Bouillabaisse

Simplicity is best

Simplicity is best

I adore bouillabaisse. I learned to make a great one years ago from a French chef, have had the real thing in Marseille fresh from the Mediterranean, and now have had the best one ever in the unlikely location of Costa Rica. Ben Zeigler is a chef here in Tamarindo, and in his former restaurant he prepared this dish, a masterpiece of freshness and technique prepared with local seafood. I really enjoy everything culinaire, and photographing food is an absolute favorite of mine. This shot has a fair amount of trick lighting and food styling. I light food from unlikely angles to accentuate the shape and the color but tend to be  minimalist in my approach to food photography. For me, simplicity is best. Show off the food, and leave the staging of wine bottles, placesettings, and pointless flower displays out of the picture. I used a huge sheet of black formica as a shooting surface, and smeared it with olive oil for some spectral highlights beneath the bowl that add depth and action. Besides that, the food speaks for itself, and that is truly the point. This was photographed on location at the restaurant where I built a makeshift studio and photographed it during dinner service, a daunting task that required a load of lighting power to overcome any ambient light in the restaurant. The finished photographed appeared on the cover of a local food guide where the printer botched to color and destroyed a really great photograph.

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