Apr 30, 2012

Saskatoon String Players

On fourteen hours notice, while discussing upcoming events in life with our small group, I was told about the plans of Leon and Sandra's eldest son, Brendan to photograph the string players at the Saskatoon Christian School. All six of their children play instruments and sound great when I have heard them. I was invited to shoot as well as his experience is growing and in a 50 minute lunch hour getting photos of twelve students and group shots. Brendan wasn't able to come, but Sandra did and shot a number of group photos as I shot individuals. I was glad to help and to have hands to help me be as efficient as possible with my time and shooting.


When I arrived I thought we had full use of the stage. Thankfully I learned that a group would be practicing at noon before I was all set up. Backstage was fully open to us and a perfect window on an overcast day provided a perfect soft, on axis, fill light that saved me setting up another stand.

The largest obstacle was the volume of the practicing group on the other side of the curtain. Guitar, drums, choir, piano, bass all playing "How He Loves Us" by the David Crowder Band:


They sounded good, in fact, I thought better than the above video of the writer, to the point that the song was still stuck in my head when I woke up in the middle of the night. The trouble was that I have enough trouble communicating with a subject from behind the camera with my weak voice without a full volume band. This was managed just fine by the incredible attitude and patience of those I was photographing. Such maturity and manners for their age. It was a pleasure to be their photographer for an hour.


I hope to have more to post soon, but am waiting for their parents' approval before I place their children's faces on the internet. I hope I have future opportunities to photograph these talented people.

Apr 21, 2012

Mango Curried Chicken


So, typically Angie is the one to post recipes but since I came up with tonight's supper using a few recipes I saw online as guidelines, it is my turn.

 

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 medium mangoes peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
1 white onion coarsely chopped
1/2 red onion coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper coarsely chopped
1 coloured bell pepper coarsely chopped
1 can of bamboo shoots
5 cloves of garlic
3-5 tablespoons of minced ginger
2 tablespoons of oil for browning chicken
1 can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1-3 generous tablespoons of red curry paste
1 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

Method:

Start by browning the chicken breasts. Cook them so that they are just finished being pink in the middle, remove them from the heat and set aside. Cook the onion, peppers, garlic and ginger until they are just starting to become tender. While they are cooking prepare your sauce which consists of the coconut milk, soy sauce, curry paste and chicken stock.

Cut your cooked chicken into small pieces. Add the sauce, mango and bamboo shoots to the vegetables and simmer for 2-4 min. Add back in the cut up chicken. At this point the thickness is up to you. I prepared this with jasmine rice with the intention of making it a medium to soak up sauce so we left a little bit thinner. We did still need to remove some of the sauce, mix it with cornstarch and stir it back into thicken it up to our desired consistency. After that, stir in the cilantro and serve over rice.

It could've been a little bit spicier so you may want to add more curry or another form of heat if that is what you like. We tend to like things pretty spicy.

I was going for a dish that tastes very similar to a curry that I have had at Royal Thai in Saskatoon. I have been craving it for some time and I think I got it as close as I could ever hope to get it on the first try and am, to be perfectly honest, quite proud of it. My craving for that dish has been thoroughly satisfied with what I cooked this evening.

Apr 12, 2012

Some Minor Changes


Okay, here goes nothing. I say that because I have installed a newer version of dictation software and we have no idea how accurate it will be until I get it trained to my voice over the next few months. So, if something I say makes no sense at all pretend it is a game of Mad Gab and slur their words together to try and figure out what I have said. :-) So far it has not made a single error in this paragraph so I am feeling confident about it. On to the topic of this post.

When I decided to trust my photo hosting to 500px I felt like I had made a good choice. Certain features that Flickr has it did not. The community base was much smaller, but Flickr is years old and 500px.com was brand-new. Very recently 500px.com instituted the one feature that I was missing most from Flickr and that was the ability to group photos into sets. As for the community, this website has exploded with people, has an amazing rating system, has excellent support and the commenters and contributors are top-notch.

Previously I was able to group photos into different portfolio collections. You'll still be able to see those by accessing "The Portfolio" but it will be thinned out to contain only the best images. The problem with what I consider to be the best images is that a lot of people like the photos I feel indifferent about. I do not want to limit the photos that are available for sale because of a portfolio collection that has been minimized to show what I consider only the best. Now with the option of creating sets, that is remedied because I can include in that set all of the photos of a specific category that I would be willing to sell as a product.

Because of this change there has been a slight adjustment to the navigation on the right hand bar of this site. It is pretty self-explanatory and should take little to no time for you to determine where to find the photos you are looking for. As always, if you find any dead links or errors I have made, during these blurry hours before bed, would you be so kind as to let me know about them so that I can fix them.

Have a great weekend and I hope to have some more interesting news and photos for you soon. For now I am keeping the details under my hat.

Apr 7, 2012

Happy Easter!


I just wanted to wish you all a happy Easter and give a brief update. Most of the time when I say that I get long-winded, but here goes.

Life has been busy. Sold Angie's car, spend a fair bit of time shopping, test driving and searching for the new one. We found it. A very low mileage 2005 Nissan Altima. It's not likely to win any beauty contests, but is in great shape and will hopefully last many years. Angie likes it and the mediocre green colour of it is even growing on her. We were grateful to have my dad's expertise and experience in test driving and negotiating last weekend when we bought it.

The nicest part of this buying experience was that we were in no hurry, had our maximum price in mind and were very ready to walk away from the first condescension or liar of a salesperson. I did not mind being Angie's chauffeur but I did realize how much it would have occupied my regular activities if I had any planned and made for busier days than I am used to. In one of my regular driving duties I met a patient at City Hospital going through the same thing I did so many years ago.  It has been nice to be able to share tips and tricks with him and to do what I can to help the way my peers helped me so much when I was first injured.

Along with car shopping last weekend, with my parents here for a visit, was assembling the new barbeque, grilling four New York's to perfection on it and quality time with family. This week I made a big leap forward in the final stages of a website I'm building for friends and will launch it after final review and edits. Some prop searching, buying and modifying got done for an upcoming shoot as well as a business meeting/coffee with fellow photographers and friends.

My best friend, Stacey, was up to pick up his dad from the airport so we had a meal together. Looking forward to a meal with his wife and children as they head back to Regina from a weekend trip to Edmonton. Stacey is back to Florida for work. Yesterday was a great, impactful Good Friday service then brunch with friends and today is doing taxes (maybe) before Easter supper at Angie's parents' with her whole local family.

Those have been the causes of the silence on here. I hope to sort through more photos, get the worthy ones uploaded to 500px and share them on here. Then we'll be into spring beauty and I'll be anxiously venturing out for exercise and photos.

Happy Easter and welcome to spring.