Adventures in Food: Vol. 1 - Sous Vide Soft-Poached Eggs.

Back in the day when I was shooting stills on Food Network shows, I absorbed many cooking techniques and tricks from chefs like Bobby Flay, Giada de Laurentiis, Guy Fieri, Aarti Sequeira, Michael Symon, and more. I was also raised watching my mother and brother cook at home. 

I cook a lot at home but I don't consider myself anything more than a new dad who can kinda cook.  I enjoy doing it and it is a way for me to show love.   Feel free to follow along on my journey, but take all of this with a grain of salt (yes, that pun was intended).  Most of these are iPhone photos, except when I get really excited about something. 

First up is my first attempt with a Sous Vide. I poached 4 eggs at 167F/75C for 12 minutes. Here's how they came out. 

 

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A little runny for me, but not bad for attempt #1.  

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2016 Winter Dew Tour

I usually deal with one frame at a time.  However, from time to time, I do operate a video camera like I did last week at the Winter Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado.  It's challenging and pretty fun for so many reasons, but this past event was particularly challenging.  Now that I live in LA, anything under 40 is FREEZING to me and Breckenridge was under 30 and snowing non-stop for days.  We all operated for three straight days in this weather with gusts of wind 30mph and above.  

It was exhausting, but rewarding by the end of it.  When the elements are against you, you need to rely on your crew and this crew was the best in the biz.  I'd go to battle with this team anytime, anywhere in any conditions.  

Here's what it looked like...

View from the top of the Jibs course.  Camera 1.  My post for two days.

View from the top of the Jibs course.  Camera 1.  My post for two days.

What I looked like for three straight days.  Operating in goggles is tricky to say the least.

What I looked like for three straight days.  Operating in goggles is tricky to say the least.

View from my post.

View from my post.

Snow on our balcony at home.

Snow on our balcony at home.

My Dream Job - 11.23.2016

It has taken me 9 months to write this blog post for multiple reason, but mainly because I didn't want to jinx anything.  I have found my dream job and I plan to run away with it.  If you think obtaining your dream job is impossible, think again.  

I've been living here in Southern California for just over ten years.   It's been amazing and I can't imagine living elsewhere. With that said, I have had some of the most emotional ups and downs to deal with due to the freelance world I chose to work in.

The Highs: I've worked on some classic comedy feature films like Knocked Up and Blades of Glory.  When people ask what celebrities I've met, it's easier to tell them which ones I haven't met. The potential of photography subjects and opportunities is unlimited. 

The Lows: Going months with no work. Working on shit productions like reality TV.  Being treated like you are not a human by picky producers who have no respect for anyone other than themselves. Having to find alternate ways to make a living just to eat mac n cheese. 

Another one of those lows for me is photographing weddings. To put it short, it's just not for me. However, I would not be where I am today if I did not shoot one wedding in particular.  Thank you Kelli and BC! 

Now, I have been working at my dream job since February and I am immensely proud of it. I am the Still Photography Producer for Red Bull TV and I LOVE it. The possibilities are literally endless. The projects I get to work on are top notch. I get to travel, shoot, and have the steady daily routine freelancing could never offer. It's a great balance of freedom and routine and I get to do what I love everyday. 

From shooting to producing to editing, I touch it all. I even get to pay it forward like so many others did for me and hire super talented photographers all over the world.

I can't wait to see where this job takes me and what things I learn and experience. I feel very empowered and inspired to work my ass off and create the best content I possibly can while helping this company and Red Bull TV grow and take over the world. 

More to come soon... 

Shooting an album cover is pressure!

I had a photo shoot this past Sunday with a band making their second "Grand Opening" due to unforeseen restrictions that kept them apart.  I shot their live show a month ago at the Farmer's Market up by The Grove.  They are very talented and have something different to offer Los Angeles crowds at the least.  

I always enjoy shooting with bands.  Wether it be lifestyles or live shows... especially small intimate shows like the Farmer's Market show.  My oldest brother, John, has been in many bands throughout his career and I've photographed all of them since I have seriously picked up a camera.  I'm used to this.  I can handle the banter, the dirty raunchy jokes, the attitudes, the diva's, the emotions and the uncomfortable moments.  But this past Sunday, I experienced something I never have before.

