Pits and Stems

Flat lay image of cherry pits and stems.

Today I was reminded that sometimes you get a pleasant surprise when you decide to go with the flow and experiment with what you have in front of you and the conditions that are set.  As I was preparing to make cherry compote for a recipe that I wanted to photograph, I was simultaneously lamenting that I hadn't started the process earlier in the day.  My typical food and flat lay photography setup involves beautiful, even natural light.  But, when I stepped into my office off the kitchen (the area I designated for this shoot so that I could have easy access to the kitchen and my supplies), I noticed that the sun had already started to shift and would soon create hot spots on my backdrop.  "No worries," I thought.  "I'll move quickly, make the compote, and adjust to the changing conditions by pulling my setup away from the harsh light.  Easy peasy."  In the meantime, I finished pitting the cherries, mesmerized by the splatters of the juice as the pits came out.  While the compote bubbled up in the pot on the stove, I decided to style the scene so that everything would be ready.  That's when I noticed the effect that the harsh light coming through the windows had on the backdrop.  In that moment, I decided to adjust to the situation in front of me.  After all, I've been wanting to experiment with different types of lighting and was inspired by the discarded materials (pits and stems).  What better time to start than now.  I must say that I love the result.  (But, I'm still going to photograph the dish with the original lighting that I envisioned.  Old habits die hard.)