Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Canon EOS-1D Mark III Update

As reported on Rob Galbraith's website, Canon has released firmware v1.1.0 for the EOS-1D Mark III. The firmware update includes the changes of firmware v1.0.9, plus a correction for an anomaly whereby the camera won't power up after a battery is inserted, requiring the battery to be removed and reinserted.

The firmware update is meant to improve the camera's AI Servo autofocus performance, provide a sharper zoomed view when playing back photos on the rear LCD, fix a bug that affects the operation of the Main Dial and Quick Control Dial and correct errors in the Italian and Simplified Chinese menus.

The update can be downloaded from here

Exhibit: Diversity of Devotion

Image Copyright © Marcia Halperin-All Rights Reserved

"Diversity of Devotion" a shared photo-documentary project exploring the range of spiritual practices observed throughout New York City will be exhibited at Safe-T-Gallery in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, from September 7th, through September 23rd, 2007. The show, features the work of 32 photographers from across the country, who participated and photographed events during one week in November of 2006 and during a second week in January of this year. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 6th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm which is open to the public and will be attended by many of the photographers as well as representatives of various spiritual groups.

The exhibition contains 40 thought-provoking, and inspired images documenting New York City's varied and unique spiritual and religious beliefs. "Diversity of Devotion" photographers were welcomed in homes, churches, and spiritual centers where they went about capturing both distinct and universal aspects of belief and faith. Islam, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Santeria, Greek Orthodoxy and Catholicism are all represented among the images, to name a few.

Four photographers were selected for special honors: Stephanie Keith, Melanie Einzig, Marcia Halperin and Nura Qureshi, their work and the work of all the photographers helped to exemplify the extraordinary diversity of belief found within New York City. The jurors were Tewfic El-Sawy - travel and culture photographer, Russell Joslin - Editor / Publisher SHOTS Magazine, Alison Nordstrom - Educator and Curator of Photographs, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Eli Reed - Award winning Magnum photojournalist and Molly Roberts - Smithsonian Magazine, Photo Editor.

The Project Director and Curator of the Diversity of Devotion project is Jenny Joswiak, who can be contacted through her email.

Safe-T-Gallery, 111 Front Street, Suite 214, Brooklyn, NY 11201 is located in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, between Washington and Adams Streets

For further information, visit Diversity of Devotion

Monday, July 30, 2007

Barbara Paul: Grasslands of Eastern Tibet

Image Copyright © Barbara Paul _ All Rights Reserved

Tibet House US, the internationally renowned arts and cultural institution in New York City, is now hosting a two-month exhibition of work by photographer Barbara Paul. "Grasslands of Eastern Tibet: Nomads, Festivals & Monasteries" is a selection of photographs from several thousand images shot on the high plateau of Eastern Tibet, featuring the unique customs and lifestyle of the Amdo nomads.

The show includes the brilliantly costumed Machen summer horse festival and its bejeweled women adorned with amber and coral.

Barbara Paul is a well-traveled photographer, with an affinity for tribal cultures and endangered traditions, and has previously exhibited at Gallery Vietnam in New York, and at the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery at Fairfield University, among others. Her Tibet House exibition will certainly be a must-see for those of us who are similarly passionate.

"Grasslands of Eastern Tibet" continues her association with Tibet House US following the use of her other work for the institution's Philip Glass-curated 2005 Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall with Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry and Michael Stipe.

For further details including the date for the opening reception, here's the link to Tibet House

Verdict: Bali Photo Expedition

Image Copyright © Tewfic El-Sawy- All Rights Reserved

I’m returning to blogging after the hiatus of leading a photo expedition in Bali from July 15 to July 28. I’ve just arrived in London after spending 16 hours in flights so this is only a brief overview.

