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"50 Shades of Green" Salad



I absolutely love "Summer". It is Sunny and Hot. It is Lovely and Green everywhere! The green color symbolizes the natural world out there. The green ...
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I absolutely love "Summer". It is Sunny and Hot. It is Lovely and Green everywhere! The green color symbolizes the natural world out there. The green color helps relieve stress and it helps with concentration and comprehension. It is the color of tranquility, calmness and fertility. It is the color of life! What a better way to bring it to the dinner table than to put in a plate. Dress it up in a Salad and enjoy!

This is a version of a green salad I prepared recently. I named it "50 Shades of Green" because of the numerous green ingredients. I served it in a green bowls to add to the greenery vibe of the scene. It was so rich in vitamins, so delicious and fresh. Eating fresh, raw vegetables is such a caring gift for our bodies and once served in a delicious way, eating them becomes indispensable part of the daily meal options we choose to prepare.

THE GREENS:

Please note: Quantities depend on your taste. Put less or more...and enjoy your custom salad mix. Do not forget it is healthy so go ahead and prepare as much as you would like for you and your dinner guests.

1. Аrugula Leaves

2. Spinach Leaves

3. Persian Cucumbers

4. Green Onion

5. Parsley Leaves

6. Mint Leaves

7. Green Cubanelle Peppers Slices

8. Green Sweet Peppers Slices

9. Jalapeno (optional as it is spicy)

10. Bulgarian Goat Feta Cheese (optional, not GREEN but so delicious in a combination with greens...also it helps take away some of he spiciness of the Jalapeno pepper)

++ I love Bulgarian Feta Cheese (the best one out there out of the Feta Cheese Family).

THE SEASONING - super simple and healthy:

1. Olive Oil

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

3. Pink Himalayan Salt
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 48
Staff Favorite
Peer Award
Superb Composition
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Outstanding Creativity
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Magnificent Capture
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Superior Skill
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Submitted to Photo Contests

Top ClassTM

Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 48Top 20 class
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 48Top 10 class week 2
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 48Top 10 class week 2
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 48Top 10 class week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 48Top 10 class week 1

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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at my home studio in Chicago, IL.
Time
It was getting to be one of these really late dinner times and I wanted to make something very light, summary and delicious for dinner. I was inspired by all the vegetables I had in the fridge and the green spices I grow in my small yard (such as parsley and mint). I remember, seeing this salad looking so delicious (the recipe I listed under details section under the photo) and I knew I had to photograph it. The photo was taken on August 4th, Sunday at about 9 pm.
Lighting
I wanted to make sure this Salad looks amazingly delicious. Often times people don't consider the green salad a premium, interesting meal. They think of salad and vegetables as boring and tasteless options. Therefore I wanted to bring out the charm of eating fresh veggies who taste delicious and make sure it looks amazing. I had a Paul Buff Alien Bee Light pointed at about 45 degrees angle and diffused through a soft-box. I wanted to tell the "story" and show the green color pop. Therefore, I styled it on darker backdrop and I used 3 black foam boards, one on the back and two on the side (angled) to control the light and make it more dramatic on the eye.
Equipment
I used Canon Mark IV, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. I also used PAUL C. BUFF ALIEN BEES B800 Flash Light. I diffused it the light by using an Octagon Softbox and 3 foam blackboards. I handheld the camera and I took the photo from above. I had placed the backdrop on a wooden apple box placed on the floor.
Inspiration
I wanted to make sure this Salad looks amazingly delicious because good, healthy food is often underestimated and believed to be boring and nothing special . In addition, often times people don't consider the green salad a premium, great meal and they refer to it - "Oh, it is just a salad" They think of salad and vegetables as boring and tasteless options and therefore I wanted to bring out the great taste and freshness and make sure it looks amazing. Plus, it is always challenging to take a plate of green salad and make it "the Hero" in a particular photo.
Editing
Food Photography requires some post processing but not much especially if you nail it "right" in the camera. When it comes to food photography, you need to make sure that the scene and the lighting is really well set up initially. It needs to draw attention to the eyes but it needs to look natural. The overall point of the photo is to present the food in a tasteful, delicious way and make you want to "eat it". Therefore, it needs to look like fresh and colorful. I touched up on the white balance, I also increased the contrast and clarify on the colors a bit and I darkened the sides of he plates to create more dramatic contrast with the food in the plates.
In my camera bag
I always, always pack my Canon Marco 100 mm/F 2.8 Lens when I photograph details, flowers, food (although I photographed this particular image with my Kit Lens - Canon EF 24-105 F/4L. due to space limitations) I also never leave the house and go to an outdoor location without my Canon 70-200 mm F/2.8 and my Canon 85 mm F/1.8. Sometimes I carry my Canon Speedlight 600 in case I need it at a location photo shoot.
Feedback
Yes. Of course. Here are my tips: 1. You need to tell the "story" of why the audience should be interested to eat it. It needs to look delicious, fresh and appealing. 2. When it comes to to working with food, photographing fresh ingredients could be difficult as they get dry out fast therefore, you need to act quickly. 3. As you need to work fast, have an idea of the original set up of how you want to present the food. I choose to photograph from above. Therefore, I had to make sure I had enough height between the scene and the camera to capture the whole frame. I placed the food on the floor and I shot "from above". 4. Make sure that the set up is placed on a stable surface. You do not want the food or plate to fall, break and ruin the shot. 5. Be careful with the dressing - don't put too much as it may look too oily. (unless you have a specific reason to make the oil, the Hero in the photograph). 6. If you would like to highlight ? specific color such as green, go ahead and select a contrasting darker or solid color for the plates and the accessories placed in the scene. I choose darker plates on purpose to make sure that the fresh greens really created a visual interest. 7. In regards to any add's on - too many accessories placed on the scene may cause it to be overcrowded. Start with one plate and keep adding on. It is easier to add on than to take away. I added the little plate with the half of the hot pepper and the block of feta cheese at the end.

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