New Projects and Pie

I know, I know, it’s been forever and a day since my last blog post. One excuse is that I have been working my ass off since the middle of August and haven’t had much time. The other excuse is that I have decided to spend a few weeks/months working on business promotional ideas as well as some personal projects.

As long time readers will surely remember, it was just under five years ago that I made the transition from full time graphic designer to full time commercial photographer. Back then the internet was a valuable tool for me as I learned technique, equipment and best practices. As time went on I started learning from my own experiences which added to the collective knowledge that I’d gleaned from my peers. This journey is far from over – I will never stop learning and improving in my craft. While I will never perfect the art of the portrait, I can safely say that I have gained a level of skill and experience which allows me the ability to photograph busy executives in a professional manner and deliver excellent photographs for my clients. It took a lot of hard work to get to this level. I read everything I could get my hands on and took literally thousands of terrible photographs along the way. Now I’m feeling that since I am at this plateau of skill and comfort level, it’s time to push myself a bit.

To that end, I have decided to spend some time on personal projects (as much as the paid projects allow). However, I’m not going to be doing a ton of blogging about those projects specifically for the time being. It is certainly tempting to immediately post every new photo that I am excited about as soon as I make it. Rather than succumb to this impulsive need for feedback though, I am thinking that for the time being I am going to gather a body of work and then post it all at once, rather than look for the quick “attaboy” that I usually get when posting individual images. It believe that in order to improve I need to be more thoughtful about what I am working on from a personal standpoint. I need to edit more carefully, take more time to review the work, and only publish what I really feel is excellent, rather than everything that just looks cool. At least this is my theory for the time being. I’ll likely change my mind tomorrow. In any case, I’m going to do my best to keep up with the blogging a little bit here and there until I’m ready to share some of the projects that I’m working on.

In the mean time, enjoy the fall, yes? Nothing says “fall” to me more than pumpkin pie. Yesterday I made my first attempt at a pie from scratch using roasted winter squash instead of pumpkin and I made the crust from scratch. I’m pretty pleased with the result (it even tastes good!)

Oven Roasted Winter Squash ©2010 Jonathan Gayman

One small winter squash is the ideal size for one pumpkin pie, yielding just over a cup once the seeds are removed. I roasted the two halves in the oven for an hour or so with a tiny bit of oil on top to keep it moist. Once it’s soft, you can scoop it out of the skin and toss it in the blender along with the other ingredients. I used a modified recipe from the More With Less cookbook, a staple in good home cooking since I was a child. The crust recipe and technique were pulled from Alton Brown’s wonderfully instructive cookbook on the science of baking called I’m Just Here For More Food, a must have for any beginner in the arena of baking. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my results:

Pumpkin Pie (made with winter squash) ©2010 Jonathan Gayman

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