Ta Da!

This post opens my web site to the public. It is not the first post as I  created many in the process of learning how to use this site. I have left a few that I thought might be fun and  give you a sense of who I am besides a photographer. The primary purpose, though, is to  provide a place online where others may view my images. The Galleries are organized by theme and each has 7-15 images relating to the theme. The images that are there now will stay the same for quite a while but I will either replace them eventually or add sub galleries with different images. I will also add new themes as they arise.

Each gallery features a collection of images in a grid. Clicking on any one of them will launch a slide show that you control using the forward and backward arrows on either side of the image that appears.

What do Martin Beck, Harry Hole, Bernie Gunther and Will Trent have in common?

They, along with…

Harry Bosch, John Rebus and Kurt Wallender  are the main characters in mystery books I have liked best. All but one are currently alive and kicking. All are worth pursuing if you are a mystery book fan and don’t already know them. Even if you are not a mystery book fan you may well enjoy these for their illumination of a culture, a region, a personality,  and current social/political issues. These modern mystery books and their protagonists are a far cry from the stereotypical hard-boiled private investigator series of Hammett, Chandler, and Ross Macdonald. The characters are three dimensional and imperfect, if not clearly flawed; the settings – a real city, region, country- are integral to the story and vividly described; the stories complex and as much, if not more,  a vehicle for exploring issues as a who done it.

Take Bernie Gunther for example…

or, rather, take Phillip Kerr’s Berlin Noir trilogy. My cousin Diana first introduced me to these novels when, in a correspondence, I compared our current political times to 1930’s Germany, the time in which the first two novels are set. I looked up reviews of the books and when I saw Gunther referred to as an x-SS officer, I was sure I could not get behind him. Who could root for an x-SS officer? But when I saw the book, which contains all three novels, at our local library sale I figured for half a buck I could check it out.

I began reading the first book March Violets and did not stop until I had read all three, most unusual for me (I generally take a break from an author after one book; in fact I generally take a break from mystery books after I finish one). First the SS business. Turns out Gunther, a good policeman, with no love for the regime quits the Berlin police force when the Nazis take over but then gets forced to rejoin for a special politically sensitive case and thus becomes a de facto SS-officer.

The recreation off 1930’s Berlin, which certainly does not exist today, was impressive. Kerr must have done a lot of research to get all the streets, buildings, parks, transportation hubs, residential districts, business, even, in the right places. The atmosphere of the city, too, is recreated convincingly. Berliners are cautiously optimistic initially but slowly sink into cynical indifference and by the time of the last novel, A German Requiem, which takes place in 1946, they are barely surviving the ravages of destruction and occupation.

Particularly effective is the inclusion of historical figures as characters in the novels: Heydrich, Himmler, Goring. They are not the focal points and appear only briefly here and there, but because we know so much about them and their ilk, we get a strong flavor of the times. They are like a marinade in which everything is immersed.

In the review cited above, Joan Acocella highlights the violence and cruelty of the time and Kerr’s unwillingness to gloss over it. It may make for hard reading for some, but, like Acocella, I believe it and know those times have not passed.

Check out the others

Here is a list of the protagonists and their authors and a place to start looking for them:

Opera- You don’t have to know or love it to read this.

Opera for lunch?Why not?images

A couple of days ago I joined about 600 (!) of my fellow Eldoradans for a free lunch (really) hosted by a soon to open restaurant in the Agora called Arable. It was crowded and we asked if we might sit at a table for four  where only two people were eating. They readily welcomed us and introduced themselves as Desiree and Peter and I immediately realized that we were dining with Desiree Mays, the Santa Fe Opera afficinada who talks and writes about opera with verve and sly humor. What a treat!

We chatted about this and that but I had to bring around the conversation to opera; I had to check out a couple of things I’ve been thinking about opera today.

They don’t make them like they used to…

says the old fan of – whatever – you name it. But there is some validity in that sentiment when it comes to opera singers today. Granted, there are some very fine singers now; Renee Fleming, Anna Nebtrebko, Deborah Voigt,Juan Diego Flores14174886-greece--circa-1997-stamp-printed-by-greece-shows-maria-callas-opera-singer-circa-1997 but in the days when I was intensely committed to opera the heavens were ablaze with extraordinary singers: Callas, Farrel, Tucker, Merril, Sutherland, Horne, Corelli,  Price, Caballe, Arroyo, Elias,Troyanos, Morris, Diaz, Bergonzi, Ramy, Sills, Vickers, Ludwig, Baker. I’m sure I’ve left some out.

and they don’t sing like they used to…

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, we have seen more and more Russian and eastern European singers at American opera houses. They often sound to me like they are yelling. Desiree suggested that this has something to do with the differences in vocal training, that the eastern Europeans are trained to belt it out and that doesn’t leave much room for subtlety. 8493592-australia--circa-2004-stamp-printed-by-australia-shows-dame-joan-sutherland-opera-singer-circa-2004

