I’ll follow the sun… with a smoked salmon tart in tow.

The sun has resolutely decided to keep shining, steadfastly ignoring any rumours of winter,  which is a good thing if you are a food photographer working with daylight. One of the bad things for such a photographer would be a lack of windows or, worse, a lack of windows facing in good directions. For example – a brick wall or another house directly in front of your window would definitely be in a bad direction. Daylight is at a premium in winter, and it also has a habit of shifting around with the sun’s movements. To take advantage of this natural phenomenon wheels have been attached to our recently distressed table. I should add that these wheels, in the words of the late Kenny Everett, are in the “best possible taste”. Today I took a smoked salmon tart for a ride on it, criss crossing our tiny establishment at will, searching for a good “bit of light” which I think I found. This is an easy dish to make. Melt some sweet onions in butter for a good 30 minutes and then let them cool. Stir them into lots of creme fraiche ( I added a couple of spoonfuls of horseradish cream) and add chopped smoked salmon and fresh dill. Put the mixture on a sheet of cooled puff pastry that you made earlier or in a shortcrust tart case like this one. Add more smoked salmon, add some more sprigs of dill, black pepper, a squeeze of lemon and eat with a green salad and several glasses of a chilled and fruity white wine. This can be made with raw salmon as an option, which is very good indeed.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in baking, Digital photography, Food and Photography, pastry, photography course, Smoked salmon, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to I’ll follow the sun… with a smoked salmon tart in tow.

  1. Love the image of the table wandering the room in search of the “right” light.
    The tart looks and sounds fabulous – might try it sans dill

  2. Mary Cadogan says:

    Love this and want to eat it NOW!

  3. Mad Dog says:

    “The sun has resolutely decided to keep shining, steadfastly ignoring any rumours of winter, which is a good thing if you are a food photographer working with daylight. One of the bad things for such a photographer would be a lack of windows or, worse, a lack of windows facing in good directions.”
    Tell me about it – I’m stuck with Elinchrom in a small kitchen which faces the wrong way! I envy you the light – I could eat that salmon tart now 😉

  4. Chef Scar says:

    Looks and sounds delicious. I love smoked salmon. This combination is a natural, and a great photo indeed!

  5. Writer Jobs says:

    Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much.

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  6. The wheels are a great idea! Beautiful tart, Roger.

  7. You got the light right on the money! I think this tart looks delicious.. and I am a fan of dill. (Russian heritage- dill is on everything!) Your post title got my attention straight away… and I was left feeling hungry – again!

    • Hi there Thanks for the kind comments. By the way, I love your posts on NY graffiti but I couldn’t get to see the images on your new 5pointz post. I don’t know if the images were too big, but my computer was churning for quite awhile and I never got to see the pics. I’ll try again. All the best Roger

      • Hi Roger – quickly, in response to not being able to access the images in my post – were you able to see them all in the end?

      • Hi there I just checked and it works fine – sorry about panicking you. I think I had too many programs running earlier All the best- by the way I love the new post – amazing graffiti Roger

      • Thanks Roger, for letting me know. I just received a DSLR (early Xmas present) so have now changed the quality image and size to 2MB. Is this ok, do you think? I had the size larger for the current graffiti shots. Any digi photo advice would be appreciated, esp on those graffiti pics as that was one of my first ventures with the camera. It’s a Nikon D5000 if you’re familiar 🙂 Thank you!!

      • Hi there That’s a good camera, so no problems with that. I’ve used Nikon since 1968, so you can see that I rate them highly. I don’t know if you use Photoshop to prepare your pictures for the web – it’s not necessary, but it helps.If you have a system for resizing your pictures you could try making the longest edge around 1500pxs at 240dpi. However, they all look fine to me at the moment, so keep doing the good posts. all the best Roger

      • Thanks Roger! I don’t use Photoshop – this whole photography category is new to me so another project to tackle. Thank you for your feedback!

      • No problem – I teach Photoshop from our home in France, so if you have any problems let me know. Roger

      • Wow – thanks Roger. Once I get acquainted with it, I’ll let you know!

  8. Karen says:

    Roger, My husband would love your tart…every ingredient is a favorite. To get a lovely photo like yours I’m going to have to cook dinner at lunchtime and then convince my husband to leave his associates and drive home. I’m off to look for a rolling table.

    • Hi there Thanks for the comments, very kind as usual. The moving table is a good idea – it’s been used by daylight photographers in Australia for decades, but I think they have a lot more light than we do in our stone house in winter! All the best Roger

  9. It might be simple, but boy does that look fantastic.

  10. ChgoJohn says:

    There’s a saying that one eats with one’s eyes. Well, my eyes have been feasting and I still want some of that tart! Liars! I can so identify with your search for proper lighting. Because of my home’s orientation, under normal conditions, there’s precious little lighting for photography. Now that WInter and its accompanying gray flannel skies are here, it is almost non-existent. Like Karen, I do a lot of cooking at noon.

    • Hi there It can be a nightmare, particularly as we eat our main meal in the evening. In the end I do less posts, and shoot pictures when the lights good and I happen to have something worth photographing. Always good to hear from you Roger

  11. Pingback: Salmon Salad | Cooking in Sens

  12. As the seasons change my usual shooting routine is disrupted by the fickle light. It’s an adjustment and I’ve had to make my setup a bit more portable as well. Looks like you found your light and the tart does look good enough to eat. 🙂

    • Hi there Today the rain has come with some grey skies. Funnily enough this can produce the most beautiful soft light, but you’ve got to have a good tripod. Pictures shot at ! or 2 seconds are fantastic and sometimes a bit of movement looks good. All the best Roger

  13. It takes the concept of meals on wheels to a whole different level! I am by no means a good photographer, and it´s made more difficult by the fact that houses here are built to be shady inside…lots of blinds and shutters too….very tricky for indoor photography!

    • Hi there Our house is pretty similar – stone walls 50cms thick with quite small windows, blinds and shutters. The small window works great, if it’s in a good direction and you can get your subject close to it – thus, the wheels. All the best Roger

  14. I love smoked salmon, and you have once again inpsired me – I think I will try these in little appetizer tarts for the christmas party. our days here in Calgary are quite short, so light in the kitchen is also a problem as well. thanks for sharing your kitchen with us.

  15. It sounds like a hard life, wheeling wonderful food around the house! This tart looks amazing. I’m so glad we have the sun again here too – wasn’t sure how to take photos…or do anything else…without it!

  16. How funny that you mention windows facing the right direction. I’m moving out of my current place into the newer unit across the hall just to get better light!

  17. That looks a delicious tart roger!
    Great idea on the rolling table, and enjoy looking at your wonderful photos as usual.

  18. Tandy says:

    I lost my bit of sun when we built the house we have yet to move in to. I think I will put my infinity table on wheels 🙂

  19. ceciliag says:

    Wheels are a great idea, I am lucky to have three east facing skylights very high in the vaulted roof line of my two story high big room. I got the builder to take out the ceiling so i could cut holes in the attic roof and let the sun in. As the sun moves, the light drifts across my big room in beams, like warm spot lights. Three of them. Which was the plan and I am so grateful that it worked. Then in the winter afternoon the setting sun comes straight in under the verandah and through the big french kitchen doors. I designed everything for natural light. I need lots of light. I was lucky to have a builder who understood that and after his initial shock (you WANT the sun?), played along. A number of people in america never open their curtains OR windows, summer or winter. Can you imagine such a thing. Shudders. Love the tart, my kind of recipe too! Mercy I do go on! sorry about that roger.. c

  20. Pingback: A smoked salmon extravaganza | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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