I have been waiting for a long time to write this post about our recipe app, Cook With Me a fresh approach to the recipe app; step-by-step instructions in a clear and simple format.  I am excited to share that our app is available now in app store. Cook With Me release 1.0 features 27 rice recipes with flavors from around the world.  Created, tried, and tested by designX6 team member Mrunal, an experienced cook.

We are working on Cook With Me for almost two years now.  We had some diversions along the way but mostly long development time was because of pursuit of creating an app which you can actually use while cooking.  I and each team member of designX6 believe that we have created a really useful recipe app.  We were not alone in this journey, I really appreciate help from our family and friends who signed up as beta testers and provided valuable feedback to make the app great.

As I look back and remember all twists and turns along the way, I am amazed and actually proud that we never gave up.  I have several tidbits to share about our journey and today I plan to share something about taking picture of food on the plate.  Mrunal tried 3 different camera’s (two DSLR’s and one high end point and shoot), more than dozen different backgrounds, ten different types of plates, and numerous light conditions before settling on the setup she used for taking almost 2400 pictures for 27 recipes, approximately 88 picture’s per recipe.

From the beginning we decided to take picture with real food and at home not in a studio setup.  Taking pictures in home setup meant we need proper light condition.  So one fine sunny day in April 2013, Mrunal cooked one of her rice recipe, Cucumber Yogurt Rice and we were ready to take some pictures. Turned out the glare was too much in the sun.  We tried few different locations, camera angels, flash, and so on.  Nothing changed the final result.  We decided to try again some other day as by now rice grains were not soft and glistening as they were in the beginning.

In our next attempt we chose bright sunny day however pictures were taken inside the home. This seemed to work better except this time flaw with plate we were using became more obvious. Plate was too shiny. All designX6 team member went on to hunt for perfect plate we can find for taking pictures. Anyway, once we got the plate we were satisfied with our next challenge was nature, yes the light we need for the picture in which food looks great.  Taking picture needed fresh food preparation each time and aligning time available for that with nice sunny day quickly turned out to be very difficult. What we settled on was DIY card board with simple bright lights creating sunny day inside the box.  See below picture of our DIY studio as well one of Mrunal’s recipe .  With this setup we stayed true to our initial goal; real food and simple home setup for taking recipe pictures.  Hope you will enjoy the pictures, recipes, and simple recipe format on your iPhone and iPad device.

Happy holidays!

DIY studio

Pesto rice