We just celebrated our new year, but not everywhere in the world celebrates the same way. The Chinese for example, have a Lunisolar new year which means that the date isn’t the same from year to year, as well as that they hold a celebration that lasts 15 days. The Chinese also name their years with an astrological sign, which is slightly different than our own. This year I believe is the year of the Tiger for them. For me though, this feels like the year of the ‘Dining Guide’ so far…


(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 200ISO, Canon EF100mmF2.8Macro. 1/50th@F8. Single 580EX Speedlight set to 1/16th power fired by pocket wizard through a 15″ softbox shot over the back right of the food perpendicular with the table. Single 580EX Speedlight set to 1/4th power shot into a 32″Translucent disk as a reflector to the left of the food and wine against the wall. Cloudy Day White balance)

So far I’ve shot 5 restaurants for dining guide this week. Haven’t had a string like that in a while. Not that I haven’t had other things to do, but dining guides are relatively easy. I shot that earlier this week, you’d never believe that was a restaurant in a strip mall so I guess I either got something right; or something went horribly wrong. It’s a place named A2Z Cafe in Indianapolis. Food seems pretty good although I’ve never actually eaten there. Shot there plenty of times though. Nice group of people, never mind going there.


(Canon 5D Mark II, 250ISO, Canon EF 16-35mmF2.8L@35mm. 1/30th@F5.6. Single 580EX Speedlight set to 1/8th shot through a 42″ Umbrella from above the right of the cheesecake about 5 feet back, 60″ white reflector with another 580EX Speedlight set to 1/16th to camera left for the main fill light.)

That wildly colorful piece of work is from the Tye Dye Grill, also here in Indianapolis, and also shot earlier this week. I can definitely tell you there’s awesome food at this place over on the east side. Am planning on making my way back for some of this cheesecake too. I’ll make sure to take my eyeglasses off or blindfold myself or something so I don’t go blind with the crazy colors. This is also a location with some awesome people, for which they never seem to be not busy. I was surprised that they didn’t have a line outside waiting to get in when I got there before they opened. I’ve never seen it not busy in this place.


(Canon EOS 1D Mark II, 100ISO, Canon EF 100mmF2.8Macro, 1/200th@F13. Single SB-580EX to the left of the yogurt set to 1/16th zoomed to 105mm hard light directly at yogurt. Second 580EX speedlight to Yogurt right set to 1/16th power zoomed to 70mm. The yogurt was sitting on a white reflective coffee table giving it a natural glow using the white styrofoam cup.)

That’s not from this year, but it was a favorite of mine. I had no idea what I was walking into when I entered the yogurt shop that day. Sometimes walking into these stores or restaurants I get wild foreign ladies screaming in demon tongues at me shaking their fingers either because I’m a minute early or a minute late, that my hair is too short, or not short enough; or that my camera looked like a contraption to steal the souls out of space age grape nuts. What? Usually they are excited and just telling me what they want me to do, not realizing that I don’t speak whatever it is that they are yelling. I speak Duh really well, but freaky alien? Didn’t get that merit badge.

Funny part was that the shot I pictured isn’t what she wanted. She was exceedingly happy with it though so I can’t complain. Especially for a shot that only took about 10 minutes to plan and execute. Favorite kinds of shoots, the easy ones.


(Canon 5D Mark II, 200ISO, Canon EF 100MMF2.8Macro, 1.50th@F7.1. Single 580EX speedlight set to 1/8th through a 15″ Softbox to the right of the plate. Left fill from Window light, White Balance at 7900 Kelvin.)

And now I’ll end where I started, except a bit out of order in the grand scheme of all things food. Breakfast foods are some of the prettiest foods because of all the colors. Much more colorful and nice than things like Pad Thai, or a burrito. Those suckers are tough to shoot. Strawberry pancakes though? That’s a favorite for sure. Don’t know many people that wont’ eat em. I personally find that breakfast food looks best with that slight orange tinge, like the warm morning sunlight. More Soon.