Mumm’s been the Word….

Late last year we did a VERY fun shoot and have been excited to share the results. However, the product we did the shoot for had not been released to the general public and we were under NDA’s (Non Disclosure Agreements) until the official product launch. Well, just this past week the client was finally able to launch and so we’re thrilled to be able to start sharing some of the imagery! We’ll do that in the coming weeks.. but first, since we are in BTS (Behind the Scenes) mode already….

Behind the Scenes Video with Dana Hursey Photography

Another Fun Shoot!…

We are just wrapping up post-production on a shoot we did for Dean’s Dip. What a fun couple of days! Despite being the hottest days in Malibu in recent history, we enjoyed the hospitality of our location, and had a wonderfully smooth production! Client, Agency, Crew… ALL Fantastic. We are looking forward to sharing the final results but in the meantime here is a little Behind the Scenes Action!

Behind the Scenes video of Dana Hursey Photography shooting Dean's Dip

Sodano & Kubin

From another one of our shoots at Nikita Restaurant on the coast in Malibu California, Executive Chef Salvatore Sodano & Sommelier Rene-Nicole Kubin. Teaming up to create the perfect pairing of food & wine. Throw in the spectacular vistas and you’ve got a dinning experience that’s hard to beat!

Photo of Executive Chef Salvatore Sodano and SommelierRrenee-Nicole Kubin at Nikita Malibu

Club Lana’i

Okay, … one last post from our Hawaii excursion. On our final scouting day on Lana’i we took UTV’s (Utility Task Vehicles) to the back side of the island. We traversed the Munro Trail (in the rain) and went down a remote trail that even the locals were balking at – especially given the wet conditions. This took us to Naha Beach which we shared a panoramic photo of in our last post (center photo). From there we traveled up to Club Lana’i. Now deserted, the location was a day resort, where folks from Maui would come to “get away”. It is really quite beautiful. There are talks from the new ownership on the island to potentially revitalize the resort or repurpose the area into some other type of destination. But while we were there is was easy to imagine the run down structures in their more glorious days. A fun weekend destination more for locals and those “in-the-know” than for the average tourist. If you ever make it to Lana’i it is worth the trip on a beautiful day (which it could be there, even if it is raining in Lana’i City). And there is a much easier route to get there than the one we took, with some other points of interest along the way! Any local can point you in the right direction! Aloha!

Photo of the shoreline of Club Lana'i from the pier.

Doesn’t Do It Justice!

When we were on a recent scouting trip to Hawaii, we took the opportunity to shoot a few Super High Resolution Panoramics. I always enjoy being able to do this when the opportunity presents itself! The only drawback is that it is so hard to appreciate the grandeur of the scenes on the web. There is just not enough screen real estate to be able to show all of the subtleties and spectacular detail. The images below get as large as 2GB in file size and are equivalent to an image that would come out of an imaginary 250 megapixel camera! We have pretty large displays in the studio and even those only start to show the massive amounts of detail we get! So enjoy these teeny tiny versions and imagine yourself in these amazing locations!

DH_503-0190-Edit DH_503-0480-Edit DH_497-0093-Pano

Darling Magazine

We recently did a shoot for Darling Magazine. I have to admit that I had not heard of the publication, until they called. The article we did was on essential oils.. the shoot got a little messy, in a good way!  Darling is a quarterly magazine and SUPER high quality. At the shoot the photo editor brought a copy of the then current issue and I was REALLY impressed with the paper, printing and just overall presentation. It really is a very refined publication. This last Sunday we went to the launch party for this issue down in the industrial area of east L.A.. It was a fun evening of drinks, music, socializing and people watching! But check out Darling Magazine, it really is something special!

Photograph of orange oil pouring onto an orange slice.

 

Darling-Issue-8-Free-Digital-Mock-800_1024x1024

 

 

It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts…

We just did a shoot last week for one of the largest technology companies in the world, based here in Southern California. Something that came as a bit of a surprise as we were doing it was how many people confessed they had never seen the inside of a computer hard disk drive. We deal with a LOT of HDD’s these days because of the volumes of data we produce, and the need to have a lot of redundancy for our image archives.

It was a great reminder that just because you experience something on a regular basis, does not mean it is commonplace for ANYONE else. So share the things you know about and ask others about their passions! Little wonders can be found everywhere, let’s discover them together!

Detail Photograph of the inside of a hard disk drive.