The expedition consisted of 7 photographers wanting nothing else but to photograph the island’s cultural and religious rituals all day long. Our timing was perfect since it included a whole week of innumerable temple anniversaries all over the island of Bali, and a calmer second week gave us the opportunities to focus more on non-religious activities, which are plentiful on the island. Some of us also opted for a day in Borobodur, the fascinating Buddhist monument, in Java.

It is extraordinarily difficult to set up a rigid itinerary for such a photo expedition in Bali as temple anniversaries are all scheduled to the lunar-based Balinese calendar that has only 210 days…temple anniversaries (known as odalan) are frequently 3 or 4 day-long events, while others only last one day….some have their crescendo just before noon (a time of day that is terrible for photography), and others have it later in the evening. Thrown into this confusing mix is that some temples will not allow non-Hindus in certain sacred areas, but others will welcome them with open arms (provided they wear the appropriate clothing such a sarong and sash).

Notwithstanding, because of our perseverance and quick-witted drivers/fixers, we were able to immerse ourselves in temple ceremonies, cremations and other sacred rituals occurring on the island. We were extraordinarily lucky when we were allowed to photograph a small group of white-clad Balinese performing a mewinten, which is a sacred ritualistic purification ceremony attended by only a few relatives of the devotees. Among the best odalans was held at Pura Puseh in Perancak conducted by a high-ranking female pedenda.

The Balinese people are extraordinarily hospitable and generous, and I regret having seen many foreigners abuse this hospitality. At a private cremation, I overheard the head of the family requesting some other photographers not to approach the remains of the deceased and not to use flash, and yet they did so repeatedly until I intervened.

The above rather quirky photograph is of rejang dancers during a ceremonial procession in Pura Goa Lawah.

I will address the expedition's logistics, accommodations and related matters in another post.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Another recipe from Woman&Home Feel Good Food Magazine, this time from the Summer 2007 issue.
There are sections on food know-how, celebrity chefs' recipes, outdoor eating, summer detox, starters and soups, fish and seafood, salads and vegetables, meat and poultry plus a section on desserts.
The recipe I chose to cook came under the summer detox section and not only tasted good but looked amazing. The rocket and lime pesto was very light and fresh.
I made this last Friday during the torrential downpours. My son was coming home to visit for the weekend and had an horrendous journey, like thousands of other commuters. He didn't arrive here until 10.30 p.m. This dinner cheered him up and he savoured every mouthful!

Serves: 4 people

750g new potatoes, 1 small red onion, finely chopped, 2 ripe tomatoes, deseeded and diced, 1 small yellow pepper, finely chopped, 3tbsp chopped fresh chervil, 2 tbsp olive oil, 4 thick salmon fillets, weighing about 125g each.

FOR THE PESTO: 50g wild rocket, 50g pine nuts, 1 garlic clove, crushed, juice 1 lime, 6tbsp cold pressed olive oil.

1. Make the pesto by placing all the ingredients in a blender and whizzing to a thick puree. Put in the fridge to chill.
2. Place the potatoes in a large pan of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and crush gently with the back of a fork. Combine the onion, tomatoes, pepper, chervil and olive oil and divide among four plates.
3. Preheat a large, non-stick frying pan and add the salmon, skin side down. Season and cook over a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Place a salmon fillet on top of the potatoes, drizzle with the pesto and serve.


This recipe is from the August 2007 copy of Delicious Magazine and they have called this issue Healthy Summer Eating.
Summer pudding comes in all shapes and sizes and we are flooded with different recipes. This particular recipe has creme de cassis added to the fruit! I love individual puddings and so this recipe won hands down when it came to making something quick, light and tasty.
Instead of lining the basin all the way round with bread, the base is lined with a round of bread and the rest of the bread is broken up and added to the fruit mixture. What a brilliant idea from the people at Delicious Magazine.
My own tip is to first line the basins with clingfilm, this will ensure the puddings turn out of the tins instead of having to stand there with your fingers crossed and hoping!

Makes: 4

Start the day before, as they need to chill overnight in the fridge.

