Monday, March 7, 2011

a pretty good week

Another week of Project 365 to recap. This was week 9.

On the last Saturday in February, I braved the chilly weather and went to a food photography workshop downtown at Digital Media Playground. Danielle Tsi went through some of the basics with us, and then she turned us loose to take some pictures. Assignment 1: concentrate on light. Assignment 2: style some ugly food (guacamole). My favorite picture of the day was from the first assignment—mandarin oranges (or tangelos or something) on a napkin that I had actually been looking at the last couple times I visited Anthropologie. It was nice to play with someone else's props for a change, and the combination of green and orange appealed to me.

57/365 citron

After Saturday's workshop, I was eager to take some more food pictures. I felt like I had learned some new ideas by the end of the class, but I hadn't really gotten the chance to try again and put them to use. Sunday's picture of the day gave me that opportunity. Steve made us some lemon ricotta pancakes from Smitten Kitchen for breakfast; I had been craving them since our brunch at Plow. That also gave me the chance to use one of the new napkins I had picked up the week before at Heath.

More effort than usual went into the composition, since I still had the workshop fresh in my mind. I wanted to try vertical orientation, and I wanted to put props and/or components of the dish in the background. In a perfect world, I would have had a little glass pitcher of syrup, maybe some meyer lemons, and some powdered sugar in a pretty little sieve. Since I didn't have all those things, I just used the bald lemon whose zest had gone into the pancakes. I also put an espresso saucer under it, because it was leaking a little from the cut that Steve had made in one side.

58/365 lemon ricotta pancakes

On Monday, I was at a loss for what to photograph. I didn't want to take more pictures of food at home, so I decided that a walk to get coffee was in order. I've done that more than once on this project, however, and it doesn't always yield very interesting results. This time, I went with the less obvious choice of The Summit, passing by Ritual Roasters. That gave me a longer walk down Valencia, with a few more opportunities for pictures. (There was a new kitty in the window of Borderlands Books!) Once I reached The Summit, I ran into a friend, got my mocha, and took a picture of the pretty carafes and water glasses on the bar. A successful outing, I'd say.

59/365 summit carafes

Tuesday was March 1, and I wanted to take a picture incorporating the new page of my Polaroid calendar. Beyond that, all I knew was that I wanted it echo the cozy feel of the picture on the calendar, and I wanted to include Bruce's father's old Accuraflex. I ended up doing the kind of composing that Danielle talked about in the food photography workshop. I tried to fill the frame, adding things, taking them away, moving them around to find the best spots for each. I added some dried flowers from my wedding bouquet, then I added the beige envelope under the calendar page, and then I dug out a new tea light, burning it for a few minutes to break it in a little. I still don't think the picture is quite perfect—I couldn't find the right angle for the Accuraflex—but I'm mostly happy with how it turned out.

60/365 march

Wednesday's subject was also an easy choice; Steve had brought home some red anemones the night before. There were a lot of flowers that were still closed, though, and the arrangement looked somewhat lopsided. (My flower arrangement skills are, shall we say, lacking.) I backpedaled, extracting a single stem and putting it in my favorite Simon Pearce bud vase. From there, it was a matter of playing around with the angle. I settled on a shot that involved me kneeling on the floor between the window and the dining room table—not particularly comfortable with the hardwood floor, but I like the resulting picture.

61/365 anemone

More flowers for Thursday's shot, but they tied in nicely with the weekly theme in the 365 Community group: "Anticipating Spring." It was actually a nice springy day, and I walked around Yerba Buena Gardens a bit before seeing Black Swan at the Metreon.

62/365 anticipating spring?

Friday needed to be more about prep work for Sunday's classes, so it was one of those days where I looked out the windows for something to go photograph close to home. I took a break from arranging "I Got Rhythm" for the cabaret class, and I went to bother one of the neighborhood cats. She was sitting on her porch, as she often does, and I woke her up. When I was finished taking pictures, my options included two pictures of her yawning and several of her cleaning herself. She seems to do that a lot when I disturb her naps... like 2 years ago in the very same spot. I went with the yawning picture this time for some variety.

63/365 nap interrupted

And... cue the wrap-up. I was going to lament not being able to think of anything else interesting to say, but then I realized that I can just end with the monthly mosaic for February! (Tada.)


1 comment:

  1. I'd like to have one of your week for a change. Seems so full! The photo work shop seems interesting. Will check it out unless you think it's not worth it .