I’ve been here before. I’ve felt this way before. I’ve written about this before. That little voice has been getting louder and louder lately: “I’m not a good enough photographer, I’m not creative enough, I simply don’t know enough, my work isn’t dynamic enough, I’m never going to make it.”
It usually starts when I’m creeping around the Internet, looking for information or ideas. I see other photographer’s images and blogs. I read about concepts I’m unfamiliar with and confused about. And I begin to feel overwhelmed, like I’m buried beneath a heap of talent and knowledge so great and so tall that I’ll never dig myself free. It makes things feel pretty bleak. It makes me and my goals feel pretty small and insignificant.
This very same feeling of despondency has a flip side. For every time that little voice says something to knock me down, there is another little voice saying: “You have to start somewhere, It’s never too late, Be proud of how much you’ve accomplished today, Look how far you’ve come.”
And as noisy as things can get in my head, I’m glad for the little voices. Ultimately, they are what help me pick up the camera time and time again to make photos. They are what send me diving into that overwhelming pile of knowledge to learn all I can learn. They help me understand that being where I am, right now in my life, is perfect in its way. What else could it be?
These little flatbreads were born from just such a battle of wills in my head. One is fig butter, goat cheese and roasted green chile; the other is pear, Gruyere and red onion. Both are delicious.
It was sunny enough and warm enough to finally dust off the patio and open the barbecue grill. I thought I would take the opportunity to play with the light out there and see if I could create some great photos. I can’t say I love them; there are some things I like about them and some things I don’t. But that’s what learning is about, right? And at least I got a great meal out them, enough to satiate me and all the voices in my head.
1 ripe but firm pear, thinly sliced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Fig Butter (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)
4 oz goat cheese
½ cup chopped roasted green chiles (freshly roasted chopped chiles will have the best flavor, but canned chiles can be used if fresh are not available)
Olive oil for brushing on flatbreads.
1 recipe pizza dough. I use the recipe in my KitchenAid stand mixer booklet, but any homemade or store bought dough should work.
Divide the pizza dough into six equal portions. Using a rolling pin, roll each portion into a thin circle about 5 inches in diameter. Prepare a low fire on the grill. Brush one side of the flatbreads with olive oil. Working in batches, place the flatbreads, oiled side down on a grill pan. Grill for about 7 minutes or until crust is lightly browned on the bottom. Keep a close watch over the flatbreads as they can burn easily. Remove from the grill and set aside. Once all the flatbreads have been grilled on one side, brush oil on the uncooked side of the dough. Place toppings on the cooked side of the dough and repeat the grilling process to cook the dough and and toppings. Serve immediately.