The Santa Fe Opera formula

I used to subscribe to and avidly read Opera News which, among other articles, reviewed performances at opera houses around the world. The Santa Fe Opera always seemed to do unusual performances and in a stunning setting. I longed to see an opera there. Since moving here 19 years ago I have seen many there and have generally been very happy to do so. I have noticed, however, a kind of formula for the 5 operas presented in any season: there is an old chestnut (Carmen, Traviata, Butterfly, etc), a Mozart, a 20th century German ( usually R.Strauss or Berg),  a contemporary opera,  maybe even its premier, and, lastly, something familiar but not an old chestnut and perhaps comedic. (Wouldn’t you know this season debunks that hypothesis – no Mozart)

Desiree suggested I check out the Steve Jobs opera this season. I’m fairly old fashioned in my opera tastes* (you’d never guess that, right?) and she was encouraging me to take a leap. It has the virtue of being one act, 90 minutes long, and the music, while occasionally jarring, she said is not completely atonal. And it has some meaningful messages about the human condition. I might just take her advice.

PS, added 8/29/2017: I did, after all, go to see The (R)Evolution of Steve Jobs, the world premier of which happened here this season. I liked it! I’ve been trying to think of how to describe it to others who have not seen it. It’s a combination of a sound and light show, the Super Bowl halftime extravaganza, and a good old fashioned opera story with a hero/villain who dies in the end. The music was neither atonal or dissonant nor was it melodic, but intensely rhythmic, brash even. One critic – and they were uniformly positive – described it as full of American bravado, like Jobs himself. I’m glad I went and  recommend seeing  it if you have the opportunity. And you definitely don’t have to be an opera lover to appreciate and enjoy it.


* My three favorite operas are Norma, Traviata, Tales of Hoffman – marvelous music from start to finish.

 

More Recipes

Summertime

and the livin’ is easy….Who wants to cook?? I mean really cook, over the stove, in the oven. So here are a couple of recipes that minimize the heat and maximize the flavor.

Thai Sesame Edamame

  • 3 T. water
  • 4 cups edamame pods (I use a package of TJ’s frozen fully cooked edamame)
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. dark sesame oil
  • 1 T. rice vinegar

    6042401_DTSCJ_205_shadowfill

    Cooking Light July, 2016 Photo by Jennifer Causey

  • ½ t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. freshly ground black pepper
  •  1 t. toasted sesame seeds

Mix the brown sugar, sesame oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.

Bring 3 T. water to a boil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add edamame; cover and cook 2 min. or until pods are thawed.

Add the brown sugar mixture to the skillet and cook, uncovered until the liquid evaporates and the pods are coated.

Place in a bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Summer Squash Carpaccio

Using a mandolin, thinly (1/16 inch) slice one medium yellow squash and one medium zucchini lengthwise. Arrange a few slices in a single layer on a plate. Sprinkle with minced shallots and chopped mixed herbs. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Repeat in layers. Top with grated pecorino. Let marinate 20 minutes.

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine- Photo by Antonis Achilleos

Variations and suggestions:

  • Use minced scallions or chives instead of shallots.
  • For the mixed herbs try mint, parsley, oregano in equal amounts; or try cilantro, oregano, and chives.
  • If using dill be sparing with it unless you really like dill.
  • Use garlic infused extra virgin olive oil.
  • Make in advance and marinate in refrigerator for several hours.

Cucumber-Tomatillo Gazpacho

I made this recipe recently and people who like tomatillos liked it a lot. I discovered I don’t particularly like the taste, preferring the traditional tomato gazpacho. Thus I am not saving this recipe but thought you might like to check it out.

SALGADO!

A photographer should probably not post other photographers’ images on their website. Invariably comparisons will be made. On the other hand some photographers’ work is  so astonishing, so breathtaking, so monumental that it must be shared. Thus I bring you Sebatião Salgado.

I first learned of Salgado when a film called Salt of the Earth was shown here in Santa Fe. It is not to be confused

Sahel 08

From Sahel: The End of The Road

with another classic film of the same name (although you might want to check it out as it has New Mexican historical roots and a powerful social message.) This Salt of the Earth is basically a big screen slide show of Salgado’s images narrated by him and put in the context of his life and philosophy. I was fascinated by both and have an enduring respect and perhaps even love for this man. I will include here a few of his images to tempt you and links to let you find more.

salgado 4

From  Other Americas

salgado 19

From Workers

Salgado, who is Brazilian,  was for many years a photojournalist documenting the catastrophes of the world: mass migrations, genocide, exploitation of workers, neglected peoples. Each project was years in the making and was published in book form. His images, as you see here, are not mere documentations but exquisite evocations of the spirit of the events. Perhaps too evocative because, after about 30 years, the effort nearly killed him. In this (17 minute) TED talk he tells his story.

