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Food photography in India


Monica Bhide
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I am requesting a brainstorming session here.. i hope i have posted this in the correct forum

I am headed to India in the Fall for a self organized culinary tour. From visiting with local writers, to book publishers, to authors, to visiting large and small kitchens to visiting hidden secrets of the streets.. I will be covering a lot of ground

Give me a sense of what you would like to see in terms of the pictures that i should capture... I know its an open ended question -- this is what prompted it - I was telling a friend this morning about the trip and he said- oh I would really like to see behind the scenes in an Indian restaurant kitchen in India.. -- I would never have thought of that.

So tell me what would you like me to capture?????

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Everything.

Home kitchens, markets, street food, restaurant fare, native fruits and veggies, typical breakfasts, typical school meals, treats.

Does that give you a good start?

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Everything.

Home kitchens, markets, street food, restaurant fare, native fruits and veggies, typical breakfasts, typical school meals, treats.

Does that give you a good start?

Typical school meals! I had not thought of that. The things we take for granted.

Yes - this is a wonderful start.. my brain is already going 700 miles per hour now

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Ganesha temples. I understand that as a god with a sweet tooth, devotees bring offerings to his temples (although I could be completely mistaken on that account).

I'm a huge devotee and have over 40 little statues and a few big ones -- and I love the fact that he is often shown holding modakaptra, tila gola, or laddu.

Aum Bijapuraphalasaktaya Namah - Adoration to Him who is fond of pomegranates!

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You are about to follow the path of Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Food in India is an infinite subject. You could devote your life to photographing all of its aspects. Why not?

For now, though, I would like to see master chefs at work. A street vendor may indeed be a master chef.

BB

Food is all about history and geography.

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I'd find it interesting to see step-by-step photographs of things requiring fermentation or culturing. For example, dairy is so important in so much Indian cuisine; it would be interesting to see how dairy products are made in villages and so forth.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I'd find it interesting to see step-by-step photographs of things requiring fermentation or culturing. For example, dairy is so important in so much Indian cuisine; it would be interesting to see how dairy products are made in villages and so forth.

No villages on this trip.. sorry Pan

Anything in the city you would like to see?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I'd find it interesting to see step-by-step photographs of things requiring fermentation or culturing. For example, dairy is so important in so much Indian cuisine; it would be interesting to see how dairy products are made in villages and so forth.

oh quit it. you just wanna know where the yogurt comes from. :wink: *

*if this joke has gone over your head, please refer to the "how did it all begin" thread.

Edited by tryska (log)
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Market, supermarkets, stores etc.

Could you shop with a chef? That would be fantastic.

And of course, everything everyone has already said. :biggrin:

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Market, supermarkets, stores etc.

Could you shop with a chef? That would be fantastic.

And of course, everything everyone has already said. :biggrin:

Yes - part of the agenda one day is docks with achef and another day is a spice market with a chef.. I am really looking forward to this

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Market, supermarkets, stores etc. 

Could you shop with a chef?  That would be fantastic. 

And of course, everything everyone has already said.  :biggrin:

Yes - part of the agenda one day is docks with achef and another day is a spice market with a chef.. I am really looking forward to this

So, should we place our order now of things we want you to bring back? :biggrin:

I'm sure Customs would understand once you explained you were from eGullet. :laugh:

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Jake - if you want something specific - I would be happy to get it along. No plants or raw food is allowed in though.

Hey! Would you consider helping me add to my miniature Ganesh collection? Happy to reimburse you plus shipping and I like them around an inch tall so it shouldn't take up too much luggage space?

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Sounds like a great adventure, Monica!

I agree with the many good suggestions above. I re-read your Indian Food Photography thread, and I gleaned several suggestions of books to get. However, the Indian cookbooks I usually see are recipe driven, with less emphasis on photography. But I would bet that a good photographer working with your styling could find/create some amazing shots while letting the food retain it's traditional look, with just a few flourishes or a special bowl or something along those lines that make good sense. I guess the closest to what I would like to see is the Beautiful Cookbook series - China the Beautiful, Italy the Beautiful, etc. The studio shots of dishes are fairly perfunctory, but overall, I think they do a good job of conveying more than just the final dish.

~Tad

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I am so glad I asked the question after hesitating for so long about it. I think we are sometimes immune to all we see and assume a lot of stuff.. this thread will help me see things with different eyes - I hope - and I hope that I can capture a glimpse of a spectacular place

thanks and please keep the ideas coming

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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You have to develop that aggressive quality of great photographers.

It is a bit like science - often more difficult to formulate a question than to answer it.

As you probably know, photographers discard tons of photos for each "gem." You really have to go after good photography.

BB

Food is all about history and geography.

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Monica, I just remembered something. My friend, Nandu, came to California from Visag for six months. He loved my cooking, which essentially has lots of California/Italian influences, and he especially loved the dishes with basil and tomato. He didn't like Mexican food at all, but loved Italian. So I would be interested to see tomatoes and basil and eggplant (all very Italian, but Nandu says also used in Indian cooking) out of their Indian context, and perhaps from a different slant. Does that make sense? Show them to me, or show them to yourself, in a new light.

That may sound hare-brained. It was just a thought.

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Monica, I just remembered something. My friend, Nandu, came to California from Visag for six months. He loved my cooking, which essentially has lots of California/Italian influences, and he especially loved the dishes with basil and tomato. He didn't like Mexican food at all, but loved Italian. So I would be interested to see tomatoes and basil and eggplant (all very Italian, but Nandu says also used in Indian cooking) out of their Indian context, and perhaps from a different slant. Does that make sense? Show them to me, or show them to yourself, in a new light.

That may sound hare-brained. It was just a thought.

Makes sense and I might be able to pull of a major coo for you. Keep reading :biggrin:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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