Saturday, 19 April 2014

Potatoes in Soy, Honey and Vinegar Sauce.

It was Sunday afternoon and just coming back from church. I was famished and thinking what I would love to have for lunch. I run through what is available at home and all I could think of was potatoes. I knew I had to come up with something fast. spying the vegetable seller along my route( my emerency ingredient customer), I though a salad will be a good idea. Ouch, I didn't have enough money so I bought only a head of lettuce and some carrot thinking something could be made from this. Cooking a meal is a process. You have to think about the ingredients you want to use, how to use them, the cooking time and the presentation of the food. I personally love to savour my food when it looks so good. In Nigeria, Potatoes are usually either boiled or fried. We are not so much into elaborate cooking processes yet, we would spend huge amounts of money to have a continental meal. Well, Like I wrote on my earlier post on Going Continental with Avocado, with a little effort making a continental dish is easy. I believe this post is just in time for the Easter Celebrations.


Meat/Chicken- steamed and cut into bite size pieces.
Potatoes - 6 medium sized pieces quartered and boiled.
Lettuce- 1 head. Shredded
Carrot- 4 Large pieces (or as much as you want)
Onion- 1 medium size
Garlic- 3 cloves
Ginger- 1 small piece. 
Note: you'll have to blend the ginger and garlic together or pound it in a small kitchen mortar.
Cameroon/Cayenne pepper- 1 teaspoon.
Dark Soy sauce- 2 teaspoons
Honey- 2 1/2 tablespoon
Apple Cider Vinegar- 3 Tablespoons.
Maggi- to taste


Cut the carrot into small pieces. and slice the onions. Put your frying pan on low heat. Add 1 Cooking spoon of corn oil and 1/2 cooking spoon of sesame oil. When slightly hot, sautee your onions, add the blended garlic and ginger. keep stiring till the aroma of the garlic comes out. Add your carrots and keep stiring. You need your carrots tender, yet crunchy. Now I used hot dogs cut into bits for my meal so I added it early on to the carrots. Add maggi to season. (Note: you are not using salt as this is already in large quantity in the soy sauce). Add the potatoes and meat and stir. Leave on low heat for a minute. While this is on fire, mix the Soy sauce, Honey, Apple cider vinegar in a small bowl until consistency is same. and then pour over the steaming potatoes. Stir until all the ingredients are coated with sauce then take it off the fire. In your serving plate or platter, With your hand thoroughly washed, shred the lettuce onto the plate, and serve the potatoes on it. Dribble excess sauce at the bottom all over the potatoes.. Viola! Your meal is ready. The result of my cooking...

Friday, 4 April 2014

The Role of a Photographer's Assistant.

The last couple of weekends, I have had to attend some events to assist my boss in photography. Being an enthusiast, I always take the opportunities he gives me readily (The pay also comes in handy). While driving to each event, we always start with some prep talk and updates and over time I have come to learn that as a photographer's assistant, these are the basic  roles you will be playing;

1) Sounding Board

Expect to have ideas bounced on you to check their viability. Most times, with my boss, we do this on the drive to the event. The photographer expects you to have your ideas on how to maximize equipment, lighting, and time to achieve the most evocative photographs. So while he's sharing his ideas, he expects you to speak up when asked what you think. It's not about passivity but about generating waves of ideas in line with what the client wants. 

2) Secretary.

For the job, you will be his secretary, documenting every detail that is necessary. More times than not, the photographer is in a creative mode and it is better for him not to constantly have to break this flow to attend to mundane details. Your job also will entail communicating with the client on an adhoc basis during the actual shoot and ensure that the photographer covers every detail of the event. In essence, like the office secretary that ensures her boss keeps to schedule, you will be doing the same.

3) Prop

Well, this may sound funny but it happens. You may become part of the prop in a shoot. I have been a silhouette to cast a needed shadow to being a light stand from time to time whenever necessary.

4) Model

Yes, Model! In setting up, you will be the test subject often. You role is to help the photographer determine his camera settings while exploring the venue and its lighting especially if some portrait shots are involved.

5) Secondary Camera

This is the fun in be an assistant. You are the photographer's back up, moving crane and what have you. Without the intense pressure of being the primary photographer, your role is to create another perspective. Sometimes, the photographer's angle may not always produce the most evocative photographs. Note here that except asked to be one, it is advisable to stick to the other roles of assisting the photographer.

6) Gear Carrier

This last role is perhaps the essence of  you being his assistant. You will be helping the photographer to carry his gear and keep an eye on it while he's shooting. It's important that to be good in this role, you have a working knowledge of each equipment packed. From lenses to mundane things such as tapes, their use must be known. Also, speed and efficiency is important in this role so having a foreknowledge of how the photographer packs his gear box is important.

As a photographer's assistant, it has been a fulfilling experience for me knowing I helped create memories that our client will appreciate in years to come. Do you think there are any other roles you play as a photographer's assistant? Please share.. Looking forward to learning from you too.