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  • Crafting Beer with (512) Brewing Company
    Crafting Beer with (512) Brewing Company
    by John M. P. Knox

    "Definitely worth adding to your collection – it’s as good a visual record of the brewing process as I’ve ever seen." -Dave of

Entries in Photos (25)


The Arteries of San Francisco


Be sure to click on the image to see a big version

From a distance, San Franscisco looks tranquil. Lights gently roll over the hills in pretty patterns, and a mix of buildings from various eras fill the center. If you look closer, you'll see the river of cars entering and leaving, and the ghosts of people out walking.

I shot this photo through my hotel window using my 7D mounted on a Gorilla Pod precariously balanced on a couch and window sill. A hint for photographers emulating my technique: kill every light in the room behind you. If you leave any lights on, you'll spend hours getting rid of annoying reflections in Photoshop.


Uchiko and Lytro

Do I contradict myself? I do. I told you not to expect much food photography with the Lytro. But the Lytro is so much fun to use I couldn't resist taking it to Uchiko last night. Uchiko was very generous to send us out several different plates to try in addition to our orders. Thanks Uchiko, we love you!

Don't blame Uchiko if some of the food has a funky color -- blame me. Despite the sometimes funky job the Lytro does with white balance, I think many of these photos are fun to play around with. Click on different parts of the photos to change the focus.



The Lytro Camera and Food

Have you heard of the Lytro camera yet? The Lytro is a small, unusually shaped camera that's most amazing ability is to be able to re-focus a photo after it has been taken. You can read my initial impressions and thoughts on the Lytro on my more nerdy blog.

The Lytro technology might come in handy for food photography. Focusing on food can be difficult since the camera is often very close to the food. You can click on various parts of the cafe latte above and see how the image is re-focused. Nice, right?

Unfortunately I can't recommend the Lytro for food photography right now. At least I cant suggest it as your primary camera. Why isn't the Lytro a great camera for food photography yet? First of all, the amount of post processing available to the artist is limited to the same changing of focus that the Lytro viewer gives. The artist can't correct white balance, exposure, contrast, or even crop the photo.

When I take photos of food, I spend a lot of time and effort after the shot to make it look good and convey the story I want. While it is a relief to be able to take photos without worrying about post-processing, I don't feel comfortable sharing photos that didn't turn out well. And when it comes to food, I want to do the Chef and the Kitchen's work justice. I'm sure you'll occasionally see a Lytro photo here that fits the bill, but with the current technology it will be rare.

The good news is that Lytro has expressed their intent to add features and even potentially make a more professional camera based on their technology. I think it would be nice to avoid throwing away those photos with the focus on the sauce rather than the more interesting parts of the dish.


The Texas Capital Building in Fog

The Texas Capital Building looked like a magical fortress from Norse mythology, wrapped in glowing mist.

The Texas Capital Building in Fog

All the lights punching up into the fog around it made it really stand out compared to the rest of downtown. For most of my walk from work to my parking garage, the Capital hides behind another building. I knew something interesting must be happening because a glowing tower of fog rose from behind the obscuring building.

When I reached the garage, I could finally see how the fog was swirling around the Capital and diffusing the light. I snapped this shot from a staircase near my car.


A Taste of Ethiopia

Some foodie friends and I recently shared a meal at Taste of Ethiopia in Pflugerville. We shared huge platters of Ethiopian food, ate with our hands, and participated in a traditional coffee ceremony with freshly roasted coffee and frankincense.

This was my first experience at an Ethiopian restaurant. I'm eager to have many more. 



Unroasted Coffee Beans

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony