Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Brew You Own Beer TV moves into production

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Jason Petros and Justin Crossley for BYOB TV
Got an email last week from Justin Crossley (Brewing Network) asking if I’d like to shoot some stills during production of brew your own beer TV. Well hell yes, I’m just as curious about this show as everyone else. So I showed up Sunday morning on site to what looked to be experienced homebrewers setting up their rigs for a typical brew day. Look deeper and you saw these homebrewers had the same t-shirts, some with differents colors (read teams).
I learned a few things about the show that day and I’m excited to see the results. Think homebrewers teamed up and presented with brewing challenges along with twists to those challenges and eventual elimination. I already saw some good possibility for character development and more importantly was impressed with the producer (Mike), who looks to be a veteran of the broadcast industry. Just imagine sitting on the sofa watching a reality show about homebrewing. I’m sure my wife and kids will be thrilled as I throw something at the TV screen and yell, “why the HELL did they put THAT in the boil kettle!” or “oh you idiot, I hope you get eliminated!”.
Cool stuff and I look forward to more news coming up about the show. I hopefully will take more shots for Justin and Co. so look for those in the future here and probably BYOB TV’s facebook page. Until then click on any pic for a bigger version.

Justin and JP getting warmed upSecond day of production and the guys looked to be rested and ready to go.

Contestant Sean on Brew you own Beer TVContestant Sean….will he make the cut?

JP and Justin listening to contestantsJason and Justin making the initial rounds of talking to the homebrew teams.

Justin Crossley interviewing contestantsGetting a sense of what the “blue team” will be up to for this challenge.

Producer Mike working out a shotProducer Mike working out the next shots with the entire group.

BYOB TV show contestantsSome of faces that you will be cheering for and playing armchair homebrewer with. Who will be the good and who will be the nemesis?

BrewingTV episode 32 …and never knowing when that shot will hit.

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Brewing TV with Nathan Smith

I love beer and I love photography and it is always great when I can do both at one time. I shot hundreds of photos over the two days I was with Brewing TV and unfortunately I was rusty. My settings were off and I had to do way too much work in post. I was happy to get a few good shots but I’m always surprised by what the best shot ends up being.
The shot above popped out right away when I reviewed photos the following Monday. The weird thing is I never would have believed it at the time I shot it. A hasty lighting setup after BTV shoots their episode, a few shots with a portrait lens, and then “aw hell I’ll try a couple with the wide angle”. I fire off a couple akward shots since the lens was, er, right in Chip’s crotch….and he did remind me of that a couple times. Good lesson here is always try things, you never know. Also, if you are interested in portaits then please consider the wide angle lens. I would say half of my favorite portraits are with a wide angle.
So Brewing TV episode 32 goes live on Friday and Chip Inc. did a great job. Lots of good homebrewing by Nathan Smith and lost of beer drinking and interviewing around the bay (well, Marin, Berkeley, and Oakland anyways…..hey we took our time!). Can’t thank Chip, Michael, and Jake enough for letting me weasel my way in and help out with their trip out here. Most definitely look forward to seeing them at NHC San Diego this year and sharing pints again….and this time I won’t have to DD so look out boys. Some more shots from Nate’s below. Don’t forget to click on any photo for a bigger view.

Time to brew with Nathan SmithThe beginning of the Time to Brew segment for BTV episode 32.Cheese spread ala Nicole ErnyOf course we had Cicerone Nicole Erny there and she did not dissappoint. Thank you Nicole.

Chip Walton in productionThe one problem with content aquisition and beer drinking is you may not always be sober. Chip is a professional through and through.

Jason PetrosGood to see Jason Petros of the Brewing Network. JP solved a major logistics issue for the crew prior to the shoot. Thank you JP.Michael Dawson suited upMichael Dawson suited up for hop additions while Chip cleans his lens with wort steam.

