Sunday Night Snack Shots Week 5: Pumpkin Salad

Sunday Night Snack Shots
Week 5: Pumpkin Salad


Last week we got down and dirty with four types of Jeon. This week, it’s a Halloween treat. Six months early.

The first edition of our Korean Cookbook, The Ubiquitous Kimchi, is on digital bookshelves now. Included are more than 50 recipes and 200 original photos not published here, there or anywhere. Make sure you try the bibimbap.

The Ubiquitous Kimchi @

Pumpkin Salad. 호박 샐러드

Makes 6 servings


– 24 ounces pumpkin flesh

– 1 small sweet potato, cubed

– 1 1/2 celery stalk, diced

– 1/2 green onion, chopped

– 1 medium carrot, diced

– 4 tbsp. mayonnaise

– 1/2 tbsp. sugar

– 1 tbsp. salt

– handful of raisins (don’t be shy!)

– 1 tbsp. almond flakes

– 1 ounce walnuts, chopped



1. Steam the pumpkin flesh and sweet potato in a rice cooker. Remove before the flesh becomes mushy.

2. Add the cooked flesh, mayonnaise, sugar and salt to a blender and blend. Keep it somewhat chunky.

3. Add the mix to a bowl and add celery, carrot, onion and raisins. 

4. Serve warm or chilled overnight. Garnish with almond flakes and walnuts.


Shooting Pumpkin Salad

Tools: SB-80DX (x2), SB-28, air impact light stands (x2), flash gel kit, Flashwaves Triggers, small softbox, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens, Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 micro lens, silver reflector

  The Christmas lights (and Christmas tree) have been sitting near the front door for a few months now, begging to be tossed into the street or put to good use. We got two birds stoned at once, here.

I started off by slapping the trusty black felt onto our white hallway wall. Gaffer’s tape is the key to life. Then I gelled the SB-28 and fired a few test frames – adjusting for wind and distance – until I had the colour and gradient I wanted. The one crummy thing about working with gels is that you need the strobes to be on low power (generally) to remain totally saturated. That means shooting with a large aperture which can reduce your DOF or a high ISO, which can introduce grain. There are a few ways around this, though, that we’ll talk about another time.


Building the light, step by step.

After the background we set about arranging our food and layering in the light; I could have used a c-stand for this one, but I made do with a small softbox. Not quit the same; the light would have been more dramatic from directly overhead in this shot, but we made do.

I wasn’t getting enough light to the food so I dropped in a second light on ultra low power and shot it through a reflective umbrella. Originally I had this done with grids and gobos but the light just wasn’t cooperating so we went with the larger sources. Finally we added a touch of foam core just out of the frame to bounce light and fill the unpleasant shadows.


Lastly, we dropped the background and hung the lights. The only thing missing was the x-mass sweaters. And pants. I never wear pants in the kitchen.



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