Dogwood Photography Challenge: Weeks 28-31

We’re still catching up with the weekly photos challenges! Here’s a few more…

Week 28 – Story: Portrait as Landscape 
[Shot with Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 II]
Shoot a portrait that is posing as a landscape. Tell a story of the subject using the landscape around them. Fool the viewer.

I didn’t come across any good actual landscapes to serve in this challenge, so I ended up getting creative with Photoshop and a self-portrait.

Dogwood Week 28
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No Recipe Required: Berry Crumble

If I’m going to bring dessert to a party, I want to make it – I don’t get to do a ton of baking (since if I bake without occasion the two of us just…eat it all), so I always jump at the opportunity. Sometimes, however, there come those events that are timed just such that you don’t have time to hit the grocery store or prep a pie crust with enough time to let it chill. Enter: Crumble.

Berry Crumble

Crumble is a simple but extremely effective dessert – cooked, jammy fruit topped with crunchy, sweet, crispy, buttery goodness. With the help of The Kitchn’s recipe, I’ll walk you through it, but it’s pretty flexible once you’ve got the basics. Continue reading

Dogwood Photography Challenge: Weeks 24-27

Clearly, I’m behind on my blog posting, but I HAVE been keeping up with the Dogwood Photography Challenge behind the scenes. Here’s the first in a series of posts to get you all caught up on where we are with that…

Week 24 – Artistic: Green 
[Shot with Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 II]
Your inspiration this week is green. Green is the color of life, nature, and hope.

Green seems like it should be easy, but only at the last minute did I land on this arrangement of pretty succulents.

Dogwood Week 24
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Dogwood Photography Challenge: Weeks 21, 22, & 23

I might be behind on my posting, but not on my photo-taking! Here are the most recent three weeks of the photography challenge…

Week 21 – Artistic: Soft [Shot with Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 II]
Your artistic inspiration this week is soft. Just like hard earlier in the challenge, soft is both and adjective and an adverb. Interpret this how you will.

We happened to be in Kaua’i the week of this challenge, and the soft, gorgeous sands of Polihale Beach made the perfect subject.

Dogwood Week 21 Continue reading

The Best Dumplings in the San Gabriel Valley

OK, so I know that if enough people paid attention to this blog, that title would cause quite the uproar. It’s true – I have not tried every dumpling in the San Gabriel Valley. Not even close. In fact, for the purposes of this (delightful) taste test, we simply did a portion of Lucky Peach’s A Dumpling Crawl of LA’s San Gabriel Valley. So yes, there likely are better and brighter dumplings out there. But here are those we tried, ranked and rated for your dining knowledge.

Xiao Long Bao Continue reading

Dogwood Photography Challenge: Weeks 19 and 20

Week 19 – Story: Back Yard [Shot with Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 II]
Tell the story of your immediate surroundings. Give us a glimpse into your daily life.

Was thrilled to hear that I didn’t have to leave my home for this one. Was less thrilled when I remembered the state of my backyard. Luckily, this deeply colored bloom proved a willing subject.

Dogwood Week 19

Week 20 – Technical: Sky Overlay [Shot with Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 II]
Sometimes the sky just doesn’t cooperate. This week replace the sky in your image.

This one was a bit more demanding, but also kind of fun – I’ve never seen a sunset quite this good, but now I can make one!

Dogwood Week 20

Dogwood Photography Challenge: Week 18

Week 18 – Artistic: Purple [Shot with Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 II]
 Your inspiration this week is purple. Purple is the color of royalty, magic, and mystery.

Finally, a challenge with a bit more leeway (and less requirement for technical prowess!). A simple walk around the neighborhood revealed that California (at least our immediate part) is home to many pretty purple flowers, including these ones with a hint of ombre about them.

Dogwood Week 18

(Almost) No Recipe Required: Cilantro Lime Burrito Bowls

You know when you know something is gonna be good? Like, tasty? Like, you’re excited to eat it before you’ve even started cooking it? That’s how I felt about these burrito bowls, courtesy of Fork Knife Swoon. I knew they were going to be hearty and savory and something I wanted to take big fat bites of. (Also, I love lime. And carbs. So, easy sell?)

Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Plus, look at all that GREEN. They look so healthy! But enough mooning over them – here’s the basic situation. Continue reading

Dogwood Photography Challenge: Weeks 16 and 17

A few more from recent weeks of the Dogwood Photography Challenge…

Week 16 – Story: Leading Lines [Shot with Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 II]
Leading Lines are a very important compositional element that every photographer needs to master. Use leading lines to tell a story. No train tracks.

I experimented with some water feature shots and pathways before landing on this photo, which uses the leading lines of the fence to draw the eye into the distance.

Week 17 – Technical: Loop Lighting [Shot with Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 II]
Loop lighting is one of the most used portrait lighting techniques. Shoot a portrait using loop lighting. If you don’t have an off camera flash setup, get creative with how you light your subject.

My #1 model! I don’t have an external flash setup, so we “got creative” with our new porch lights – see the little “loop” shadow right under his nose? I think that means I at least partially got it right…

Eating Out: Wanderlust Creamery

The Boy and I had an hour to kill in the Silver Lake this weekend, and true to form we went straight to Yelp and tried to find something good to eat. We ended up at Wanderlust Creamery in Atwater Village and I’d consider it a rousing success.

Ice Cream

Wanderlust Creamery is, I’ll admit it, one of those chic and pricey ice cream shops. Great light, white and wood decor with some greenery, your typical “hipster” joint. But the hipsters bring the good food with them, and I’m cool with that. Continue reading