My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


« the quicker picker upper | Main | pass the pumpkin »

paper towel bounce

I’ve been meaning to buy a piece of white foam board to bounce light when taking photographs.  This helps to alleviate shadows on 1 side of the subject.  The light bounces from the white board onto the subject to help brighten things up.

This morning, I decided to create a light bounce with a paper towel roll.  I laid it on the table with my oats [paper towel roll to the left – sun coming in from the right], pulled up a few sheets with my left hand [to bounce the light on the left side of the bowl] and snapped the photo with my right hand. 

I wish Chris would have been home to take a photo of me taking these photos.  I’m pretty sure it was quite the scene.

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Here was the set up….it wasn’t perfect, but definitely helped a bit!


Oh yah…the oats.  Pumpkin oats, obviously, with pumpkin almond butter, almonds, granola + coconut.  MUNCH!

Nice + bright on the left side!  I’ll try to show better documentation of this ghetto light bounce sometime soon. ;)

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Pretty much anytime I have an open can of pumpkin, I make a pumpkin smoothie.  Have you made one yet???  If not you must!!

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This version had quite the ZING of spice.  I put in a huge chunk of fresh ginger.  Woweee!!

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I thought I had such a great idea for dinner.  I’ve made similar things before, but this one was totally blah blah blah.

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First I cooked a GInormous spaghetti squash.  Then I dug out all it’s stringy, squashy goodness and put it in a baking dish.  I only used HALF of the squash and it completely filled this 8x8 pan.  Huge I tell ya!

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Then I rinsed + cooked red lentils to go on top of the squash to give it a little more oomph!  Spaghetti squash isn’t exactly filling.  These basically turned to mush after cooking.  Lame.

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I layered the mushy lentils on top of the squash, followed by a mound of steamed broccoli.

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Then covered it with pasta sauce I did not like at all!  I should have made my own but the convenience in a jar got me this time.  Gr.  Not only was the sauce crappy, my light was fading away.  The sauce was by Muir Glen Organic and it was the “roasted garlic.”  {gag}

However, I highly recommend their “garden vegetable.”

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The saving ingredient was this parmesan bagel, from a local bagel shop.  I ground it in the food processor for bread crumbs to bake on top.  Uhhh, yum.

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Awesome parmesan crumbs!

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Eeeeeeek, kitchen lighting.  This tasted about as good as it looks.  I mean, it was definitely edible and I have eaten it twice now.  However, definitely not recipe worthy. 

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blah blah blah

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I have about 589 things to do before leaving for San Fran on Thursday morning.  Please excuse my spaziness!!! :)

Also – I’m so glad you were all as excited about the Vegan Pumpkin Baked French toast as I was.  There were many requests for me to come make breakfast for you…on my waaaaaaaay!! 

Time to rest!


Reader Comments (69)

this post got me excited for you photog session! I think it IS recipe worthy. See you soon!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEden

Okay, I just discovered your blog, and I'm loving it! I can only imagine how silly I look to my husband when I'm taking my food photos, too-- and I don't even have the know-how to do the "ghetto light-bounce!" LOL ;)

Sorry to hear your meal wasn't as tasty as you'd hoped! It sure does look good! I hate it when I try a new bottle of tomato sauce, and it doesn't taste right. Have you ever tried Paesana brand?? It's hands-down the best jar of tomato sauce I have ever tried. (it's also a bit on the pricey side... but worth it when you're feeling lazy!)

Looking forward to more photo demonstrations!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan @ Healthy Hoggin'

your supper LOOKS tasty anyway. i think try green lentils next time? i don't have much experience with them, but i think the red ones always end up mushy.

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhaya

Haha the things us food bloggers do for a good photo. Oh well, at least you will have a funny story to tell at the festival this weekend. ;)
I don't even think you need the extra lighting though because your pics always look great!!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I love your drawing of the photography lesson. :)

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

Oooh, I love learning about photography stuff! More, please! And sorry about the blah meal...I hate it when that happens!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergrocery goddess jen

I hate when recipes turn out not so great - it looks good though & I'd probably eat it. :)

what a great idea for taking photos! i never would have thought of that... although i really need some major lessons on taking pics

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren at KeepItSweet

Weird as it may be, the paper towel bounch is actually a pretty good idea. I can't wait to see my family's faces when I try it out! ;-)

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErika @ Food.Fitness.Fun

I'm not a big fan of the Muir Glen tomato sauces either (though I love their canned tomatoes). Have you ever tried the Whole Foods 365 organic sauces? In terms of taste and price they absolutely cannot be beat (I especially love the italian herb and the tomato basil).
PS I want that parmesan bagel. Badly.

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJ

You are so stinkin cute and resourceful ;-)

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristy

I alllways look like a crazy person taking my pictures, I think thats why I enjoy being home by myself most of the day. So many of my recipes end up being blah-fails. I think I'm not daring enough with my ingredients.

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I've bought boards, too, to help with pics but I can't prop them up correctly. All your food looks delish!!!! :)

baaaaaahahahahaha! I love your diagram of the bounce lighting. hehehe.