 

Photograph of the inside of a hard disk drive.

More Manduka…

We had so much fun shooting with the folks at Manduka, we thought we’d share a few more shots. Across this multi-day shoot we had shot a variety of profile portraits of folks that use Manduka products. Then we also shot the new product line for 2014. To get many of the larger shots we had to rig the camera a story and a  half up in the rafters in order to get the proper angle of view. We then triggered the camera remotely from down below. It was a bit odd not being “behind the camera” for the full day! But it also allowed the Creative Director, Rand Denny, to have a little fun!

Various images for Manduka

Let the Cheffing continue…

We have had a lot of chefs in front of our lens lately! Recently we got to play with  Salvatore Sodano, Executive Chef at Nikita Restaurant in Malibu. Chef Sodano was so amazingly gracious, accommodating, easy to work with, oh…and Fun! (I think the photos might show that…) We also shot some of his beautifully plated dishes (which tasted as good as they looked!). Check out some of the other incredibly talented chefs that we’ve had the great fortune to work with here.

Portraits of Chef Salvatore Sodano

 

A Little Slice of Paradise… for next time.

Photograph of a Hawaiian Beach ResortWhile people often comment on how lucky we are to do the things we do and go to the places we go for many of our projects (and trust me, we are!), there is often a misconception that we are sitting poolside with a cocktail instead of executing what is in reality the real “work” involved in doing our job right. Case-In-Point… when we recently scouted for a project that took us to Hawaii, a friend of mine commented; “when you get the good ones, you really get the good ones!” What my friend did not understand (until I told them) was that we were working, longer hours in fact than when we’re at home. There is a sense of responsibility to do as much as you can, to get the client as much as possible. And while we certainly take “the moment” to soak in and appreciate where we are and what we are surrounded by, I tend to be predominantly focused on delivering for the client. Plus, not only are you doing the work at hand, you also have to manage (remotely) the normal day-to-day stuff that is going on back at home. Very seldom on location projects is there a day off (except for the rare weather delay). It’s usually go, go, go… but I love that! But as an example, on this (and a subsequent second scout) I never hit the pool, never even touched the ocean! Too much to do! Now.. let’s be clear.. you can’t get much better than working in Hawaii, or the Caribbean, or Europe, or…. well, let’s face it… working on location – anywhere – is a great perk of the job we do, but more often than not, I think of it as reconnaissance for where I need to come back to really escape and soak in ALL that a location has to offer.

Manduka

We recently did a shoot for Manduka. A very eco-friendly company that makes a wide variety of yoga products. The whole team was wonderful to work with and we had a great time on the shoot. We met a lot of interesting people who use their product as we shot profile portraits of each of them as well as photographing a wide range of their new products. You can check out their wares as well as more of our imagery for them at Manduka.com.

Overhead photo of woman on yoga mats doing a warrior pose.

“Z” is for Zucchini…

Well you had to know that was coming!
In our post about “N” we mentioned the Silver Palate Cookbook. Well there is another killer recipe in there (good ole Silver Palate!) for… you guessed it, Zucchini Bread! It is killer and at the end of summer we harvest fresh Zucchini from the yard and we make dozens of mini loaves and freeze them and then enjoy them the rest of the year! Yum!

Photo of Sliced Zucchini, laid out in the shape of the letter "Z"

“Y” is for Yams…

Every year at Thanksgiving, one of my favorite dishes on the table is a baked yam and pineapple casserole with a crusted marshmallow topping. If you have not had this before, you are really missing out. There are plenty of recipes out there for this and they are all fairly similar with a few variations. Try any of them or go with your family recipe like we do!

Photo of Yams, laid out in the shape of the letter "Y"

“X” is for…

Okay… there has been some anticipation for this post….
The fact is there are not a lot of edibles that start with the letter “X”. At least not in the English language, which is the realm in which we are operating at this point. There are things like Xanthum Gum, which is an additive, and just looks like flour… so no.. not photographing that… There are quite a few foods whose Chinese name starts with “X”, but again… working in english here… Our original goal with this series was to be able to spell out words with cuisine based letters, so while you may think this is a cop-out, we are going with. If you would like to suggest YOUR favorite “X” food, submit it here and maybe we’ll just go seek it out and shoot it for you!

