Archives for posts with tag: digital photography

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to bake. It was only a matter of time before my love of baked sweets met my love of still life painting! I’ve wanted to paint pretty cakes for a long time, and I finally got around to baking up a batch of beautiful red velvet cupcakes with the intention of making adorable still life paintings with them.

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Here are my first two cupcake paintings! They are currently available here and here. Check out my other paintings for sale at my Etsy shop, ArtworkbyBob!

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I’m contemplating what I should bake next… maybe a pumpkin pie? Or a layer cake? Decisions, decisions…

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Two jaguar cubs, one male and one female, were born to mother Nindiri on April 26, 2012. They were allowed to go outside for the first time a little over a week ago:

Awwwwww… I know. So cute. I love these guys. But we also need a few pics of Mom:

The Hippopotamus is one of those animals that I usually skip over when I go to the Zoo. It’s not that the Hippo is not a cool animal; it’s just that the hippos are usually asleep in a pile in the corner of their exhibit. This was not the case today: I saw the mother hippo and her baby play together for about 20 minutes:

I’ll admit it: I kinda forgot about Father’s Day. Only kinda. Saturday morning I slapped my forehead and said “dammit I forgot to get Dad something!” Luckily my dad is particularly easy to get gifts for, and usually, his gifts involve some kind of food. My dad happens to be a big fan of See’s peanut brittle, so I decided to try making a homemade version for him.

Brittle, of course, is candy. Candy involves making sugar syrup (one or more kinds of sugar melted with water.) Sugar syrup is the base of all different kinds of candies: fudge, taffy, caramel, nougat, as well as hard candies such as brittle. The difference is the temperature to which the sugar syrup is heated. Different temperatures yield different hardnesses, as you can see here.

cooking peanut brittle!

cooking peanut brittle!

I used this recipe, and for once I didn’t modify it much. I’m not new to candy making; in fact, I make chocolate fudge for the neighbors every year (that recipe, by the way, is a family secret.)┬áCandy is a science, however, so I’d rather not tinker with a new recipe the first time I make it. The only thing I changed was the peanuts. I could not find raw peanuts, so I went ahead and used dry roasted and lightly salted peanuts. I also poured all of the brittle onto a single baking sheet rather than two. It was hard to spread out and set up pretty fast.

peanut brittle cooling

peanut brittle cooling on a baking sheet – smells so good!

Sweets of any kind go fast in this house; I just barely managed a few snaps of the final product before much of it was devoured:

This brittle is not too hard and it’s absolutely loaded with peanuts so it kind of crumbles in your mouth. Surprisingly enough, it’s actually not too sweet; cooking the sugar for so long allows it to develop some deeper, more complex flavors. So, rather than just tasting like sugar, the brittle tastes nutty and buttery. It’s also easy to make, and if you pack it in a decorative tin, it makes a great gift! Happy Fathers Day, everybody!

I go to the San Diego Zoo pretty much every week, usually on Wednesdays. I used to go hoping to make some quality animal sketches to impress my friends and confound my enemies. Alas, drawing animals from life is actually very hard. So I adjusted my goals, and now I go to the zoo hoping for some amazing animal photos. This also happens to be pretty difficult, but being patient and going to the zoo often does certainly help.

I think the best way to experience the zoo is to not try to see everything, especially if I want to get some good pictures. Instead, I try to find an animal that seems active, or may be getting fed soon, and I stick around. I find that I enjoy the zoo the most not by catching a glimpse and a quick snapshot of a lot of animals, but by taking my time to observe and photograph just a few. I spent a lot of time with these tigers, for instance. I almost never get decent photos of these guys, but a combination of luck and perseverance resulted in a few pics that I was pretty happy with.

Tiger at the San Diego Zoo

Tiger at the San Diego Zoo

Tiger at the San Diego Zoo

Tiger at the San Diego Zoo

A friend of mine asked me to take some photographs of her daughter en pointe. She chose the Presidio in Old Town San Diego for our location. I had never actually been there before, but it turned out to be a beautiful setting for the photographs. The weather and lighting were perfect. I usually dread taking photographs of a model because it usually requires a lot of communication and I’m not good at directing models. This was not a problem with this shoot, however, much to my relief. Corrie is a great model and very comfortable in front of the camera. I’m pretty happy with how these images turned out!

One of my favorite things to do while I was living in New York was to photograph community gardens. These gardens are truly unique places and there are tons of them scattered throughout the city. In the summer the gardens are really spectacular. In my photographs I always tried to capture how wild and disorganized the gardens feel but I never really managed to get it. I also shot pictures in the fall using color negative film, which have a totally different feeling from the digital images I shot in the summer. Here are just a few of the many photographs I took: