Dec 30, 2013


It's hard to leave the MoMA without feeling at least a bit inspired. A recent trip reminded me of how much I enjoy spending a lazy weekend afternoon there (although doing this on a weekend during the holidays may not have been the brightest idea – it was like Disney World in there, lines and elbows and all). I took a few snaps with my new Sony a7r of a few things that inspired me. More thoughts on this camera to come.

The special Magritte exhibit was quite a treat, as I've admired the guy's work since I was in 6th grade. No photos allowed in the exhibit of course, but it's best to experience in person anyway.

Dec 24, 2013

Happy holidays

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy holidays! Thank you for reading along for another year. Hope 2014 is bigger and better for everyone. :)

Dec 23, 2013

Finch Bay Eco Hotel

I'm taking advantage of the lull in my schedule to revisit my South America photos. I still have a ton to share and it's tricky doing it in a way that doesn't overwhelm. In the Galápagos Islands, we stayed at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel on the south side of Santa Cruz Island. Arriving in the Galápagos is quite an experience in itself. We flew from Quito, via Guayaquil. Try to get a window seat for sure. The islands are also very strict about what you can take in - make sure you dispose of any fruit before getting to the airport.

After arriving at the Galápagos airport, we took a car ride through Baltra Island to the Itabaca Canal, where we then took a ferry to Santa Cruz Island. We hung around the highlands of the island where we had our first encounters with giant tortoises and walked through a lava tunnel. Another car ride took us to Puerto Ayora (the main shopping town in the Southern shore), where we took yet another panga (water taxi) to our hotel. From the drop off point, it was maybe another 5-7 minutes to walk to the hotel. For someone who is used to being able to get everywhere easily by foot, this was pretty crazy.

These first few photos show the water channel that we took to and from the hotel. I became quite fond of our panga driver. He was an older man with the best smile and would "park" so precisely at each drop off point so we could get off with ease. He'd be there bright and early in the morning and he'd still be there late at night to take us back to the hotel.

And below, some snaps from in and around the hotel. It was a treat to watch the dramatic changes in the little beach in front of the hotel during low and high tide. If you ever find yourself staying here, I highly recommend dining at the hotel restaurant.

Hope you enjoyed this little taste of what it was like to get around the Islands.

Dec 18, 2013

A few favorite things

It's been a while since I've done of these item collages, and I forgot how much I enjoy putting these together. It's like a pin board of items I actually own and love. The bonus is part I get more practice with lighting still-life when I do these, and get to geek out about lighting setups.

(Click for larger image.)

ONE // Safe to say I'm obsessed with Aesop products. When I visited the store in Sydney, the lady there squeezed this combination of the exfoliant paste and parsley seed mask in my hands and said it was a great mask for extra dry skin. Though I didn't pick it up at the time, I kept thinking about that combination on my skin, and finally went on a spree in one of the NYC stores (which all have beautiful displays).

TWO // Céline Edge. Enough said.

THREE // There was an article in the NY Times recently about extravagant candles. I found myself nodding along as I read it. Yes, it's like burning money and yes it's kinda crazy, but the touch of luxury it can add to a space is worth it in my opinion. ;P This one is the Mimosa by Diptyque.

FOUR // A carafe by Teroforma. Sits beautifully in any room.

FIVE // Notes from the Larder by Nigel Slater. When I was at Cindy's in SF, she made meatballs from this book and I thought, hey I can do that. Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy the pretty photos in it.

SIX // See number five. After years of making do with a few shallow fry pans and ordering lots and lots of takeout, I decided this Le Creuset was a necessary step.

SEVEN // Many people have written about this boot. I feel like I'm late to the bandwagon, but it's really a great comfortable every-day walking boot.

EIGHT // I suffer from extra-horrible hat hair since my bangs are so unwieldy to begin with, but I can't leave the apartment on these bitter-cold days without one. This one is from last season Club Monaco, but here's a similar one from this year.

NINE // This little Goyard has served me so well. It's incredibly light and can be worn cross-body so I'm totally unburdened by it.

TEN // My Mud Australia teapot is one of my all-time favorite things. Elegant and understated, it makes me want to have tea parties so I can maximize its usage.

ELEVEN // An eyeshadow palette where I actually like all of the colors.

TWELVE // A few recent ceramic acquisitions from the talented Clair of Clam Lab.

THIRTEEN // This Everlane scarf was a birthday gift and I don't ever want it to leave my side. It's incredibly luxurious and warm.

FOURTEEN // I can't stop admiring the photos in David Tanis's newest book. I've already bookmarked a number of recipes I hope to try. Refer to number six.

FIFTEEN // I've been on a bit of a sweater spree, but this is the only one I have that's not a solid grey, black or navy.

Getting off my soapbox now. Hope you've found something you can add to your holiday wishlist!

Dec 16, 2013

Instagram Photo Calendar for 2014

Better late than never, I hope. I've actually been sitting on these calendars for over a month now and finally am getting around to listing them. After last year and producing all the calendars myself, I swore I would outsource printing if I did it again. Well, I was overly ambitious and decided to try again this year with a new (nicer) paper and printing just a limited edition. Due to extreme technical difficulty and time constraints, I was only able to produce 15 this year. I wanted to give up many times, but each calendar was really a labor of love and I can't wait for them to get put to use and go to good homes. I am selling them at a higher price point this year due to the limited quantity and production costs. I hope you'll think of it as getting 12 photo prints, in addition to a 2014 calendar.

This year, I've printed on 5x7 paper and have the photos flush to the edge for a cleaner look. Some calendars will vary in the photos, so the one I've shown here may not be the exact one you receive. Each will be numbered with its edition.

Thank you kindly for your support!

Dec 13, 2013

Evening sips

Whew! I'm so glad to be home again. I was gone for 20 days over the past month and am happy to spend the rest of December back in my favorite city. I just returned last night from a trip to SF where I was shooting a cookbook for Weldon Owen Publishing. It was a blast and I already miss my SF hosts and the shoot crew. I'm taking a quick break from South America posts (much more to come on that, believe me) to share these photos I took at Cindy's on my last evening in SF. Aperol, blood orange, and some sparking wine. Perfect for an evening sip, or while making meatballs (like we did).

Dec 2, 2013

Fishmarket | Galapagos Islands

The fishmarket on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands is quite a sight. Among the regular (albeit nonpaying) customers are pelicans and sea lions, who persistently wait for mongers to turn their heads so they can steal scraps. While I was enjoying the chaos and getting splattered with fish juices (delightful), one particular misbehaving sea lion started to drag one of the fishes away from the pelicans in an attempt to selfishly indulge. This resulted in more chaos. One of the amazing things about the islands is how unafraid of humans the animals are, as they've never been intentionally scared away or harmed by them.

These lobsters sure don't like the ones we eat back home, eh?