Photo of Two Wooden Spoons, laid out in the shape of the letter "X"

“W” is for Watercress…

I remember as a kid watching I Love Lucy reruns and in one episode Lucy & Ethel end up “ride-sharing” with a stranger (played by Elsa Lanchester) down to Florida. They stop for a snack and the only thing available are Watercress sandwiches. I had never heard of that before but knew by Lucy’s smooshed face that it had to taste atrocious. Now that I am semi-grownup, I have to say I think she was wrong in her assessment.

Photo of Watercress, laid out in the shape of the letter "W"

“V” is for Vanilla…

Mmmmmm, Vanilla! One of my most favorite things is Creme Brûlée. There are ( in my opinion ) three things that make a stellar Creme Brûlée. 1.) A great recipe. I use the one from The Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl. 2.) FRESH eggs.. like right out of the chicken. 3.) Fresh Vanilla Beans. There’s nothing like it when it’s done right!

Did you know that Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world, right after Saffron.

Photo of Vanilla Beans, laid out in the shape of the letter "V"

“U” is for Udon Noodles…

My first experience with really good Udon Noodles was in a little counter restaurant in Tokyo. I cannot remember the name of it but it was a very short walk from the Hotel Okura, where I was staying. The flavors I experienced that night were a taste sensation!
More locally, these days we go for Shabu Shabu at Osawa in Pasadena…not the same.. but still really good!

Photo of Udon Noodles, laid out in the shape of the letter "U"

“T” is for Tortellini…

I learned to make Tortellini while taking cooking lessons in Florence, Italy. Should you ever find yourself there and want a simply delicious, and intimate experience that you’ll be able to take with you, you MUST check out Toscana in Bocca. ( Some of our photography is featured on their site. ) A customizable cooking experience taught by the lovely Stefania Borgioli. I am not going to plant any preconceived notions… just book it and savor!

Photo of Tortellini, laid out in the shape of the letter "T"

“S” is ALSO for Shrimp…

It is a wonderfully warm day here in Los Angeles, and as the evenings get longer, a great way to end the work day is a freshly chilled plate of jumbo shrimp with some tangy horseradish cocktail sauce! I chilly glass of Pinot Grigio takes it to a lovelier level! Do it!

Photo of two Shrimp, laid out in the shape of the letter "S"

“R” is for Radishes…

Photo of Radishes, laid out in the shape of the letter "R"

A completely underused vegetable in my opinion…
Here is a great way to enjoy them:

Pickled Radishes

Ingredients

  • 10 red radishes, trimmed, unpeeled, quartered
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Preparation
Combine first 3 ingredients in a clean 1 quart glass jar. Add vinegar, salt, and sugar. Cover; shake until sugar and salt begin to dissolve. Refrigerate for at least 3 days, shaking once a day. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. (The flavor mellows the longer the mixture pickles.) Keep chilled.

Thanks to Epicurious.com for the recipe!

“Q” is for Quiche…

My friend John V. makes an Amaaaaaaazing Quiche! He just throws it together like he is making it up on the spot, but it tastes the same every time and simply makes my mouth water! That with a mimosa is the perfect start to any Sunday morning!

Photo of a quiche with a slice extending out in the lower right, forming  the letter "Q"

“P” is also for Peas…

Peas were my arch nemesis as a child. I hated them. I remember evenings sitting alone at the dinner table,  the rest of my family off in the other room watching T.V. or some other activity, while I had a stare-down with the little evil spheres. I was to sit there until they were gone. No amount of seasoning or sour cream could mask their vile taste. On occasion the family dog would take pity on me and assist in their disappearance. But alas I have endured and risen above the conflict that plagued me. As an adult.. I will eat the pea… I just won’t enjoy it.

Photo of Peas, laid out in the shape of the letter "P"

“P” is for Parsley….

This is Italian Flat Leaf Parsley. (Whats with all this “Italian” stuff anyway?) The main difference between this and “Curly Parsley” is that Flat Leaf tends to have more flavor and is used more often when cooking, whereas Curly Parsley is more widely used for decoration.

Photo of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, laid out in the shape of the letter "P"

“N” is for Nuts…

My Favorite are Pecans.. for Pecan Pie! And one of my favorite recipes for Pecan Pie can be found in one of my favorite cookbooks! The Silver Palate Cookbook. There are a ton of delicious recipes in this book and I encourage everyone to make this book a staple in your kitchen. But if you simply must have the recipe before you can find your way to buying the book… you might find it here

Photo of Nuts, laid out in the shape of the letter "N"