Saturday, 20 November 2010

Photographing food - Fujifilm XP washable camera

Anyone keen on blogging about food is likely to want to take photographs. I know people who won’t use a cookbook, or cook recipes within a cookbook, if there isn’t a picture to show them what they are aiming at.

I’ve been trying to take pictures of each stage of my foods in case anyone wants to follow the process themselves. I know it is very hard to take good pictures of food, but at least they can be informative if not mesmerizingly enticing.

I have been using a Nikon D70, a great camera if you want to be able to photograph just about anything and in particular if you have fast moving grandchildren whose darting and swinging and dancing you want to capture. It is less good for close up shots in a kitchen, not because it wont focus or give great pictures, but because it is large, heavy and very expensive. It is also, unsurprisingly, not washable. Getting flour all over any available surface is a normal concomitant of almost all my kitchen activities.

We were in Jessop’s the other day buying a new data card for the Nikon. I ambled along the camera display and spotted a dinky little blue camera that was washable, freezeable and shock-proof. It took close ups and video; I have been considering adding video clips to the blog as some things, like cooking the bagels, have stages that are slightly hard to believe if you haven’t seen them for yourself.

While we were looking at the camera the assistant approached and slipped a new price into the display label. It had dropped £10 just while we were admiring it.

We went off to do other things – I don’t remember what, but it was two days before my step-daughter’s wedding so it was probably tights and lipstick shopping. Very mundane, anyways. Before we left town we decided it would make the perfect wedding present for a couple just about to go on a safari and beach honeymoon. We went back to the store and bought two. It is my fiftieth birthday next week so I had a slightly early present – I never was bothered about the whole notion of getting things on the right day. So, I now use a Fujifilm XP water/shock/dust/freeze proof camera for all these write-ups.

Our camera took great movies of the fireworks at the wedding, capturing the response of the crowds as well as the lights in the sky. It is slow for normal photographs, and wouldn’t really do for quick moving people, but the quality of the video is surprisingly high and possibly one could extract stills from that.

Back to the kitchen. It fits in my apron pocket. I can switch it on and take photos without having to stop each time to wash my hands. I can switch off the flash easily and keep the correct tones in the food, which is useful when showing a bowl full of different ingredients. The data-card doesn’t seem to work when plugged straight into the card reader on my (several years old) printer, but the wire works fine and so does the USB multi-data card reader. I’ve been very happy with the quality of the shots so far, and find it a lot easier to use and less worrying a part of my floury cooking.

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