30 Second Rule

What is the 30 Second Rule?

Part of what I enjoy about blogging is taking photographs of the dishes I eat. It is a memento I can keep to remind me of a tasty dish or a beautiful presentation. However, as much as capturing the perfect picture is important, above anything, I love eating. I am not going to allow my food to go cold while trying to capture the perfect shot. From the moment a dish is served, I aim to start eating it within a 30 second window.

Why the 30 Second Rule?

The idea comes from the omakase Sushi experience – you know the one where you sit behind a counter and the sushi chef will make and serve the sushi to you one piece at the time. Sushi chefs believe that once a piece of sushi is crafted, it is best enjoyed within 30 seconds of being presented to the diner to ensure the rice is at the correct temperature. As such I have extrapolated this concept to all my meals. I will only spend a very short time taking photos to ensure I enjoy a dish as it is meant to by the chef. Also I don’t like to keep my dining companion(s) waiting.

What does this mean?

A quick snap from one or at most two different angles and I will start tucking in to the dish. Gone are the days where I will try to photograph a dish from various angles using multiple filters to obtain 10 different shots. I do not carry different lenses for this very reason. Sometimes this means my photos will be a bit rushed – a bit off-centred, a bit off-focused or just downright terrible. Who cares? This is a hobby but for me, dining should always come first.

Anything else?

All my photos are taken without the use of any flash for the comfort of other diners. The quality of photos are usually excellent during lunch service when lighting is good. However pictures taken during dinner are very variable depending on how much the restaurant chooses to dim the lighting, sometimes to the point that the diners have to use a pen torch to read the menu. As such, I sometimes have to adjust the lighting of my photos using iPhotos on my Mac.

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