To view the individual photos use this Gallery Link
Tomato and beet purée with escargot
Chilled asparagus, fresh egg, smoked paprika aioli, crouton, and microgreens
Goat ricotta filled ravioli in a lightly spiced broth with mixed vegetables
Boudin of chicken and foie gras with young spinach and chicken jus
Grass-fed steak over mushroom risotto, red wine sauce
Cherry clafouti with toasted almond ice cream
I hope you have enjoyed these cell phone photos as much as I enjoyed taking them... and not just taking them, but also enjoying a nice meal. They say the best camera is the one you have with you, perhaps the best meal ever is the one you are eating at any given moment.
Going through the archives yesterday I ran across a couple of shots I took in 2008. My intention was to try and rediscover photos that I might have overlooked but deserved a second chance. The following two photos of a train, or to be more specific parts of a train, were worthy of a little massaging and also lucky enough to be featured here today for your viewing enjoyment.
The first image is of a train wheel taken just as the train arrived at the station. The second image is of a pair of seats inside the train. Once the photos were selected, I realized that these two photos work nicely as a set. The obvious of course is that they both are photographs featuring parts of a train. In this case they are of the same train, which happens to be part of the Cape Cod Central Railroad. The second discovery, or I should say observation is the similar color pallet shared in these two images. *Look at the photos below.* *Good.* *Now continue reading.* Did you notice the same thing I did? Excellent, each image has red and blue as the main tones.
Wheels and tires don't usually spark my creativity, but these two photos of train parts intrigue me. Part of the intrigue is the inner child within that loves trains and steam engines. Another part of the intrigue is the 'Neo' in me. It is about choice. Red or blue pill... which to choose? Do I board the train or not? Red seat or blue seat? Choose one!
In an effort to continue the slow process of losing weight and cutting spending, we have stepped up our attempts of cooking at home. Buying the raw ingredients and making your own food costs a fraction of what it would cost to have the same dish at a restaurant. Sure, you can eat unhealthy at home just as easy as you can in a restaurant, but if you want to be healthy, you can. The main culprits in my opinion to bad eating habits are excessive use of salt and sugar.
Having just recently brought home fresh fruit from the last trip to the supermarket, we had the right ingredients to make "Spiced Cantaloupe". The 'Better Homes and Gardens - New Cook Book' was cracked open to the fruit and vegetables section and it was off to the cutting board. But before eating time, it was photography time.
The recipe for Spiced Cantaloupe calls for the following ingredients:
|- 2 cups cubed cantaloupe|
|- 2 tablespoons lime juice|
|- 1 tablespoon sugar|
|- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg|
In a medium bowl combine cantaloupe, lime juice, sugar, and nutmeg; toss gently to combine. Spoon into serving dishes.
Now time to eat.
But before you run off to your kitchen to make this for yourself, I suggest you skip the sugar altogether. We used a teaspoon of sugar instead of a tablespoon, and even that little bit was too much as our melon was ripe and naturally sweet.
So I finally got the nerve up to try a new dish with a new ingredient. Jalapeños. Maybe I ate too many tacos, tortas, cemitas, and tamales last week. Or have I just been watching too much Chopped on the Food Network? The reason doesn't really matter... they were amazing.
To create this dish, first the jalapeños were halved and the seeds removed. Then the mushrooms and turkey were diced and mixed together in a small bowl. Next the jalapeño halves were filled with the mixture of mushroom and turkey. Once filled the jalapeños were topped with diced swiss cheese. For extra cheesiness everything received a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese. Finally the jalapeño halves were dusted with paprika for color and to add a little smokiness to the dish.
Once everything is ready, the jalapeño halves are placed on a baking sheet where they will bake in the oven for 20 minutes set at 400.
I guarantee that if you try to make some yourself, you will love them. They tasted and smelled amazing. Being that they are baked and not breaded or deep fried, they are somewhat better for your health. Also, mushrooms and peppers have great nutritional benefits. Why pay grossly overinflated prices at a restaurant for something you can have fun making at home for a fraction of the cost?
Here is a throw back photo. It is not an old photograph, only a little over four years old, but there is something else that qualifies it as a throw back. For one this image was shot on film. But what really makes this photograph of the famous "I amsterdam" sign, is the camera used. At the time, before moving on to a digital SLR, I was shooting on a Nikkormat FTN. The Nikkormat FTN was produced from 1967-1975. This camera did not have any automatic settings, everything was manual. Aperture and shutter speed all needed to be set manually, and of course focus was manual too. Some might find it to be too hard or a hassle, but I enjoyed shooting this way. I felt that I was actually learning some of the fundamentals of photography.
The shot below is one of my favorite ones from those days. It was taken in Amsterdam, and really captures what it feels like to be there. The bicyclist rolling into my frame really completes the shot in my opinion.
I hope you have enjoyed today's throwback at noon photo.
