sabatomic: perth photographer » fine art photography: portraiture, animals, food

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The Inspired Plate challenge for “Seasonal Fall Dish” conjures up visions of pumpkin-related food items, hot drinks, caramel, apple cider and the smell of cinnamon. In Perth, Australia, it’s springtime and getting fairly hot so again this month I have adapted the challenge to reflect our Spring season; trying to incorporate freshness and new growth. I was inspired by the season’s first peaches at Maggie’s Place in the Swan Valley – the peaches were originally from a farm up in Gingin.

Peach crumble {Perth Food Photography}

The “peach crisp” recipe I used was  quite good, although it was named incorrectly. I believe crisp is not supposed to have oats in it, so this recipe is actually a crumble as it is a baked dish of fresh fruit with an oat based struesel! Well, according to this webpage, which also describes the difference between cobblers, slumps and brown betties – brown betties sound delicious; they have crumble on the bottom of the dish as well as the top!

First Spring Peaches {Perth Food Photography}

I’m not too fussed about what this dish was supposed to be called though, whatever it was, it was delicious. The flavour of peaches was brought out wonderfully by the cooking and it was so nice to have the flavour of peach without fuzzy peach skin, they are removed for this recipe.

First Spring Peach crumble {Perth Food Photography}

While I was buying some last minute supplies, I got a bit carried away and decided to buy flowers. I’m not sure what those darker purple flowers are – if you know, please tell me – but the smaller pink ones are Geraldton Wax. I thought I’d try my hand at flower arranging after a week of pinterest binge-ing on floral images, but then when it came to photo time, I got so distracted with the peach crisp that I didn’t get any photos of my flower arrangements, I shall have to try it again sometime! I had 5 or 6 glass vases of flowers; they lived around the computer desk, kitchen and dining area for the next week and really brightened up the place – I don’t usually buy flowers for the house so it was a fun novelty :)

Closeup of Peach crumble {Perth Food Photography}

This warm crumble is very rich with a strong, sweet peach flavour and so it tastes great with vanilla icecream or a good dollop of cream. I bought cream but sadly forgot to photograph it with the peach crumble until I had already packed up. After a long day of peeling skins off peaches, discovering almost all my mint had been massacred by caterpillars, flower cutting & arranging and the endless washing up, I was too tired to do anything but have a taste test of my food ;)

Please don’t forget to make your way around to Jennifer Olson | California Food Photographer to see what she has made this month, she photographs food so, so beautifully!

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  • October 29, 2013 - 2:08 am

    Laurie - What an absolutely gorgeous shoot Sabrina!!! I love your backdrop.. the colors you chose make the peach crumble pop! Love the styling, your propping, the flowers.. and that bottle.. love it too!!ReplyCancel

  • October 29, 2013 - 2:44 am

    Tammy Bilodeau - Beautiful Sab :) Your light is gorgeous, and I love that POP of purple form those fresh flowers, great job…..I wanna dig right inReplyCancel

  • October 29, 2013 - 6:01 am

    Cat - What a great shoot! I love every photo. :)

    I’d never considered the difference between a streussel, crumble, brown betty and cobbler. Enlightening!

    The darker purple flowers are stock.ReplyCancel

  • October 30, 2013 - 2:34 am

    Three-Onion Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushrooms » Kitchen Serendipity - […] dish.”   Please check out the beautiful work of fellow The Inspired Plate members Jen Olson, Sabrina Wong, Tammy Bilodeau, and Laurie Vengoechea this […]ReplyCancel

  • November 7, 2013 - 5:25 am

    Stacey - This is gorgeous Sab!! What a great presentation and I loved learning the difference between the types of baked goodies.ReplyCancel

The September Inspired Plate Challenge was “Fall Drinks”. However on this side of the globe in Perth, it is Spring so I made Spring drinks! You wouldn’t know it was Spring here though, the cold and near-constant rain has had me reaching for my thickest hiking jumper to curl up on a couch and rugged up with my favourite blanket and ipad mini. Spring makes me think of freshness, greenery and flowers so this is the inspiration I used for my drinks below.

Firstly, I made lavender syrup from scratch using dried lavender buds (using this recipe) and then added a generous squeeze of lemon juice.  Lavender syrup is a wonderful deep purple colour, when diluted with water washes to a pale lilac and when lemon juice is added, it transforms into a vibrant pink drink! I did not add any food colouring to my drink below, that is really how it looked. I loved my lavender syrup + lemon juice, it was delicious – provided you like the floral flavour of lavender.

