Zucchini Pasta with Marinara Sauce (recipe)


Today’s post was inspired by Kochtoph’s Food-O-Graphie event where food bloggers talk a little about the technical preferences that they have behind the photos that they share. As I sometimes get asked what camera I use for my shots I thought it may be helpful for some of you out there 🙂

The pic above is of a raw zucchini pasta with marinara sauce that I made as a quick lunch this New Year’s Eve. It’s really simple, just peel a zucchini with a vegetable peeler until you get to the seeds (some keep the skin, I don’t ). Then in a food processor combine sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil, sea salt and pepper. Combine until you get a good pesto-like texture and the flavour balances are to your liking. If you have red pepper flakes and/or chopped olives feel free to add them at this point as well 🙂 Then toss with the ‘noodles’ and enjoy! 😀 It’s really quite good 🙂 Now, unto the technical stuff!

My current camera is a Canon PowerShot A540. I chose it because a DSLR is way out of my price range at the moment, however this model of Canon allows one to manually adjust one’s settings in much more intricate ways than many point and shoots. It also allows one to add a limited amount of lenses. I haven’t used this option yet but keep meaning to get a macro lens… maybe in the New Year?

My preferred settings to shoot my food photos with are Portrait setting in Manual adjustment mode. Although the automated Macro mode is better for closeups than nothing at all, it sometimes focuses on an area of the shot that I didn’t have in mind, or isn’t as ‘sharp’ as I think it should be. With the manual focus feature I can override such technical ‘presumptions’.

Although the main benefit of the Portrait setting is that it uses a large aperture setting to blur the background while keeping the primary subject in sharp focus I also like it because it has some convenient White Balance choices as well. (Daylight, Cloudy, Halogen, Tungsten and several others). These come in handy in a pinch, especially if I am shooting with artificial light or on an exceptionally overcast day.

Ninety percent of the time I try to rely solely on natural lighting, however depending on the time that I finish cooking or the weather I sometimes use artificial directional lighting to enhance the appearance of things. I don’t have any professional lights (another possible investment down the road) so right now a lamp or two does the trick 😛

Well, that’s about it 🙂

If you have any questions just ask 🙂 I’m still learning as I go along, and have found many useful tips and hints at Digital Photography School, many of which I’ve been integrating, I have big hopes and ideas for the shots that I’ll be taking this year and am hopeful that I can bring them into realization.

And who knows, maybe by 2010 a Nikon D80 cameramay not be that out of hand 😀