Here are a few images of birds. These were all taken in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Now that spring is in full swing, I think it is time to make another trip to the wildlife refuge in Jamaica Bay. One bus gets me there, so I have no excuse not to return. When I first went to the wildlife refuge, I was a little bit shocked by the number of birds that I was able to see. I saw seagulls, ducks, geese, swan, an osprey, and even a cardinal. One visitor almost was knocked in the head by a shell. Seagulls drop shells from the sky to crack them open and eat the shellfish living inside. It was a bit chilly on my visit in late March, so hopefully the weather is improved on my next visit, and by improved I mean warmer.
Enjoy the short slideshow, and be sure to visit the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
Boys to the right, girls to the left.
I don't normally do street photography, but I found this shot interesting enough to share. What I really found interesting about this shot, was the clock in the background. Due to where I was standing only two faces of the clock could be seen, one facing left and the other facing right. A clock alone does not make this picture interesting. Having people in the shot helps create the complete image. As can be expected in any New York City intersection, both men and women are crossing the street. Another point of interest is the fact that there are five people in the shot. I always find that odd numbers work better than even numbers in photography, and in this case I think my theory holds true. Strangely enough the most interesting part of this image is that all the men in the shot are looking in one direction, while the women in the shot are facing in the opposite direction. The colors in the picture did not really add anything special so I decided to leave the photo as a black and white shot.
Moving on from the furry theories of weather prediction, we should look to our senses.
Sight has already been mentioned, simply put, sun means warm and clouds mean cold.
Touch is also a great indicator of weather. Moving from winter into spring days become warmer and warmer. Our skin can sense temperature and we are almost entirely covered in the stuff. Unless you suffer from some sort of medical condition, go outside every day, trust me, fresh air is good for your health also. If you feel the temperature rise considerably and consistently, it is a safe bet that spring is upon us. Of course you can just go to your favorite weather app or website and take note of the day's highs and lows. At least in NYC when you move from the 20s-40s and head into the 50s-60s, spring has arrived.
Next we have Smell/Taste. Yes they are two different things but are closely related in my opinion, so I will just group them into one category. As we go grocery shopping, this is the process of going to a store to buy the ingredients needed for cooking, when spring arrives we can enjoy the tastes of various seasonal fruits such as strawberries, melons, grapes and pears for example. Many of these items can be found year-round due to globalization, but overall these great tastes of spring will be found in abundance. Now for smell, if you are going outside like I suggested you do to feel the temperature, here is one more piece of advice... breathe. If you can breathe in a park, even better. Just do not be downwind of a sewer opening when you decide to take that deep lung-filling breath. Winter has a certain scent that is hard to describe, at least for me it is, but it is very distinct. Take notice of the scent next time you are indoors and someone walks in from the cold, I call it smelling like cold. On the other hand the smell of spring cannot be denied and if your nose is properly trained, you too can smell its essence.
The final and most defining way of knowing when spring has arrived is the auditory sense. Listen. Even before you hear the sounds of birds chirping and bees buzzing you will hear two other sounds that indicate spring is here. The first one is music. Why music? Because of the warmer weather you will have your windows open more often, and so will your neighbors. Soon our double-paned weather-sealed windows will not protect us from the televisions and stereos our neighbors decide to listen to at high volume. For the two plus years that I have lived in my current apartment, there is always that one guy in the neighborhood who plays the same 10 tracks multiple times a day, every day. The second main auditory clue one must pay attention to in order to know when winter has ended and spring commenced, is the sound of the ice cream truck.
Now that we have gone thru the various indicators of spring, I ask again, "Is spring in the air?" My answer is YES. Please do me a favor now and stop to smell the roses.
This is not the first time I make a panorama (Creating a panoramic image), but it is definitely, by far, the biggest one I have attempted to make. I didn't have a protractor with me when I made this series of images but what you see is close to a 180 degree view. At first I was intending to just make a panoramic image of the covered bridge. After about three shots into making the images that would eventually become the final panoramic image, I decided to stop. Start all over. And make the covered bridge only part of the panorama and really go big and capture the opposite side of the frozen river in its entirety. When I say big... the final uncompressed .tiff composed from fourteen individual images came out to about 160mb. Luckily the weather was warm that day and my hands did not freeze while out shooting, and at the same time it was cold enough for the snow and ice not to melt. Making the original images was fun. I enjoy starting with one idea and having it take on a life of its own and become something even bigger and better than imagined. After processing the original photos and creating the panoramic image I was somewhat surprised as to how good the final image looked. Feedback is always welcomed, and don't forget to also take a look at the two mountain panoramic images. (Links are below)
For a couple more examples of winter panoramic images, check out the links below.
Mountain 1 Panorama
Mountain 2 Panorama
The next image that I will make available might be an aerial photograph of New York City taken from a helicopter. Stay tuned for update, either here or on Twitter.
Dumbo Streets by ~enzoem on deviantART