Lavender and Lemon Drink | Sabatomic.com

I was able to source food-grade lavender buds online from Western Australia’s own Nannup Lavender Farm. Two different types of lavender flowers were kindly given to me from Maggie’s Place in the Swan Valley for styling purposes! Maggie’s Place is the loveliest little stand with fresh fruits and vegetables near the corner of Gnangarra and West Swan Road, I would highly recommend dropping by if you’re visiting the Swan Valley, we left with bagfuls of fresh vegetables and fruits :)

Lavender and Lemon Drink | Sabatomic.com

Additionally, I wanted to try out making some fruit-infused water as a healthy party drink alternative to the standard non-alcoholic options: fruit juice / soft drinks. It makes me sad to attend events where there are no fancy drink options for teetotalers! People who drink alcohol get all sorts of elaborate cocktail drinks with fancy presentation and interesting flavours, – I want to see the equivalent available for non-alcoholic drinkers :)

Lime, Lemon and Orange Water | Sabatomic.com

All Citrus Water: I added small amounts of lime and lemon slices to some water and some larger amounts of orange slices and muddled them in these jars to encourage the  release of some of the juices into the water, then refridgerated for 2 hours. The honest verdict on this one: Tom liked this one the best, but I didn’t care much for it!

Lime, Lemon and Orange Water | Sabatomic.com

Next up: Strawberry and Spearmint water. I muddled strawberries and spearmint together and then left them in a water-filled carafe to infuse in the refridgerator for 2 hours. The verdict on this one: I liked the refreshing effect of mint in the water and really loved the flavour combination of strawberry with spearmint, however this water did not really move me. I’d love to make some other kind of dessert with this combination of flavours!

Strawberry Spearmint Water | Sabatomic.com

The fresh spearmint was from Maggie’s Place – there were several different bunches of herbs available there. Thank goodness, as I had purchased a spearmint seedling plant a couple weeks ago, but it is still so little I cannot harvest much from it! I will have to blog about my little herb garden soon – I am overjoyed that it is flourishing as I have never really done any gardening before.

Strawberry Spearmint Water | Sabatomic.com

Another shot of the drink below, I enjoyed eating the freshly sliced strawberries on top!

Strawberry Spearmint Water | Sabatomic.com

Last drink for today: Watermelon and Rosemary water. I’ve seen this combination floating around online and I was so curious to try it myself. The process was quite similar to the other two drinks, chop watermelon chunks, muddle with rosemary, infuse in the fridge with water for 2 hours.

Watermelon and Rosemary Water | Sabatomic.com

Sadly, this drink had the least flavour of all the fruit-infused waters I tried. I personally couldn’t really taste the rosemary and wouldn’t make this again. Just give me a huge hunk of watermelon and a spoon and I’ll be pretty happy :)

Watermelon and Rosemary Water | Sabatomic.com

The final word on these drinks: I liked the diluted lavender syrup with lemon juice, but I am not sure I looked in the right place for fancy non-alcoholic drinks with the fruit-infused waters. They were edible and refreshing but rather than “it’s delicious”, I would say the response to these drinks was “it’s… interesting” followed by semi-furrowed brow. These fruit-infused waters are supposed to keep for up to 48 hours but I could not face drinking it the next day. At a party, I would prefer to either  drink something with more flavour, eat fruits instead or just stick with plain water!

Don’t forget to follow our little circle around, there’ll be a drink that is Fall-related (or Autumn as we say here in Australia) at your next stop: Tammy Bilodeau, Whitecourt AB Photographer . Hopefully something nice and warm, I am FREEZING here! I hope Spring warms up in Perth soon!

I had heaps of fun styling these up and getting in with some macro photography this time :)
Did you like the photos?

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P.S.: Going to watch the Breaking Bad finale now… so excited!

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  • October 1, 2013 - 12:27 am

    Tammy Bilodeau - Sab these are B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. Love, love, love the light airy colour scheme, the cute bottles and the gorgeous light. You really did a bang up job on these, I am speechless.ReplyCancel

  • October 1, 2013 - 1:06 am

    Stacey - Beautiful job Sab! Gorgeous and airy and very spring-like. I’m jealous of all that great light you have and your props are outstanding!ReplyCancel

  • October 1, 2013 - 1:41 am

    Food Photography & Styling | September 2013 Challenge | Fall Drinks | Bradenton-Sarasota Food Photographer » staceysiegalphotographyblog.com - […] our circle to see what the ladies from The Inspired Plate came up with for fall drinks!  Next up is Sabrina Wong, Perth Food Photographer who hails from Australia where it is actually […]ReplyCancel

  • October 3, 2013 - 5:07 am

    Jennifer Olson | Pretty-Eats - Sab, your styling is always amazing…you seriously go the extra mile with every challenge! The colors are so pretty and the water recipes sound so refreshing. Gorgeous!!ReplyCancel

  • October 29, 2013 - 2:10 am

    Laurie - Oh my!!!!! When did you find the time to prepare and shoot all of these with your schedule!! These photos are so beautiful Sabrina and styled to perfection! The light is gorgeous.. a perfect magazine shoot!!!!!ReplyCancel

As if I hadn’t had enough baked goods recently, I decided to celebrate the end of term with a little visit to Sugar and Spice Patisserie. Friends had recommended the place to me several times – it was my first visit there and I was not disappointed! All the pastries and sandwiches on display looked DELICIOUS, and and the place had a nice atmosphere and plenty of seating. I just did a drop-in to pick up some treats, but I was alone on this visit. I’d love to visit again for a fresh salad roll of some sort, followed by an assortment of tiny delicious desserts!

