Food, Photography and Lifestyle Blog

Archive for April, 2010

Home grown produce — a search for how to in Hong Kong


In a way I am very lucky to have at the club where I work at my disposal a lot of space and green area! especially in Hong Kong one of the most expensive places to buy land in the world. So it comes as no surprise that we want to start growing some of our own produce, after all all it takes is a little bit of tender loving care.

Yeah right! change that into a lot of tender loving care, because I may have a gardener who can help me at a later stage, the seeding etc I have to do all myself, also the first out planting and organizing a Bird Free cage, plus getting the knowledge of the plants, how to care for them, which ones to stake, which ones need pesticide and which ones don’t need.

Me tending to baby crop

Me tending to baby crop

I have now growing 6 pots with Cherry Tomato Plants, 3 Pots with Bell Peppers, 6 pots with Local Chillies, a few pots with Sage, 25 pots with Rosemary, 10 pots with Big Local Tomatoes, and just started seeding 4 days ago another 15 varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes (think: Brandywine, Purple Cherokee, Green Zebra, Kumato etc) as well as 12 varieties of chili’s, (think annaheim, chipotle, Jalapeno, scoth Bonnet, Habanero etc.)

I think with this selection, plus a bunch of herbs seeds, Eggplants and Zucchini Seeds on the way I am going to quickly run out of space…..unless of course I make a mess of everything and screw up most seedlings, or get trouble with bugs, I am after all NOT a farmer, or not yet I should perhaps say.

Tomatoes, how to care for them? they need to be pruned, they need to be staked and tied to the stakes, they need to be topped, if any of these are left out you will most likely end up with nothing, oh and apparently Chili’s should not be grown near tomatoes…..as you see there is lots to learn for me!

Very hard to see in the image above is the rosemary bed in place, under a staircase to avoid direct sunlight all day, at the far end of it i pushed some passion fruit seeds into the ground, and i hope to cover the entire staircase with passion fruits once they come to fruition.

100's of seeds

100's of seeds

In fact this whole seedling care takes me every day 10 minutes for watering , and once they need to be replanted I may loose an afternoon to it, so its not all that demanding, I do however try with these tiny plants to make sure they stay away form any rain, as rain in Hong Kong are huge drops, unlike in Europe for example, rain here would make minced meat from any seedling in no time, also too much sunshine, not that we can complain about that at the time, as we haven’t seen the sun much, but its best to keep them out of direct sunlight to avoid them drying out way too rapid.

If anyone has a desire to send me some seeds, pls do so, as long as it can be grown in a pot I will grow it!

Also a thing I didn’t know about Tomato Plants, is that when you replant them, you bury the first set of leaves under teh ground as this will sprout new roots and create a stronger plant with more yield, so as I am doing everything in pots, I thought to solve this the smart way, my pots are only filled for 3/4 with soil when i planted the tiny plants from the seed trays, once the second set of leaves emerges and the distance is big enough I add soil to cover the 1st set of leaves…:) thought this is a more handy way then instead to disturb the root system by transplanting them again.

Does anyone know of a good seed or plant shop for vegetables and herbs and fruits in Hong Kong, if so please let me know then as many things are hard to get here and I ended trying for the third day in a row to order some stuff online but for some weird reason it wont accept my credit card each time around.

The seeding area is right next to my office so I can better care for the plants, once they move to the main garden and into their bird protection cage I shall post an update on how everything is going on and what my (sadly expected losses) of learning are.

If you are a home grower as well, pls let me know, I would love to get in touch!

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Beer….you think easy huh?


Ok so I have this sample image I am trying to kind of copy…….but man do I hit my head hard against this rock! I think I have to re-do my shoot, rely more on edituing and shoot 3 individual shots with each glass, then combine all 3 into one image in post……because like this it just look slike shit!

BeerBeer

Beer


Street Level Photography


Today I went out of the comfort zone and went outdoors at night time for some people photography! I started from work and just wandered a bit aimlessly and with some luck came along great areas to take pictures, a nice market, very moody with all its lights etc, and the end of Temple Street with its male only area, I especially like however the typical old style street food, you sit on simple plastic chairs, get food and beverage deliciously cooked and served in dishes which have been washed in tubs without any running water, simply bliss!

Anyway I hope you enjoy the images, and it made me want to go back one of these days just with my wife to enjoy a bit of old style Hong Kong Street Food.

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Food and Beverage Photography for beginners


Food and Beverage Photography for beginners

When and where

Monday, April 19th , 14:00 until 19:00  2010, Location ABC Boat Club

Registration form here:

http://www.hongkong-chefs.com/Marcoimages/Registrationform.doc

Complete document download:

http://www.hongkong-chefs.com/Marcoimages/foodphotography2.pdf

For more info:

Call Marco on 51915292

For who is this course

For anyone who wants to get to know the basics of food photography & food lighting

Cost

HK$ 1200 per person, this includes Coffee, tea, some light snacks and all class materials.

Duration:

45 minutes theory, 1 hour practice with daylight, 1 hour practice with flashes, 1 hour editing, plus reviewing afterwards of the images taken. +- 5 hours.

Course Requirement:

you should have a basic knowledge of your camera, aperture and shutter speed. A sturdy tripod is absolute necessary!  A digital SLR with a wide angle, normal, and short telephoto and/or macro lens. We will start shooting daylight, and later on with flashes which I will provide. PLEASE make sure your batteries are fully charged and your memory card is empty.

Course Outline:

Understanding light
With food photography, light is the most important aspect. No matter how good your dish, if it is not lighted properly, it won’t look good! We will be discussing Quality (hard or soft) , Quantity (controlling light) , and Direction (modifiers)  of light and go through some simple samples of how all three of these relate in creating food pictures. In this part we will also go through the available light modifiers on hand and what they do. Reflectors, diffusers, Umbrellas, Soft boxes, snoots etc.
Camera, Lenses, Directions

When shooting food you want to show it from its best side, you want to show its form, you want to show its texture, you want to show its glisteningly fresh. In order to do this, few points are important, the angle of shooting, the lens selection, aperture setting and even focus point all interact with the subject to show its characteristics.

Subject qualities
Reflective, translucent, flat, textured, are a few words that describe the visual qualities of a subject. Each of these qualities presents a unique challenge to the photographer. We will discuss how to match the lighting to your subject to show off its properties as well as what to do when there are multiple properties in a scene.

Bringing it all together
combining everything we have covered in the first three lessons to create compelling food images, using daylight at first and later eliminating daylight and lighting by flash instead.

Lesson 2: Styling, lighting and Photographing using daylight

GROUP 1:  Shoot, light and style a salad with a drink, 2nd shot assorted fruits

GROUP 2:  Shoot, light and style a picture of stacked Green and Red Apple and Orange Slices, 2nd shot a Curry and Indian Spices

GROUP 3: Shoot, light and style a picture of 3 mini cakes, 2nd shot a tower of Dried pasta with props

Feel free to use any of the props provided, reflector cards, black cards, etc.

Lesson 3: Using Flash Photography

As a group, we style, light and take an attractive Image of some Indian dishes, A Hamburger and a Bottle and Glass of Beer  (3 images) using different backgrounds and props.

Lesson 4

Editing some samples of the images taken on the day using Aperture, Light room and Photoshop

Recap on the projector

Review of the images taken on the day, comments and ideas sharing.