Now that spring is almost installed after a long cold and miserable winter, It’s time to get back to this special day when London was covered by snow. Luckily enough, the sun was also planing to visit on that day and allowed me to shoot few pictures at work before anyone had showed up. here come the immaculate playground lit by a winter low and warm sunlight
End of year holiday was once again an opportunity to spend time shooting different kind of pictures. Since I shoot kids in school most of the year, landscape would be a easy choice. I also wanted to try venturing in … Continue reading →
I spent way too much time investigating the flat earth community and the associated debunking articles and videos over the last few months and came across this rather clear and logical explanation of a “Superior Mirage”.
I did not think at the time that I would be lucky enough to witness such a phenomenon with my own eyes and as a bonus, with my camera. Since I haven’t posted much on this blog (nothing in 2017 actually!!!) I thought it would be a good idea to share this visual and photographic experience. We were on the “Costa del Sol” in Spain for few days and every morning we could see the sunrise as well as this incredible view of African Coast mountain range. Not as impressive as Chicago skyline but knowing the distance and curvature we knew that this sight was if not a miracle, a mirage.
London would not be London without a river flowing through. We, Londoners, go through life crossing this vital waterway without thinking too much of it (or do not even cross it at all!!!). And believe me when I say crossing, I … Continue reading →
Ok, This tittle is a bit of a stretch! If you are familiar with this blog structure, you have noticed the attempt to link movie theme to my posts. This one though is a bit unusual. The purpose of this web existence has always been about photography but fortunately, one man does not exist with one hobby! Those who know me (that is about 99% of the very few people visiting this URL) know me as a keen (and hopefully decent) home brewer. Photography has been focused on school work and for obvious reasons cannot be broadcast as freely on my personal web site (should you be curious, you can visit www.cfbl.org.uk to check out my work… any bad picture you encounter on the site will of course be someone else’s!!!) Back to home brewing… no, I am not going to start a new section of the web site dedicated to the art of producing divine beers since several fellow brewers do so already. Instead, I wanted to share the basics of what’s involved in my own terms, illustrated by bad phone pictures… nothing prepared, just a rough cut of one full day of brewing.
Brewing with unusual ingredients can be funny but leads very often to terrible results (some of my fellow brewers would not dare to object as they have produced an incessant flow of undrinkable alcoholic beverage because of their very fertile imagination!) Nevertheless, some of these ingredients are already in use among professionals with pleasant results and Chicory is one of them. Since it tastes like coffee (or enough to be a substitute) I chose to brew a Porter.
Porters are dark beers, with coffee, chocolate tones and very light bitterness so I wanted to elaborate a recipe that would forget hops (at least aromatic ones) and enhance the guest ingredient flavour. Hold on… already 300 words and not a single picture yet?… Should I also start writing as a new hobby?…
For you friends and fans who do not know beer, learn that it’s made mainly from malted barley (sometimes wheat or other cereals) but the magic comes from Yeast… (sorry Ladies if it brings back bad memories). Let’s make sure we do have plenty at hand when the time comes…Yeast infection is the best that can happen to brewed malts!
What you see above is a culture of the good stuff that make beer… I start it 2 or 3 days before the big day and that makes a big difference in the results!!! Then, it’s time to weigh the right amount of grain… here, 8kg of UK maris otter malt, one classic English ingredient. this will be the main source of carbohydrates leading to the alcohol ultimate transformation…
I want a bit of body so we had special grains (kilned in high moisture atmosphere)… It’s called Crystal malt… 1kg should suffice and of course, let’s nor forget the guest ingredient…. roasted chicory (650g)
Mashing (or infusing) the grains and chicory at a precise temperature will start the transformation of starch into dextrose (fermentable sugar) and dextrines (not that fermentable!!!). This porridge like mix of water and grain will be kept at the right temperature for 60 minutes. All we need to do now is to grab as much sweet liquid (wort) and gently “rince” the grain with hot water (called liquor in brewing lingo!!!) the wort is then boiled and the hops added… they will bring bitterness to balance the beer…(hops are also used to bring certain aromas to the brew when added few moment before the end of the boil… in our recipe, aromas are brought by the chicory, therefore, no “late” hopping will be performed!). After the boil, we pump the boiling sweet wort through a cooling device and fill the fermenter…
Once at home, I will “pitch” the wort with my cultured yeast. and let the magic happen behind closed doors… the fermenter is left with an airlock to avoid contamination but let the carbon dioxide escape… 3 weeks and we should be ready to bottle! I hope this little homebrewing induction was not too much of a drag… I promise… next time I shall be back to photography!!!
Viruses, as you probably experienced yourselves, strike at the worst time. So imagine my disappointment on a wedding shooting day when I wake up groggy and miserable. You cannot realistically call off the event, so filed up with king of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Paracetamol, I grab my gears and ride to the “Make up and Hair do” site to start the most painful shooting day. Despite feeling like a beaten canine all day long, this was a nice experience. I was alone (no assistant to hold lights or help me carry my gears) so the family and friends were super helpful. The couple did not have very precise shot in mind. Certainly not one with an animal reminding me of my poor condition!but here we are strolling in the chosen London park when a massive dog invite himself to the party! Very friendly and well behaved, he shared few shots with bride and groom attempting to correct his make up by abundant licking.
A very short lay-over does not give many oportunities to discover a big city like New York. We got started in Brooklyn (High Street station) and made our way to Battery Park by foot, crossing the East River on Brooklyn … Continue reading →
During our layover in New York city, we jumped right into a wedding photo-shoot. I had chosen to spend the day with my faithful Nikkor 85mm f1.8 that I cherish for my portraits, The occasion could not be missed and … Continue reading →
Since we spent more than 2 weeks on the best coastal landmarks of Brazil,, Rio was not going to be about sunbathing or endless walk on Copacabana or Ipanema beaches. The other reason for a completely different perspective was the … Continue reading →
Travel brochures advertise their destinations through their landscapes rather than their inhabitants. When I travel, I want the human experience, meet people, understand the way they choose to live and why they do so. This was on the wrong side of … Continue reading →