Pistachio, Salted Caramel and Snickers Macarons | Sugar and Spice Patisserie

I ended up choosing a chocolate cupcake (partly to inspect the wonderful piping, partly because I just love chocolate cake), and a few macarons. My favourite of the macarons was the salted caramel!

Chocolate cupcake with edible glitter | Sugar and spice patisserie

The best part of my order was hands-down the chocolate cupcake. The icing was delicious and thick but not overly sweet and the cake was a nice light consistency.

PS. I used my black work pants as a backdrop for those last two shots. I wonder what other things from my wardrobe could work as a backdrop? Heheh.

Until next time,

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Had a little baking afternoon with a friend and we used this taste.com.au recipe for carrot cake with cinnamon frosting. We substituted the carrot cake’s buttermilk for Mundella premium natural yoghurt which gave it more of a light, muffiny feel. It would have been perfect to add some sultanas into the mix as well. Unfortunately, I found the frosting too sweet – next time, I would be keen to try this cooked flour buttercream recipe or this one which look like they’d suit my palate better.

Carrot Cupcakes With Cinnamon Buttercream | Sabatomic.com

I had bought some new piping tips earlier in the week from a specialty cake decorating store, Cake Tinz N Thingz. It was wonderful being surrounded by so many cake decorating things – edible glitter, novelty tins, ribbons, sugarpaste cutters and moulds. Cake decorating is something I’ve always wanted to try my hand at – when I was little, I found a cake decorating book at the library and I would borrow it over and over again to obsess over the sugarpaste creations and piping techniques. I’m never quite sure why I didn’t start decorating cakes then, but I suspect it had something to do with the fact that we didn’t eat cake very often for health reasons.

What cupcake icing do you prefer? | Sabatomic.com

I used a gigantic 17mm plastic star piping tip to ice all these cupcakes. I’m happy with the size and shape of the piping tip, but haven’t quite got the swirl technique perfect. I’m not being too hard on myself though because so far my only teachers in cupcake icing have been youtube and pinterest – perhaps I just need some more practice and trial & error at home before seeking out cake decorating classes?

Carrot cakes with cinnamon star buttercream icing | Sabatomic.com

Below is a pullback shot so you can see my setup for these photos – I’m facing into the window instead of shooting alongside the window, I quite like it.

Food Photography | Behind The Scenes With Sabatomic

I’m getting a little tired of using the same boards and will soon have a new surface to shoot on – I picked up a discarded wood pallet yesterday, found it sitting in someone’s bulk rubbish pile. It wouldn’t fit into my car so I rolled it around the block to a friends house, which took about 30 minutes and a shameful amount of grunting – pallets are REALLY heavy! Will figure out how to get it home soon with the help of Tom :)

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Until next time,

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  • September 4, 2013 - 9:43 pm

    Chisa - Ooh these look amazing! I never have the patience for piping, so I usually just end up inelegantly smearing frosting onto cupcakes. You’ve done a good job with these.

    It’s also really cool to see your setup, lots of good ideas in there!ReplyCancel

    • September 4, 2013 - 11:15 pm

      Sab - Thanks Teresa, a good smear of frosting can look just as good as piping, it’s much more “rustic”? :)ReplyCancel

  • September 4, 2013 - 10:59 pm

    mel - Hi there ! Your pictures are amazing and to be hard with yourself your cupcakes looks great !

    I was wondering where did you get your board to shoot on ? I looking for the same kind of board to shoot food as well !

    Thanks a lot !

    Mel xxReplyCancel

    • September 4, 2013 - 11:17 pm

      Sab - Hi Mel,
      I made the board from scratch using new pine planks, gluing them together, distressing and then staining them. If you google around you will find HEAPS of tutorials on different ways you can distress wood. Good Luck!
      – SabReplyCancel

  • September 6, 2013 - 10:30 am

    Cat - Hi Sabrina – I just wanted to say a huge thanks for all the times you show your photography setup. It is a huge help to a photography newbie like myself and shows us that expensive setups aren’t needed to achieve beautiful shots.ReplyCancel