Slow shutter speed with flash (London and Toronto)

Both photographs were taken using slow shutter speeds (about 0.25 seconds) with flash. This technique gives a great sense of movement.

Panning during the exposure gives the streaks and the short flash duration of the flash stops the action. When using this technique, it’s important to pan in the opposite direction of the moving object, otherwise the “streaks” will appear to be going forward (in front of the subject’s direction of movement), rather than backwards, which will make the subject look like it’s reversing.

pc.jpg

Toronto 1984

bus.jpg

Piccadilly Circus, London 1982

The Bus photo was also take with a gradated red filter. Back in the early 80’s Cokin gradated filters were the “new thing” in photography. One doesn’t see gradated filters being used so much now-a-days, except in TV commercials, where they are used to colour in dull overcast skies. You can usually tell when they are being used because the bottom half of the photo doesn’t have the same colour in its reflections as the predominant colour of the sky as would happen naturally.

Chickpea salad

This is a sure fire winner by my wife. This salad goes very well with just about any Mediterranean dish and is particularly good with grilled fish or lamb.

chickpea_salad.jpg

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
1 marinated roast capsicum (red bell pepper) chopped into 1cm (1/2 inch) squares
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small Spanish (red) onion, diced
2x400gr (14oz) cans of chickpeas
1/2 cup Italian (flat leaf) parsley, chopped
2 lemons juiced
1/3 cup of virgin olive oil.

Combine ingredients in a bowl and serve.

If you want to use a fresh red capsicum, cut it in half, take out the seeds and place both halves, skin side up, under a hot grill. Grill until the skin begins to go black and starts to smoke and burn. When skins are mostly black and blistered, place the capsicum in a plastic bag and tie the bag closed and allow it to sit in the unopened bag for about 10 to 20 minutes, to sweat. Take the capsicum out of the plastic bag and peel the skin off. The skin should just lift off quite easily.

Artichoke dip

This is a quick and easy recipe that is always popular with my dinner guests.

artichoke_dip.jpg

Ingredients

1 small jar (170gr or 6oz) of marinated artichokes, drained
1 400gr (14oz) can of cannellini beans, drained
1/2 of a cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon (or more to suit taste) fresh basil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Method

Puree all ingredients in a food processor.

Serve with either crackers or pide (Turkish bread)

Breakfast today. Set and setting

At breakfast this morning I found myself counting my blessings. So I took a picture of the moment. It’s hard not to feel so lucky when I’m faced with such a scene. This is the breakfast that I eat nearly every day in my back yard (weather permitting) as I ready myself for another peaceful day, working from home.

breakfast.jpg

The only thing missing is my wife who is on her way to work in the city (as an engineer). Both my wife and I like to have our breakfast together in the backyard on her days off. On such mornings it is even more blissfull as we read the newspaper and do the crosswords together.

John Lennon once said “life is what happens to you when you are planning for the future”. I think that the Buddhists are onto something with the “be here now” thing.

My version of Baba Ghanoush

This is a very quick easy dip that is always a hitiat any diner party I hold. This recipe is my own and I’ve strayed quite far from traditional baba ghanoush.

baba_ghanoush.jpg

Ingredients

1 300gr jar of grilled eggplants (I use the brand “Always Fresh” here in Australia)

1/2 a cup of yoghurt (I use a Greek style one with S. Thermophillus and L. Bulgaricus cultures)

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1 tablespoon of tahini (be careful to not put too much in as it can over power the whole dip)

1/2 a cup of almond meal (this isn’t essential but it helps soak up the moisture of the yoghurt and gives the dip body)

Juice of one lemon (start of with half the juice and then add more to suit your taste)

Pinch of pimenton (smoked paprika). It’s not essential but the smoky flavour and colour do add a nice touch.

Method

Drain the grilled eggplant (if you like lots of oil, pour some of the oil on the dip when it’s complete). Place all the ingredients with the exception of the pimenton in a food processor and puree. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the pimenton.

Serve with fresh hot pide (Turkish bread). If you can’t get the Turkish bread, barbeque rice crackers or sesame water crackers go well with the dip.

Easy!

If you’re a bit of a purist and want to use a fresh eggplant, here’s what you do. Prick an eggplant all over with a fork and stick it in a very hot oven for about 45 minutes until is starts to smoke and burn. The next step is to take it out of the oven and cut it in half. Scoop out the insides of the eggplant. At this point some people squeeze out the excess moisture. Then just follow the recipe above, substituting the fresh eggplant for the bottled eggplant.