Turning that image into ketchup, pickle, mayo and cheese based unflavored disguised piece of cooked meat.
Food – Classical Cooking as in French Classical cooking has to do not only with the technique used but also the quality of ingredients used and preparation of them.
In Classical French Cooking the proper technique is used to preserve the quality of the meat. The desired method of cooking, the meat follows the highest guidelines to preserve the flavor and quality of that product with out camouflaging its flavor.
In photography in its purest form, it is also about preserving the product without camouflaging its flavor. Photography used to have to do more with spending the time capturing a moment than the post processing involved with it.
There are many similarities between cooking of yesterday vs. today and photography of yesterday vs. today and that is why I am writing this.
Chef’s trained classically were taught to always emphasize the quality of ingredients used in cooking a meal and the technique in cooking it to bring out the most flavor from the food. For example a well-flavored stock uses good quality bones to make a brown veal stock. Caramelize the bones and mirepoix(vegetables) to bring out not only the flavor but the color of the stock. The stock is used to make dark meat flavored soups and brown sauces. Simmering a stock and never boiling as that would make a stock cloudy. Skimming the top as it simmers. The hours used at the beginning of making the stock to get the highest quality soups and sauces and not the other way around.
In French cooking the sauce would generally not cover a piece of grilled meat but would sit under or alongside that meat to be served. The sauce was there to enhance the flavor of the meat just like the wine served.
In today’s meals, mainly in America in many places, you don’t taste the quality of the meat or how well the meat was cooked and seasoned. It is usually disguised or masked by the sauces, cheeses and anything else added. Most Americans have gotten used to this way of eating. For example Mexican Food-burritos, tacos. It’s about adding rich and salt flavored enhancements to a poorly cooked product that is usually under or over seasoned.
I’m bringing up the point about food because I am making a comparison. Photography used to be more about capturing a moment, the quality of that moment captured in a split second. Today many photographers are capturing a so so moment and editing it into something in post production. They are turning that image into ketchup, pickle, mayo and cheese based unflavored disguised piece of cooked meat.
Photography – I have taken notice to a lot of HDR work lately and this reminds me of cooking food improperly to begin with. Let me clear one thing up, some HDR work is exceptional. The image is enhanced, lights and darks are not abused and the finished product has a realistic look. I have several friends that do HDR work and use Photoshop extensively and their work is amazing however their work also doesn’t look like something out of a 7th grade science project.
When I see tons of comments on photographers HDR work for example on Google+, I am under the impression the public is becoming brainwashed and their taste buds are becoming dull just like the burrito they possibly have eaten at their last meal.
We moved away from film photography when editing consisted mainly of toning, dodging and burning an image. Emphasis like I mentioned was more on the moment and not the creation after the moment. As society becomes more advanced and taking leaps forward in technology, everything is moving at rapid paces however time still sits still if captured at those special moments.
For right now, classical cooking is still being taught at many schools, as well as the fundamentals of photography. I hope that continues and is practiced out in the field. What will be more memorable 10 years from now? The photo seen in TIME magazine of a marine seeing his family for the first time after being at war or the 7th grade HDR science project. The same goes for a perfectly cooked Steak au Poivre or a Cheeseburger.
My next blog post might be on the similarities of Instagrams compared to cooking with a microwave and a George Forman Grill.