10.06.2014

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

10.06.2014

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Exquisite appetizers are usually two to three types of food put together. They put the chef’s arrangement skills to a difficult test. With a white square plate as a drawing board, the board and spoon act as tools to give more depth to the dimensions of the fresh squid and scrambled eggs. The toast placed on lines of chocolate with fresh pine needle form a splendid piece of art.

For several years photographing fine food, people have often found chefs with fantastic culinary skills. They can cook food into all varieties of colors and flavors, but they are not good at arranging the dish and choosing the utensils to make the food more magnificent and creatively profound.

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Chinese-style radish tenderloin stew and a Western-style soup plate go well with each other. The fresh green pea shoots send out flourishing vitality. The sauce on the side of the dish, that looks as though it was carelessly smeared, only allures people’s appetite even more.

Some years ago, Chinese cuisine in people’s eyes was to go all out with large pieces of meat and lots of beer, and was filled with unrestraint. Often, after the Chinese chef finished cooking and pouring the food in the dish, they would carelessly add a flower. Nowadays, these chefs realize the need to break free from the conventional procedures of traditional food and have the courage to try new ideas. However, because of past ways of thinking, they are limited to carving radishes and sweet potatoes to make simple designs.

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Sichuan twice-cooked pork uses a volcanic slate as a platter with star anise, dried hot peppers, and other spices sprinkled on top. Dried radish powder and other pickled vegetables spread on a green bamboo leaf work in concert with emerald green pine needles. Deep red and emerald green collide with one another to show changes in temperature and to develop a lively spiciness and aesthetic creativity.

In recent years, from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to Shenzhen and other places, high-end Chinese restaurants have changed from past ways of careless presentation to now following the examples of Japanese arrangement and Western dish presentation skills. They don’t seek abundance of food materials, but only seek a mild taste that pursues the original flavor. At the same time, they pay attention to the choice of utensils and the details of the dish’s arrangement. They strive to present the food’s most beautiful aspects that cause the guests to relax their restless hearts, capture their attention with the artistry of the fine food, and feel the simple Zen creativity to satisfy their vision, taste, and senses to utmost enjoyment.

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Whenever restaurants change their seasonal dishes, people will communicate thoroughly with the chef beforehand about things like the choice of utensils and the preparation of fresh flowers and other props. According to the food’s season, they will change the theme. For example, the backdrop for winter’s food dishes will be dark, noble, and elegant, while summer’s backdrop will be bright and refreshing. The chef will spend several months researching and developing the new dishes, which will take up his time, energy, and sweat. As a photographer of fine food, before I use a strict and cautious attitude to take pictures, I will first meticulously arrange and skillfully match. I strive to display the food’s best qualities from color, utensils, props, and arrangement in order to capture the food’s most beautiful moment.

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Looking at utensils, we see that Chinese teaware, wooden dishes, volcanic slates, ceramics, jadeware, soup spoons, and even lotus leaves and rose petals can all be used to hold food. They break through the traditional conventions of Chinese food. They have the beauty of the Eastern spirit and cause people to admire it at first sight.

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Looking at plate arrangement, we see that in addition to arranging and meticulously matching details, adornments also create something extraordinary. Traditional arrangement methods – such as placing a flower, cutting cucumber slices to surround the dish, or adding radish carvings – are no longer relied on.

Instead, sugar, dried ice, pine branches, fresh flowers, chocolate, sea salt, and other props are used to make the food’s Zen quality even more elegant and the creativity more profound. It is just like a Chinese landscape painting scroll that brings aesthetic enjoyment to the eyes.

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Fine Food Photography: Simple Displays of Aesthetically Creative Dishes

Master Pu Xin

Fine Food Photographer / Fine Food Author / Fine Food Contest Evaluator  

35 year old young woman. An experienced media person. She has been photographing Chinese and Western food for thirteen years. She loves photography, loves cooking, loves business communication, loves planning, loves good food, loves codes, loves life, and loves people. Her published works have been in Guangzhou Daily, Xin Kuai Newspaper, Information Times, Tianxia Meishi, Sheying Lvyou Magazine, Jingpin Gouwu Guide, Wan Jia Hui, Shangri-La, Lvxing Shenghuo Jia Magazine, Beimei Pin Magazine, and others.

Weibo: @蒲芯大人 (Master Pu Xin)   @舌尖上的中国试吃团 (Tip-of-tongue Chinese Eating Group)
Official message: 舌尖美食 (Tip-of-tongue Fine Food) gzpuxin

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