Just a quick update. The vineyard book project that I’m shooting at Baltimore Bend Vineyards is still moving along. Since the project visually investigates life in the vineyard over the course of a year, winter is no exception for photographing. Fortunately just a few days ago we had a nice snowfall, so I ventured north for some shooting. Since the university is on winter break, my students working with me on this project were off on vacation. My colleague and friend, Wilson Hurst, came along and we decided to try our hand at shooting star trails that evening. This was my first attempt and I have a ways to go before I’m comfortable with type of shooting. But it was fun!
Here’s a quote from my working project journal: “The vineyard was snow covered under a nearly full-moon, with crisp, cold night air at about 18° F, accompanied by beautiful white and black snow geese on the wing overhead. Enchanting evening to be out photographing the vineyard.”
A family friend has been cooking up some of the most incredible dishes for quite some time. Julie O is a native Wisconsinite, living in Madison and I’ve known her for well over a decade. Her fascination with cooking goes back to her childhood when she and her siblings would sit on their little colored stools in front of their mother’s oven to watch the magic of baking popovers. Her love for cooking eventually led her to being a part-time pastry chef at Quivey’s Grove on Madison’s southwest side. Today, at her day-job at Wisconsin Education Association Council, she has endeared herself to countless fellow employees with culinary treats. Often times she spends hours baking and cooking tasty morsels for fund-raisers and charities.
Not surprisingly, her friends and co-workers have pestered her for years to share her kitchen secrets. This past fall Julie decided to take the plunge and write a cookbook. Her co-workers and friends immediately started placing orders for a book not even written or produced! After hearing about her project, I pondered at length the idea of possibly getting involved. And so, I volunteered my photographic expertise, which happens to be food photography. Needless to say, Julie’s response to my offer was one of excitement! So, during my winter holiday break at the university, I headed up to Madison with a truckload of studio gear and transformed her dinning room into a Hollywood set! We only had a short time to stay up north (with 1.5 feet of snow and more falling), so we produced 24 food shots in three days’ time. No food stylist or photo assistants like in the old days. Just me and a driven chef! Below are some samples from our endeavor. Enjoy!