August 19, 2013

The Weekly Dozen Vol. 4

Over the last week I've not had as much chance to get out with my Nikon DSLR but managed to grab a few snaps with my iPhone 5.  We were house-sitting the past couple of weekends in Silver Lake which is an area of East LA and set up in the hills.  We spent most of our time on long walks with the dogs, and cooking.  We are hoping to move this way in the near future so it was great to spend a weekend here living like a local.

The view from the top deck in the back garden {Taken with iPhone5}

Flowers on a walk up in the residential neighbourhood of Silver Lake {Taken with iPhone5}

A hidden door to one of the houses up in the Silver Lake hills {Taken with iPhone5}

If you haven't already got bored of my brunch foods, here is another frittata.  This time I made it with white onions, potatoes, parsley and feta cheese.

{Taken with Nikon D80}

{Taken with Nikon D80}

{Taken with Nikon D80}

Another brunch favourite of mine are soft boiled eggs with Vegemite toast soldiers... {Taken with iPhone5}

Mr Theo Curran {Taken with Nikon D80}

An afternoon sugar hit whilst I'm working {Taken with iPhone5}

Knitted cacti on sale at The Holy Grounds Coffee and Tea {Taken with iPhone5}

Project in progress Hudson Bay Inspired Blanket {Taken with iPhone5}

Hitchhiker scarf {Taken with iPhone5}

August 09, 2013

The Weekly Dozen Vol. 3

I recently had a friend in town from the UK, so we spent the last Saturday at The J. Paul Getty Museum.  I'd only ever been there once before (February 2012) and it was raining so it was great to go on a day where is was sunny.

It was a really great way to test out the camera in full daylight.  I mainly took photos of the exterior building and the flowers in the Central Garden.  I'm quite obsessed with trying to photograph bees whenever I can so there are a few of those that you might be able to spot.  I didn't do any touch-ups on these as I felt they didn't really need it.  The hard part just like with the Photo Styling Challenge is being able to see the shot in the viewfinder screen... that is so hard especially when working in broad daylight.  But I'm pretty pleased with these images.  I'd really to go on a course or be able to spend more time with a photography who knows what they are doing. 

On Sunday we went to the Hollywood Bowl to watch Edward Sharpe which was pretty spectacular.  I have been to lots of outdoor festivals back home but more than often not it's raining.  It was really cool to be able to take a picnic, drink a bottle of wine listening to an awesome band whilst the sun is going down.  I tried to have a go at taking some night shots here and just like the day shots, they are pretty hard to get right. 

I was fairly happy with them when I reviewed them on screen... What are your thoughts the images? :)

August 07, 2013

Recipe | Herb Pesto

What you'll need
For the Pesto
- 1 handful of fresh parsley
- 1 handful of fresh mint
- 1 handful of pine nuts
- 1 handful of fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 handful of grated mozzarella
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon | juice only
- Extra virgin olive oil | a good few glugs

For the pasta
1/4 Large onion, they have HUGE onions here so 1/4 is pretty much a half of the UK onions.
1 Courgette, I used a yellow one from the Farmers' Market.
Enough pasta for two, I used wholewheat penne.

How it's done
In a blender (I used the KitchenAid hand blender and chopper cup) whizz together all the pesto ingredients until you get the consistency you like (not too oily, not too dry).   Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can keep this in and airtight container the fridge for a few days afterwards if you don't use it all.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, preferably maintaining that al dente bite.

Heat a little oil in the pan then fry the onions until soft, then add the courgette and fry on a medium to low heat until softened but maintains a bite.

Drain the pasta, keeping a few tablespoons of the cooking liquor.  Mix a few tablespoons of the pesto through the pasta with the courgette, onion and cooking liquor and serve immediately.  A good grinding of black pepper on top works a treat too!

If you like courgette's you might also like the courgette and gorgonzola frittata I made.

August 05, 2013

Photo Styling Challenge | Part 2 Table Setting

It seems like such a long time since the first posting of the Photo Styling Challenge but here it is, Part 2 Table Setting.  Unlike last time where I shot the scones the day before posting (hungover might I add), I shot this challenge over two weeks ago.  I did however avoid looking at them on screen until just yesterday.  I think I had this innate fear that they would be terrible, I am after all my own worst critic.  I'll be totally honest and without sounding negative, I am not 100% feeling good about this shoot.  The positives I can take from this are that it is a challenge therefore I am not expected to be 100% amazing.  I am learning as I go for sure!

