Pimping my sides….


This is a picture of a dish in my kitchen, filled with summer vegetables, which serves to illustrate that what you see is not what you get. It is not what I got either, at first. What it is is what I got after I had plied the image with a healthy dose of virtual Botox ( Butox is similar but only for rump). It is how I imagined the vegetables would look whilst I was choosing them. At such moments my “across a crowded room” filter can be inadvertently activated with the result that truth is replaced with desire. The vegetables that I chose were perfect specimens, richly coloured and, amazingly, blemish free. Let me confess that I have nothing against blemishes on vegetables; on the contrary, with unfiltered vision I see them as a stamp of quality and authenticity, as clear evidence that they have spent time in, on or just above the soil, and have been in close contact with Mother Nature on her good and bad days. The moment of waking with the results of the “across a crowded room filter” can be a moment tinged with surprise and, dare I say it, disappointment. Vegetables being inanimate ( not an argument into which I have any desire to enter) on this particular waking moment the emotions were one sided. I don’t know if the vegetables felt the same disappointment as I did; I hope not, as they don’t have recourse to Photoshop to mend a broken heart…or blemished skin When I first worked on the picture I was full of good intentions and was midway through swearing to tell the truth when I threw the Bible out of the window and just started swearing; cursing the mendacity of the cicatrised cuckoo specimens before me and wondering how they had surreptitiously replaced my preciouses ( I’m not convinced that it’s the plural of precious, but why not) in my shopping basket. There is a similarity in all this to the Portrait of Dorian Grey as the vegetables that modeled for this portrait have now withered and started to show signs of rottenness. Sic transit Gloria…she should never have eaten it in the first place.


One of the aubergines survived to make a very good dish of grilled aubergine, tomato and mozzarella which does taste as good as it looks…or looks as good as it tastes..

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 2015, Art photography, Cheese, Cooking, Digital photography, Expectation, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Humour, Illusion, Photography, Shopping, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Pimping my sides….

  1. Mad Dog says:

    You make me want to cook moussaka with your special Cokin filter 😉
    I must admit it’s very hard coming from a previous life where all veggies, meats, fish, wines, beer, etc., came by the caseload. Being able to choose the perfect aubergine or mackerel from a hundred has me spoilt for life!
    I used to take snaps on my phone before buying a Lumix and friends kept asking which phone I had because the camera was so good. I had to confess that being a photographer, all my images go through Photoshop regardless. A bad picture from a pro = a bad reputation.

  2. That looks wonderful! Agree with you on the “authentic look” of produce, but sometimes you do just get that lucky!

  3. Gerlinde says:

    This is the dilemma when you blog and your are not a photographer like me. My food never looks as good as it tastes. I need someone to teach me .

  4. Angeline M says:

    The grilled aubergine dish looks tantalizing. I have become very paranoid about vegetables with blemishes and avoid them like the plague. I once chose an aubergine with a few little spots. As it turned out, I should have inspected more closely; upon slicing the aubergine to begin cooking, a worm slithered out near one of the little “blemishes”. The worm was not invited to the party.

  5. ardysez says:

    I, too, am occasionally beguiled by the pimp-my-photo-colour fairies. The way you tell it, it almost seems normal, required even. The stack looks every bit as good as it must have tasted. Yum.

  6. The grilled looks divine…

  7. that looks magnificent – really Pimpy

  8. Eha says:

    Being passionate about farmers’ markets blemished and misshapen fruit and vegetables just prove they are the ‘real thing’! And I love both snails and eels . . . ‘preciouses’ . . .am very glad I am not the only one to ‘manufacture’ new words . . .Oh did I mention already that the vegetable stack looks very, very moreish, filters or no filters :)!!!

  9. Karen says:

    Your last photo has me wishing for those vegetables on my counter.

  10. Beautiful photo – beautiful food. Didn’t I see something on French tv recently about a campaign in supermarkets to make sure the ugly veg gets sold too at a lower price? What a great idea!

    • I have to say that I have always seen ugly veg in the local supermarkets…but, recently it seems to be slightly more cosmetic, which flies in the face of that programme. French families who live in the countryside here ( and countryside is the majority of Vendee) grow their own vegetables and fruit so they are not concerned with cosmetics…the biggest change has been the appearance of non seasonal produce.

  11. Beautiful Eggplant portrait my French friend. Your photos are just inspiring as are your stories.

  12. That aubergine number… looks cracking my friend!

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