Food Photography: Yum Neua Yang Nom Tok

My contribution to Scott’s Food Photography Assignment is Yum Neua Yang Nom Tok.  It is a tradition food from Laos and Northern Thailand, which is sliced grilled steak with hot and sour sauce.  The dish is eaten with sticky rice and raw fresh vegetables. It’s also perfect with Beerlao or the local whiskey.

Click to see large image.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/4, 1/13sec, ISO 100, focal length 87mm, white balance auto, evaluative metering, tripod mounted

Technical note: One of the things about food photography is that you can’t take it again once it’s eaten. This was our lunch and I didn’t have time to think through while taking this image. I decided to use a zoom lens so that it would create a nice bokeh background since my lens could only go to f/4.  After viewing this image, I realized that I didn’t maximize the potential of the zoom lens, I could have stepped back further and zoom in to the image so that the background would compress more and create a nicer bokeh background.


    • Thanks Cambree, not as good as I like it to be. I need to try this again when it’s not too cold to grill outside. 🙂

    • Thanks Scott, I actually wanted to do it over but the prep time for cooking was too long such as soaking sticky rice for 5 hours before cooking. I think I have a different image in my mind and will try to capture that when I have a chance to cook this dish again.

  1. Your photo is beautifully arranged, and it looks good with the blurred rice in the background. You are right about the technical challenges like trying to convince the family that they can´t start eating, even they can see the food is ready. I had to do the same, but I was lucky to have a good explanation, the tart I made was a bit too hot when they came to eat, so I got a few minutes.

    • Giiid, I usually do pretty good when everyone is asleep but not very good lighting at night. I feel guilty if I spend too much time on it since my family was waiting. As for me I didn’t have a good explanation since everything should be served hot.

  2. This looks delicious! And it’s so beautifully plated.

    I have trouble with food getting eaten before I’m satisfied with a shot of it, too. That’s the problem with good food — people want to eat it. 🙂

    • Thanks Robin, they kept asking “can we eat now?”, funny how I have to see it on the big screen first before I would say yes. 🙂

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