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Category Archives: Vegetables and Fruits

 
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with your honey doesn’t have to be complicated. 

“I Love U Berry Much” (Heart-shaped Strawberries) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G, F/6.3, 1/6s, -0.7EV, Built-in Rear-Curtain Flash w/Gary Fong “Puffer” Diffuser, -0.3EV

Bottle of bubbly.

Bowl of strawberries.

Melted dark chocolate.

(Clothing optional. 😉 )

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It’s not often that one can dine like a queen, but that is exactly how I felt at the ‘White Truffle Food & Wine Dinner’ at Victoria & Albert’s,  a fine dining restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort, Walt Disney World. This wasn’t simply a ‘dinner’, but rather, a gastronomic experience!

From the moment we stepped through the double doors, dressed in clothing fitting such an event (I, in a cream gown, hubby in a tux), we were greeted warmly by Lana and escorted to our table, formally set with linens, fine china and real silver flatware. A small ottoman promptly arrived next to my chair to discreetly hold my evening bag as we were handed our personalized menus for the evening.

I felt a combination of excitement and nerves as to what was to happen next. Random thoughts ran crazily through my head… ‘Just breathe’…  ‘Don’t drop your napkin’…  ‘Elbows off the table’…  ‘Did I put on antiperspirant??’…  ‘Oh, my, what is that knife for?’

The outstanding wait staff did all they could to put us at ease so, as I sipped champagne and chatted with our friends at the table, I relaxed and thought, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’ 🙂

Folks, it was wonderful!  Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel is a master at his craft and, along with his elite staff (led by Israel Perez, Maitre d’ Hotel and Erich Herbitschek, Pastry Chef), presented plate after exquisite plate. My taste buds will never be the same but I know they are better for the experience.

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The slideshow doesn’t begin to do the food justice (poor lighting, no room to move, etc.). As the evening wore on (dinner lasted 6 hours), we were all feeling the effects of the wine and the ambience (which totally explains that one photo showing a mostly eaten cheese course. Ooops! 😉 )

If you ever get the chance to enjoy such an evening, I strongly recommend it!

Please Note: Unfortunately, I cannot control how quickly the images advance. HOWEVER, if you hover your mouse over the slideshow area, a set of controls will display allowing you to STOP the auto advancement of the images. Then, you can use the forward and back arrows to scroll through the images at your leisure.

I don’t typically post a yearly wrap-up but, Scott Thomas’ latest photo assignment, “Best Photos of 2011” had me looking back today. Hmmmm, was a pretty lean year for posting… I must do better in 2012! 🙂

To make it easier, I approached this task with the desire to select the best photo for each month starting with November 2010 through October 2011. Three months proved more difficult and I allowed myself to select more than one image.

Here we go! 😀

Back in November 2010, fresh from a trip to Disney, I had posted a series of photos from Hollywood Studios. The giant scrabble board complete with green army man was my favorite:

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (Oversized Scrabble Board with Green Army Man, Pixar Place, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 34mm, F/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 200, ‘Poster Edges’ CS3 Photo Filter

In late December, we were hit with the first of many Nor’easters. Even so, the abundance of heavy, wet snow couldn’t put a damper on our holiday spirit!

Frosty

“Frosty” (Snow-covered Holiday Wreath) Nikon D300, 82mm, F/5, 1/60s, +0.7EV, IS0 200

I couldn’t pick a favorite from January. Both images hail from our October Disney trip since by then, I simply had HAD it with winter! (Molten Mickey post is here).

“Coquettish” (Lesser Flamingo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom) Nikon D300, 200mm, F/7.1, 1/200s, -0.3EV, ISO 400, Nik Color Efex Pro Bi-color Filter

“Molten Mickey” (Turn-style Gates at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 52mm, F/7.1, 1/200s, ISO 250, Nik Color Efex Pro Detail Stylizer & Bi-Color Filters

February brought some fun with my 105mm macro lens and 3-ring extension tube set. I wanted to see just how ‘up close and personal’ I could really get!

“Missing You” (Dianthus Stamen & Petals) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro w/3-ring Extension Tube Set, F/11, 1/30s, -1.0EV, ISO 640

The macro fun continued well into March

“C is for Carousel” (Stargazer Lily Stamens, Lilium Oriental Stargazer) Nikon D30, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/8s, ISO 1000

After a visit to the doctor in February got me back into a fitness routine, I was in serious need of motivation to ‘stick with it’. I found exactly that in April! 🙂

“Motivation” (Marc Jacobs Swimsuit) Nikon D300, 36mm, F/4.2, 1/20s, ISO 640

Critters are often featured in my photos and this adorable little chipmunk stole my heart in May:

“Home is Where you Make it” (Eastern Chipmunk in Birdhouse) Nikon D300, 200mm, F/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 640, Built-in Front Curtain i-TTL Fill Flash, -1.0 EV

June turned out to be all about flowers. I couldn’t decide between these three beauties:

“Yamaboushi” (White Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/200s, ISO 320, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, +1.0 EV

“Love” (Dicentra spectabilis, Pink Bleeding Heart) Nikon D300, 260mm, F/5, 1/640s, -1.0EV, ISO 200

“Hope” (Pink Herbaceous Peony) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4.5, 1/320s, -0.3EV, Built-in Front Curtain i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

As a die-hard foodie, I love to cook and sometimes, I actually remember to take a photograph of my creations! We chomped on these delights all throughout July:

“Summer Cubed” (Watermelon, Mozzerella & Procuitto Bites) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/30s, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

Feeling very proud of myself for not only sticking to my fitness committment but also exceeding my expectations despite breaking my left foot, I decided to show off the results of my hard work in August!

“Good Form’ (Female Fitness Portrait) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Silhouette II’ Filter

Another entry for August… when I wasn’t sweating on the elliptical, I made sure to enjoy the summer sunshine and was rewarded with a unique photo of a bee in flight:

“Flight of the Bee” (Carpenter Bee in Flight) Nikon D300, 280mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/640s, ISO 640

I got all ‘artsy’ in September with a series of cucumber tendrills…

“Undulation” (Abstract Cucumber Tendrils) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4, 1/320s, -1.0EV, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

…and finally was able to say a proper Au voir to summer in October.

“And the Sun Sets on Summer” (Rudbeckia ‘Gloriosa’ aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/7.1, 1/125s, ISO 400, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Photo Stylizer’ Filter

So, that’s it folks…a small photographic slice of 2010.

Yes, it was a VERY good year! 😀

When I saw this Halloween decoration last week atop a cart in Disney’s Magic Kingdom I thought, ‘Look! It’s a pumpkin snowman – how cute!’ (Check out his ‘buttons’… they’re candy corn :-)).

“Pumpkin-man” (White Pumpkin Snowman, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Main Street USA) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 26.9mm, F/4.5, 1/1000s, ISO 100

Little did I know then I was getting a sneak-peek into what was in store for us here on the east coast. Sigh.

Have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone.

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