a few minutes ago
[5/20]. The fifth instalment from my Still Images Award course portfolio. This was a hard one to crack. I started out by styling and shooting the octopus still raw. Not only was it hard to keep the mollusc in place due to its soft and slippery skin and the lack of skeletal support which made it sink in the pot, but the colour looked so pale and uninteresting in the photo. I had to find an alternative. My first thought was to grill it on the BBQ. However, I soon reckoned this was a high-risk option given that I had never grilled an entire octopus before and didn't have a spare one. I was completely lost. Then I recalled how mom used to boil octopus before frying it, to make sure that it is tender.
Still, it was a shot in the dark (excuse the pun!), for I had never done it myself before. Alas, it turned out to be a fabulous trick. At first the change was hardly noticeable. Ten minutes in, the octopus began to puff up and the skin slowly took a nice brown hue. The arms opened like an umbrella which meant I could make it sit motionless in the pot with little effort. It felt like a little miracle!
The great thing about food photography is that at the end of a shot you get to eat the food. Even greater is when the food happens to be your favourite. All the hard time was finally well rewarded!