26 June 2009

SoFoBoMo - Finished!

I finished in perfect time! I started shooting on May 24, finished the PDF on June 23 and had 22 copies of it printed and spiral bound to give to the people involved, and got most of them distributed that same day. I had participated in a two week course on the theology of food, titled "Food: Creation, Community, and Communion." That was going to be the title of my SoFoBoMo book. I took photos throughout the entire course, of us working in the garden, cooking, and of course the food itself. I've put a selection of the best of those in my Food Course Flickr group.

But I shifted my project goal as the course progressed: I decided to create a cookbook with all the recipes of the dishes we ate -- the food was amazing! I began collecting the recipes (sometimes by photographing the page in the cookbook they came from, other times typing them in directly from a friend's description, or copying from emaikl). Fortunately, I had taken enough photos of food to illustrate the cookbook with a photo for nearly every dish (ended up using a total of 42 of them -- not always my very best shots overall, but the best of the food ones I did).

Unfortunately, I can't post it on the web, because it ended up being a cookbook (with photographs of nearly all the dishes), and some of the recipes came from copyrighted sources, and I didn't track down sources in all cases. Even when I did, I'm not sure what the legality is of republishing a recipe from a published cookbook without permission. So, while I have the personal satisfaction of having finished, I don't get credit on the SoFoBoMo website for being among those who did. Oh well, at least I learned I can finish such a project, and will be better equipped to do it next year.

Here's the front cover, at least;

07 June 2009

Food: Creation, Community, and Communion

I'm back from Galiano Island now and am still not quite sure what hit me. It was an amazing experience, hard to put in words. It was pretty exhausting -- hardly a moment to sit and think. Our routine (weekdays) was usually: breakfast at 8, morning prayers around 8:45, class from 9-12, lunch around 12:30 or so, about an hour of free time (which was all the free time we had and we had to use it to do our daily assignments), a couple of hours of work projects (either work in the garden, kitchen cleanup and meal prep, or working with our teams to research and plan the meal we were going to present), dinner, evening prayers, and occasionally a class-related movie in the evening (e.g., "The Future of Food"). Any gaps between those items were filled with walking back and forth between the Wilkinsons' house, where classes and meals were held, and the cottages most of us were staying in; showers after working in the garden and getting all sweaty; and quick checks of email.

I took 2074 photos in all over the two weeks. I'm now into Phase Two of SoFoBoMo, which is selecting which ones to keep for the book. I also want to share a larger subset of them with all the people I took the course with, so I've begun a first pass, which I'm about halfway through. The ones that haven't been weeded out so far are up on my Flickr page. A very interesting phenomenon, by the way: I was somewhat apologetic about posting a couple of potentially disturbing photos showing blood and guts from slaughtering a lamb, but those have been the most popular ones for people to go and visit -- three times as many visits on those as the average for all the other photos in the set. Go figure. I guess people are into blood and gore.

I haven't done much editing yet, other than fixing the exposure and shadows/highlights on a few of them. I'm finding I like the exposure editing features of ACDSee Pro quite well and am so far doing all the work in that, rather than Photoshop. However I know I do prefer Photoshop for detail touch-up work. It seems to preserve the pixel resolution in the vicinity of the editing better than ACDSee does. Before I went out to the island, I did a very thorough clean of my camera, including cleaning the sensor, but I still wasn't able to get rid of a few visible dust specks. So I'm anticipating I'll have to do some spot removal. I guess I will have to have my camera professionally cleaned.


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