250g raspberries, 125g blackcurrants, 125g redcurrants, 100g caster sugar, 6 slices white bread, crusts removed, 2 tablespoons creme de cassis, plus extra to serve.

1. Put the fruit and sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Gently simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the juices have begun to run from the fruit. Don't overcook the fruit. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
2. Using a 6cm plain cutter, cut out 4 rounds from 2 slices of the bread (keep the trimmings). Dip both sides into the fruit, so the juices soak the bread, then use to line the base of 4 x 150ml individual pudding basins.
3. Tear the remaining bread into pieces and stir into the fruit mixture, along with the creme de cassis. Spoon into each mould and cover with clingfilm. Place on a baking tray and weigh each one down. Chill overnight.
4. The next day, turn out onto serving plates. Drizzle with extra creme de cassis to serve.

If you don't have any fresh fruit, a bag of frozen summer fruits can be used instead.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bali: Dragonfly Cafe

Hello to all readers of TTP! I've been absent from blogging since early July and enjoying Ubud in Bali to the maximum. My photo expedition is now underway, and we've been swept away by the intensity of the odalan (temple anniversaries) that have taken place in the past few days. Two days ago, we attended a massive odalan in Pura Pengerebongan in Kesiman, where the pageantry was just spectacular. Our cameras haven't been quiet during the past days, but they are getting a well deserved rest (and well needed battery charges) while we're taking a few hours off.

This posting is courtesy of Dragonfly Cafe, where free wireless internet service is available!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


A while back, whilst in the newsagents, I was looking at all the foodie magazines and I came across a new quarterly food magazine by the people at Woman&Home.
The first thing I loved was the front cover, a beautiful Mango parfait topped with blueberries. Flicking through the pages the recipes come under evocative headings such as calming foods, de-stressing foods, vitality foods, radiance foods, energising foods, mood foods and relaxing foods.
There are recipes by Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawson, James Martin and Nigel Slater, Alastair Hendy and others.
A section of the magazine is also devoted to Books for Cooks where a short review is given on current cookery books.
The recipe I have chosen to cook from this magazine is very simple, took a short time to prepare and looked and tasted wonderful.

This recipe will serve 4 people or in our case, it only served the two of us!

You will need:
375g packet ready-rolled puff pastry, 1 bunch basil, leaves only, plus extra to garnish, 300g baby tomatoes on the vine, 250g cubed Taleggio cheese, 1 tablespoon milk.

1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC, fan 200ºC, 425ºF, Gas 7. Place the pastry on a large flat baking sheet and score a rim along the sides of the rectangle, 2.5cm in from the edge.
2. Scatter the basil over the pastry and place the tomatoes on top without removing the vines. Season well with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
3. Scatter over the cheese and brush the outside rim of the pastry with milk. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and risen. Scatter over some more fresh basil before serving.


Another recipe from Woman&Home Feel Good Food - Spring 2007 magazine. The photography and food styling really caught my eye and there are some wonderful recipe titles such as Banoffee bliss, Feeling peachy and Tropical meltdown. I want to make them all!
For now, I chose the above recipe which I have adapted slightly, purely on the basis I didn't have all the required ingredients. The raspberries were out of my garden and so they took centre stage.

Serves: 6-8

For the syrup: 200ml water, 125g caster sugar, 10 cardamom pods, crushed.

12 to 16 ripe stone fruits, peaches, plums or nectarines.
35g butter, cubed, 6 tablespoons of clear honey.

For the vanilla cream: 200ml double cream, 2 tablespoons caster sugar, 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out, 200ml full-fat yogurt.

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, fan 160ºC, 350F/Gas 4. Put all the syrup ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Leave the mixture to cool, then strain through a sieve.
2. Halve the fruits and remove the stones. Place on a baking sheet and put a cube of butter on top of each half. Drizzle over the honey. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are soft and slightly browned.
3. While the fruit is cooking and the syrup is on the stove, make the vanilla cream. Mix together the cream, caster sugar and vanilla, and beat until thick. Stir in the yogurt and leave the mixture in the fridge until required.
4. When the fruit is ready, remove from the oven to a serving dish. Pour over the syrup and serve warm with the vanilla cream.

