Entries tagged with “Photos”.


pennyworkshop21My husband and I took a food photography workshop with Penny De Los Santos earlier this month (you’ve seen her work in Saveur and National Geographic and various cookbooks), organized by the amazing Seattle Bon Vivant. It’s been interesting exploring photography: When I started out as a journalist, the antiquated expectation was that the writer would stay out of the photo planning, leaving that entirely to the professionals. Later, some of my favorite photographers to work with were those who enjoyed collaborating, helping me understand how they translated or supplemented a story with images. But now, writers really do need to understand enough about the mechanics of photography to take at least passable pictures on our own, even if we’ll never rate as pros.

My big step into improving my (zero) baseline was taking a 10-week Introduction to Digital Photography class at the professional Photographic Center Northwest, where we learned to take our cameras off manual, to learn about shutter speeds and depth of field and other fundamentals. (This was my final project.) Food photography is such a specialized field on its own, though, and Penny’s class got me thinking about food pictures again, eyeing what other people do and trying to figure out how they got the effect they did, trying to break down their photos the same way I analyze the words of writers I admire. 

I also remembered that we don’t even necessarily need a class to improve. Just the practice of photographing the same object and comparing and critiquing our results, as we students did with Penny at Spring Hill, was enormously instructive. We could do the same with a group of friends at any meal.

Here’s a more detailed writeup I did on the class over at Al Dente Blog, and here is a link to a Flickr page of photos from participants (we still need to get ours up there) and links to blog entries by others who wrote about the experience. I especially enjoyed this post by photographer Paula Thomas, who compared Penny’s approach to another food photography workshop she took this year. Funny how interesting it is to see how others describe the same event in words as well as pictures.

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Farming is a different enterprise entirely when it’s done near a city. Photographer Roddy Scheer has spent the past year documenting that life, and his new exhibit, “Agriculture on the Urban Fringe: Farming and Conservation in the Snoqualmie Valley” will open Sept. 20 at Novelty Hill-Januik Winery in Woodinville.

The exhibit (including the image on the left) will be on display through Nov. 1, but the opening night’s celebration will include music, food and wine from local “salmon-safe” farms and vineyard, and guided tours by Scheer. Cost: $35, benefiting Stewardship Partners and its Salmon Safe certification. For tickets, call Nikki Dunbar at the winery, 425-481-5502, x104.

And if you can’t make it, you can still feast your eyes on a few more of Scheer’s pictures below. (more…)

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We took the ferry to Vashon Island to visit friends, but as long as we were there, we didn’t want to miss the Vashon farmers market and a stop at La Boucherie, the restaurant run by Sea Breeze Farm. I’m accustomed to buying raw materials such as meat and milk from Sea Breeze at Seattle venues; I liked the idea of sampling how they would cook and serve their own products, in their own island environment.

This early in the season, we were glad just to wander without fleece or raincoats; we knew we’d be lucky to find even salad greens to contribute to our friends’ kitchen. By the time we arrived around 1 p.m., though, even the greens were gone — but, unlike the Seattle markets, where eggs sell out post-haste, we still could have scored a basket of pastel beauties practically custom-laid for Easter.

Eggs at the Vashon Island Farmers Market

Eggs at the Vashon Island Farmers Market

Hogsback Farm table: "Sorry! We sold out!"

Hogsback Farm table: "Sorry! We sold out!"

Some markets stick purely to harvest goods, but I’ve always liked a mix of vendors. I was glad to see, especially in this spare season, some crafts, a Vashon winery, a chocolatier, and homemade caramels, among other tables. 

(more…)

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Ethan Stowell's cobia crudo with fennel, chilies, and taggiasca olives

Ethan Stowell's StarChefs crudo (recipe below)/Photos by David Dickey

Seattle’s “Rising Star” chefs got a chance this week to collectively show off the dishes that won them the honor from StarChefs, the online magazine that’s been called the industry’s Gourmet. Here’s the tough part, though:

(more…)

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lusciousPassing by this drive-through coffee stand in Mountlake Terrace, my uncaffeinated mind couldn’t imagine what its new sign might mean. “Family Friendly”? Were they handing out crayons with the cappucinos? Mini punch cards for hot cocoa?

Turns out it was meant to repel all the aggrieved men who were pulling in after seeing the stand’s name — Luscious Latte — expecting bikinis or lingerie on their baristas. (The unhappy customers hadn’t referenced the Seattle Bikini Barista site first, apparently.) My barista was wearing a sweatshirt, looked very comfortable, and made a drink that was entirely decent.

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No-Knead Bread
This wheaty, crusty, no-knead sandwich bread looks beautiful and tastes quite good.

Still, I don’t think I’m going to make it again. The no-knead craze has had a good run, but — I’m calling it — by my oven clock its time is done.
  (more…)

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A sukiyaki feast in full swing. (David Dickey photos)

A sukiyaki feast in full swing. (David Dickey photos)

Several weeks ago, we got a note from our friend Eric. It began:

Real sukiyaki is something to behold. Like shabu-shabu, the raw ingredients (thin sliced beef, napa cabbage, shiitake, tofu, shirataki noodles) are brought to the table and the cooking happens on a hot plate right in front of you. The large shallow pot has a simmering sweet-salty sauce. After cooking in the sauce, you dip each bite in your own bowl of beaten raw egg. This is key, as it cools the food down and adds delicious richness.

I bring this up because I’ve been talking to Taichi Kitamura of Chiso and Kappo about doing a traditional sukiyaki dinner.(more…)

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