Some Kitchen Fun

I've posted quite a few food pics so far (in case you haven't noticed), but what I haven't posted is where all these dishes are made. Even though the kitchen is my favorite room in the house, I still don't have any shots of it that I really like yet. I'll need to spend some more time on that eventually.

Since the camera is practically a permanent attachment on my arm, I obviously have taken quite a few random shots of just about everything, and the kitchen is no exception. Here are a few...


Stir-Fry for breakfast? - North Bay Food Photography

Pretty much every day of the week, I have the exact same thing for breakfast (I'll post a pic of that some other time). So when something different gets on the plate in the morning, I of course have to take out the camera and snap a few shots. I don't have time to say much more about it now, so here are the pics...


Not So Good For Your Appetite

No good food to post today. lunch consisted mostly of old, dry KD, so I had no interest in pulling out the camera. I did receive a few interesting suggestions for pictures though.  The idea is was to photograph something dead, or rotten, and somehow make it look nice. I think this could make for some pretty interesting shots, and I'll need a bit of planning for the visuals that first came to mind when I read the suggestions.  I'm not too sure if I'm ready to have things rotting in my house for weeks before they're at the point I want them to be for the photos. I might have to wait until summer for this project, so I can let things rot outside. hah.

In the meantime, I do already have some shots of rotten things, which I took for no good reason really.  One is a fish I happened to see on the beach one day, and the other is a dead, dried up cactus we had in the house a while back. The cactus looked like some strange sea creature to me, so I tried to take the shot in a way that would make it look like it was on the move.  These shots are not necessarily appealing, or nice to look at in any way, but they're somewhat related to the requested theme, so they'll remind me to follow through with what I have in mind for taking something disgusting and making it look appealing. Here they are...


Shooting The Brothers Humble - North Bay Photography

A few months back, I took a few headshots of buddy Michael B Humble for use in promotion of "The Lake" (one of our Somerset Productions projects). There were definitely some goofy shots in there, but in the end, we did end up with some nice ones too.

Today, Mike's little bro Ryan came by for a few headshots of his own.  He recently got his real estate license, and starts his first job on monday. So he needed more of a simple, corporate shot to use in his self promotion. Good luck with the new career Ryan!

here are a few shots of the bros...

Who Likes Eggplant Anyway?

Lots of people like it apparently.  I'm generally not one of them, and there are two main reasons for that:

1) the soggy texture of cooked eggplant grosses me out.

2) I'm a little weird, and there are a few words that I really don't like (ok, many words) to the point where they almost put me in a bad mood when I hear them. It makes no sense, and I can't explain why, but some of the words at the top of my 'hate list' are:
- Pumpernickel
- Cliché
- Verbage
- Couch (when used as a verb)
- and of course... Eggplant

Anyway, where I'm going with this is that I've finally had something with eggplant in it that I actually really liked. An eggplant soup with ground beef, tomatoes, celery and more... thick, chunky, and deeeelicious! I guess I'm not quite done with my food picture phase just yet.    


Keep the suggestions coming!

I've received some good suggestions, and I'll definitely try to get some new shots to go with those themes (along with food shots I'll continue taking, hah). Until I have the chance to take more pictures, I thought I'd post some of the pictures I already had that fit with the suggested themes. These are the first images that came to mind when I read the comments: for Edward, a shot of something old and decayed. For Sacha, a dessert, someone doing something they're passionate about, and me in a photo, taking a photo of, well... me. And last but not least, a nature shot suggested by Nicole.


What to do next? Any ideas?

It feels like I haven't posted anything in a while, so to get things going again, here's some more lunch! I'm having fun taking all these food shots, but I do want to mix things up a bit. I think I need a new 'theme' to shoot for. Something other than edibles. Any ideas? Until I move on to my next fixation, here's a plate of spaghetti, with baby bok choy, mushrooms, pine nuts and sausage...


Breakfast Time!

