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Even Better At Home - Sashimi, Nigiri-/Chirashi-zushi Sushi
Even Better At Home - Sashimi, Nigiri-/Chirashi-zushi Sushi

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Recipe (Food) III (Basic Editing)
Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
Location: Back yard, Apache Junction AZ
Date: Jul 15, 2008
Aperture: f/11
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/40
Galleries: Still Life, Food and Drink
Date Uploaded: Jul 15, 2008

Note to DPC/SC: My camera's date/time is set to UTC; I had this approved by the SC when I first joined dpchallenge.

I was VERY excited about this challenge, and had this basic composition in mind from the beginning. I ended up having to wait until the last minute, though, and my lighting SUCKS. The sun was going down, and I ended up carrying the entire set outside (on the foam core, like a waiter carrying a try) and using a large diffuser. I tried several indoor lighting set ups, but none really "worked out" the way I wanted.

In short, I'm VERY HAPPY with my food preparation -- and I'm VERY SAD with the technicals of how this shot turned out.

"Just submit it."

Shot handheld (ugggg); on foam-core in direct (setting) sun with large diffuser; 50mm/1.8 lens, at iso 100, 1/40 and f/11.

RAW/NEF -> Lightroom
WB custom (6500K, tint 0)
Exposure +0.50
Recovery -> 50
Fill Light -> 6
Blacks -> 22
Clarity -> 50
Vibrance -> +42
Saturation -> +5
Sat Orange +5
Sat Aqua +100
Sat Blue -30
Lum Orange +15
Lum Aqua +100
Lum Blue +100
Amount -> 110
Detail -> 90
Masking -> 15
Crop (custom aspect ratio)
JPEG, 70 quality, sRGB, constrained 640x640

The recipe:

[ I'll flesh this out a lot after the challenge; I'm getting this in just under the wire and need to get this submitted before the deadline! ]

Sushi Rice

100mL Su (rice vineger)
1/4 cup sugar
23mL salt
Combine dressing in small pot; stir until dissolved over warm heat.

4 cups (as measured with rice-cooker cup) sushi rice
water as indicated by rice-cooker bowl
Cook in rice cooker (follow manuf. instructions)

Combine rice and dressing SLOWLY, over a large area (I use a large roasting pan). Using a wide spatula (I use a rice spatula, designed for this purpose), slowly "work" the rice and dressing together. Never crush the mash the rice. Throw the rice back and forth across the pan to encourage cooling, and mix dressing.
Once sufficiently mixed, allow rice to cool to approximately 98 degrees. Transfer rice to one or more bowls, and cover with damp towel.

Cut up the fishies. Serve with some rice... or not. I'll give more details on this later. It's just raw fish over some rice -- how hard can that be to explain? ;)

Nigiri Zushi
Cut up your fishies with SHARP SHARP SHARP knives. Did I mention they knives need to be sharp? Sharp knives are the key to eye-pleasing sushi. I will add more specific details here later.

Prepare a small bowl of a small amount of rice vineger ("a squirt") in a small bowl of water. You will use this water to coat you hands and fingers while you work with the rice. Otherwise, the rice will stick to EVERYTHING.

Work small balls of rice into oblong/oval shapes, as you see fit (this is some of the artistry of sushi preparation). Combine the rice with cut pieces of fish. If you wish to add some spice, dab a SMALL amount of wasabi between the fish and rice.

I like to wrap some whitefish nigiri-zushi with nori (seaweed) for added flavor, as whitefish is more about texture than flavor -- so I like to add some flavor with the nori.

Put some sashimi and other goodies on top of a bowl of rice. How hard can it be? ;) Again, more details here later...

Final Preparation

The most artistic part of the meal -- present sushi as is pleasing to the eye. Combine with various other ingredients as you see fit. Here are some extras I added to mine:
- shredded carrots
- chopped chives
- alphalpha sprouts
- basil
- dill
- mint leaves
- organic greens

Place: 8 out of 134
Avg (all users): 6.4868
Avg (commenters): 7.6000
Avg (participants): 6.3269
Avg (non-participants): 6.5474
Views since voting: 5266
Views during voting: 340
Votes: 189
Comments: 14
Favorites: 3 (view)

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07/23/2008 10:21:09 AM
FANTASTIC presentation! Congratulations!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/23/2008 09:00:13 AM
Congrats on top 10 and a personal best!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/23/2008 02:18:13 AM
Nice job on the presentation. The sushi looks well made and fresh. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/23/2008 12:21:52 AM
Love this layout. So fresh and festive. Of course you must be proud of the preparation. The technicals are good too. The whites could pop just a bit. Without disturbing the overall contrast, try the Selective Color dialog trick.. open the dialog, select whites from the top and slide the whites slider at the bottom to the right(or left, dont remember but you'll see the effect).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/20/2008 01:03:13 PM
mmmm sashimi! Do you deliver?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/19/2008 10:41:29 AM
very colorful..well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/19/2008 05:29:11 AM
Great in many ways -interesting pastel pallette. Could be sharper IMO.8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/17/2008 07:35:57 PM
colourful and pretty
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/17/2008 04:19:52 PM
This is too sharp (bet you thought you'd never hear that one...huh?).
The current style of food photography rarely if ever has everything in focus. If the food image is being used to idendentify specific product such as, a spice, an herb, a fish or utensil, etc. only then is sharp focus necessary. Otherwise full dof food images went out with Betty Crocker Cookbooks in the 1970/s/80's. Cheers!

Having said that, this will probably place better than my shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2008 07:04:28 PM
Nice framing, You can see the effort in this photo, I don't like fish but the photo looks delicious!!!!!!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2008 10:29:58 AM
Lovely sushi, nice lieading lines, very appealing. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2008 09:06:55 AM
Very colorful, well composed shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2008 02:40:00 AM
Wow! "MWP" !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/16/2008 01:22:51 AM
I want.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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