All Posts Tagged ‘coffee


Having a Bite of the Big Apple

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Hungry? No? Well let me see if I can change that for you. I am going to show you some places to go and get great food in New York City. This blog won’t include any burgers, if you want that then check out Burgers of New York and why not catch up on Postcards from New York & Postcards from New York II.


Let’s kick things off with the pancakes from Empire Diner over on 210 10th Ave. This is food for doing stuff on. Had this for breakfast before smashing an average of 10 miles a day walking around the city. Big thumbs up from me.


This was also a big favourite of Amy’s. The staff were funny and friendly in there too. It also had that sort of classic diner vibe about it.


Sticking with the Diner theme, we also visited the Brooklyn Diner where I smashed down a massive plate of Huevenos Rancheros, this is my favourite breakfast I have ever had. FACT! Go check it out at 155W 43rd St – just off of Time Sq.


Although Amy’s omelette did look pretty damn fine, I am calling the Rancheros the all out winner. Everyone around the table had big envious eyes. Oh and just so you know, I could barely move afterwards. It was that big!

nyc_079Over to Brooklyn now, you’ll spot a few Guacuco’s  around. This place sorts you out with some Venezuelan food. I know what you’re thinking, I ain’t ever had Venezuelan food before either.


Well leave your doubts at the door my friend. The Arepas are what it is all about! Little Venezuelan sandwiches with a range of fillings. These are perfect for a little bite on the go and for what they lack in size, the make up in taste!


I really wish they had some of these in London, I reckon they’d go down a storm!

There are a few other places that are worth mentioning which I didn’t get any pictures of. One I really loved was House of Lasagna which, you guessed it, does unbelievable Lasagna. They claim to do “the best Lasagna in NYC” and they ain’t fucking about.


I went to this standard diner, can’t for the life of me remember what it was called but these Macaroni Cheese bites were brilliant!


Whilst over in Brooklyn we also went to Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos which is a Tortellia factory. What you see above is what they feed their workers in the canteen. It is so good, they open the doors to the public. Fresh as you like!


FRESHBITES is a brand new, and I mean brand new, we stumbled upon it on it’s opening day, healthy take out place. Their food is banging! The owners are super cool and they have this slick industrial feel to the place. Also I have never had brussel sprouts that tasted so good!


Our final meal before jumping on the jet was at Pershing Square, the busiest diner in NYC. It also made a brief appearance in Avengers! If it is good enough for Ironman, it is good enough for me! Fancy, upmarket and a little expensive, the place does deliver in quality. It’s pricing may have something to do that it is literally over the road from Grand Central Station.

Well there you have it. I missed so many other meals off including some amazing street food. But sometimes you just gotta eat, you know?



Hyde Park

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On the weekend my good friend Ben came down. Having not seen him for a while we had a lot to catch up on. What better way to do that than stomping around Hyde Park with cameras in hand interrupting conversation only to order another coffee. Once the best of the light started to fade we went and chased down a few beers because walking is a bit overrated.  It was nice to take a load of photos just for the sake of taking photos. I honestly wasn’t expecting to come away with anything decent but I got a few that I am happy with it. All shot on a Canon 5D MkIII with a Canon 135mm f/2 L if you were wondering.















New Year, New Coffee

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And so we step into a New Year full of ambition and hope, each of us armed with a list as long as our arm of things we are going to do, stop doing and change. It really is an exciting prospect having a clean slate on which we can all start again and pardon the mistakes of the past year. I am not going to sit here and list of a self indulgent list of things I want to change about myself. Instead I am going to offer you one more thing to add to your list. If you’re struggling with your list then you can have this one on me, it’s free! It is simply drink coffee, or rather drink decent coffee! (Unless you hate coffee in which case, there are some pretty pictures below which I will tell you how I created).


But seriously nothing boils my blood faster than people saying “I love a good cup of coffee!” yet they make it with instant coffee! Often consumed by the gallon purely for the caffeine kick it offers. I won’t go into the effects of drinking too much caffeine as this is not a health blog but I feel you should drink less coffee and savour it! Make time to make to make good coffee. Drink more water and drink better coffee. Trust me, you will feel more alert.


I have an Aeropress at work and now, thanks to my sister, I have one at home too! An Aeropress is probably the easiest step to take to making better coffee. Essentially it is a big plunger that uses air to push hot water and ground coffee through a filter into your cup. Literally takes about 3 minutes to make. 3 minutes! So for those of you concerned that you might need some sort of degree or need to be a fully qualified barista to make good coffee at home, well you are wrong. Now about the coffee, I like Workshop Coffee but you can go into any coffee shop, speak to a Barista about what type of coffee you like and they should be able to recommend some for you. They will even grind it for you! It is really that simple! Then you can impress all your friends about how you know about coffee and how you can make coffee yourself – all the while remaining smug as it really is quite simple with an Aeropress.


