The Atlas Coal Mine was established outside Drumheller around 1911. This images shows the shower room. After a long shift in the coal mine a whole lot of very dirty men would come here to clean up. In fact, because it was a coal mine, this was the only location in town that offered hot showers. The story goes that the women back in town were really jealous of the hot showers, especially in the deep cold of winter. The men, knowing what was good for them, argued with the mine manager to let the women use the shower when it wasn’t in use. They managed to get the women one night a week – Sundays. In the days before readily available hot water in the homes, I bet these showers felt really good.
Archive for the ‘indoor’ Tag
Yesterday, I read David DuChemin’s blog where he had a bit of a rant (actually he had three separate rants) about gear snobs. If you don’t know who David is, you really should go read his blog, then go buy his books. David is a very well-known photographer who’s slogan on his blog is “Gear is good. Vision is better”. One of his goals in life is to get photographers to focus on the image they are creating and not to be too concerned with the gear they’re using.
With that in mind, I am including a photo taken with my iPhone while waiting for the train yesterday.
Clearly, if you have a specific purpose intended for a photograph (like say a wall mural) you will need to select the appropriate gear. I still rely on my DSLR for the vast majority of my photos, but I have to admit to being surprised by how much I enjoy taking pictures with my iPhone. I don’t get the same quality of image (as with my DSLR), but not every image needs to be blown up to poster size. Plus, it beats my DSLR hands down on portability, convenience and let’s face it, fun.
With Hipstamatic, I can swap lenses and film on the fly. If you’re really feeling brave, you can have it randomize the lens and film selection by just shaking the phone. Sadly, I’m not that brave (I don’t like my camera to surprise me) so the randomize feature is off for me. The latest version adds a new lens, new film and increases the size of the view finder (yay!). It’s far from perfect, but it’s a fun alternative and it reminds me to focus on the image and less on my gear.
I think I’m going to have to find a photo project and just shoot it with the iPhone. Could be a good test to see if the photographer makes the camera or the camera makes the photographer.
Processing note: None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Another fun plus of the Hipstamatic app, the processing is already done.
As you walk through the main doors of the Legislative Assembly, you enter the Rotunda. The Rotunda, which rises five floors, is finished in over 2,000 tonnes of marble that was shipped by train from Quebec when the building was constructed from 1907 to 1912.
This picture above is taken facing the south side of the Rotunda and shows the Grand Staircase leading to the hand-carved solid mahogany main doors to the Legislative Assembly Chamber. Above the chamber doors is the provincial coat of arms, also carved from mahogany. On the next level up you can see two very large portraits of King George V and Queen Mary who were the reigning monarchs when the building was completed. The flags on either side of the staircase (and around the Rotunda) are actually Regimental Colours. They represent Alberta’s military units. Some are in very rough condition as they are hung in the actual state they were in when the unit returned from war.
The chamber is where the legislative assembly holds its sittings. The participants are the elected Members of the Legislative Assembly. The government of Alberta has had a Conservative government for 40 years. Today, the Conservatives dominate the assembly with 67 of 83 seats. The official opposition holds just half of the remaining seats with the rest divided among three other parties and one independent.
Saturday’s in Edmonton are market days for me. I like to make my way down to the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. It runs every Saturday from 8am to 3pm. There are arts and crafts, fruits and vegetables, cheese, bread, meats and even some local photographers.
I go for the free-run, organic meat and eggs, but also enjoy the breads and veggies. If you ever get to the market, you must go see Baker Bill – his bread is fantastic!
The market is always busy; a very popular Saturday destination. During the warmer months there are outdoor markets, but this is it from the end of October. The market is located in the middle of Old Strathcona, a historic part of town with origins dating back nearly 120 years.
The photo is a stitched panorama of two HDR images. The tilt-shift effect was added in Photoshop using a quick mask with a reflected gradient and some lens blur.
This past week, I’ve been doing the single parent thing while my wife was in Toronto doing research. Yesterday she returned just in time to prep for Valentine’s Day. She and the girls made and decorated sugar cookies, which made my photo(s) for today so very much easier. All I had to do is set up and shoot. And then taste, of course!
I don’t necessarily have data to back up the claim that this is Canada’s favourite dish, but maybe we can just call it local lore for now. Shortly after we arrived in Edmonton, I was in the car with my kids listening to the local radio station Joe FM. The drive-time show (3-6pm) is hosted by Rhubarb Jones who just happens to be our next-door neighbour. He was running a trivia contest with a couple of callers. This is basically how it went in our car:
Rhubarb: What is the most popular dish in Canada?
