Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nel Centro

My first visit to Nel Centro was a couple months ago, just for drinks with some colleagues. We sat outside in their patio area in large comfy chairs gathered around a raised fire pit, filled with colored glass stones. Imagine a long, skinny, 3-foot-high planter, except emitting colorful fire. I recently had the opportunity to return when I received an assignment to do a shoot for a review of the restaurant. The interior is warm, with soft chocolate and ivory tones throughout. The main dining area is lit with wonderful hanging colored glass globes and lamps, and the large windows of the corner space give it a very metropolitan feel. Executive Chef Paul Hyman's large and open kitchen boasts a brick pizza oven, as well as a fire rotisserie rack. The Herbed Rotisserie Chicken dinner was a favorite on my visit, moist and uniquely flavored. During lunch the pizza oven fires up classic pies and daily specials featuring local and specialty ingredients. They also do great breakfast and brunch services, with hearty dishes like Steak and Eggs, and a delicious twist on Eggs Benedict. Hitting the marks with good food, a cool and comfy interior, hip bar (with fire), and a great location, Nel Centro should definitely be on your "next downtown spot I'm gonna check out" list, and high up.

Cozy booths and colorful lighting gives patrons a warm and relaxed dining experience.

Executive Chef Paul Hyman sauces a plate of Herb Marinated Rotisserie Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower.

A New York strip steak, grilled to order, eggs just how ya like 'em, and oven-roasted potato hash.

Pollenta and Cured Pork Loin Eggs Benedict with Sage Hollandaise and oven-roasted Potato Hash.

A house special pizza with Lamb Fennel Sausage, Red Onion, Rosemary, and Buffalo Taleggio.

Herb-Marinated Rotisserie Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You wanted the best! You got the best! KISS!!

When I was 15, in 1983, I saw my first concert. KISS, on their Lick It Up tour with Queensryche at Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore. I made the 4 hour train ride from Pendleton to Portland alone to meet up with a friend and his older brother, who had a car. The concert, and the weekend really, was a whirlwind of hammering-loud rock music, explosions, and vividly colorful imagery. It changed me as a fan, graduated me to that next level, I could now say that I had experienced KISS in person. And I still have the $20 t-shirt to prove it! (last night they were $50) I think it also influenced how I was starting to see the world differently; a little bigger, louder, and more exciting than what I'd been used to. In a small, yet profound way, I think seeing KISS back then had a hand in shaping me into the creative I am today. I thought about that quite a bit as I was standing in front of the stage last night waiting for the curtain to go down. It was an odd feeling. We'd all been there together before, just under a slightly different dynamic. Now it was time to get to work, to entertain fans with good music and pretty pictures. I think we all did a fine job.

Willamette Week cover, Randy Leonard part II

Another cover for Willamette Week's ongoing investigation into Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard's Housing Interdiction Team, or "HIT" squad. The story can be read here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lighting Zoo Animals

Over the weekend I teamed up with lighting guru Andy Batt to help teach a class at Newspace on how to shoot zoo animals under studio lighting conditions. Essentially, we were there to build and light the sets, and help the students achieve the proper exposure under those conditions. All in all, with all the variables, it was a pretty fun day. I love getting the opportunity to work with unique subject matter. My favorite character (outside of the students) was the porcupine, menacing quills aside, it was adorable.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Willamette Week cover, Randy Leonard

Today's Willamette Week newspaper, Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard. I had a little less than hour with him, so we did a couple setups in his office at City Hall, then a quick shot of him down the street at his gym. This one was technically pretty basic, just window light, but I really like his look. The cover story can be read here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Hit-and-Run Portrait Assignment

Must be done in less than 1 man hour to meet the minimum specs for a viable job. The quicky portrait assignment, EVERY editorial photog reading this post knows what I'm talking about. Sometimes they're an easy "slam dunk", and sometimes they're a huge challenge. This is a good example of how it goes...

Editor email: Care to photograph subject for this week's issue?
Me: Sure.
Editor: Great, here's contact info: xxx
Art Direction: Basically just need a shot of him with some interesting/current art pieces.

Sounds easy enough. Right? Wrong. My subject is the Director of a Contemporary Art Center called Disjecta. They were prepping for a Halloween party the next night, and First Thursday showings the following week, so the place was pretty much a mess. The walls were bare except for this one little corner where a couple guys were working on hanging some pieces. Great, a background. I saw a grinder and a piece of pipe laying on the ground and asked if one of the guys could fire up some sparks to make things more interesting. Mission accomplished. I think they came out well for what I had to work with. These were shot with 2 lights; one on the subject, and one on the background. Shot at 1/13 of a second for the sparks effect.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

China Design Now

Some images from the China Design Now exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. The exhibit is sponsored by Ziba Design, and one of my semi-regular clients, Li-Ning Sports, a Chinese athletic apparel and footwear company. Li-Ning is in the top 3 worldwide for consumer sales, and is the #1 brand in China with 6800 stores and $1 billion in sales. Mr. Li Ning was a gymnastic Olympian in the 1984 games, and has earned a total of 106 medals throughout his athletic career. Li-Ning Sports celebrates it's 20th anniversary in January 2010 with the opening of it's first U.S. retail store in Portland's Pearl District.