November 13, 2010

A blogger photography genre: Food I cooked that I delusionally believe looks delicious.

I know I have to give an example of what I'm talking about. So... here.

42 comments:

Chase said...

Poor photography more than ugly food.

Still some of it does look downright awful.

Great - I WAS just on my way out to meet my daughter for breakfast.

Thanks

campy said...

The turnip gratin plate = vile, but everything else looks tasty to me.

former law student said...

I don't see any claims to deliciousness in the post. It is what it is.

"Here's what I did with the random assortment of vegetables I received" is the theme.

traditionalguy said...

These pictures could never be used in a Longhorn Steakhouse menu. If they brought out the food shown in their pictures, then all would be perfect. But human perfection is another word for cruelty. Bon appetit.

MadisonMan said...

In their defense, they're working with late-season CSA produce, which is way too cruciferous. All that Kale! Just stir fry it sans stems to get rid of it. Doesn't look like she de-stemmed it. Mistake. And give the Daikon radishes away. Vile things.

The absolute best thing to do with pumpkin is roast it with chicken thighs and onions and then make a soup. Delicious!

BJM said...

Yeah, Marcotte's no Pioneer Woman or Chip Ahoy, but then who is?

However she may have inadvertently revealed the left's post-election mantra "It's good enough."

deborah said...

Me-YOW. Hee.

BJM said...

@MM

And give the Daikon radishes away. Vile things.

Wot? Daikon makes wonderful pickles and relishes that are nothing like the raw state. I add it to homemade watermelon rind chow-chow, chutney and hearty slow braised winter dishes along with more commonly used root veggies.

Beth said...

Wow. Petty.

michaele said...

The examples as proof of your point did not disappoint.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wow. Petty."

That's a remark that indicates you did not click through to the photographs. Otherwise you'd have said "Wow. You are either incredibly kind or a master of understatement."

Paco Wové said...

That's some angry food-blogging.

Paco Wové said...

Although, coming to the author's defense, I don't think she indicates that she thinks her food looks delicious. Rather, it is wholesome, thrifty, honest; proper food for the vegetarian proletariat as they march forward, resolutely, heads high, into their subdued, yet glorious, future. ¡Venceremos!

MamaM said...

Her attempts to figure out why more Americans do not cook healthy but choose instead to purchase meals appears sincere. But she is missing the mark if she thinks appearance, texture and smell are not a big part of the equation.

So is the good feeling of being able to purchase something dependable or get needs met with consistent service and respect, especially if nurture was not on the menu during formative years.

The number one reason why I don't put more effort into cooking healthier is the mindfulness required to get fresh food purchased, prepped, cooked, seasoned, presented and cleaned up.
While the Mr M finds this process relaxing, I find it tedious.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bleccch.

Everything is boiled to a mush, overcooked. It is all the same color and texture. Regurgitated brown.

Cooking is NOT hard. It does take some practice and if no one bothered to teach you.....you need to make a lot of mistakes.

I love to cook. It is almost a Zen like experience.

She is right, however, people don't need to follow a recipe exactly (except for baking).

Now I must go bake some Black Bottom Cupcakes to clense my mind of those photos. Chocolate cupcakes with a cream cheese, chocolate chip, walnut filling.

MadisonMan said...

I will note that the blogger nowhere states that the food looks delicious. Yet you infer she delusionally thinks it looks delicious? Why?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yet you infer she delusionally thinks it looks delicious? Why?

So, do you think that she is purposely putting photos of disgusting looking food on her blog?

Why?

Freeman Hunt said...

She should take notes from Chip.

John Burgess said...

We will all need pre-digested food at some later point in our lives. Why harsh on those who are ahead of the curve?

If I could be bothered, I'd take a photo of my roast pork loin with roasted pumpkin rings and steamed kale. If I just dumped it on the floor, it'd be more appetizing than that crap, way too reminiscent of the product of Yes! cafes 35 years ago.

caplight said...

Photographing food is a difficult art. It's not easy to make food look edible or desirable on film or photo. My daughter has a food blog for busy mom's. I think her photos better than Marcotte's but it has taken practice with only very average camera equipment. See for yourself. Maybe you won't agree.

http://www.abusymomcooks.blogspot.com/
The other question is does anybody care about what you ate or made.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yet you infer she delusionally thinks it looks delicious? Why?"

Because the photographs are there, without self-deprecation or ridicule.

Of course, I didn't read all that text. I wouldn't eat that food and I'm not going to read all that text. It's quite ridiculous.

peter hoh said...