I've posted plenty of food shots, which included a variety of lunch and dinner dishes, appetizers, salads, etc... What has been missing is a little bit of breakfast. I've struggled a bit with breakfast shots, for two reasons:

1) I hate eating cold eggs. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I do eat this food after I take some shots of it. So, this makes me rush things a bit to get a few decent pictures and pack up the camera while the egg still has some heat left in it. Not easy.

2) Lighting. During the week, it's still dark outside when I have breakfast, and since I only use available light for these food shots, it's tough to get anything decent until the sun comes up. Turning on the kitchen or dining room lights just ruins everything, and flash doesn't do any good either. I'm not about to take out any lighting gear first thing in the morning.

Anyway, I think I managed to get a few decent pictures. I was debating which one to put up, but then I realized this isn't for some competition where you can only submit one photo. It's just for my blog, where I can post as many of these silly things as I want. So here they are.


Up, up, and away!

I've received a few emails today from one of my clients who is in the aviation industry. It got me thinking about how many websites I've created over the last 4-5 years that are directly related to aviation. At some point, it seemed to have become a niche for me, and I'm not sure how it all happened.

I actually had no interest at all in flying (I'm scared of heights), even after doing a lot of this aviation work. One day though, I had to go for a ride in a little cessna to take aerial shots for one of my clients' websites... Being up there, I fell in love with with the sky and as soon as we landed, I wanted to go back up.

I immediately started thinking of ways I could keep my business going, while training to become a pilot. Hah. I sent Nicole a text that afternoon saying something like "holy crap I was just in a plane". Her response... "holy crap I'm pregnant!". priorities shifted, and I haven't had any interest in going in a plane ever since. Thanks lily, you probably saved my life! Here's a glance at my collection of flight websites;

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Spring Rolls, Version 2.0 - North Bay Food Photography

OK, so maybe we're in need of a little variety. Fresh Spring rolls were on the menu not all that long ago, and here they are again, but that didn't stop me from whipping out the camera and taking a few more shots of the tasty little things. This time, they were accompanied by some mango and black bean salad. I'm sure I'll get tired of food shots soon and move on to something else. Until then, they'll just keep on comin'.


Sloooow Painting - North Bay Illustration

After the last 'speed painting' illustration I posted a few days ago, I figured I'd post another one to show what can be achieved with a little more time and effort. OK, a LOT more time and effort. This piece was intended for use in various promotional materials for a cossack riding and acrobatics show. Sort of a Cirque du Soleil with horses type thing. hah. In the end, there was a change of plans and the show was never launched. So, the illustration was essentially useless at that point, but I'm still happy I got to do it. I don't do nearly enough painting, whether it be digital, or traditional, so this was a nice change.

I'm posting a few of the sketches I came up with in the planning stages, as well as the final piece. There was a lot of detail to this one, which you can't really see because the original image was over 40" high, but you'll still get a better look if you click the image to zoom in. It took about 100 hours to create this thing from beginning to end. Ouch!


Back to the lunchtime routine - North Bay Food Photography

I got home for lunch and Nicole told me to take out my camera, so I knew we were going to be having something good. Today's dish was a soba noodle and veggie stir fry, topped with green onions, sesame seeds, olive oil, and some hot sauce. Tasty! The food picture collection continues to grow.

Speed Painting - digital style!

Painting is something that can be quite a time consuming process.  Doing sketches, working on the composition of your piece, planning a colour scheme, prepping your materials... That's already a lot of time spent, and you haven't even put paint to canvas yet. Depending on the piece, it can sometimes take days, even weeks to finish. It's nice sometimes to realize that not every painting has to be a masterpiece. It can be pretty fun to face the canvas without a sketch, or any set plan in mind and just throw something together, nice and quick. With software like Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter, and a wacom pen tablet, you can create any style of illustration, and do away with the messy supplies. The process of creating a digital painting with a pen tablet is just the same as actual painting on canvas, without the mess!

