo above:
For handheld with my lens (18-135mm), I want to achieve a 1/125 shutter speed. The red potatoes in the background seemed kind of dark and too contrasty. I used my silver reflector – I could have used the white, but I think it would work better on a sunny day – the light was already diminished by the clouds. At a 5.6 light meter reading, I had some more flexibility to up the shutter speed and choose 4.0 if I chose. Using a light meter is my personal teacher that’s always handy to teach me about the relationship between light sensitivity (ISO), shutter and aperature. And I choose to shoot in manual most of the time (or AV / TV). I’m the boss, applesauce! It’s too much fun!