Growing up, I was always taking pictures. Of everything. My love affair started with a classic pink Polaroid camera and I would save up my allowance to buy new film.
Once I got my first point and shoot digital camera, I rarely left home without it. My family would always teasingly call me, ‘the little tourist’ because I took pictures of EVERYTHING…every moment…everyone…nothing could escape my wrath!
I never expected that my love for photography would blossom into a real hobby in my adult life. Eric bought a Canon DSLR in 2007 and I was so intimidated by it, I didn’t start using it for my blog photos for over two years! Over time, he was able to convince me (and show me) the difference a professional camera (and lens) could make in a photo with the right knowledge.
Let’s take a look at comparisons of my Point and Shoot Camera (Canon Powershot SD800) vs. our Canon EOS 30D. These are unedited photos (except the very last one).
My Canon Powershot SD800 on the macro setting: (no tripod)
Canon EOS 30D with Canon 50 mm 1.4 macro lens: (no tripod)
Check out the colour difference!!! You may also note that the second picture is a bit blurry. That is because I was shooting without a tripod in very low light.
This is the Canon EOS 30D with Canon 50 mm 1.4 macro lens WITH A TRIPOD:
Much more crisp!
Tripods steady the camera when shooting and result in a sharper image. Once I saw the difference a tripod makes, I never went back! Yes, tripods are a pain in the butt and it does take longer to shoot, but to me it is so worth it.
Again, this is the Canon EOS 30D with Canon 50 mm 1.4 macro lens WITH A TRIPOD:
And because I shoot in RAW format, I edit my photos with Lightroom:
All I did was make tiny increases the clarity, contrast, vibrancy, and saturation.
So why all this camera talk? Well, after my carrot loaf shoot yesterday it really hit me how much I love food photography. Nothing is better than looking on the camera screen and getting excited by the shots.
Ok, ok, it also helped that I took a nibble of this loaf and it tasted great!
I kept telling myself, do not eat the slice, do not eat the slice…and then I was like ‘forget that’ and I took a bite! I think it gives the picture more character anyways. ;)
Whole-Grain Vegan Carrot Cake Loaf with Lemon Glaze
Yield: 1 small loaf, eight 1-inch slices
- 1.5 cups finely grated carrot, unpacked
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/3 cup light extra virgin olive oil (or oil of choice)
- 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
- 1.5 cups whole grain spelt flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup raisins, soaked for 10 minutes & drained
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- Lemon glaze: 1/2 cup icing sugar whisked with 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a small loaf pan (20cm x11cm x 6cm) with parchment. Lightly grease the parchment and sides of pan with oil and set aside. Note that the original recipe used an 8”x8” square pan so that would also work.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the grated carrot, ground flax, pure maple syrup, almond milk, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and lemon zest. Set aside for at least two minutes while you gather the dry ingredients.
3. In another large sized bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder & soda, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (a few dry spots may remain). Fold in the raisins and chopped walnuts. Be careful not to overmix as spelt is a very delicate flour.
4. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle on lemon glaze just before serving. Serves eight 1” slices. May be frozen.
I made this loaf for our family Easter get together this weekend. Ricki says that the loaf freezes well, so after the shoot, I froze the loaf (just until the glaze froze), and then wrapped it tightly two times with plastic wrap and placed it into an air-tight container. It should keep nice and fresh for Saturday!
I was also amazed at how much impact something as simple as a glaze could make in a photo.
The glaze just makes the loaf look so much more interesting, doesn’t it? I also love how it drips through the rack onto the parchment.
This is quite a dense loaf because spelt doesn’t rise much, but the nutty flavour really makes up for its short stature.
Once I drizzled the glaze over this loaf, the lemon really stole the show and I found myself almost forgetting that I was eating a carrot loaf! If you are not a lemon fan, I’m sure you can sub almond milk (or any milk) for the lemon juice and create a traditional glaze. I’m sure the glaze would also be very good with a pinch of cinnamon in it too!
Our power went out last night due to a CRAZY thunderstorm, so I need to go reset all the clocks!