Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Food Photography Weekend Marathon Day 1: FoodSnap

Breaking up the events from this past weekend into 3 separate blog posts, one for each day as there is too much goodness and photos for one blog entry.

Food Photography Weekend Marathon starts with FoodSnap. Keren Brown did a great job organizing the event and getting several photographers and stylists to help out with the workshop.

The morning was filled with doughnuts from Frost and Lou Manna showing off his great work and critiquing nearly 200 photos submitted by the attendees of the workshop. The critique portion of the workshop was my favorite part. It was the chance to hear what a pro likes or doesn't like about our photos. The most common problem with the photos was color balance. We learned that BLUE is an evil color.

Lunch was provided by Andaluca and included a pasta salad and a variety of different sandwich wraps. Pulp provided a fresh fruit smoothie drink.

After lunch, Lou gave a presentation on camera settings and what works best for food photography. There was a fairly even amount of DSLR users to point and shoot users and a wide range of experience levels.

We spent the last few hours in the studio going from table to table photographing food and displays from all the different vendors. Some of the tables had lights set up that you could shoot with using a pocket wizard. Not many people had their own external flashes. I brought both of mine but only ended up using one since I didn't bring a stand. I kept my camera on a tripod using a self timer and had a Metz 58 flash in one hand and a Photoflex 22" reflector in the other. I used my on camera flash to trigger the Metz and that seemed to work pretty well.

Below are my favorite shots from each of the vendor tables. There will be a photo contest from each of the categories and the winners will receive something from that vendor. There are also a couple of grand prizes for the best two photos. An Olympus Tough and a KitchenAid Mixer. I could use one of those!

Wink CupcakesFooducopia
Bluebird Grain Farms
Frost Donuts



Kathy Casey

Red Ticking

Emily's Chocolates

I've been to several different workshops but this was the first food photography related one. I would recommend any photographer take a workshop like this even if they aren't interested in food photography. You will learn something. If you've seen my Flickr stream or my website you can probably tell I take pictures of just about everything. I didn't realize it until after taking the workshop that food is probably my favorite thing to photograph. If you missed the workshop you can always get Lou's book, Digital Food Photography to get all his food photography secrets.

After the workshop I met up with Mark and we decided at the last minute to go to the post workshop get together at La Buona Tavola at Pike Place. It wasn't quite what I had in mind. It's possible I wasn't paying close attention to the announcement after the workshop since I wasn't really planning on going. I had pictured several people from class meeting at an Italian restaurant for dinner. Having never been to La Buona Tavola we didn't know it was a Truffle Cafe with wines and oils and not a restaurant at all. It turned out to be a small group of about 10 people.
La Buona Tavola

After a couple of hours at La Buona Tavola we decided we were hungry and walked over to Serious Pie for some pizza. Serious Pie has been on my restaurants to go to for some time and am glad we went there. It was some good pizza. The two restaurants on the top of my list now are Delancey and Lunchbox Laboratory.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blue C Sushi

We have been attending the Seattle Area Photoshop Users group nearly every month at Adobe in Fremont. It's a great way to learn and ask questions about Photoshop, Lightroom and other Adobe products.

We have been going to Chiso for dinner before the meetings just about every month. We decided to try some place different. Lunchbox Laboratory was our first choice but was told via twitter that they were on vacation for a few days so maybe we will try them next month. To keep with the sushi theme we decided on Blue C Sushi. It was my first time at the Fremont location. We got there in time for happy hour so we sat at the bar upstairs overlooking the sushi conveyor belt.

We picked all of our items off of the happy hour menu starting with something to drink and a plate of edamame. We followed that with a spicy tuna roll, tempura vegetables, and pork gyoza. The happy hour servings were small portions but they were tasty and the price was good. We ended the meal with another small house sake and a Kin Shi roll. The happy hour food specials ranged from $1 to $3.25 a plate. If you're looking for a good sushi place for a good price I would recommend Blue C.

The photos below were all taken with my new 50mm F1.4 Zuiko lens using manual focus and ambient light.

Blue C Sushi on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Babes in Ballard

I haven't really done any knitting in years but started up again this year knitting socks and a couple of hats. I went to my first knitting group last week with the Babes in Ballard. Jill and Laura, pictured above, were familiar faces and I got to meet some new people. I visited one of Rebecca's knitting groups once just for fun, I wasn't knitting at the time so just watched everyone else for a little while.

We met up at Aster Coffee Lounge. I got there a little early to catch some happy hour special. I had a glass of wine and a panini. I wasn't all that impressed with the food. The panini was a little too crispy and roughed up the roof of my mouth. It was like eating Captain Crunch if you know what I mean. There were also a lot of fruit flies swarming my wine. I had to keep a napkin over the glass to keep them from getting drunk. Other than that it was a nice little area. We sat in some comfy chairs in the corner by the window.

Knitting with a bunch of other people while talking/listening was a different experience for me. It's probably best not to knit a very difficult pattern because it's easy to lose your place or mess up. I was working on my Child's First Sock from my Knitting Vintage Socks book. I was glad I had knitted several rows first and had the pattern pretty well down so I didn't mess it up.

We had about 7 babes show up and they are meeting every Wednesday night. I will try to make it again, but it's hard for me to get out there since I live an hour away. I'm working on my 6th pair of socks now. Here's a photo of the 5 pair I've finished so far this year.