December 19, 2016
A Magic Monday Birthday
Food Photography Class
Train In/Out: Fairfield, CT
Miles walked: 3
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with m.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO, 17mm f1.8
It's a Magic Monday Birthday! And magic it was. I hope you are not getting tired of my coincidence stories because I have another one for you today, and it's pretty darn amazing.
I treated myself to a food photography class in Brooklyn today. As luck would have it, Chris Gampat (ThePhoblographer.com photography blog) posted the class a couple of weeks ago. Thought it was interesting that he was having the class on a Monday at 4:30pm on my bday. The day before, I decided to buy a ticket and go. A bit different to spend the majority of my birthday alone in New York City, but it's been that kind of year for me. It was good to be alone in a way, doing something for myself on my special day. I didn't feel lonely at all. And I do believe the day unfolded exactly as it needed to.
This is an iPhone shot I took at the Fairfield train station. I was sitting in the little shelter listening to the two ladies to my right speaking spanish...catching a word here and there. I glanced down and noticed the one woman had a Happy Birthday gift bag. Hmph, I thought, it's my birthday today, how cool is that? Maybe the universe was wishing me happy birthday. LOL. I snapped a pic. The ladies got up and left the shelter area and I didn't seem them when I got on the train.
Arrived at Grand Central and it was packed with people! Did my usual routine, used the restroom, pulled out my camera and got my settings adjusted, took a few pics in Grand Central. Then I pulled out my phone, looked up what subway I needed to take to get to Union Station and made my way to the 4-5-6. Crazy crowded.
Got to Union Station and got off the 5. Made my way over to the L. I realized I had no signal on my phone AND that I did not jot down what subway stop in Brooklyn I needed to get off. I was hoping I would get some signal on the L train. So I waited for the L. Again, it was pretty crowded and I noticed one guy show up for the L who seemed a bit off. Stood with his back to the subway tracks facing the crowd...a little weird. The L finally arrived and I got on. It was crowded so I didn't get a seat right away. As we pulled away, I noticed creepy guy looking right at me. I turned my back to him. Whatever.
A couple of stops later people got off and I was able to get a seat. Of course creepy guy took a seat right next to me. Great. I was still struggling with my phone and could not get signal. The L made its way under the water and over to Brooklyn. When we stopped at the first stop in Brooklyn I noticed I had maybe one bar on my phone. The doors opened and I thought to myself, I don't like sitting next to creepy guy, I could get out and maybe get more signal in the subway station and then take the next L train. So I jumped off the subway and watched creepy guy go away as the subway left. I've never gotten off a subway like this to take the next train.
Now I'm thrilled because I have lots of signal and I'm able to look up the restaurant where the photography class is being held and figure out that the subway stop I needed was Morgan, 5 stops away. Whew! I stood there waiting for the next L train.
It arrived and I got in. Now the general "rule" on the subway, for me, is I don't make a lot of eye contact, I get on, head partway down and I look for a seat. I see one to my left between a couple of people (it's fairly crowded, some people are standing but there is a spot). I walk to sit down and notice there's a woman coming the other way also walking towards the seat. I looked across and noticed that there was another seat on the other side of the subway car. So I gave this woman the quick "you take this seat" nod, and I went and sat down across from her.
And then I looked up:
The woman I had just given the seat to? It was the Happy Birthday lady from the Fairfield train station from a few hours ago.
Once I put my eyes back in my head, I checked my phone for the photo I had taken earlier just to confirm that this is the same lady. Could it be just another person carrying the same black & red Happy Birthday bag (on my actual birthday?). That, in itself, would be pretty weird. But alas, no, this is not a different person. This is the same lady. She had unique looking sneakers on which totally confirmed it was her (plus I remembered generally what she looked like in Fairfield when I glanced at her in the train shelter).
So that's my story. I feel that the universe literally wished me Happy Birthday. Twice. The amount of timing this took is incredible. The fact that I got off an L train and took the next one...that had to happen. Every single moment and decision had to happen for me to run into this person again, practically colliding on the subway to take the same seat.
Some things you just cannot make up. xo
Ooh, someone is getting something big this year. :)
Nice graffiti in Brooklyn.
Maybe not the most amazing spot, but the light was so pretty as the sun set, I had to make an image.
This image is funny NOW (as I write this). This was my destination but I was distracted by the Pokemon and did not at all notice the name of my destination on the side wall. And in my defense, the door to the place I was going had absoultely no signage.
So I got lost and walked right past this, for far too long. But I did capture a few interesting images as I got totally lost in Brooklyn in the freezing cold.
DO IT if you feel like it! Google "Nikola Tesla" - let me know what resonates with what you find! Interesting guy...
YES, it was this cold. OMG I had no idea it was going to be this cold so at this intersection I was half frozen with my lame dollar store knit gloves which served me well most of the winter because I don't like thick gloves but they were not cutting it today.
My first "junk yard dog". He was not happy to see me, but looking at his picture I think he's a big baby. He barked a ton, but posed for this shot.
OK, so I'm back and have finally figured out that the Pokemon wall was my destination, the Arrogant Swine.
The Arrogant Swine. This is the restaurant where my photography class would be held.
Chris Gampat (The Phoblographer), on the right, starting to explain the food photography class.
Next few shots document the food photography class.
My favorite just because the guy looks like he's floating off to the left.
Just me taking a quick (non class) photo of the potential food to photograph.
Tyson. Our chef for the night. So accomodating to my being vegetarian (at his BBQ place). He made me several veggie dishes and talked about loving vegetarian food. :) Thanks, Tyson!
A favorite shot of the night...we were testing the flash and I happened to catch the flash going off on a test shot. Love the blown out whites and color in this shot!
We got more serious about making some food shots...
We each had to come up with our own unique lighting and setting. This is mine. I'm not in love with the shot, but I wanted to front light it and I'm happy with the plan and image given the brief class.
I think what I learned from the class is that it is very different to CREATE an image versus CAPTURE. With street photography you are mostly capturing moments. They are not planned (or are they, LOL) and you do the best you can to capture a fleeting moment with a composition that's pleasing for photography. But food photography is an entirely different game. It required a lot of experimentation with lighting, looking to Pinterest, etc, for inspiration, and lots of trial and error. And some patience (which is not my middle name). I told Chris later, I felt like 2016 was my year to capture images. I think 2017 will be my year to create images.
And with that, I left Brooklyn. (and yeah, I got lost again, this time trying to find the subway at 9pm in the freezing freezing cold)
This guy caught my eye with his BELIEVE bag from Macy's. I wanted to take pic but figured he would leave by the time I pulled out my camera which I had put away. I pulled out the camera anyway, took off the lens cap, fussed with my settings, etc. He was still standing there.
BELIEVE is all I can say.
Wow, no birthday paper?! I guess they close at 9pm.
Downstairs guy said they had papers upstairs. So now, after 50 weeks, I had to try to remember where Hudson News was upstairs. LOL. I propped up The Donald on the Wall Street Journal and grabbed the shot.
Heading to the train. I loved the sign above. THANKFUL.
I am thankful to all of you who have taken the time to read a post, whether it's one, or all of them. And I'm thankful that the universe wished me happy birthday. Twice. ;)
Until the next Magic Monday!