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Ten days in the 561

Lindsay Autry maintains her own website. She also Facebooks, Instagrams and tweets. So she takes many photos with her smartphone.

But it was still a surprise when the chef at Sundy House in Delray Beach received a phone call from the Sony corporation. Would she be interested in taking photos for a special exhibit titled "Sony Unedited"? they asked her. The subject? Anything that speaks to her in within the 561 area code.

"They wanted to showcase things that weren't touristy and that you wouldn't find in a pamphlet advertising Palm Beach County," says Autry, a finalist on the ninth season of Bravo's "Top Chef."

The result is on display through the end of May at the Sony store in Boca Raton's Town Center mall.

"It was a little stressful," Autry says. "I'm a chef, not a photographer."

Sony gave her a camera — an Nex-5R — in late February , and asked her to take 50 photographs.

"I couldn't delete anything or take multiple shots," she says. "I had 10 days to take the photos, and then, I Fed Ex-ed them the memory card. They created the gallery at the Boca Sony store. It's a loop of all 50 shots."

Autry took photos at Swank Specialty Produce in Loxahatchee, where she's the resident chef. Swank Farms hosts visiting chefs for special outdoor luncheons. She visited the West Palm Beach GreenMarket and took shots of the unusual architecture and dive bars in the city's historic Old Northwood neighborhood, where she lives.

"There's a neat panoramic shot by the Flagler Bridge. I took some food shots of myself making pickles and pepper jelly," she says.

Autry says she loved the camera, because it does the kind of photo alterations familiar to users of Instagram or photo-editing programs. The best part of the challenge, she says, was being able to keep what she calls a very user-friendly camera.

"I always wanted to be a great photographer," she says, "but being a chef has always gotten in the way." or 954-356-4632. Read his blog at

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