What I'm posting below is my first attempt at speed painting. I gave myself a time limit of 30 minutes to go from a blank document, to a finished portrait of my daughter.  Doing a "quickie" illustration like this doesn't make for the greatest end result, but it's a nice way to do something creative that you don't have to invest a lot of time in. For this particular piece, I chose to use both Painter and Photoshop, and I recorded my screen while I worked. I then took the 30 minute video clip, sped it up and crammed it into 1 minute. It gives a nice little sneak peak of how things went from start to finish. Below is the final illustration, as well as the short "making of" video clip...  Enjoy!


A Reminder of Awesomeness

Time to take a little break from food pictures... not for long I'm sure. It seems to be what I'm in the mood to shoot lately. I should really take some time to cook some nice looking food and get a good setup going with proper lighting, props, etc... Until then, I'll just keep taking pics of my lunch!

Right now though, what I want to write about is more important, my better half Nicole. She's a pretty amazing person who has been to hell and back this past year, and still manages to keep a smile on her face. She also spends her days and nights taking care of our wonderful (but oh so life draining) kids, and still retains some traces of her sanity. Not an easy task! Then she has to put up with me.  -sigh-

As if this wasn't enough, she somehow manages to find time for some creative projects as well. She's half of our cake making team, she makes some pretty kick-ass dolls (I'll post a pic soon, I don't have one yet), and she also creates these cool little felt characters. I'm posting a pic I took with my phone of a few of them.

Anyway, I think like all of us, sometimes she needs a bit of a reminder of just how great she is, and how many awesome things she's capable of. Consider this post a permanent reminder! I'm also posting one of the very rare shots I have of her where she's not giving me the finger or sticking out her tongue!
Love you baby!  : )


What's for lunch?

I seem to have developed a habit of taking a few pictures of my lunch. Well, when lunch is interesting anyway. It's not like I'm obsessed with food or anything, but it does make a good subject. Today's lunch, yummy spring rolls, and some black bean rice.

Shooting food can be quite challenging at times. Lighting has to be set up just right, otherwise things just look off, and the food doesn't look appealing at all. Then, depending on the dish, you have to worry about getting the shots while the food is still hot, or before it dries out under hot lights.

There are a series of tricks photographers can use to make food look delicious, and keep it looking great throughout a long shoot. For example, a few scoops of shortening can be used to replace ice cream, which can obviously be problematic thanks to the whole melting thing. To keep meat, fruit or vegetables looking fresh and juicy, spraying a bit of veggie oil over the subject is sure to do the trick. Need a bowl of corn flakes in a shot, but don't want the cereal to get soggy? Use white glue instead of milk. Problem solved!

I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the idea. So the next time you see a delicious dish in a magazine, take a good look and wonder what was done to that food to make it look so good. These lunch shots I post are not lit, or enhanced with foreign materials (I actually eat the food after I take a few quick shots), so they're not the greatest, but I still enjoy taking them. Hope you like seeing them.

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Goin' low tech

Thanks to digital photography, and not having to worry about the cost of buying and developing film, people went from just taking the same old boring pictures at special events like birthdays & holidays, to now really documenting their lives. With 100,000+ pictures sitting in my hard drives, photography is definitely an everyday thing for me.

Digital is obviously great, but when I received my Holga (a very low tech, all plastic camera) in the mail, I got a little excited. Like a kid with a new toy, I was giddy when I opened the package.

There's nothing fancy about this camera, it's not much more than a plastic box that houses medium format film. It even comes with a roll of black tape that can be used around the seams to prevent light leaks. That is if you want to prevent them. Letting light in and getting random burns on the film can be a nice effect too. Thanks to the flawed plastic lens, the shots have a nice hazy retro feel. The results are completely unpredictable, and that's why I love it.

Here are few of thd shots I've taken with the Holga.

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Makin' Cakes!

It looks like we might be making a few cakes for people soon, which should be fun (I hope).

We've made a series of pretty decent cakes over the past few years (if I do say so myself), and it can definitely be a challenge at times. The kind of cakes we make are more like edible sculptures than anything else, and so many things can go wrong. The cake might crumble too easily when being carved, the icing's temperature might be a bit off, which makes it hard to work with.

Overall, it's pretty labor intensive, but in the end, very much worth the effort. Here are some shots of a few of the cakes we've made in the past...

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