Archive for the ‘still life’ Tag

Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix   2 comments

Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, puppets, Chinese

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Arizona offers a huge array of handcrafted instruments from around the world. The instruments are largely arranged in geographic exhibits including Africa/Middle East, Asia/Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean,  United States/Canada, and Europe. The figures above are puppets from the Chinese exhibit. The puppets were  part of a larger setting which included some massive tubular drums.

As part of the tour, each visitor gets a set of wireless headphones which activate as the visitor approaches an exhibit so you not only get to view the instruments, but you get to hear them too. It’s a very engaging experience. You can easily spend hours engrossed in the exhibits. Once you’ve seen and heard your fill, you can go down to the Experience Gallery where you can try out a small selection of the instruments for yourself. It’s mostly percussion instruments in this gallery, so you might brace yourself for the cacophony of enthusiastic drumming from a crowded room.

After the Experience Gallery and just before closing, we stopped in Artist Gallery where you can hear the music and see the instruments (and sometimes the clothes) of iconic musicians from Elvis and Lennon to Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana.

If you’re ever in the Phoenix area and even the slightest interest in music, you’ll love the MIM.


Day 160 – Learned Something New   7 comments

Dried RoseI learned something new these past few days (and posts). I learned that while the technique of applying textures to photos isn’t too difficult it is actually quite a bit harder to produce something I like and hence, feel is worthy of sharing. Broken arms and additional required parenting/child nursing time aside, this is a much more time-consuming process and I find I’m just not able to set enough time in the day aside to meet a daily posting regimen. This explains my sporadic postings of the last few days and conveniently serves as a prefab excuse for any further late posts in the near future.

So, the title of today’s post is not referring to my Photoshop skills, but rather to the creative process. Unlike with a photograph that is more lightly processed, this type of image is not one that I arrive at quickly. It requires far more experimenting with treatments that work and don’t work (and there are a lot that don’t work). Most significantly, I find I need to allow these image to breathe a little, to rest, to hide from prying eyes.

This particular image required four attempts to get it to a stage where I was prepared to post it. I had a previous version uploaded yesterday in an attempt to post on time, but when I saw it in the blog, I realized I was rushing an image out the door that I didn’t even particularly like to meet a self-imposed deadline.

I like this image now, but tomorrow when I see it again I may just change my mind.

Day 159 – Miss Me?   6 comments

PearMissed another day on the blog. Not good. I did have good intentions to blog yesterday, but my daughter rather completely stole my day out from under me. We were at “Family Fun Day” at school on Friday. I was one of many parents volunteering as teams of kids rotated through activities. It all started at 9:00am. Everyone was having a lovely time for all of about 30 minutes when she broke her arm in a fall at one of the stations. Presumably everyone else continued to have fun, but we very definitely did not.

Thankfully, I was on the field so I had her on the way to emergency just a couple of minutes after the fall. It was a pretty bad break – so she had a pretty rough time of it, but the hospital did a fantastic job and rushed her through all points along the way. We were home (and serving her every whim) a little under four hours after the break. I’ve heard horror stories of 8 and 10 hour waits in the emergency rooms here in Alberta so I was really happy that we spent very little time at all waiting. About 45 minutes after the break we were in a room in the pediatrics ward.

While I have pictures from the hospital she forbade me from using them on the blog. Fair enough. She’s not exactly at her best, but she was still able to pull off a smile for the camera while we were waiting for all the doctors (two monitoring respiration, two orthos, two responsible for drugs, one casting and one nurse) required to cast her arm. It’s a teaching hospital so three of the crowd were observing/helping/learning. My wife and I had to leave the room to make space for all the doctors!

Since I wasn’t allowed to include a picture from the hospital, here’s my latest texture project.

If you’re interested in the compositing that I and a couple of others (David and Brandon) have been doing lately and you’re still not quite understanding how we’re pulling it off – I found this recently posted video ( by Adorama that explains it in detail.

Day 40 – Happy Valentine’s Day!   6 comments

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!

Day 39 – Canada’s Favourite Food   5 comments

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.

Technical details: ISO 100, 1/100s,  f2.0, 100mm (with 12mm extension tube)
Photoshop mods: Crop, combine, and frame (with canvas size)

Day 38 – Pizza!   7 comments

As mentioned last Friday, Friday’s are movie night, pizza night, and pop night. While there are occasionally exceptions when the pizza comes from the “pizza store” (as my five-year-old likes to call it) it is almost always homemade. I got my pizza dough recipe (see below) from a good friend in Vancouver nearly 10 years ago. It’s the best I’ve found so far.

The dough is the most fun part of the process. Once the dough has risen, I like to flatten it and then throw it spinning in the air to get it to the right size and thickness. Sometimes it gets dropped, but never on the floor. More often than not, there’s flour flying in every direction and there’s a fair bit of cleanup after the fact.

Once the dough is ready, I make the pizza in thirds – one third for the kids, one third for my wife, and one third for me. The kids have Hawaiian with pepperoni and my wife and I mix it up each week, I’m partial to peppers, she’s partial to mushrooms. On top, I use a mix of mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan. I keep the wet ingredients to a minimum to avoid the dreaded soggy-crust syndrome. Finally, after the toppings are all on, I brush the crust with olive oil to give it crispness and colour. It goes in a hot oven for 15 minutes.

Based on a movie recommendation from last week, we rented Land Before Time (the original – not one of the sequels) and it was a hit with the kids. That’s good, because I learned all the old kids movies at our rental shop are just $1/week. Who can beat that?!

Technical details: ISO 100, 1/100s,  f2.0, 100mm (with 12mm extension tube)
Photoshop mods: Slight crop

Pizza dough recipe

1. Mix together 250 gm (1 1/2 cups) flour, 1 tbsp (11 gm) dry active yeast, 1/4 tsp salt
2. Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 3/4 cup warm water and add to flour mixture
3. Once well mixed (i.e., homogeneous) , knead in 1 tbsp (or more) olive oil
4. Shape into a ball and let it rise for at least 30 mins.




Posted 12/02/2011 by Mike Moruzi in Food

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Day 37 – Cajun Chicken and Chips   3 comments

Or to mis-quote Blazing Saddles “Veggies! We don’t need no stinking veggies!”.

Warm weather here in Edmonton again this week. This flip flopping of temperatures is pretty hard to keep up with, but warm weather means it’s barbeque season again. I’m rather overstocked on chicken these days (there was a big sale at the farmer’s market a couple of weeks back) so chicken had to be on the menu.

Today’s chicken dish is from an Australian book of barbeque recipes. I’m not any sort of expert on Cajun cooking, but I am wondering just how authentically Cajun an Australian Cajun recipe could be.

One thing I know for sure, I seriously need to get more decorative plates if I’m going to do any more food photography!

Technical details: ISO 100, 1/100s, f8.0, 80mm
Photoshop mods: Slight crop