A Lesson in Lighting

We all know lighting can set the mood, or ruin it, in real life. While taking photos this morning of my Avocado Toast, I was reminded of how true this is in photography as well. The ambiance you are trying to express may dictate how you light your shot.

These images were taken within minutes of each other with the exact same light source; a window on my left. The early morning sunlight was streaming in brightly. It made for some harsh shadows with a lot of contrast. Because of this, it is easy to establish the setting as early morning.

Adding a diffuser between the plate and window and a reflector on the right to bounce some of the light back, and the same setting becomes a little more generic.

It could still be morning, but how early or late in the day? It could also be a midnight snack or supper.

Lighting plays a very important role in establishing or removing a set time in your images, as well as, in creating mood.

Avocado Toast

While thumbing through a magazine in a waiting room, my attention was grabbed by a food presentation I had never seen before. I didn’t know what the dish was, but I knew I wanted it. The caption informed me it was “the latest crazy on Instagram” i.e. Avocado Toast. Apparently, I wasn’t hanging out in the right corners of IG and was being deprived of this amazing discovery.

I slipped the magazine back in the rack when my name was called, forgetting to make a note of what issue it was. The delectable memory was called to mind recently when I spotted some lovely avocados in the grocery store. After returning home, I searched the internet in vain for the image I had seen in the nameless publication. I finally gave up and decided to just try creating my own version. The results were aesthetically pleasing and satisfyingly delicious.

Avocado Toast My Way

  • 1 slice, multi-grain bread
  • 1/2 avocado
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
  • fresh basil, chopped, to taste
  • fresh garlic chives, chopped, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Lightly spray a small frying pan with EVOO. Heat to medium. Add the prepared tomatoes, chopped herbs and fresh ground pepper to pan. Stir and cook until slightly soft. Meanwhile, toast the bread. Mash half the avocado onto the toast. Spread the cooked tomatoes mixture over the avocado. Return the frying pan to the stove top. Fry the egg to your liking. Transfer to the plate and top with fresh ground pepper, salt and additional herbs if desired.