And k, dude, WHY have I not been planning ahead for this weekend? I woke up this morning and I realized I also 588 things to do before I leave! (1 less than you since I'm not doing an incredible photo training workshop.) :)


November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTeri [a foodie stays fit]

I still think the meal looks good. Oh, and my kitchen has two lights and makes it impossible to take photos after 2 pm. I've gotten used to the idea that my dinner photos will suck unless I move. :)

I love all the thought you put into getting the best light. Thanks for sharing your know how!!

I love spaghetti squash--it's really yummy to make a tuna noodle casserole with the squash in place of the egg noodles!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaSaundra

I love the ghetto light bounce! I will have to try it soon for my photography. Pumpkin almond butter sounds delicious! Was it homemade or store bought?

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaddie

Definitely try this one again and use brown or green lentils, which retain their shape when cooking. Red lentils become mushy when cooked, but are ideal for dishes like soups and curries.

In the past, I created a similar dish to yours, however, added grated cheese. Tweak yours a bit - it has the makings to be fabulous!

Thanks for sharing!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSabina

Loving these photography tips - your photos are always so gorgeous!

Also, that dish actually looks pretty good :) Except I would have added grated parmesan. Interesting idea to add broccoli - I'll have to try that sometime.

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlina @ Duty Free Foodie

So I realize we don't know each other, but I think we are going to be at San Francisco at the same time (although I doubt for the same reason). I'm headed there tomorrow for a work trip. Also, last week I was in Colorado for another work trip, so it's sort of like I am following your life :)

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Aww, dinner bummer :(
Thank you so much for the lighting tip. I am finally getting an SLR for my birthday and I am trying to pick up on all the tips and tricks!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

I really enjoy your photography tips (especially with the drawings!). I'll be curious to see what you think of the white board and if that helps. Haha I've had so many dinners that I thought I had a great concept for but turned out blah - especially when I'm rushing! Glad to know that no one makes "perfect" dinners every night :)

Please tell me you created that little gem of a drawing up there! Paper towel bounce demonstration, FTW ;) haha

Have fun getting ready for the trip!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather C

Here's a fun fact about ginger: if you take it in any form before going to a theme park, on a boat, etc it will alleviate motion sickness.

This is what I learn watching the Cooking Channel at 1 a.m.

Have so much fun on your trip! I can't wait for pics and recaps!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

I'm sorry your dinner was lackluster... such a rarity for you!! :)

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristin L.

What a great idea - I struggle with taking photos of my dinner at night so I'll have to try that!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertab - just weighing in

lol, LOVE your paper towel white bounce thang. Very Macgyver like of you!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie H.

I tried making a bounce once with a huge piece of white paper. I really need to figure it out . . . before the time change. Food photography will now not just be difficult for me, NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. BLAHHHHH! :)

I am so glad I am not the only one with red lentil issues! I thought it was something I did when they came out mushy. Do you think they need less water? Shorter cooking time? They are so pretty and such a waste as mush!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Man, I wish that I could finish whatever I cook in the daylight hours! My photography has suffered lately since it's dark up until the time I go to work, and by the time I get off work, work out, come home and get dinner ready, it's dark again. I can't win!

Also, I'm finally getting my own DSLR next week. Any suggestions on additional equipment (beyond the body and stock lens) I may need for food photography?

I wish I was HOME during daylight hours! Stupid days getting shorter... I totally know what you mean about light bouncing though; before our renovations our window frames were a dark wood and our basement suite was dark and dingy, and after painting them white our space doubled in brightness! Love light bouncing!

I have leftover spaghetti squash from last nights dinner in the fridge, I think I may just try to come up with a `pasta bake` with it tonight!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah-Mae @ Eat, Run, Knit

If you're in a pinch, you could also use foil if you have natural light coming through a window or you could use a light-colored sheet. If you don't have natural light coming through you could bring some lamps into the kitchen while taking photos and diffuse the light by putting a light-colored sheet over it. Good luck!!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBailey

I love spaghetti squash but without the right toppings/sauce it is very blahhh.

I had no idea what a white bounce board was until I started working on is so funny to see the cinematographer running around with one as the camera operators move... I love that you used a paper towel for one! I really wish I could make it to SF this weekend for your photo tutorial. I really would love a blog post recapping some of the things you go over!

The pumpkin french toast is definitely on my must-try list! I loved the neverhomemaker vegan french toast and I am sure this is just as good! I still need to try your smoothie too!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

aw man sorry that didnt taste as good as you thought but it looks darn delicious! i love the idea of making bagel bread crumbs!! geniousssss

oh and pumpkin smoothie yes LOVEEEE

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi(onefitfoodie)

You will be missed! That's awesome that you work with very cool! Let me know if you try the f.toast :)

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes, I have seen both of these ideas before...great points! Thanks!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Are you getting a canon? If so, 50mm f1.8! Great lens for the cost!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Try making a light box! I really need to...

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

hahaha I do what I can ;)

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

It probably won't help with night the light is already too dark. If you still have natural light though and there are shadows on one side, give it a try!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Ginger is awesome for upset stomachs! I love the ginger kombucha...always settles my tum!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

OF course I did!!!!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Fabulous!!! Very exciting!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

hahaha that's so funny!!!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I did add parm on top...the crumbs + cheese saved it!

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Great idea....I used the red lentils in a soup recipe recently that was amazing...for this...not so much! :)

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I've linked to it in a bunch of posts...check the top of yesterday's post. :)

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

LOL!!!!!! I still have about 356 things to do!! ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

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