I decided to shoot an outdoor lunch for two.  I sourced a lot of vintage/thrifted pieces for this which again is another positive to this challenge.  I now love rummaging through old plate-ware and finding little gems hidden amidst the dust.  I pretty much love all the pieces I found for this shoot, in particular the two Royal Albert teacups and I can happily say my collection is growing.

The main challenge and what I don't like of the outcome of this shoot was the weather conditions.  It was pretty cloudy and it even started to rain which for mid-July in LA I believe is pretty unheard of.  But like any budding (novice) photographer, I pressed on without letting it bother me. I experimented with the aperture, shutter speed and ISO to try and get this table setting come to life but the end results came out really dark. It is however good to look back on the photos and see what I would have changed about them. 

I would have definitely changed the lighting or tried to beef it up a bit, that is a big one to learn and I haven't gotten into reflectors just yet. The other thing is the way I styled the table, I would have definitely moved a few things around in the shots but I only realised that once reviewing them on the computer screen.  It makes me think how difficult it would have been back in the days before digital... (that thought blows my mind in fact).  I do however wish I'd had a tall enough ladder so I could get some overhead shots.  That is def my next investment for future challenges.

I didn't intend to add food to the shoot as I knew I'd get too caught up in photographing that before the setting itself which wasn't the purpose of this challenge.  But towards the end I added a few little sweet pies to give the images some life.  I don't think the image above shy's away too much from the setting.

Whilst reviewing the images I came across this gem above: a little flying insect that ended up featuring in one of my images.  I'd love to say that this was on purpose but I really can't lay claim to it.  I think he just saw his internet debut opportunity and took it with all his might.  Good for him I say and thank you because this really did make me smile when I spotted it.

Make sure to look out for next months posting for the theme Morning'.  

It is still not to late to join in on the challenge.  Drop me an email or message below so that we have your blog details.

August 02, 2013

The Weekly Dozen Vol.2

It's week 2 of The Weekly Dozen and this week I have included a few of my Instagram and iPhone5 photos.  Mainly because I didn't get to go out with my Nikon D80 as much this week, therefore it's more of a 'my week in photos' post :)

I have a friend in town from the UK staying with us this week which has been awesome.  It's always so great seeing friends from back home.  He brought us a lovely egg cup each from Liberty, which is one of my favourite stores in London!  I bought the little woven matt from my favourite thrift store here. {Taken with Nikon D80}

In an effort to use my 'big' camera I headed out into Culver to do a bit of exploring.  Whilst on route I spotted this super bright green door.  This photo is by no means earth shatteringly good but I just liked the colour. One thing I will note about this pic is that having shot most of my pics last week indoors, outdoor photography is WAY harder! I'm hoping to head out this weekend to the beach to get more practise in. {Taken with Nikon D80}

This tower is part of the Kirk Douglas Theatre building in Downtown Culver. {Taken with Nikon D80}

On my adventure I stopped off at the Farmers' Market.  I only really got a few pics that were decent enough to pop up here (and I know it's a stretch at that but this is a learning challenge after all) {Taken with Nikon D80}

I also managed to fit in a bit of thrifting again this week and stumbled across this cute kid's wicker chair.  I almost got it for Mr Theo Curran but I decided against that one... I did however buy the floral glass.  I love it because it's pretty tacky but also has gold on it and I love pretty much most things that are gold.  It has now quickly become my new favourite water glass.  {Taken with iPhone5}

I realise that I'm clutching at straws with this one but it was breakfast time and I like the look of the beans so what the heck here is No.9 of The Weekly Dozen.  {Taken with Nikon D80}

These two were taken today on a fabric shopping trip for The Fig House with Emily. The flamingo fabric didn't make the shortlist but I just had to take a pic of it.  I'd love to use it somewhere someday.  And the other fabrics did make it into the shortlist.  It's pretty evident that we are hooked on velvet. {Taken with iPhone5}

I couldn't do this challenge without getting at least one pic of these two knuckleheads in here... Mr Theo Curran and Mr Laertes von Vonderson Stinky Banana aka Bubba  {Taken with Nikon D80}

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