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Crab spring rolls

Crabmeat with lettuce wrapped in rice paper, served with avocado wedges and decorated with nasturtium stems.

Crabmeat with lettuce wrapped in rice paper, served with avocado wedges and decorated with nasturtium stems.

© Copyright John Cumming.

This image departs from a traditional table or kitchen setting. The translucent serving plate was placed on a contrasting, dark, rough stone surface, lending it an exotic appeal. Sidelighting brings out the stone's surface texture and also successfully lights the crab dish. The composition is brilliant, with the nasturtium stems almost cutting the image in half. The food looks fresh, healthy and interesting. Although somewhat formal looking at first, a feeling of lightness is provided by the seemingly random dripping of sauce over the platter.

"This image," says John, "is the second of four samples shot in my studio, using a Phase 1 P40 digital back on a Rollei view camera. Stylist Diane Long (Long on Style) and I came up with the idea for the shot when we saw the translucent white onyx plate, which interestingly turns black when you heat it." "As with the other images from this shoot," he says, "we chose the elements for their texture and color."

John took a wider version of this setup showing raindrops making ripples in a pool of water. "It took hours to set up," says John, "but in the end, I thought the plate and rice paper wrap were looking too cool to use a wide shot."

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