SLW July/August Challenge: Matt’s Ultimate Summer Salad

It’s no secret around here that I am a huge fan of Matt Armendariz and Adam Pearson. Both personally and professionally, these guys are some of my favorite people around. And when I saw this salad posted as part of Matt’s new column on the Cooking Channel website, I immediately wanted to make it. And, to make it the new remake challenge.


photo courtesy of Matt Armendariz; Styling by Adam Pearson

See, this photo hits one of my own personal challenges in food photography: Making a landscape photo look great. Whenever I am required to shoot landscape (and it usually takes a requirement), I cringe a little inside. It’s quite a bit harder to get depth into a photo when you have limited vertical space… and I find myself trying to figure out what in the world to do with all that horizontal space around it (unless I know that some copy will run there).

For this challenge, make a simple, non-lettuce based salad (I highly recommend following or at least adapting Matt’s recipe, because tomatoes photograph beautifully) and shoot it in a landscape composition like the original photo. Note where the light is coming from here too… you are going to need some sort of bounce to offset that lovely backlighting.

It’s really helpful when you use the new diptych format when you post your results! For this diptych the original photo goes on the top, and your take on the bottom.

If you are new to the monthly photo challenges, head over to the Flickr group for the rules and to introduce yourself.

This challenge will run through the end of August.

  • The Italian Dish

    I so know what you mean about landscape shots! I feel the same way. I’m going to check out the Flickr group photos. . .

  • Cajun Chef Ryan

    Taking worthy photos of my food is the single most challenging aspect for my blog at the moment. I hope to learn and grow from catching up on your sites vast resources.

    Bon appetit!

  • Sylvia

    Ah! I wish I’d seen this before I shot and posted my favourite summer salad last week! And agreed: the landscape shots were my least fave of the bunch, and I included one only for variety in the posting.

  • molly

    So funny, this. I committed when I launched my site to shoot only in landscape, simply because I found the combination of L & P too distracting. I didn’t realize how accustomed I’d become to this format until I read this post … and suddenly realized you usually shoot in Portrait! Probably time I turn my vision on end, and, for my own sake, anyway, try out a little long and narrow. Hadn’t considered the additional depth to be gained there. Lovely, that.