She means well…

In Lifestyle on May 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

The "Fly's Eye View"

I know it was not intentional.

Yesterday’s Des Moines Register published a food review of the Rusty Duck in Dexter, Iowa.  According to the review, the eatery is the home of the burger voted “best” by the Iowa Beef Council.

I know nothing about the quality of the burger or the restaurant serving it.  I do know, if I were the proprietor, I would be highly torqued-off about the picture used by the reviewer, Sarah Dose, to illustrate their work in preparing the “best” burger in Iowa.

A rumpled, soiled napkin adorns the top of the shot.

Only an accompanying photograph of a stuffed, overflowing toilet in the ladies room would have been more off-putting for prospective patrons of the Rusty Duck.

Perhaps the Register lacks photo editing software which would have allowed Sarah to crop out the napkin?

The resolution suggests the picture was snapped with a cell phone camera.  The “back at ya” flash reflection also suggests this, or that Sarah knows nothing about flash photography.  The shot angle forced me to wonder if the object on the plate at the eight o’clock position was the top of the bun, or if it was a baked potato.  The flare caused by the flash bounce-back so badly washed out the subject so that the bacon on on the burger looked like bits of dried human flesh and made the “homie” potatoes look cold and greasy.

The blob of “green stuff” at nine o’clock had me wondering, “What is that drek?”

It is the lettuce and tomato, in what the over-flashed photo suggests is their dried out splendor.  It is hard to tell in the glare of Formica.

The worst I can say about the appearance of the food that can be attributed to the Rusty Duck, is that the cheese is barely melted and that it looks like squares of the surplus USDA stuff the Soviet-issued cooks slapped on our cold, green plastic trays in grade school.

No, I do not expect the Register to send a food editor and a couple of photojournalists to cover an $11 hamburger in Dexter, Iowa.

Pictures convey thousand-word stories about their subjects.  A dirty napkin, flash flare washing out the subject, and bare Formica took the “best” hamburger in Iowa and turned it into diner-gorp served up by a scruffy cook with a day-old stogie hanging from his mouth.

If Sarah’s editors do not have time to coach her in some basic photojournalism skills, perhaps she can shadow the food editor at Cityview?

The folks at the Rusty Duck, and its chef/cook deserved better.


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