Jan 26, 2012
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
I can't remember the last time I ate cauliflower. It's been many years and if I had a better memory I'd probably be able to count on one hand the times I've had it. A veggie person I'm not.
So it makes sense that in my adult life I've never made anything with cauliflower -- until now. Creamy cauliflower soup.
Admittedly, I'm not 100% positive that I would've attempted this soup had it not been attached to a challenge. Simone's Donna Hay Styling and Photo Challenge has been active for a few months now and this is the second one I've managed to participate in. I recall that the lemon sour bundt cake from challenge #2 was similar in mood and atmosphere -- not Donna Hay's signature style but one that finds itself in the magazine anyway.
photo by Ben Dearnley, styled by Justine Poole, Donna Hay #51 (thanks to Simone for the scan)
Making the soup was easy but I do hope this year I finally buy a blender or food processor. My little Magic Bullet just isn't cutting it for bigger portions.
The lighting and styling was more of what I struggled with in this shoot. Here are some notes and observations post-soup shoot:
-I improvised on props, utilizing a small bowl that is more a dessert than a soup bowl. If you compare my photo to Ben's you can tell that the scale is off on mine... the spoon looks a bit big next to the bowl.
-I didn't have any dark-colored napkins so I used an awkwardly shaped piece of denim fabric to place my soup on. I couldn't get it to fold or crease because it was simply too bulky. Not sure why but I placed the piece of parchment paper (napkin?) underneath the fabric instead of under the bowl, as it seems to appear in the DH photo.
-I skipped creating the little spills and bowl outline (or whatever those are) in the foreground.
-My camera position is at a higher angle, more of the soup on the side closest to the viewer is visible.
-As some of the other participants commented, the ribbon around the spoon was a little strange, though I can't talk as I recently wrapped a knife handle with ribbon.... The original ribbon I used was a deep purple and I played with hue/saturation in Photoshop to change the color to royal blue.
-The light in the DH photo looks a little stronger on the right so it might've helped to move the setup closer to the window and/or angled it a better way. The quality of light was fine that afternoon but with most shoots these days, timing is everything and I have to rush before the light fades.
-You can see detail in the foreground in the DH photo; I didn't like that it was so dark in the same area in my take. In fact, the entire bottom left and middle is in complete shadow with no definition save for the fringe of the fabric. While I like shadows, I think the bottom of the bowl becomes lost in it, isn't grounded. Definitely something to work on.
I couldn't help myself with the parmesan cauliflower crumbs... I kept picking them out of the pan to munch on. I highly recommend the soup, too. I guess I'm a fan of cauliflower now :)
Thanks again for the challenge, Simone. Look forward to February.