into squares

I’m talking about five quick ways to photograph in squares over at Mortal Muses today. See you there…

art obsession

Night

Dear Spring . . .

The Wasteland Remix

the little one

white

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let it fly — chocolate sunflower seed butter

With the little one on the verge of now eating solid foods, I’m into resourceful cooking and prepping produce for several meals at once. Roasted or steamed vegetables turn into soup, sauce, and baby food. Beans and nuts are in a continuous soaking rotation. Time in the kitchen is swift as the milk and sweet potatoes fly off his spoon. On rare occasions (read “ideal nap days”), I find a moment to bake pie or to make seed butter from scratch.

chocolate sunflower seed butter

 

The later comes together in a flash and it’s oh so good on toast or with apple slices. Plus there is chocolate involved. Enough said. I’m off for a snack and to play with Legos. Until next time.

Okay, some tips for making the sunflower seed butter: I use a Vitamix (you need the tamper) in this recipe. This also works in a food processor. Vitamix users need the tamper to push down the seeds and to turn them from a powdery meal into creamy seed butter in 2 to 3 minutes. Food processor users need to stop and scrape down the container occasionally. Either way, the key is to use toasted sunflower seeds. If you buy raw seeds in bulk, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent burning, until golden brown. Toasting the seeds helps to release the natural oils so the butter comes together without additional oil, though I like to add a bit for flavor and spread-ability. I like to store my seed butter in the refrigerator, which firms it up, since there isn’t dairy present, you could also store it in the pantry and give the butter a good stir before spreading.

Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter
makes 1 full pint jar

3 cups unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted
1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vanilla cane sugar (place a few vanilla beans in the sugar jar and voila, in a week or two, you’ll have vanilla sugar)* or more to taste
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place roasted sunflower seeds in a Vitamix container with lid on. Run machine at 1 and quickly move to 10 then switch to high (I have the Super 5200 model, newer ones are a bit different). Remove center plastic insert on the lid and insert tamper. Push down sunflower seeds while machine runs for 2 to 3 minutes, until the seeds turn creamy.

Heat the chocolate chips, vanilla sugar, coconut oil, salt, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat while stirring constantly to ensure the chocolate doesn’t burn or seize up. When half the chips are melted, turn the heat off and continue stirring until chocolate melts completely. Pour the melted chocolate into the Vitamix container and blend until silky smooth. Transfer the chocolate sunflower seed butter to a pint jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.

*If you don’t have vanilla sugar in the pantry, use 1/4 cup natural cane sugar plus 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract).

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we’re in this together

winter light on film

winter afternoon 1

 

winter afternoon 3

 

Hasselblad 500 c/m | Fuji Film FP-100 C

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winter afternoon

Film from a winter afternoon.

 

winter earlier in the afternoon

 

 

winter afternoon

 

Fuji Film FP-100 C | Hasselblad 500 c/m

Capturing more images on film lately. More over at Mortal Muses today.

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coffee and pie

morning: coffee and pie (blueberry)

polaroid coffee and pie

Polaroid Spectra | Impossible Color Spectra Film

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Anatomy of a photo project

I’m two cups of coffee into morning followed by a bowl of oatmeal. The sun is ultra bright and I just wrapped up a photo shoot about coffee and pie. Watch out, I’m on a roll. As much as I’d like to wax poetic about food, what do you say we change gears and talk about how you set up a photo project and shoot?

coffee and pie

I recently started using an Intel tablet (Samsung Galaxy 3 | 10.1-inch) in my workflow, and much to my surprise, I’m smitten with it. Typically I begin a photo shoot with pencil and paper. I sketch out ideas, create lists, add magazine tear sheets, and take test shots. These get compiled into a paper-bound project notebook.

coffee and pie

Then I use my tablet and the Evernote app to scan all my project files into a master digital project notebook. Once the master file is created, production can begin.

Here’s what my typical workflow looks like.

coffee and pie

Anatomy of a photo project:

1. Brainstorm ideas
2. Create a paper and digital project notebook
3. Sketch out photo shoots with pencil on paper
4. Scout locations to shoot
5. Create a prop list
6. Scan paper notebook pages with tablet camera
7. Add digital voice memos, location and test shots, and any other digital files
8. Set-up photo shoot
9. Take test shots for composition, exposure, lighting, styling
10. Make adjustments on set
11. Connect Nikon DSLR to tablet and shoot tethered fine quality jpegs using Helicon Remote app with a USB cord in live view
12. Edit and process saved gallery photos using VSCO Cam app on tablet
13. Add finished photos to project notebook
14. Share notebook file with client or post on blog

coffee and pie

What about you? Do you plan your photo projects? If so, what are your favorite apps and tools?

p.s. Thanks to Intel for the product sample and for helping to streamline my photo workflow.

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

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february morning

Over at Mortal Muses today with morning on film and a list of things I’ve learned as a photographer.

mornings-winter 2014

 

mornings-winter 2014

 

mornings-winter 2014

 

mornings-winter 2014

 

mornings-winter 2014

Stop by if you like.

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valentine + photo e-course

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Valentine

 

Guess what? My new photo e-course, Develop Your Photo Habit & Style, is ready. Yay, I put so much love into this. I hope you like it!

“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

All you need is you, your favorite camera (film, digital, smart phone, instant…), and ten minutes a day for 31 days. That’s it. Turn your camera on and go.

In this self-paced course, I’ll teach you how to develop your visual voice, make photography your daily habit, and pick up mad technical skills along the way. Whether you’re a new or seasoned photographer, this course will sharpen your eye and your technique. I designed this course to be straightforward, fun, and effective. Over the course of 31 days, you’ll delve into both the art and craft of making poetic images.

I’ll send you a file with all the course materials, including daily photo assignments, handouts, photo notes, technical tips along with my responses to the prompts for encouragement. You’ll be able to follow along the course at your own pace, although I do recommend making at least one photograph a day for 31 consecutive days to kick-start your creative habit. You can start anytime, in the beginning, middle, or end of the month. Whatever works for you.

Sign up here.

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Sunday in February

Before he came down with a fever, they went to the movies. We danced in the kitchen. Adventureland Soundtrack on repeat. He napped, I read. Later he clung to my hip when I made chocolate chip cookies.

Sunday in February

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creamy coconut oats

The week in breakfast. Scrambled eggs. Coconut oats. Repeat.

coconut oats

While I’m here, you might like to try these oats. One bowl and you’re good for the day.

coconut oats

I tend to swap ingredients in and out with oats to suit my tastes. Season as you like.

coconut oats

 

Creamy Coconut Oats
makes 1 large or 2 modest servings

1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
3 cups water (for soaking and cooking)
coarse sea salt
1/2 tablespoon coconut butter
1/4 cup toasted coconut, to taste
1 tablespoon coconut sugar, or more to taste
optional (for super coconut lovers): a spoonful of coconut cream on top

In a small saucepan, soak the oats and chia seeds in water for several hours or overnight.

The next morning, place the soaked oats and chia pan over medium heat, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender and float pillow-like in the pan. Add more water if the oats look stiff and dry out too quickly.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the coconut butter, toasted coconut, and coconut sugar. Spoon the optional coconut cream on top. Serve warm.

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