Kitchen Black & White

Knife Rack
Knife Rack

 

For this set of photographs, I decided to focus on my kitchen, but give it a black-and-white treatment.  I mostly did closeup shots, except in a few cases, to limit the frame to the subject at hand and not clutter things up and cause distractions.

 

Pantry
Pantry

 

I almost got rid of the soup can, on the thinking that this would be interpreted as Warhol-esque.  But it was there, and I figured, might as well be honest that I like the occasional Campbell’s with a peanut butter sandwich.

 

Cutting Boards
Cutting Boards

 

I also used a variety of B&W treatments here, depending on the exact subject.  This one was a red filter, but some others used blue, or just darkened, or otherwise manipulated.  I’m not set on any one style, just what suits the purpose at hand best.

 

Countertop
Countertop

 

Hey, I live near Gilroy, so yeah, there’s a lot of garlic.  That and it makes up for a childhood without it (parental allergy, boo!).

 

Knife Rack, Part II
Knife Rack, Part II

 

And yes, TWO knife racks.  Too many knives … but they all come in handy, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

 

Fridge
Fridge

 

This shoot was done right after I cooked lunches for the week, and have ingredients on hand for morning juicing, so this thing is packed.

 

Spice Rack
Spice Rack

 

And did I mention I like to cook?  Sadly, this is not all the spices … they are also in a cupboard and two drawers, and the whole room’s spices are alphabetized clockwise (really).  I’m mental like that.

 

Next time, either patio or bar!

 

Happy shooting!

 

See more of my work at

Website: http://www.patricklcahalan.co.nf

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patricklcahalan

Instagram: patrickcahalanphotography

Facebook: Patrick Cahalan

Pinterest: @cahalan007

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Cocktail Shoot

This time I’m attempting to chronicle the creation of a cocktail.  This particular one is a mix of gin, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and blood orange juice.

That said, let’s start with our citrus! We’ve got to cut a lime in half so we can juice it, as well as cutting out some wheels from a blood orange for a garnish, and juicing the remainder.  This is basically a series of (semi) still life photos.  Directional lighting and flash are key here, as is placement within the frame.  Proportion and perspective are big points for success, as is color combinations.

Lime
Lime
Blood Orange
Blood Orange

 

Next up, measuring the juices … it’s all about proportion, once again!  A badly-proportioned cocktail belongs nowhere, except maybe a bad college party.  And likewise, a nice tight-in set of shots is key here.  We’re interested in the drink and the process of creating it, not the background.

 

Juicing Time!
Juicing Time!

 

And now the main event, the spirituous components.  In this case, some quality gin, and St. Germaine.  Again, keeping out extemporaneous background stuff, to maintain visual focus on our subject.  I’m also using flash, as the lighting wasn’t too great to capture the action

 

Gin
Gin

 

Pour
Pour

 

Then mix ‘em up!  This one has citrus, and nothing carbonated, so it merits a shake over a stir.

 

Shake it up!
Shake it up!

 

Then it’s time to finish it off … a quick “dirty dump” into a waiting glass (or you can strain over fresh ice if you like), add our garnish, and voila!  A finished cocktail.

 

The Dirty Dump
The Dirty Dump
Final Product
Final Product

 

My biggest challenge on this shoot was speed.  Most of the steps happen fast, and require accordingly high shutter speeds.  Add that to not a lot of ambient light, and it necessitated the use of a flash, which thankfully was fast enough to shoot in burst mode and capture most of what I wanted.  Not all of these are great (I particularly like the juicing and blood orange ones), but it’ll get the job done … for now.

 

Happy shooting!

 

See more of my work at

Website: http://www.patricklcahalan.co.nf

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patricklcahalan

Instagram: patrickcahalanphotography

Facebook: Patrick Cahalan

Pinterest: @cahalan007

 

Istanbul, Part II – the Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul was a tough one for me.  Even though our guide, Tarkan, was fantastic, I was pretty dead on my feet by this point after 8 hours of walking and shooting all day.

 

Plus, not only did I want to shoot, I was there to shop, too!  Because really, you’re not going to find better.  Case in point –

 

Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight

 

No, that’s not sushi rolls!  It’s Turkish delight, and believe me when I say, what comes under the same name in the US is emphatically NOT the real thing.

 

Not even close!  But so, so good when you get the real deal.  Nom!

 

Tea Time
Tea Time

 

And another Istanbul surprise!  I knew coffee was a “Thing” (and a glorious, delicious Thing it is), but I had no idea that tea was so big in Turkey.  And in particular, apple tea – which tastes like a combination of spices mixed with hot apple cider.  Good enough I brought some home, naturally.