My substitutions to the above: I didn't have any double cream and instead used thick Greek yogurt mixed with full-fat yogurt. I couldn't find my vanilla pod and so I used a smidgen of Vanilla Works vanilla paste. Also, I didn't have any plums to cook alongside the peaches and so I decided to use some of my raspberries for decoration. Well, that's what cookings all about sometimes, if you haven't got it improvise!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Rio Helmi :Bali

I've been introduced to the lovely work of a local Balinese photographer by the name of Rio Helmi. He has been able to capture the local cultural ceremonies and festivals of Bali as no one but someone who can spend extended periods of time near his or her subjects of interest. As I'm posting from a internet cafe, I chose not to save one of his many excellent images on this computer to illustarte this post. However his website gallery is replete with many of his images.

Rio Helmi Website

Monday, July 2, 2007


This Italian ice cream is like the original soft scoop ice cream. It is made with a boiled sugar syrup and doesn't have the traditional custard base, it is speckled with chopped stem ginger and will stay soft when frozen.
If you don't have an ice cream machine then this would be a good one to make, but you will need a sugar thermometer.
I decided to add some Stone's Green Ginger Wine to the mixture before freezing. The texture of the semi-freddo was wonderfully smooth and velvety.
To serve, I made some chocolate cases with Green & Black's Organic Cooks' Chocolate, after my unsuccessful attempts at making chocolate baskets!!

Meeta over at What's for Lunch, Honey? has chosen "Scream for Ice Cream" for her Monthly Mingle. I hope my entry is 'cool' enough for you Meeta!

I have slightly adapted the recipe from the one given in the book.

by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis

ISBN 10987654321 - PAGE 87

Serves: 6

4 egg yolks, 115g caster sugar, 120ml cold water, 300ml double cream, 115g drained stem ginger, finely chopped, plus extra slices, to decorate, 3 tbsp ginger wine (optional)

1.Put the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl and whisk until frothy. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and simmer gently.
2. Mix the sugar and measured cold water in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Increase the heat and boil for 4-5 minutes without stirring until the syrup registers 115ºC/239ºF on a sugar thermometer.
4. Put the bowl of egg yolks over the pan of simmering water and whisk in the sugar syrup. Continue whisking until the mixture is very thick. Remove from the heat and whisk until cool.
5. Whip the cream and lightly fold it into the yolk mixture, with the chopped ginger and ginger wine. Pour into a plastic tub and freeze for 1 hour.
6. Stir the semi-freddo to bring any ginger that has sunk to the bottom of the tub to the top, then return to the freezer for 5-6 hours until firm.
7. Scoop into dishes or chocolate cases and decorate with slices of ginger.



It is so easy to grow herbs in pots on the patio it seems a shame to buy them from the supermarket.
My bay is a few years old now and just starting to produce lots of new growth, the rosemary bush is about a year old, and the sage, mint and thyme are new this year.
I have bought a lavender bush to sit amongst the herbs because the thyme seems to attract lots of little flies, and I am told the lavender helps to keep them away.
With the exception of mint, when the herbs grow too big or woody for the pots I put them in my vegetable garden and basically, I just let them grow into small bushes.
I chop the rosemary leaves and put these in the freezer for the winter, the thyme is too fiddly to chop and so I just cut the stems complete with leaves, and freeze these too.
Mint and sage can also be chopped and then stored in the freezer. The bay I cover up for the winter months to protect from the frosts and so in the winter I am able to also use fresh bay leaves.
Herbs are a cooks best friend and the uses for them are endless. An excellent book about herbs is The New Vegetable & Herb Expert by Dr D G Hessayon.