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A Photographic Argument For And Against Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is over. The post-Thanksgiving sales are over. And yet, turkey leftovers remain. For last week's Shooting Challenge, we asked you to photograph your turkeys. Two of you found the time. And what resulted was a duo of turkeys—one which will make you never want to eat turkey again, and one that will inspire you to eat it for the rest of your Thanksgiving life.

It Just Looked So Placid

Illustration for article titled A Photographic Argument For And Against Thanksgiving Turkey

I took a couple pictures of the bird before slicing and it just looked so placid. I looked over after someone had cleared the meat from the leg and saw the knife sticking out of the pan and thought it was funny how we spend so long perfecting the visual aspects of the meal when they only stay that way for a few moments but remain in tatters for the rest of the day. Canon 1DsII, Canon 50/1.4. ƒ/3.2 1/200" ISO 50 -3EV with flash.

- Nathan Fennel

This Turkey Died Of A Heart Attack

Illustration for article titled A Photographic Argument For And Against Thanksgiving Turkey

Normally I might agree with Mark… Turkeys from Thanksgivings past have tasted horrible. Probably because I didn't make them myself. This one was different. It was a "fancy brined turkey", but not just any brine, the brine this turkey bathed in included beer. Beer makes everything better. What makes things better than beer? Bacon of course! This turkey was wrapped in thick cut bacon for the first half of its cooking. Could it get any better? It does my friend, it does. It was cooked the way meat was intended to be cooked, on the grill! But wait, there's more… Not only was it grilled, it was smoked, with apple wood! I cut the bacon that was wrapped around the turkey up and put it in the mashed potatoes. The drippings were used to make some awesome gravy. The whole family loved it.

I wanted my photograph to be as complex as this turkey itself. Unfortunately the family was very hungry and not amused with me trying to take pictures of the food, so I didn't have time to position it perfectly. I used my Canon T3i and 50mm f/1.4 lens on a tripod. Natural light reflecting from the snow outside my patio doors illuminated the turkey nicely. This was my first shot since loading Magic Lantern onto my camera. I used the auto exposure bracketing feature, which decided 4 exposures were ideal. Combined in Photomatix Pro with minor cropping and color correction in Photoshop. I didn't realize that loading Magic Lantern had reset my camera settings and was very disappointed to only find JPG and no RAW files when I downloaded the pictures.

- Josh M. Bryant

I don't know which way I fall with turkeys. We had braised mushrooms for the main course in my house, and nobody liked those either.


Nathan, Josh, thanks for taking the time to photograph your dinner while your families were inevitably waiting for it.

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Ham is better than turkey. Prime Rib is better than turkey. The only reason I accept turkeys at Thanksgiving is because stuffing is fantastic, but now that shoving stuffing up the turkey's carcass is considered "un-safe", fuck the turkey.