I was dawned with the task of shooting the album cover for Molly Hanmer & The Midnight Tokers new upcoming album.  Knowing this threw me for a bit of a loop.  I don't usually set out to photograph for something so specific like this.  I always go out and shoot, feel out the vibe and see what the universe delivers to me.  Then I figure out what I want to do with it.  

This was certainly a new challenge... and I was up for it.  We shot for hours until everyone was pretty much burnt out.  We think we got the coveted album cover shot, but I can't promise anything until I physically see it.  You'll have to check back soon to see what happens...

Here are some photos we took throughout the day.  More in my portfolio on this site.

"Hey there are three tiny chairs over there... and there are three of us!" or... "Dave!  The cops!  Your car!"  Either one sums up this shot.

"Hey there are three tiny chairs over there... and there are three of us!" or... "Dave!  The cops!  Your car!"  Either one sums up this shot.

Laughs all day...

Laughs all day...

There was a giant Sandlot Hercules dog behind that door growling at us... hence Molly's face.  

There was a giant Sandlot Hercules dog behind that door growling at us... hence Molly's face.  

Mavericks: The Titans, The Wave, and The Scene

This past weekend I was up in Half Moon Bay, CA for the Titans of Mavericks surf competition.  Beautiful town. Classic seaside vibe where the marina is over run by fishing boats dating all the way back to 1908. Yeah, super cool. Every restaurant in the area is sourced from these local fishing boats with an array of mouth watering seafood. On top of that classic feel, this is also a surf town which happens to be home to one of the worlds most terrifying and iconic surf breaks ever... MAVERICKS. If you live under a rock and have never heard of it, do yourself a favor and google it. 

This past Friday was the day the Titans of Mavericks surf competition was called on. I was hired to be the handheld cameraman on the competitors boat that aggressively floated around in the channel next to 20-30 foot waves. Needless to say, I was stoked for the opportunity and a bit nervous about the real potential of something going "not according to plan" or possibly getting seasick. 

Obviously by me posting this, all went well and no, I did not get sea sick. Even looking through a cameras viewfinder on and off for 9 hours couldn't make me heave. However, it did set me up with the sweetest pair of sea legs that would make Long John Silver blush. I couldn't stand up for more than a few seconds before I started to believe I had been drinking for those 9 hours. Not fun... Because I was in fact sober.  

This experience may seem like hell to some, and I'm sure I bitched and moaned enough for some to argue that I thought it was hell too. But let me be the first to tell you that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I loved every minute of it. It was super challenging and almost became a game of survival by the end of the day. I saw so many things and experienced so many moments that I have never before.  

I'm not sure how quickly I'll raise my hand for a relapse of sea legs, but you never know, because it's jobs like this that are addicting. 

Me and my rig for the day

Me and my rig for the day

Sailors delight

Sailors delight

The fishing boat from 1908

The fishing boat from 1908

Captains control room

Captains control room

Competitors surfboards the morning of the competition

Competitors surfboards the morning of the competition

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The day before the swell shows. That's the break way out there. Over a half mile offshore.  

The day before the swell shows. That's the break way out there. Over a half mile offshore.  

January 17, 2016 Boards Get Hammered

For me, today was a shoot day in LA.  Barrels were big but very achievable.  With that said, I saw more broken boards today than any other day in recent history.  Such a gamble, but if you succeed you get a big reward.   Success and failure as seen here.

Matt Pagan succeeding.

Unknown lives to surf another day.

January 12, 2016 - El Nino Shows Face

El Nino has been pretty dormant for us over here in Southern California until recently.  Last week we saw lots of rain and loads of snow in the mountains and up north.  The surf forecast looks promising for the rest of the month with decent sized surf on tap almost everyday. 

Just a short drive from my house in Venice is a break that barrels on bigger days.  Usually you are not likely to make it out of one, but they sure are fun to shoot!  Here is a glimpse of what I shot this day...