The photograph is typically simply styled with the focus on the freshness of the dish, and this time the colour in the photograph comes from the food with the pan and the background all white. I quite like the styling in the photograph which is minimalistic and draws the eye to the food straight away. There were a couple of things about the photograph that I didn't quite find appealing, though.
One option would have been to shoot perhaps outdoors with natural light. I’m not sure how well that would have worked, and I didn’t have a chance to find out since the monsoons are here and its raining most of the time.
My other option was to shoot indoors and use white boards to reflect light such that there was very little shadow, which is what I did.
Styling-wise, I don’t have white coloured pans, and my shallow pan is on the larger side. So I used a white bowl instead. Heavy rains and overcast skies outside meant, that I had to shoot with my camera on a tripod. Again, I wasn’t really happy with my results. The main problem was that I was trying to emulate a style I’m comfortable with, and there wasn’t enough natural light since it was a day of incessant rains!
Maybe I should have used another lens, but given that my natural light was fading, I decided to continue with this lens. I adjusted the White Balance (advantage of shooting RAW) and brought the temperature down to 3500K to get that bluish cast. I must say I didn’t like this photograph very much.
(My first and less preferred version of the original with a slight bluish cast)
As for the recipe, I changed things here quite a bit partly because I couldn’t find the ingredients and mostly by design. I couldn't find goat's cheese/ Feta or rocket leaves/ Arugula so I substituted paneer for goat’s cheese, fresh baby Malabar spinach (from my neighbour’s garden) for the rocket/ arugula, added some toasted pistachios to the mix.
Malabar spinach (Basella Rubra) is this gorgeous looking spinach (actually its not a true spinach but a very, very distant relative) with beautiful heart shaped deep green leaves growing on ruby red vines. My neighbour has it growing all over the fence of her back garden and is more than generous with it.
Rather than add everything to the Pasta Salad, I made a tangy and sweet, garlic flavoured dressing with fresh basil from my pots, to add to my salad just before serving. This salad was a much needed and refreshing lunch after some tiring photography! Let’s just say that I was way happier with the Pasta Salad than I was with my photography.