Ramen Carbonara

11 Aug 2017 03:14 am
[syndicated profile] norecipes_feed

Posted by Marc Matsumoto

This week over at PBS I have an awesome quick fix I came up with one day for lunch. It’s a Japanese-style carbonara using ramen noodles instead of pasta and katsuobushi instead of guanciale. Head over to PBS Food for my full ramen carbonara post.

X-Pedition: Cuba

7 Aug 2017 02:55 pm
[syndicated profile] strobist_feed
NOTE: The January Cuba trip, our very first X-Pedition, has filled. If you would like to receive early notification of future trips, please click through via the link at the end. -DH

This January I'm leading a small-group trip to Havana, Cuba. It will be the first in a series of X-Peditions for photographers.

The last time I was in Havana was 2013, teaching for Santa Fe Workshops. But that was someone else's curriculum. This time the program is ours to design, and we are planning a week of exploring, learning and lots of time behind the camera.

An Immersive Week

This is not the typical photo tour group, which invariably ends up as some version of a photo walk with everyone getting versions of the same pictures. I'm working with Focus On The Story, a D.C.-based organization for photographers. The trip leaders are myself and fellow journalist Joe Newman, whom I've known for over 30 years.

X-Peditions have a maximum of 12 participants, and are very photo-centric. They include daily instruction as well as plenty of time to explore on your own—or with a teammate, if you prefer.

Photography and Learning

We'll be out shooting at the edges of the day when the light is good, and at other times as dictated by the locations we have lined up. But during the harsh light of midday, we'll typically be in instructional mode. There will be daily talks that not only help prepare you for the day's experiences, but build on your general knowledge around the intersection of photography and travel.

You'll learn how to prioritize your day to become more efficient at producing higher quality photos. This will help you reserve the time to just be a traveler; to absorb the city and watch the world go by. That downtime is important for you (and for your family, when you travel with them.) It also makes you more receptive to the insights that lead to better photos.

We are traveling to Havana under a people-to-people license, which means you'll get interaction with locals throughout the week. We'll work both individually and as a group. We'll be editing, comparing notes, evaluating what we can do better and preparing to go out and do it again.

In the evenings we'll continue the conversation and share our day's experiences, perhaps over a mojito or a glass of Cuba's famous dark rum. This sort of thing is typical when photojournalists are working together (or competing) in a foreign city.

Nights in Havana are vibrant, with the sound of music filling the city. Its economic hardships may be well-known, but life and culture always find a way.

The X-Factor

The "X" in X-Pedition is a nod to Fuji's X series cameras. Small, light, quiet and unobtrusive, Fuji X series bodies are near-perfect tools for photojournalists. And they are ideal travel cameras. I took a leap of faith on my first trip to Havana, bringing only a Fuji X100s with its fixed 35mm equivalent lens. In retrospect, it was a great decision. And it has changed the way I approach travel photography ever since.

So if you are also a Fuji shooter, you can expect tips and advice on how to get the most out of your cameras. Or to even borrow a lens if you like.

Do you have to be a Fuji shooter to come along? No, you don't. (And don't worry, we promise not to try to convert you.) But we do strongly suggest that you travel very light with respect to photo gear. It's good travel photo advice in general, but also culturally respectful in a place like Cuba where the economic disparity is a factor.

The Bigger Picture

Havana is a unique opportunity for photographers. It goes without saying that it is not going to stay unique for very long. The island is experiencing rapid change.

Our goal with this trip, and future X-Peditions, is to help you grow as both travelers and photographers; to gain the skills and confidence to choose future destinations that are off the beaten path.


The Havana trip has filled. If you'd like to receive notification of future X-Peditions before they are publicly announced, please visit Focus On The Story's X-Pedition Cuba page and submit your contact info.

Tofu Banh Mi

3 Aug 2017 09:15 pm
[syndicated profile] norecipes_feed

Posted by Marc Matsumoto

Ban Mi is my favorite sandwich ever. The contrast of textures, tastes, and flavors is unbeatable and because each component is seasoned, it can be made with almost any protein and still be just as delicious. This week over at PBS Food, I’ve made a plant-based Tofu Banh Mi that’s so good you won’t miss … Continue reading “Tofu Banh Mi”

[syndicated profile] strobist_feed
Abstract: Don't just look to still photos for inspiration. Great inspiration also awaits you on your TV.

We may think we are getting a good feel for color as photographers. But you know who kicks still photographers' butts every day? Cinematographers, that's who.

Today, a look at some examples from 2010-era Dr. Who, which we have talked about on this blog before. These guys are near and dear to my heart, because they are unabashedly fearless when it comes to using color to manipulate light—and their viewers. Read more »

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