 

At this point you’re probably wondering, for a Spice Bazaar, these don’t really look like spices, right?

 

Spicy Goodness
Spicy Goodness

 

Season your heart out.  There’s stuff even I’d never seen before (which is saying something) but perhaps even more importantly, there were house blends.  Intended for everything from rice to fish to meat to poultry, they tasted divine.  And the stall owner was good enough to vacuum-seal everything I got so customs wouldn’t give me trouble on the way home.

 

Had I been smart I’d have done the same with the 2 kilos of Turkish coffee we got – that ended up having to go in carry-on.

 

And just for the sake of ostentaciousness:

 

High Rent District
High Rent District

Yeah, that’s ALL saffron.  Could make a lot of paella with that, huh?

Happy Shooting!

See more of my work at http://www.patricklcahalan.co.nf  and http://www.flickr.com/photos/patricklcahalan

Festivals, Part II

Entry Sign at EatDrinkSF
Entry Sign at EatDrinkSF

 

As promised, more today on festivals.  This time it was EatDrinkSF (which you already figured out), a celebration of all sorts of delicious vittles and beverages.  For example,

 

Foie
Foie

 

That’s a brick of chilled foie gras being shaved into a guy’s mouth.  For real.  And yeah, I was next (it was glorious, thank you).

 

There were tons of cool vendors set ups around the building … here are 2 particularly photogenic ones (the second one is some sort of divine confectionary).

 

Beats Mr Coffee!
Beats Mr Coffee!

 

For Your Sweet Tooth
For Your Sweet Tooth

 

Finally, there was a demo on how to break down a 80 lb. wheel of Parmesano Reggiano … which unlike most people think, doesn’t involve a chainsaw, 10 guys, etc. etc.  Just 1 clever fellow with a pair of small knives, skill, and patience.

 

Parmmesano Reggiano
Parmmesano Reggiano

 

Great fun, and I’ll totally be back next year!

 

Happy Shooting!

See more of my work at

Website: http://www.patricklcahalan.co.nf

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patricklcahalan
Wordpress: https://patricklcahalan.wordpress.com

Instagram: patrickcahalanphotography

Facebook: Patrick Cahalan

Pinterest: @cahalan.007

Food & Drink Part III, or, Tasty Italian Treats

Hopefully third time’s the charm on this one!

This time it’s more mad scientist action, with some Italian flair.  I’m trying to duplicate a great family recipe for limoncello (not my family sadly, but at least I’ve been exposed to it).

The photos below were at 1/80th sec with a flashgun at ISO 400 and wide-open aperture.  Again flash combined with natural light in the background seemed to work well for my purposes.

Post-process flow was as follows: starting in AC RAW, optimize the white balance and exposure to get the best histogram possible, then import.  Try auto-tone/color/contrast and take anything that looks good.  Then go into curves and see what you can get there.  Next, hue and saturation to your liking.  Then brightness and contrast changes as needed.  And finally, if desired, sharpening, either via high pass filter or smart sharpen.

So without further ado, begin with a sack of lemons.

Fresh Lemons
Fresh Lemons

Now peel them all, and get as little pith (the white stuff on the inside) as possible.  Find some other use for a bunch of peeled lemons, too – I ended up juicing them and saving the juice for cooking and cocktails.

Peels, and Leftover Lemons
Peels, and Leftover Lemons

Next, throw the peels in a bowl and add a bottle of Everclear (or the highest grain alcohol by volume you can get your hands on ).  The higher alcohol content means it’ll extract more flavor from the lemon peels.  Sadly California refuses to sell the 198 proof version of this stuff, so mayhap I’ll need to make a liquor store run next time I’m near the Nevada border and try this again.

Time to Soak & Get Boozy
Time to Soak & Get Boozy

Now cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1-2 weeks in a dry, cool place that won’t get direct light.  Do not open!

After two weeks is up, cook up a 4-cup batch of simple syrup (3 parts water 1 part sugar for this).  Remove the peels (drain them so as not to waste the booze!), and add the syrup.

Mixing in the Syrup
Mixing in the Syrup

Stir well, and strain.  Then bottle!

Bottled & Aging
Bottled & Aging

Put back in a cool dark place for a couple more weeks, sometimes shaking the bottles.  After THAT time is up, put the bottles in the freezer until cold.

Serve by the shot, in some nice glassware.  And for God’s sake don’t have more than one, and only after a big meal.  Otherwise it’ll be arrivederci for you!

Dessert Time
Dessert Time