My 10-year-old daughter (in the backseat): Macaroni and Cheese!
Me: What?! It may be your favourite dish, but there’s no way that’s the most popular food in Canada! [Blogger’s sidebar: Seriously, what could she know? She’s barely lived in Canada!]
Contestant: Macaroni and cheese
10 yr old: Ha!
Me: Doesn’t mean the contestant is right!
Rhubarb: That’s right!
Me: Okay, but I want to see his sources.
10 yr old: Ha!
True or not, this is certainly my kids’ favourite dish. My 10yr old is starting to learn how to make it herself. We keep it basic and make the cheese sauce from the oldest cheddar we can put our hands on. We sprinkle a mix of cheddar and parmesan over the top and bake. We made it often enough in Melbourne, but this dish makes so much more sense in the depths of winter.
By now, most people will have gone through all their turkey leftovers from December, but apparently not me. I had two packets of diced turkey in the freezer so for today, I recreated something I crafted shortly after Christmas. At the time, I was trying to think what else I could do with leftovers and the idea of turkey and cranberry sauce ravioli seemed like a great way to clean out the fridge. It was a hit at Christmas, so I hoped I could do it again.
This dish has no proper recipe since I just made it up myself though I have since discovered (no surprise) that I’m not the first person to try this. So there is a recipe out there but why use someone else’s recipe when I can risk destroying it all by myself?
Pasta is dead easy so no worries there. The turkey’s cooked already so that’s pretty straightforward. Cranberry sauce is mostly just cranberries. I just have to get the turkey to cranberry ratio right.
Well, it turns out I didn’t quite get the ratio right. There was a bit too much cranberry sauce for the amount of turkey I used. Still tasted great, but the I’ll pull back on the cranberries a bit next time. I even wrote down the recipe this time (adjusted to use fewer cranberries).
The photo shoot was straightforward. Despite the strong recommendations I read on FoodPress yesterday, I used artificial lighting because natural light in my kitchen is done and gone by about 11am.
I used a simple white plate sitting on white matte board. I used to Canon 550EX flashes – one to provide a soft top/front light (bounced off a white reflector) and the other to blow out the white background. I used my smallest macro tube (12mm) with my 100mm lens to get in a bit closer.
Technical details: ISO 200, 1/100s, f8.0, 100mm
Photoshop mods: Levels to fine tune lighting
Recipe (just in case you’re interested)
– 500 gm plain (all-purpose) flour
– 5 eggs
– 175 gm of finely chopped turkey
– 75-100 gm of frozen cranberries
– juice of one orange
– 1 tspn of sugar
– 2/3 cup parmesan
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 2tbsp butter
– 2/3 cup parmesan
Put the flour in a medium-large bowl. Form a hole in the centre and fill with five eggs. Use a fork to scramble the eggs gradually drawing in the flour to form a dough. Once roughly mixed, shift to the counter top to knead the dough together. Keep a small cup of water on hand. If the dough is too dry, just add enough water to get it to the right consistency. Dough should be firm and smooth to the touch, not sticky. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and put it in the fridge to rest.
Put the cranberries in a small saucepan with the juice of one orange and a teaspoon of sugar. Place over medium-low heat and keep half an eye on it while you get on with the turkey.
If your turkey is still in big pieces, now is the time to finely chop it. You can use a food processor if you have one or just grab a big knife. Chop the turkey into very fine pieces.
Stire the cranberry sauce occasionally (you wouldn’t want it to burn!). It takes 5 to 10 minutes to start to thicken. Break up the berries with a fork or potato masher and you’re all set. Add the sauce to the turkey and mix in 2/3 cup of parmesan. Set the filling aside and retrieve the pasta from the fridge.
I use a pasta machine to roll the pasta into thin sheets. I then lay one sheet over a ravioli maker filling each ravioli with filling and then press a second sheet over the top. Some vigorous rolling with a rolling-pin and presto-chango we have ravioli. The one thing I strongly recommend with the ravioli maker is liberal use of flour to make sure your ravs don’t stick.
Make sure you have a sous-chef on hand to prep the alfredo sauce while you’re making the ravioli. They just need to bring the cream and butter to a boil, simmer it on low heat for one minute and then stir in the parmesan. Stir quickly and continuously or it will burn or separate (yuck!).
Top off the pasta and sauce with a little parmesan and cracked pepper and serve.