National Coffee Day!

by Matt on September 29, 2014

Did you know today is National Coffee Day? I don’t really know what that means as it’s always coffee day for me. I wouldn’t exist without it. Speaking of, last month I went into the studio and shot a personal coffee story, so I figured today would be an appropriate day to share! It centers around coffee moments and all things coffee. Enjoy, and while you’re up can I get a refill? Thanks.

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Travel camera gear and what’s in my bag!

by Matt on September 27, 2014

Confession: I love when someone asks me what camera gear I travel with. It gives me a chance to geek out and talk cameras, which I can literally do for hours. Hours. It also allows me the opportunity to ask what others carry around and compare notes. I mentioned I could go on for hours, right?

As I was packing this morning for an upcoming trip to South America I thought why not snap a photo and talk about what I’m taking with me? I’ve long been mesmerized with magazine features of what photographers and avid travelers carry in their bags as well as sites like Shotkit. So here’s what I’m taking!

Camera Gear Blog Size 550px

Cameras
For this trip I’ll be shooting primarily with a Canon 5D Mark III and Mark II. I’ve put these cameras thru the wringer, and they never let me down! I’d love to take my studio set up and shoot medium format with my Phase One 645 IQ180 on this assignment, but because I’ll be in some pretty remote areas and constantly on the go I’ll use something a bit lighter.

Lenses
I’ll be using a Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L, and a Canon 50mm f/1.2L. I should be able to cover just about everything with these lenses, from detailed food shots to interiors and landscapes. And on-location portraits made with the 50mm? Oh so beautiful.

Light
I’ll be bringing my Canon 580 EXII Speedflash for any moments where I need to fill in some light. I don’t use flash much but it’s great to have on hand. And so that I may use it off of my camera, I’ll be bringing a pair of Pocket Wizard Plus III which will allow me to fire the flash from across a room or from behind the subject if I’m facing them. Basically wherever.

Power
Lots of extra Canon batteries, an international adapter, and a travel power strip. I always carry a power strip when traveling as so many hotels (and airports) don’t have enough. It always comes in handy. I also never leave home without my duo of Ankor Astro E4 batteries. These suckers will charge an iphone and/or ipad 5 to 6 times on one charge, and having 2 just means I won’t be caught without power.

Memory Cards, Cables, Back Up, Card Reader, Light Meter
All my camera’s memory cards go into my Think Tank wallet, and I carry two 500-gig Seagate USB portable drives as well.  Provided I have enough of a robust wifi signal, I also upload to DF Studio for extra safety. I also use a Lexar Compact Flash reader… it’s fast! Oh, and that orange cable from Tether Tools allows me to download images from my camera to my laptop or shoot tethered. I always carry it with me! And I’ll be taking my Sekonic L-358 Light Meter so that I can get accurate and proper exposures as well as balancing flash with available light.

Extra Cameras
For those moments where lugging around a big dSLR might not be ideal, I’ll shoot with the Sigma dp2 Quattro. Its unusual design is a joy to handle, and the Foveon sense always gives me fantastic images! This camera is on loan from my friends at Sigma, I promise to keep it safe!

Because there will be live updates of my trip and lots of hashtagging happening, I’ll be shooting with an iphone 5S and 6 plus. I purchased additional lenses from Phocus (it’s that camera-looking iphone case next to the phone) that will allow me to get some telephoto and macro action while out and about. And let me say this: those lenses make for some beautiful images! Go iPhone! Go Phocus!

Oh, and I’ll be using VSCO Cam and Snapseed to edit on my phone and a small remote to trigger the shutter for those very important selfies with my travel mates :)

Color Card
Color is always so important to me, so I’ll be using a very small little portable grey/color card that I can keep in my pocket for proper color balancing. I’ll be shooting lots of food, tropical fruits and vegetables, beaches and foliage so this will definitely help me get accurate color.

Bags
All of this stuff goes into my Think Tank Airport International V 2.0 bag. It’s durable, compact, gives my arms a break, and allows me to slip in my laptop, as well. I love this bag! And those red things in the upper right? Those are Think Tanks’ Red Whips, which make cable management (and life in general!) so much more organized! Everyone around me LAUGHS AT ME because I carry them around EVERYWHERE! But I can’t help it. They are fantastic!

 Not Shown
At the end of every day I download images to my Macbook Pro and do basic edits in Capture One. I also carry a Moleskine notebook and tons of Pilot G-Tec C4 pens in 0.4. Ok, am I obsessed and a bit picky about writing instruments? You bet! Oh, and all the little cables for everything go in their own bag so I didn’t show you, thankyouverymuch.

Also Not Shown…
You should really have insurance for your gear and any necessary carnets. I cannot stress this enough! Insurance, people!

Note: I’d love to ask you what you carry with you as you travel, but I’m currently having issues with comments as I move to a new set-up here. As always, you can reach me via twitter any time if you have questions or just wanna chat!

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The Aarti Paarti Cookbook Is Here! And a Giveaway!

September 24, 2014

I always feel like a proud papa when I hold a cookbook that Adam and I worked on. Maybe even more so when it comes to our friend, Aaarti Sequeira. You may know her from her TV show, or you might just be one of the lucky souls on this planet to know her in [...]

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Canon EOS Rebel SL1. Bring it!

September 16, 2014

When you are a photographer, people ask questions. Who do you photograph? What do you photograph? What camera do you use? What camera should I buy?  My answers are usually always the same: Chefs, Authors, Celebs, Everyday People. Food. Phase One, Canon, Sigma. And lastly, anything Canon. The conversation then goes like this: But I [...]

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Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, And Recipes From Our Kitchen

September 6, 2014

  Oh goodness, IT HAS BEEN FOREVER AND A MOTHERFLIPPIN DAY that I have waited for this. Zoe Nathan’s first cookbook, Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets and Recipes From Our Kitchen, Chronicle Books, 2014.  I had such an unbelievable and obscene amount of fun working on this, I cannot even tell you. And true to form I [...]

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Summer Sangria

August 17, 2014

Dear Sangria, hey sorry about going so Rosé-crazy that I forgot all about you. I’ll fix that. Starting today. You see, some friends are coming over and you’ll be perfect to have around. Chilled wine, the best of summer fruit, some mint or basil from the garden… DONE! I might even need to have you [...]

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How about some pies?

August 7, 2014

I owe you pie photos!

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Behind the Scenes of a Personal Food Photography Shoot

August 6, 2014

It was a pie safe that we purchased years ago. Rustic, beat up, full of character. I could never walk by it without thinking of what it would look like filled with pies. Over the years it’s housed prop glasses, plates, beautiful ceramics, but never pies. Eight years later I decided to do something about [...]

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Jordan Vineyard & Winery

August 4, 2014

There’s nothing I look forward to more than my annual trips to Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg, Sonoma, California. I’ve been traveling there and photographing all sorts of beautiful things for many years, and I get downright giddy when I get the email from my colleague and friend, Lisa Mattson, asking about dates. Why [...]

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TGIF. Cocktail time!

July 25, 2014

We photographed a series of delicious bubbly cocktails for Chandon, and since it’s Friday I figured we should have a toast, right? Visit their website to grab the recipes, they’re all super summery! Have a fantastic weekend, peeps!

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