Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

New York City gallery added

I visited New York City for the first time last year and have finally had time to select and edit photos to share! Jon and I bunked with some friends at a family member’s apartment right in the heart of Midtown, giving us easy access to just about everything I wanted to do and see. We caught a play on Broadway, enjoyed a delicious dinner at Atera, marveled at the view atop 30 Rock, walked the Brooklyn Bridge, studied the beautiful architecture of Grand Central Station, and got lost in the chaos of Times Square. Not bad for just a weekend!

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Rainbow trout with grilled spring onion and a green garlic dashi

Atera gallery added

My first time in New York City would not have been complete without checking out the fine-dining scene! Jon and I had the pleasure of dining at the two-Michelin-starred Atera on our first night in town over a quick, Memorial Day weekend trip to the Big Apple. Atera is located in Tribeca and serves 18 guests in an intimate environment seated around the prep kitchen. We love this type of setup because it’s so entertaining to watch the line chefs put together their array of intricate dishes over the course of 2-and-a-half hours. The modern American menu focused on fresh seafood and locally-grown seasonal herbs, flowers, and vegetables; every bite of the 18-course feast was delicious and presented with a unique rustic elegance. All-in-all, it was a terrific dining experience and a perfect welcome to New York!

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Wagyu beef with radish and fermented black bean sauce, Momofuku

How to take photos of food in a restaurant

I recently read a blog post by Nicole S. Young on tips for photographing food in a restaurant. Nicole is fantastic at capturing food and I love her work. I own, and reference, her well-written book on general food photography. I was anxious to read her restaurant tips, as most of the time when I take food photos I’m seated in a restaurant. Her advice is excellent, but as I read her article I realized that the type of photos I take in restaurants—and the reasons I take them—are a bit different than hers. I thought creating my own post with tips on what I’ve learned taking photos in restaurants might be useful to anyone who wants to shoot food for the same reasons, and in similar places, that I do.

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Behind the counter kitchen action at Momofuku

Momofuku gallery added

We had some pretty amazing dining experiences on our trip to Sydney but none was more epic than the twelve-course tasting menu we enjoyed at Momofuku Seiōbo on our last night. We were lucky enough to have a seat at the kitchen counter, which made the meal just as entertaining as it was appetizing. It was so much fun to see all the chefs meticulously plating food and watch everything come together. The meal was beautifully presented and inventive enough to keep us wondering and wanting more, but by the time we got to the pork shoulder dessert (yes, dessert!!) we were absolutely stuffed! Jon and I both agreed that the highlight of the night was the grilled abalone with artichoke purée, but really everything was delicious.

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Lavender Bay under the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night

Sydney gallery added

Seven years after my first trip to Sydney I had the opportunity to return and I brought back a huge collection of photos to share! On our eight-day stay we soaked up the sun on Sydney’s beaches, enjoyed a symphony at the Opera House, met wallabies and koalas at Featherdale Wildlife Park, explored parks and shopping malls, and found as much good food to eat as humanly possible, including meals at Longrain, Tetsuya’s, Momofuku, and Quay.

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Bagna cauda: winter vegeatable "crudo e cotto"

Quince gallery added

Quince, quite frankly, was one of the best meals we’ve had in San Francisco. It had everything we were looking for in a special occasion, two-Michelin-starred restaurant: a welcoming atmosphere, delicious food, and impeccable service. The standout dishes on Chef Michael Tusk’s eight-course tasting menu for me were: the Maine lobster, trofie with Nantucket bay scallop, and the tortellini with goose and black truffle. Jon thought his black cod was the best fish dish he’s ever had. We absolutely adored our server, Monique! She was pretty much the best server we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and she went out of her way—on multiple occasions—to make our night extra special, including rushing outside as we were leaving to say goodbye with to-go cups of hot chocolate!

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Sculptures by Ivan McLean in the "Mediterranean Meadow"

Abstractions from Cornerstone gallery added

Cornerstone Sonoma is a collection of walkable gardens, shops, restaurants, and wine tasting rooms in Southern Sonoma County, California. Landscape architects and designers were each given free reign on small plots of land to create a unique space. The result is an inspiring and thought-provoking maze of interactive exhibits—a sort of outdoor modern art gallery. It’s a beautiful place to spend an afternoon with a camera, grab some food, and enjoy a glass of wine. The shops are full of interesting and unique finds that celebrate not only Wine Country but the beauty of nature everywhere.

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Royality-free stock photos from Jason Waltman

Limited-time 20% discount on premium stock photography from 500px Prime

Earlier this year, the popular photo sharing site 500px announced a stock photography storefront where users could submit their images’ licenses to be sold. Running for the better part of a year now, the venture has been incredibly successful. Any individual, commercial business, non-profit organization, news agency, blogger, or publisher in need of images to complement their work has millions of searchable photographs available for immediate purchase and download on 500px Prime.

For a limited time, 500px Prime is offering 20% off all licenses to buyers who use promo code ‘jasonwaltman’ at checkout. This one-time use coupon is good for all 500px Prime purchases, not just my images (but of course, I’d love for you to see if one of my images would work for you first!).

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Sensor Gel Stick

Best way to remove dust from your DSLR sensor

Even though there are numerous advantages that digital cameras have over film, there are a few key disadvantages. One clear inconvenience with DSLRs is sensor dust. The image sensor in a DSLR is static—it isn’t constantly refreshed like film would be in a traditional camera—and overtime specs of dust are bound to find it and attempt to ruin your images. Chances are, there’s at least one speck of dust on your sensor right now. Of course, depending on your shooting style, you may never notice—and if you do notice, one dark spot showing up on a photo is usually a one-click fix in Photoshop or Lightroom. It’s when you have a lot of touch-up, on every photo you take, that dust becomes a problem worth solving. For many, sensor cleaning is an intimidating chore and if not done right you may end up worse than you started. After years of trying and researching different sensor cleaning methods, I finally found one that is easy, safe, and highly effective. I love it so much, I had to share!

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City lights and busy traffic

Bangkok gallery added

The vibrant and chaotic city of Bangkok marked the final stop on our summer 2013 around-the-world tour and I’m happy to be able to share the photos I took there today. Although Jon and I had just been to Koh Samui, Thailand, a year earlier (and flew through Bangkok), this was my first opportunity to actually experience the city. We only stayed a few days but took in a good dose of the culture, food, temples, markets, heat, and traffic jams—everything that is Bangkok.

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