Chip has raised the bar when it comes to food photo blogging. Chip's photos are gorgeous. The food is nicely presented, too. Of course, I think we need to arrange a tasting.

One of Chip's salads had me looking at my grocery for more interesting greens. The ladies in the house have been enjoying my lettuce-less salads.

Thanks, Chip!

lyssalovelyredhead said...

She is right, however, people don't need to follow a recipe exactly (except for baking).

People don't need to, but, if one is new to cooking or has the idea tha they can't cook, it's a really good idea to start by following recipes to the letter. Doing that, with some tested recipes, and anyone can cook and cook well.

Once one gets the hang of it, then winging it is easy. But don't wing it and then tell me you "can't cook" or "it's too much effort"!

peter hoh said...

Now, if Althouse had managed to take a swipe at Marcotte's food photography while connecting it to Sarah Palin, death panels, and the people who go on cruises -- we'd have a fun Saturday.

deborah said...

Yes, Chip's blog is amazing and very funny. I really want to start at the beginning and read all the way through.

deborah said...

Chickelit, were you the one who was going to try and grow a pumpkin in a milk crate?

deborah said...

And DBQ's food blog is very cozy and full of bountiful goodness.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ deborah

Thank you. I tried to take some photos of food, but as already stated, it isn't easy to photograph food. Chip does an outstanding job.

Proper lighting and preparation/staging is really important. Usually by the time I think about photogrphing my food, it is too late and I've probably had one to many drinks.

Those food photos look terrible because 1) the lighting sucks and 2) the food itself is unappetizing, monotone, mono-textured.

Mark said...

But healthy. Just looking at it you know it's healthy. (Especially considering borderline-starvation has been known to increase lifespans in rats.)

Beth said...

No, I clicked through. It's petty to criticize them.

TML said...

TURN OFF THE DAMNED FLASH!!!! Sorry, didn't mean to yell. Yes I did. I lied.

Freeman Hunt said...

Since the post is about persuading people to eat "sustainably" and "outside of "our elaborate junk food system," I don't think it's petty to point out that the photos are less than persuasive.

Beth said...

I don't get that at all from this post, Freeman; you're much more generous than I am, and that's probably a good thing. I'll stick to my take on it, though.

MamaM said...

The photo for week 2 brings the point of delusion closer to the bowl.

Urp.

Bob_R said...

Call for James Lileks! Paging James Lileks! Someone is preparing photos for your next book.

Omaha1 said...

I thought Chip's food blog deserved a link, as an example of how it should be done...

Things Wot I Made Then Ate

Much more appetizing than the one Althouse highlighted here.

Paco Wové said...

Given this example comment:

"...it’s very hard to render the food inedible with this method, so as long as you’re willing to still eat the stuff that came out a bit weird..."

I stand by my assertion that "deliciousness" is not on the author's, nor the intended audience's, mind.

Paco Wové said...

I read further in the comments, and struck gold:

"The ‘mush’ comments and other complaints about the apparent uniformity of the meals comes from the lack of variety of the china and picture taking style, which, Amanda has indicated many times, are intentional. She wants to illustrate her process with snapshots to contrast with the food porn that we are otherwise always presented with."

SHE'S MAKING IT UGLY ON PURPOSE, PEOPLE!!!

Ann Althouse said...

" from the lack of variety of the china and picture taking style"

It might make sense to have a uniform style of presentation, but in terms of photographic style, you should still have good lighting.

But the problem with the food is that it looks really unappetizing. White goo plopped on top of soggy greens. Way overcooked eggs. Overcooked everything. This is just not the way to get people interested in eating vegetables. In fact, the load of uncooked vegetables on the table is enough to make the kids in the household cry. Throw it on the compost pile and get something else. That's what I'd do.

Celia Hayes said...

"SHE'S MAKING IT UGLY ON PURPOSE, PEOPLE!!!"
Well, she certainly succeeded in that, I must say.
I think a large part of the difference though between hers and Chips' is that Chip plated the food attractively, and then did much more of a tight close-up.
I do food-blogging too. (For a website that loves it when I supply a picture of a restaurant meal, or of my own dishes.) I use a Kodak Easyshare 2710 ... which somehow manages to do gorgeous food pictures without much fussing.

former law student said...

Daikon is great chunked in beef stew with star anise and a little five-spice powder. Unless it's woody.

deborah said...

DBQ:
"Proper lighting and preparation/staging is really important. Usually by the time I think about photogrphing my food, it is too late and I've probably had one to many drinks."

At least you have your priorities straight :)

Your bean soup sounds heavenly.