Brewing TV and Nathan SmithHere’s what the portrait lens got me. Brew for all!

photo shoot: Odonata knocks it out of the park with their Saison

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Odonata Saison

Admittedly, I am biased towards Odonata. The reason why I even “beer blog” is because of Rick Sellers and his show/blog, Pacific Brew News. The other half of Odonata, brewmaster Peter Hoey, is widely known as a great brewer who has a particular love of Saison ales. Their beers so far have become local legend: Water Witch, Rorie’s Ale, and La Rosa. The partnership looks great: great brewer, great beer writer. How could any of this be bad? …none of it is.
By the time I picked up my couple of bottles of Saison, there was already great feedback on the beer over the web. I agree with them. From its stylistically correct color to a head of foam that isn’t over the top huge, you proceed to aromas of spice and juicy fruit. Not over the top but just right. The beer on first sip has a very smooth taste with the right amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is rich and you are exposed to more spice and citrus fruit. The lingering spicey/fruity aftertaste trails off to an acidic bite.
Very well done Odonata and now one of my favorite Saisons. You hit this one out of the park.
Highly recommended.
Peter Hoey and Rick Sellers from Odonata

photo shoot: Russian River’s new 375ml Damnation

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Russian River Damnation

Shot way too early in the morning before work….please clicky the pic for a higher res version.
This is a fantastic example of a Belgian golden strong ale. It has a nice white pepper finish which lets it pair with a wide variety of foods.
The bottle is the new 375ml version that Russian River started putting out. I heard that they were going to stop producing 750ml bottles entirely. I hope that isn’t the case!
Cheers and have a good weekend. Perhaps enjoy a Damnation.

pic of the week: Sierra Nevada’s new Southern Hemisphere Ale

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale

Quality, clean beer and I love the label. I don’t get as much aroma as I do off of the oringinal versions of southern hemisphere. The taste exhibits some fresh hop chracter that goes right to bitterness. A nice beer but I think I prefer the last version. To cut Sierra Nevada some slack, they are flying in fresh hops from halfway around the world so they get huge props for their efforts and they have produced a beer that has maintained some fresh hop quality.

Other news:
Looking forward to spending time with homebrewers at the National Homebrew Conference in Minnesota next month. I will be arriving on the Friday so please come say hey to me if you can. From there, I fly to Boston for work and plan to hit some great brewpubs and will haul back as much beer as I can. Unfortunately, my work trip to Kiev has been cancelled. I was looking forward to it but Boston should be fun as well.
Tomorrow, the family and I leave for the big island of Hawaii for some much needed relaxation. I’ll get to the Kona brewpub and check it out but other than that, don’t intend on doing much besides drinking the local beer, sitting on the beach, and swimming with the kids.
Cheers and happy weekend.

photo shoot: St. Feuillien Belgian Farmhouse Ale – Saison

Friday, May 7th, 2010

St. Feuillion Belgian Framhouse Ale Saison

The initial plan was to take this beer outside with a picnic blanket and the basket. That’s what was in my head anyway. I came up short on the picnic blanket so back inside I went to create a similar yet different sort of a scene.
When I think of Saisons, I think of being outside on a warm day and quaffing one of these beauties in the sunshine with some friends and some food to go along. The quaffability of St. Feuillion is high. I love this beer. I wanted to do it justice by using CMOS photons to captured the beer via lots of 0101101101101…..well 12 megapixels worth. Clicky on the pic for a bigger version.

The Beer?
When held to the light, this Saison has a beatiful range of color fomr straw to amber. The beer pours with a big head of foam.
Dry pineapple, apple, and pears to the nose along with a compliment of spice. Slight malt in the background.
Fairly full mouthfeel with a high level of carbonation to keep everything dancing. Flavors of of fruit and spice eventually open up and crescendo off into the finish. Each flavor then bouncing in and out as the finish lingers.
Not bone dry but very drinkable and complex.
Highly recommended

pic of the week: Saint Somewhere Brewing’s Saison Athene

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Saint Somewhere Brewing Saison Athene

