Holiday Confections Edition

November  4, 2011

We eat with our eyes too, and here we are drooling over these submissions for Your Best Holiday Confection. Sweets tend to be a naturally photogenic bunch, and these five caught our eye with their skillful compositions and well-executed shots. Read on below to find out why.

Vrunka brings us a close-up of her Orange Cardamom Fig Newtons delicately balanced on a cooling rack. Using a shallow depth of field, she pulls a single newton from the ranks, exposing its details in a pocket of focus while de-emphasizing the background. The low angle brings us chin-level with the treat, inviting us to pop it in our mouth right off the rack. 

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Kitchen Butterfly delights us with a pre-bake glimpse of her Coconut Jam Drops, strategically spaced on neutral parchment paper. The gobs of jam and stray coconut shavings are natural imperfections that add interest without feeling messy. The composition is well-balanced -- she gives us enough to suggest a field of coconut jam drops without overcrowding the shot. The drop in the foreground stars as the focus and draws you to its ruby center -- its slightly asymmetrical position makes the composition more interesting than had it been placed directly in the middle.


Kitchen Butterfly continues to be a whiz with the lens with her Dutch Stroopwaffels. With an off-center composition she sets a scene for her heart-shaped waffle, presenting it on a tin pedestal flanked by a delicate spoon. An abundance of textures -- crinkled, smooth, spiraled, dimpled -- complicates the scene, but the consistency of the color palette prevents it from being distracting. Shot from a nearly-but-not-quite overhead vantage point, the waffle's dominance in the photograph is clear.  


Hillarybee's delicate Meyer Lemon Pizzelle are crowned in a soft glow of natural light that complements their fragility. The overhead angle highlights the intricacies of the wafer design and the layering of concentric circles gives consistency to the composition. As the blue background recedes, the plate of pizzelle comes forward to star.


FrancesRenHuang visually invites us onto the plate of her Almond Brittle Garnish with Sea Salt. The up-close view highlights the details of the brittle itself -- the embedded almonds, the flecks of sea salt, its glossy surface shining in the bright sunlight. The haphazard pile highlights the jagged edges of the brittle fragments and gives the photo an effortlessly natural quality. 


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • BlueKaleRoad
  • cookinginvictoria
  • EmilyC
  • aargersi
Weldor of palate + palette. Senior Designer @ Bon Appétit


Kitchen B. November 9, 2011
Wow - I am over the moon with this particular edition of 'Feast your eyes', The feedback is great - it gives tangibles and specifics we can learn from and it adds the 1000 words.....that go with the photos. Thank you. Food52 just keeps getting better.....
BlueKaleRoad November 5, 2011
Gorgeous photos and I love the descriptions of each! I admired each photo in a whole new way. I like it.
cookinginvictoria November 4, 2011
Totally agree with wssmom and aargersi and EmilyC. I really like how you have included expert feedback about these stunning photos and why they are so gorgeous. Lots of takeaway here -- I love it.
EmilyC November 4, 2011
Ditto to what aargersi and wssmom wrote!
aargersi November 4, 2011
LOVE this updated version of feast your eyes, with the commentary!
wssmom November 4, 2011
Love the photos, love the critiquing even more!!! Great idea!!