It's that time again. Every year since taking this gig, I've engaged in the self-effacing act of examining my photography skills over the previous 12 months. This is of note because I am one of the worst food photographers that has ever graced media digital or otherwise, ever.
In my defense, I do my best to dine in restaurants anonymously, so pulling out an SLR with a wide angle lens and lighting would most likely blow my cover. I'm working with an iPhone here, and I'm working fast.
Still, there is no excuse for some of these atrocities you're about to witness, so I'll stop making them. Here are the worst food photos of 2014.
See also: My Worst Dallas Food Photos of 2013
The problem with this dish is that the cooks fill the bowl a bit too generously, and the servers deliver it after sloshing through the dining room. The sauce is also made to order, and poured right from the blender after the cilantro, shrimp stock and chilies are mixed together. All of that blending causes some aeration, resulting in a sauce capped with an unsightly froth.
Somewhere under that heap of wilted red cabbage is a sausage, and that sausage will never be the same again.
You have to trust me that the grilled oysters at Smoke are some of the best in the city. I cleaned this plate 23 seconds after the server delivered it, burning my mouth several times in the process. Speaking of burns, these oysters are about as aesthetically appealing. The plate looks like it sprouted blisters.
Blind Butcher's tripe and tail may taste good, but it does not look good in any way. Add some low lighting and my unsteady hand and you've got a photo that looks like Porky's worst nightmare.
The restaurant lighting here makes food photography impossible, unless you're snapping a shot of an apple or a cherry popsicle.
It's the egg. It's small and oddly colored and appears to be oozing off-red yolk. The raw meatloaf backdrop doesn't help things, either.
Grabbing a sexy shot of huitlacoche in any form my be the greatest challenge for any food photographer. When it's spilling out of a quesadilla like a cancerous tumor, though, all bets are off.
Nachos are rarely photogenic, even when they are "composed" as they are in this shot, taken at Mattito's. As delicious as they might taste, in this photograph they look like a careless mishap.
What's worse than nachos? Nachos made with black chips photographed in a dining room that's lit like a nightclub.
Have you ever tried to take a picture of pasta at night out on the sidewalk at Lucia?
The glowing orb at the center of this plate is meant to take your eyes off the sushi roll that looks like it was covered in crème anglaise. The sushi roll wasn't bad, considering it was swimming in multiple sauces and came with a disco ball. The photo, though ...
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This is a pastrami sandwich I ordered at LUCK in Trinity Groves. Actually, I think it's half of a sandwich I tried to rearrange to cover up the fact that I'd started eating before I took the photo.
These wings, shot at American Outpost, which closed earlier this year, look like some disassembled monster laid out on a plate. Seconds after this photo was taken, the wings got up and stormed out of the restaurant, leaving a sticky trail of sauce in their wake.