This week I had the pleasure of trying out the Canon S90 point and shoot camera. While the camera has many manual settings that you can adjust quickly (read: easy access to controls), the two things that really stand out to me were the ability to shoot in RAW and it’s high ISO capabilities.
Both of these photos were shot at ISO 800 and no flash. It took a second look before I noticed any noise in them. A couple other shots were ISO 1600 and while they did show noise, they were relatively “clean”. Meaning that a quick pass with a noise removal application would clean it up easy.
As you may know, in general, on camera flashes are evil and will do more to destroy a pic than anything. So here is a point and shoot where you can shoot your beer in a bar that has mild lighting and your flash can remain off. Pretty damn impressive. The shot above was taken in my living room during the afternoon with most light entering from the back. I relied on the high ISO capability to light up the label since that is actually the shadow portion of the pic. It did it well. The pic below was shot at Barclay’s brewpub midday. It is typical lighting in that they had no interior lights on and relied on natural light coming into the space. A normal, low ISO setting would have left this beer too dark. ISO 800 in general seems to be the right setting for most pubs during the day. If you want to shoot your beer with a point and shoot type camera, the Canon S90 is for you. Great camera.

Oh yeah the beers.
The above beer, the saison, is delicious. It was a little sweet but had tartness to match. All mixed within some wonderful fruity flavors and aromas. Carbonation was the right level to also balance the sweetness. The beer was recommended by the amazing beer buyer from Star Market, Harley. The second beer is Drakes 1500 on nitro. I’m not really a fan of pales on nitro but I did enjoy it. I couldn’t get over the beer as it came to me with a very standout line of foam lacing its way down the glass. Happy weekend.

Drakes 1500 on nitro

photo shoot: greeting the dawn with Adam Lamoreaux of Linden St. Brewing Co.

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Adam Lamoreaux 6:25 AM
I had threatened Adam about three times in the past that I wanted to get some shots of him for use here (and other things big). I finally made good on my promise. Since now is a great sky time, it had to be morning, I mean dusk morning, or evening. I can’t really do evening these days so knowing Adam is not only a brewer, a Dad, and former Navy, I didn’t think asking him to meet him at 6am was a big deal and it wasn’t. We shot about 75 photos and out of those there were about a dozen winners. Here’s three of them.
Note to self, while I am happy with the shots, never forget to have your subject do a variety of expressions. while I did get the ”tired and proud brewer” look I didn’t get one of Adam out right smiling. Folks who know Adam understand that he is a very cool, mellow, all round nice guy. A couple of the shots that I took, well, he could be in the band Slayer but what the heck, I’m happy and hopefully so is Adam.
Oh, and yes, out of prinicpal, I had a glass of Adam’s dark lager at 6am.  Please clicky on the photos for a higher res version.Adam Lamoreaux6:10AM

Adam Lamoreaux conquering kegdom6:15am

pic of the week: Rodenbach Grand Cru

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Not to be confused with regular, non grand cru. The aroma is all about flanders. Malty and vinegary. The taste is malty sweet all the way to the finish. A little sweet for me as I am now a little more adjusted to the more intense sour beers. Is it sweeter than the non grand cru version? I think a comparison is in order.
A classic and highly recommended.
I wanted the image to show off this classic beauty as if it was poured in a small cafe on a dark night somewhere in West Flanders.

two pictures of two beers equals lunch on a Tuesday

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

El Toro's poppy jasper

Beer loving parents and soon to be beer loving parents, condition your kids for the pub.
This week is spring break for the 3.5 year old so my shift was yesterday afternoon. With my offer to her of burgers and fries for lunch, I got a nice loud “YAY”! in return. So off to the Oakland tap institution known as Barclays. Green Flash west coast ipa
We split (well 30%/70%) a prosciutto and cheese stuffed hambuger with fries on the side. The Daughter went to town with the crayons and paper placemat (read: EVERY pub should offer this) while I went to town on a very enjoyable Poppy Jasper Ale from El Toro brewing (above). The beer was right up my alley…very amber-like with a nice little bit of a rounded hop punch. Very drinkable, but as a parent with limited time I had to move on. Next was the always nice West Coast IPA from Green Flash. Somewhat of a Barclays regular and one that I like to try when available. Good hop bite and bitterness to match.

Happy Wednesday.