Monday, May 31, 2010

The House of the Setting Sun


Took shots yesterday of probably the most peculiar sun-related phenomena in Manhattan, where the setting sun lines up perpendicularly with the street grid. Sunsets are always pretty gorgeous times to take pictures, but this event in particular is pretty special because you can view it setting over Jersey and it's framed perfectly by tall buildings.

Our little group set up around Herald Square looking down 33rd St., which gave a pretty cool perspective because of the pedestrian walkway that took over that section of Broadway this past year. Theres a little island that looks straight down the grid that makes it look like you're in the middle of the street, even though you're perfectly safe from cars.


As 8 o'clock rolled around a big group of photographers, amateur and pro alike, started to congregate around us. Mike had already set up by this point as you can see in the above picture (taken by my indispensable assistant Alia). He took an eight minute long exposure of the whole event with his neutral density filter on, which looked pretty sweet in camera when it finished processing. I'm sure he'll make it look even sweeter in post and put it up somewhere soon.

My favorite pictures from the actual moment of the sunset don't seem to be of the sun itself setting, they're more the ones where pedestrians blocked the sun itself and got this very cool silhouette and rim light on them. One guy in particular stopped during a light right in the middle of the street and began dancing in front of the sun, which yielded some really nice frames.


All in all it was a great day. Great shooting, great company, and later great artichoke pizza. Can't wait to get another crack at shooting this on July 11th as well. Because the street grid isn't oriented perfectly East-West, it happens twice in periods roughly equal in time from the solstice. Should be fun!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

35mm Cooking Theater: Fig and Ginger Ribs

Fresh out the Oven

Earlier in the week aomeone pointed me over to a lovely food blog called The Hungry Mouse, which is full of wonderful things to do to meat (and some nice cakes I'm gonna try to). I decided to take advantage of a weekend my mom was away to cook up something nice for my dad and I.

I took this recipe for these fig and ginger ribs and decided to have a go. It's really simple; slather some pork in a disgusting-looking-but-wonderful-smelling mixture of fig preserves, ginger, salt and cider and apply heat!

Rib on Mash

They were really good on top of a parsnip and potato mash, which was also inspired by Ms. Mouse. The succulent pork flavors were really balanced with the caramelized fig-ness, and the ginger provided a nice contrast-y hot note. This was my first time cooking any really big meat dish and there was a bit of pressure because I was cooking for just my dad, who's a guy that knows a lot of things about cooking meat. But it all turned out really great! This might be the start of a series of posts about ribs and roasts and other protein-themed things.

I think this recipe could also work well with beef ribs, but with a stronger marinade; maybe something with a soy base for the liquid, so the fig is almost a back note. And then you could reduce the marinating liquid with the drippings and make a pretty kickin' sauce.