Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

The Photography of Modernist Cuisine with Nathan Myhrvold


It’s not a surprise that techies and geeks love our food, and the science behind food, the how and why and what if of cooking.

It is a bit of a surprise to find someone who has a gift for cooking and photography with a master’s degree in economics, as well as master’s degrees in geophysics and space physics and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UCLA. Oh, and not only did he do post-doctoral work with Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University researching cosmology, quantum field theory in curved space-time, and quantum theories of gravitation, he served as the chief technology officer for Bill Gates at Microsoft. (This guy’s the geek of geeks).

Meet Nathan Myhrvold

Nathan retired from Microsoft in 1999 to found Intellectual Ventures and pursue several lifelong interests in photography, cooking, and food science. Later he founded The Cooking Lab and published a mammoth 5 volume 2,438 page set of photos and recipes and thoughts on the science of cooking called “Modernist Cuisine” that will knock your socks off. In it you’ll find stunning photography and scientific explanations of the cooking process, techniques and methods to achieve Modernist Cuisine.

But that’s not exactly what this post is about. This is about the show up right now at The Tech Museum of Innovation called The Photography of Modernist Cuisine. This morning I was lucky enough to join Tim Ritchie, president of The Tech Museum of Innovation and Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen (an avid foodie herself) and Nathan Myhrvold who spoke about his work and that passion for understanding food in ways we don’t normally see it.

The exhibit is over 75 large scale images that show us microscopic views of crystals of citric acid and what he calls “exploded parts diagrams” of a mushroom and swiss hamburger that took over 30 hours to prepare and takes after a drawing style popular in technical manuals and also favored by Leonardo Da Vinci.

As you go through the exhibit take time to read the descriptions which share the science but also the methods he use to achieve the shots. What appears to be a simple image on a steak is actually a composed panorama of 1,000 images stitched together to make every single millimeter sharp and clear. Another dish which seems to leap off the wall is uses a technique called “Focus stacking” where software is used to create highly dimensional photos with virtually no depth of field so every element is sharply defined and crisp.

All of the photos in this exhibit give you a new way to look at food. Whether familiar objects like a planted garden or cutaways of common household appliances, constructed images or micro views you’d never see on your own. It’s food porn at it’s finest.

This exhibit is open at The Tech from June 25 to Sept 1 and there are two special “After Hours” events planned. After Hours is the monthly evening event where adults 21 and older enjoy science, technology, entertainment, and cocktails together with their friends, and this summer there will be some special menus and themes designed to coincide with the new exhibit.

Get your tickets here:
July After Hours – Independence Day – Spirit of America
Thursday, July 3, 2014
7 p.m. – midnight

$10 / $5 for members
Buy tickets
August After Hours – Hawaiian Night Luau
Thursday, August 7, 2014
7 p.m. – midnight

$10 / $5 for members
Buy tickets

By the way, look for Modernist Cuisine recipes and videos on the website, you can get an interactive eBook in the Modernist Cuisine at Home App from the iTunes store for free in the Lite Version or buy the full version and learn about the techniques and methods of Modernist Cuisine demonstrated. Learn how to cook salmon sous vide in your kitchen sink!

Meanwhile, at Christmas in the Park…

Doing the time warp

…it looks like the Time Warp has replaced the Hokey Pokey as everyone’s favorite dance on skates.

Petsmart Campbell Christmas Pet Photo

Wilson has the Christmas Spirit

If your pet has the Christmas spirit like Wilson, take ’em to the PetSmart in Campbell.

Your pet can have a holiday photo taken with (a real live) Santa Claws®.

Each 4″x5″ framed photo costs $9.95 ($8.95 for PetPerks members), $5 of which will be donated to the 13th Street Cat Rescue.

*Dec. 19th, Sun. 11am – 4pm
Petsmart Campbell
(408) 374-9321
850 W. Hamilton Ave Campbell CA 95008

13th Street Cat Rescue –facebook

*Wilson – Photo Credit: Laura Marshall Photography

San Jose history photography contest

Roofline of the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin (1937)

If you’re a photographer and interested in San Jose history, this is for you. The San Jose Historic Landmark Commission is holding a photography contest for Historic Preservation Month (May). Only a few details have been announced: its not clear whether the photos are going to be judged solely on artistic grounds, or what other criteria come into play; there are “cash awards”, but they don’t say the amount; and so on. The main prize for the winners is to see your photos presented on monitors around City Hall.

