Postcard Of The Week: Still Life Travel Photography ~ A “Taste” Of Jamaican Ackee

Still life photography – yet another photography genre – is the depiction of inanimate objects, that are either man made or natural.

And still life travel photography depicts objects that manage to give a sense of place.

As easy at it may seem, still life photography is probably among the most difficult: because the object being captured is still, there is higher emphasis on the technical aspects of the photo, such as lighting and composition.

Shot one bright afternoon in Aperture Priority at f/1.8, ISO 400, 1/1600s | Some "ackee" on display at a roadside fruit stand. Ackee is Jamaica's national fruit and is used to cook the national dish "ackee and saltfish" which is usually served for breakfast.

The “openness” of the fruit on display spoke to me – in Jamaica everyone knows that ackee is not to be prepared or picked unripe or forced open, as it contains toxins until it reaches a ripe state. The first sign of a ready ackee is to see the fruit naturally open, with the red outer skin splitting to reveal the flesh and seeds, as above.

To prepare the national ish “ackee and saltfish,” salt cod is sautéed with boiled ackee, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and other spices, such as black pepper and pimiento. It usually is served with breadfruit, dumplings and fried plantains or boiled green bananas.

A Jamaican Breakfast: A delicious plate of ackee (in the center) and saltfish, with dumplings, breadfruit and boiled bananas. Cooked, the ackee looks like scrambled eggs.

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Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma has contributed writing and photography to CNN Travel, New York Magazine, AFAR, American Way, Travel Channel, BBC Travel, and others. She’s the currrent author of MOON BELIZE for Moon Travel Guides and is completing a second title, MOON BELIZE CAYES. Lily is also AFAR's Jamaica Expert, and author of the AFAR Jamaica Country Guide. A serial expat, she's lived and studied on three continents, including Africa–from her native Ethiopia to Côte d'Ivoire–and Europe, and is fluent in four languages. A former attorney who ditched the office for the road in 2009, she favors all things culture, adventure and storytelling, and escapes Washington DC’s winters every year.

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One Comment

  1. April D. Thompson 1 June, 2011 at 1:33 AM #

    Awesome photo! Really makes me miss Jamaica and the food.

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