It hit me at the Atlanta airport that I was really back on the East Southern side of things Wednesday night. Unlike in Salt Lake City or Denver, you could feel the humidity seeping out through the walls and permeating the air at the gate. A part of me wanted nothing more than to turn around, click my heels and head out West again. The bigger part of me wanted to be home, hug my better half, play with the pups and slowly go through all the emotions and images of the past week.
The main reason for my being out West last week was to teach at the Food & Light Photography Workshop that Jen from Use Real Butter had been planning for months. From the moment she asked me to be one of the instructors until the day the workshop began, the excitement of the event was beginning to make my head burst. A HUGE thank you to Jen for organizing with such detail and apparent grace the workshop. From creating the website, downloading all sort of info for attendees (hotels, camera manuals,...) to gathering sponsors and prizes.
I was honored to be among the instructors with kickbutt Jen and the ever talented Todd and Diane from White On Rice Couple. I was equally honored to be among such a tremendous group of attendees. They were all so enthusiastic to learn, practice, share and help one another, talk with us, ask questions and practice some more. It made the whole two day workshop that much more enjoyable and well, plain awesome.
I had done workshops before in which 1 or 2 hours was devoted to hands on practice after a presentation but this time, 2/3 of the workshop was devoted to hands on, time-on-tool practice. Time to really put into play what the instructors had just talked about and as we were circulating from table to table, we could repeat or elaborate what had been shared and discussed before.
The instructors time was divided in such a way that students got the best of everything that we got and boy we did cover a lot! Jen kicked off the workshop with a thorough and interactive presentation on camera basics and fundamentals such as exposure, metering, aperture, shutter speed, ISO. Todd and Diane presented on natural light workflow, lenses and focal lengths. On the second day, Todd and Diane presented half a session on artificial light while I presented the second half on natural light, both addressing how use either or depending on the desired photographic goal. The last session tackled food styling which Diane and I shared with a bonus styling demo to boot.
Beside the reward of learning and practicing for 2 straight days, Jen scored some neat prized to give out to attendees in different categories. Picking from all the entries posted to the Food and Light Flickr pool was tough! See the list of winners on Jen's post. Congratulations to all of you guys - everyone did a fabulous job! Watch out for Elena's son, Ethan...Such a young fella but his creativity and skills are already really strong!
To celebrate such a strong end to this fabulous workshop, the "break-down crew" (Lisa, Anita, Dana, Annie, Todd, Diane, Jen and Jeremy) headed out to happy hour at The Kitchen Upstairs.
After hearing rave reviews from Jen for months I was thrilled to finally sit down to good cocktails and good food. The Kitchen did not disappoint, from the lovely details and atmosphere to the wonderfully crafted small plates we shared.
I laughed for a straight two hours...it felt good. I wish I could have stayed to hike with Jen, Jeremy, Todd and Diane the next day but flying back East takes about an entire day and there is much to be taken care of at home these days (trips, work, family, etc...). Jen's backyard is like my backyard in the Alps. Beautifully breathtaking and a sight I miss everyday.
No reason to feel left out if you could not attend though. Jen found herself with three extra swagbags at the end of the workshop and decided that we (Jen, Todd and Diane and myself) should put them up for giveaways. So here you go: THREE chances to win one of these awesome bags very generously filled by Chefs Catalog (coincidentally my go-to source for kitchen stuff ever since I move to the US). Each tote is filled with 4 large wooden spoons, 1 silicone spatula, a ceramic peeler, a 6-inch Wusthof bread knife and cutting board set, 3 kitchen towels, 4 stainless steel prep bowls with lids (love those!).
Here are the rules to enter:
- leave a comment on this post by Monday July 5th at midnight Eastern time
- one entry per person (duplicate will be deleted)
- participants must have US shipping addresses
- the winner will be picked at random by my wonderful better half
Don't forget to increase your odds of winning by entering the two other giveaways on Use Real Butter and White On Rice Couple!
Good luck! I'll be back to a regular recipe posting and sharing after the holidays.
Have a wonderful 4th of July!