Enough about the coffee, some of you might have been interested in how I went about taking this shot. No? Well it is a strobist shot. Which essentially means I used a flash gun to light the shot, or part of it. Above is a shot with no flash gun, it is just ambient light. I was taking shot like this to test composition and find the ambient light. Once I was happy with what would be in shot I put it in on a tripod. (I use a Manfrotto tripod, the 055XPROB one to be precise with a 498RC2 head).


I liked the warm glow coming from the lamp on the right so I used a custom white balance of 5000K to accentuate it. I then used a 1/2 stop CTB colour correction gel on the flash to bring the out the natural colours on the mug and the packet. If I didn’t do this, the flash would appear too warm and make the colours of the subjects look false.


It got quite cramped in my tiny little London kitchen but here is a setup shot. To diffuse the flash, so we don’t get harsh shadows, I put it inside my Westcott Apollo 28″ Softbox. This is probably my favourite light modifier I use as it allows me control the light and stop it spilling about all over the place. It also creates an amazing quality of light and produces really nice shadows and light falloff. If I was to use a shoot-through umbrella, some of the light would come out of the front and some of it would come out of the back bouncing around my compact kitchen causing it tint the colour in undesired areas.


Here is another look at the setup. The flash inside my softbox is a Canon 430EX II at 1/32 Power. It was triggered by my Hahnel Combi TF triggers. I used a Canon TC-80N3 remote to fire the camera so I didn’t disturb it whilst taking the shots. The Camera settings were: 1/15 Sec – f/2.0 – ISO 250 – on a Canon 5D MkIII with a 50mm f/1.4 lens.

Hope you found this of some interest.



Somerset House

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So what do you when you go to Somerset House? Well this weekend Amy and I headed down to the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition thanks to Park Cameras. The exhibition had some stunning pieces and some great photo-journalistic pieces. I didn’t photograph all of my favourites as I think it kind of spoils the point. I’ll be honest if I hadn’t had to do some weekend overtime at the studio and there wasn’t as many people there, I would have spent wayyyy more time looking around there. SO what else happened? Well someone got engaged (aww/puke – delete as appropriate) and I photographed some water. We also went for some coffee in the lovely (if rather expensive) Fernandez & Wells (it wasn’t that pricey). We rounded off the trip by taking some outfit photos for Amy’s blog

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Panic on the streets of London


…well not really panic, more mild anxiety. Actually not even that. Saturday London was strangely subdued, Brick Lane was quiet, Spitalfields was practically empty and Shoreditch was a ghost town. To the East Londoners credit, it was about noon and I doubt they would have risen from the payday fuelled hangovers.
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_001I met up with fellow #Fueltographers Phil (Paps) and James (Lowmileage) as well as our friend Brad in North London. We grabbed a coffee before making our way East with me acting as the clueless tour guide.
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_005I’ll admit it had been far too long since I had shot on the streets and this was the first time with the new set-up. Feeling the benefits of group mentality I opted to shoot with a 50mm on the 5D3 instead of cowering in the long-range comfort of the 135L on a crop body. This required me to get much, much closer to my subjects. To the point where I could almost reach out and touch them. (I didn’t, I’m not weird).
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_012And it was after warming up through Shoreditch/Brick Lane I realised something, no one gives a toss if you point a camera at them! Conclusion; East London is full of posers! I am of course kidding Eastenders, no need to take your wayfarers off and stare ironically at me.
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_013I took the guys down to Spitalfields Market which is often bathed in soft diffused light with loads of layers and nice backgrounds. Although all three of them got distracted by a man steaming a hat.
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_014Afterwards we headed down towards London Bridge, stopped off at a coffee shop to grab something to eat. Which incidentally was a rookie mistake as after lunch we went to Borough Market…!
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_016We took some photos of each other and then of some cheese…
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_017Before marching down to South Bank to search out some skateboarders.
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_018Found Cantona’s Dad on the way…
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_019…and a Utd fan dreaming of former glory days. (Wow that was odd, two football references in one blog, very unlike me).
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_021At the South Bank we found some skaters but it wasn’t exciting enough for us to stay, plus the weather looked as if it was closing in.
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_024We started heading in towards Soho as the light was fading. We stopped off at a pub to decide where to head off to next. We decided the right thing to do was try and bully James into buying a 400mm f/2.8 lens from Nikon so we headed off to Park Cameras on Oxford Circus.
panic_on_the_streets_of_london_025As we arrived on Oxford Circus, it pissed it down. Hardest rain I have felt in a long time! Hence no more photos. It was a good day, I think we all gained some confidence in street shooting and I learnt not to hide behind long focal lengths.