Friday, March 30, 2018

What Huzzah! Looks like

          I'd taken a break.

          It had been a very long time since I'd last passed through the gates of the Arizona Renaissance Festival. I think it was 2010.  Is that possible?
          I worked for the fest in 2008. After that, I'd shot for fun with a specific goal or two, that, besides securing a turkey leg or a glimpse of Ded Bob antics, or catching a strain of Tartanic playing Black Sabbath on bagpipes.

          But, I think my eye was worn out. Lots coming at me, much that I'd seen, it was starting to be difficult to see things new and fresh. The Fest for me had always been a trip. It's a far away place, a culture, just the thing I needed, especially when I hadn't traveled far away for a while. But over time, the differentness became common, I was just not inspired anymore

          And so I returned this year with friends, who hadn't been to a fest in many years and never to the Az fest. Just to explore,  to laugh, have fun, no pictures required. No assignments. Yet I made a handful of images anyway, not when I felt a professional requirement, only when I happily felt it.

          Photography is a job and a passion. Usually they go hand in glove, but sometimes you get burned out on something and it becomes just a job. The little break of something like eight years, let me see a few moments with a clarity and a humanity that moved me, without sense of obligation, to make a few images that make all of us happy.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Glorious Food!

Shaun Breese, of Urban Cookies with her sons Charlie, 4, and Oliver, 8, making pumpkin-flavored specialties in some re-imaginings of recipes with the favorite gourd of Thanksgiving.
Urban Cookie's Pumpkin Mousse
  I'm not known as a food photographer.

          Sometimes I discover that I'm only known as that guy that goes to Africa all the time. I'm not known as a food photographer.

          For the record, I have photographed  projects on two trips to Africa in the last 36 months, that, after having not traveled there in seven years. Of course I wish it was more, but those projects just don't come up every month.

          My portfolio actually includes far more domestic, lifestyle, healthcare, active living, and other interesting subjects for many clients around the Valley of the Sun.

          And food. 

         Creations that set the mouth to watering at the site of the photograph, even without benefit of taste or smell.

          A little highlight there, a little shadow over there, give the plate a cozy comfortable and natural feel to the edibles that I'm asked to bring to the clients' viewers.

Author Jenn Barre's Raspberry Tea
          Most who know me, know that, coming from the newspaper world of my early career and sometimes still, you have to be able to handle many different types of subjects. Breaking news, sports, portraits, and food. You have to be able to draw at least one good, telling image from each assignment, regardless of time and light restrictions.

          Food is something I didn't set out to work on, it worked on me.

          No studio, no white seamless background, sometimes no room to place gear, but rather a tiny restaurant kitchen, dining room, or a home space complete with reflective stainless steel, all kinds of distracting backgrounds and surfaces, sometimes with business being conducted all around.

          Cramming the lighting gear into the corners, finding outlets that won't show a cord in the photo... yeah we can Photoshop it out, but it's much easier for the cord not to be there in the first place! or finding a way to make camera-sized strobes look like studio-sized light. No fake tricks, no white glue for milk, or casting resin ice cubes, just highlights, shadow and food.

           Glorious food!

Derrick Widmark uses all local ingredients including local, grass-fed, open range,
hormone and antibiotic-free beef of Diablo Trust for his creations at Diablo Burger

Jennifer Caraway creates a Birchir Muesli in the Joy Bus Diner.

Chef Jennifer Russo's Thanksgiving stuffing muffins.

Four Eight Wineworks Tasting Room, Clarkdale, Az.

Making magic at Virtu Honest Craft Restaurant,
Scottsdale, Az, Chef Gio Osso

Mile High Restaurant and Bar in Jerome, Az.