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Terroir & Meroir—Photos from a Kim Crawford Wine and Oyster Pairing

I wanted to share a few photos from a recent assignment in New York City to cover the media event Terroir & Meroir, an exploration of wine and oysters with Kim Crawford winemaker Anthony Walkenhorst. Shucking lessons and pairings by Zadie’s Oyster Room Chef Devon Dearden and Oyster Sommelier Chris Maslowski. I was impressed with the staff (who put up with me shooting in the prep areas and behind the bar) as they cracked and shucked hundreds of oysters for the assembly of writers and reviewers. My favorites were the amazing prepared oysters (see menu below)—which were baked, broiled, fried, and poached—with complex layers of flavors that paired beautifully with the Kim Crawford wines.

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Oyster Sommelier, Christ Maslowski (second from left) and Kim Crawford Winemaker, Anthony Walkenhorst (far right), along with the professional servers at Zadie’s Oyster Room

 

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Oysters from Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Washington and California, as well as New York

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Broiled Oysters with Sea Lettuce, Soffritto, and Parm

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Fried Oysters with Dulse, Kohlrabi, Garlic, and Lemon

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Crab Cake Sliders with Cucumber and Aioli

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Chef Devon Deardon and his team shucked and prepared a feast of oysters for the pairing

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Poached Oysters with Wakame, Cream, Sherry, and Succotash

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Baked Oysters with Seaweed Butter, Prosciutto Cotto, Egg, and Leeks

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Brown Bread with Anchovy Butter, as well as Smoked Bluefish Paté

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Teacher Appreciation—In Fred We Trust

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The first week in May has been declared by President Obama as National Teacher Appreciation Week, and tomorrow—May 3rd, marks National Teacher Appreciation Day.

For many of us we can name that one teacher or professor that had a notable and profound influence in shaping our professional lives, and for me there was one professor in particular that inspired me in my work even today—Dr. Fred Johns. Even though I was an English Communications major at North Adams State College and he was a professor of Biology we crossed paths in the campus photo club in 1994. At the time I was still learning the fundamentals of B/W darkroom techniques of exposing film and paper to chemicals and the photojournalism basics of composition and telling a story with an image.

Fred (he insisted we call him Fred and not Professor or Dr. Johns, but many still did) was immersed in all things to do with the Macintosh computer platform and especially photoshop and photo editing software and other beta photo editing sharewares. I took one of his computer graphics classes in 1995 where we scanned our photos into simple photo editing programs and learned to draw clipping paths and create compositions and digital manipulations like solarization and embossing on clunky and slow Apple II machines—and my mind was blown.

Early on he saw the possibilities of the platform and before long with his help we transitioned the school newspaper, The Beacon, from film and prints to film scanners and a 100% digital workflow. Computing power and graphics software for the non-professional user was still in the early days in the mid 90’s and Adobe, Quark and Corel were just starting to make a push into the publishing field.

Fred was like a little kid with a newly discovered set of tools in his smoke-filled and cramped office with its cluttered stacks of books and papers on biology that were quickly giving way to multiple Power Macs and the early versions of Photoshop for dummies books that he would readily share with any student who showed interest. He would give away copies of 3.5-inch floppy discs with the latest shareware or photoshop filter download that he handed out for students like me to try out. Many of the informal “classes” he taught was either in his office after hours or out in the parking lot while he was smoking his ever present cigarettes that ultimately took his life in December 2009. He didn’t teach his knowledge of photography and emerging computer graphics technology for the money or the academic prestige, but to pass on his enthusiasm for the subject onto his students at a time when e-mail wasn’t even widely used yet.

To this day, whenever I am doing a particularly tedious clipping path for a commercial product photo composition or retouching of a portrait or digital reproduction of an old family photo for a client, I think foldly of Fred and how his enthusiasm for photoshop and the Macintosh platform influenced my early publishing and ultimately photography career.

I wonder what he would think of the gadgets and gizmos we have today, no doubt he would be holed up in his office all ours of the night tapping away on an iPad or standing in the parking lot with a smoke in one hand and an iPhone in the other—quick with a grin and positive word preceded by, “Hey Greg, have you seen this new software!”

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https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/04/29/presidential-proclamation-national-teacher-appreciation-day-and-national

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain (or in this case—camera)

I have been photographing R. John Wright Dolls for a few years now, and I’m always amazed at the level of intricate detail that their dolls entail—each one painstakingly hand-made and painted in their factory right here in Bennington, Vermont. I sometimes shoot at their factory, but mostly here in the studio and John’s wife Susan has the un-enviable task of trying to get them to pose just right without falling over, yet looking animated. We hem and haw about each shot while the hi-res camera sensor shows every flaw in glaring detail under the lights, so we fidget and fuss over each shot. I’ve started photographing them on set and wanted to show a few shots from our most recent session which included the newest and final member, the Cowardly Lion. This past December’s issue of Dolls magazine featured the shot of Dorothy with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and of course Toto.

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Old Sturbridge Village Wedding—Jeannie and Matt 1-31-15

Just over a year ago Jeannie and Matt held their wedding ceremony and reception at the Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. With their love of history it was a perfect setting, and although it was a brutally cold night outside, the warmth from the fires and the love from their family and friends kept the party going late into the night. Here are a few shots from their special day.

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Photography for the healthcare industry

Demand for quality healthcare is on the rise, and hospitals are expanding rapidly to meet those needs. With that demand comes the increased need for fresh marketing and other press-release communications in either print or electronic formats.

Over the last couple of years my hometown hospital, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, with their affiliated clinics, and rehabilitation centers have given me the opportunity to collaborate on some fun and creative projects. I have enormous respect for these professionals and what they do each day, and I have enjoyed meeting them and finding out more about them and their jobs.

Shooting in a busy hospital setting brings its own set of challenges, from tight exam rooms, to dodging gurneys and IV stands in the hallway as I try to light and compose the shots needed to highlight the subjects. And with any photo shoot, it can be broken down into two aspects—the technical (lighting, composition, etc.), and working with the “models” who are often in their work environment and not used to being photographed and feeling very self-conscious, often with co-workers looking on. I enjoy these challenges, and the process always pushes me to be more creative and elevate my game each time.

These are some recent shots that I will be adding to my portfolio, and look forward to more work in this demanding field.

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Jill and Mac’s Engagement Session

I had a fantastic session recently with Jill and Mac for their engagement shoot. I was exhausted from the previous night’s wedding, but once we started shooting in the beautiful fall afternoon light, and their obvious chemistry for each other, I got my second wind and we got some great shots for their wedding guestbook album. I’m really looking forward to their wedding next year and this session officially kicks off the 2016 season!

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What Do I Shoot When I’m Not Working?

Have you checked out my all-time fave shots? These are the ones I take when I’m not working. I really need to add a ton more, but stay posted…I just need to share and not keep them collection dust on my hard-drives…enjoy.

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https://500px.com/Greg_Nesbit_Photography