Despite the minimal details available, if you have some good photos of historical San Jose buildings, and you’re willing to take a chance, this could be a fun contest to join. You might even want to send in a photo of a historic building that’s no longer with us (but maybe use the Houghton-Donner house instead of Coconut Willie’s)

The entry deadline is May 1. See the contest website for more details and entry instructions.

(thanks to Eric at NNASJ for this story)

Photo Contest in Los Gatos

Los Gatos

Reading over the information for the 5th Annual Photo Contest in Los Gatos, I see that a vote will be taken to choose the contest winners, and that awards and prizes will be given. Nowhere do I find what the prizes might be, other than the ‘gift’ of seeing the photos used as free advertising. The rewards of past years have included things like a bottle of wine or a dinner certificate, so I expect it to be the same type of gifting this year. Oh yeah, there is a $10 entry fee for each photographer. Please read the information carefully the rules are very specific. For an entry to be considered for the cover of one of the Chamber’s future Business Directories, photos must have a vertical format.

If you are looking for a free place to have your photos, of anything in the San Jose area, seen you can add them to the Metroblogging San Jose flickr pool.

Buscando la Luz in Palo Alto

San Jose resident Robertino Ragazza has an extraordinary solo photographic exhibition titled Buscando La Luz (Searching for Light) in the Gallery Room of Keeble & Shucat Photography.

Fresh AirYou may have seen Mr. Ragazza before. His was the smiling face behind the front desk at the Hotel Montgomery for a few years. He is Hospitality Manager for the Cinequest Film Festival. Possibly you have sat next to him on one of his many international flights. Ragazza often flies around the world and always has his camera with him. This exhibit displays some of his black and white photography from Turkey, Spain, Mexico and even California.

His pictures beautifully show the unattractive sides of these places and focus on the light that can be found even in darkness. The sun shines through a beautiful stained glass in a decaying building in Bodrum. An old man from Celcuk, suffering from alopecia, beams back at the viewer. A luminous face smiles down from a crumbling apartment in Istanbul. In each picture you see the poor underside of the cities along with the bright lightness, love and wonder that is also present.

ContemplationRobertino Ragazza was born in the Philippines and raised in San Jose.  He is a photographer and a ceramic artist. Never without his camera, Ragazza concentrates on knowing his subjects, making them aware he is genuinely interested in their stories. This is apparent in each photo he takes, whether the focus is a small child alone on a cobbled street or a young butcher standing next to his work. An observer who loves to capture the moment, Ragazza’s influences are countless and spontaneous. Observations through life experiences and travel affect his creativity, finding he is at his best with street portrait work. “Light becomes my paintbrush and printing provides the meditative process that brings life to my subjects, giving me patience and a sense of peace,” says the Buddhist convert.

The gallery is in a room above the Keeble & Shucat Photography store in Palo Alto. California’s premier digital imaging store has an amazing plethora of cameras, supplies, an excellent repair department and a variety of classes. When you enter the store just head to the back toward the large “DARK ROOM” sign and go up the stairs. You’ll see the sign next to the gallery room where Robertino Ragazza’s work is showing.

Through Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Keeble & Shucat Photography
290 California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306
For more information call: 650-327-8996

San Jose Then and Now

I think they’ve been online for a while, but I just found out about a couple of great sets of “then and now” photos hosted by the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association. There are found photos of commercial buildings and homes from the first half of the 20th century (and earlier), compared with new photos taken in the last couple of years; as well as a group of 1976 photos of downtown San Jose rescued from the Redevelopment Agency’s dumpster and compared with photos from 2006.

Below, my contribution, a 1920’s(?) city directory photo of the Franco Brothers’ market at the corner of Fifth and Santa Clara, now the site of City Hall:

Fifth and Santa Clara

Found on Our flickr Group: “I noticed these”

I noticed these

photo by Karen French

From the San Jose Metblogs Flickr Group.

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