His camera sat idle for several years, but then Slagado embarked on a new project, the celebration of the earth and its indigenous peoples, where they still exist. The new images are as exuberant and full of hope as the earlier ones were poignant and sobering.

 

 

A fitting tribute to this new work can be found here.

 

 

 

 

Recipes …Recipes?…Yes, Recipes

Here are some of my favorite recipes. I often print them out for friends. Now, if I choose, I can post them here and they can print them out themselves.

Peppers and Anchovies

  • 8 medium sweet red or yellow peppers (or a 12 oz or more jar roasted peppers)
  • 12-16 anchovy fillets
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • oregano
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • olive oil
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Pine nuts optional

1. If using fresh peppers, place them under a hot broiler. When the skin swells and is partially charred on one side, turn another side toward the flame. While all the skin is blistered and slightly charred, remove them and place them in a paper bag for twenty minutes. Peel the skin.

2. Cut the peeled peppers lengthwise into strip 1 ½-2 inches wide, removing all the seeds and the pulpy inner core. Pat the strips dry on a cloth or paper towel.

3. Choose a serving dish that will hold the peppers in four layers. Arrange a layer of peppers on the bottom. Place 4-5 anchovy fillets over the peppers. Add a tiny pinch of salt, a liberal grinding of black pepper, a small pinch of oregano, a few capers, and one crushed garlic clove. Repeat until you have used up all the peppers and anchovies. Add enough olive oil to cover the top layer.

4. Put the dish in the refrigerator for 4 hours or more, then bring to room temperature before serving. If you are preparing these peppers several days ahead of time, remove the garlic after 24 hours.


Chicken Saltimbocca

This simple recipe was in the NY Times a while back and is available online but a pop-up prevents you from reading it without signing up for something or other. So I’ve typed it out here, having a copy of the original newspaper article. The picture below is from a different saltimbocca recipe (so yours won’t look like that) which I’ve never tried, but you might like to check it out.

1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into 4-oz. pieces🐓1 tbsp chopped sage, plus 24 sage leaves🍃2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste🤷1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional🍂olive oil🏺6 slices of fontina cheese (about 4 oz.)🧀6 thin slices of prosciutto🐷

  • With a meat mallet, pound the chicken until flattened a bit. Salt and pepper each piece on both sides and place on a platter. Sprinkle with chopped sage, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using) and olive oil. Massage in the seasoning to distribute then cover and marinate for at least an hour at room temperature.
  • Heat a wide skillet over medium
    ei1b11_chicken_saltimboca.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462

    Yours won’t look like this

    heat and add 3 tbsp olive oil. When oil looks wavy, add sage leaves and let then crisp for about 30 seconds. remove and drain. Brown the chicken breasts in the oil for about 2 minutes per side, then transfer to a baking dish large enough to fit them in one layer. Yop each piece with 2 sage leaves, a slice of prosciutto and a slice of fontina. Broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.

Serves 4 to 6.


Polenta Torte with Fontina and Spinach

This torte really does look like a cake with icing when it comes out of the oven. Even if you never make the torte, be sure to check out the embedded recipe for easy soft polenta. It’ll make your life easier.

  • Olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups chopped spinach (about 7oz.), or more to taste
  • 1 recipe easy soft polenta (2 C. polenta, 2 qts. Water, 2 T. butter, 2 t. salt, covered,  in a 350 degree oven for 1 hr. 10 min., stir, bake additional 10 min., and let set 5 min.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 oz shredded fontina or Parmesan cheese
images

Bella!

  1.  Heat a medium non-stick skillet lighted coated with olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic; sauté one minute. Add spinach; cook until spinach wilts. Remove from heat
  2.  When polenta is done, stir in the spinach mixture, salt and pepper.
  3.  Spoon polenta mixture into a 9” springform pan coated with cooking spray. Smooth by wetting the utensil with cold water to keep polenta from sticking. Press plastic wrap onto surface of polenta; chill 2 or more hours (overnight is fine
  4.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees,
  5.  Remove polenta from pan and place on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle cheese evenly over polenta. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts and begins to brown. Remove from oven; cool for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges using a sharp knife. Serve immediately.

This recipe makes a 9” diameter cake that is about 3 ½ inches high. It’ll serve 12 people easily. ( Half the recipe is said to serve 8 and the numbers for that are: Per serving: 126 cal; 4.2 g. fat, 16.9 g. carbs., 9 mg cholesterol)

Original recipe in 2003 Cooking Light Annual, p. 134

More Categories for Portfolio Images

Introduction

This post is a continuation of possible themes/categories of images I might include when I make a portfolio web site out of this primarily blog site. Once again, it is for my benefit, a place where I have recorded titles of images that could speak to a particular theme or idea.

A. Panorama/Triptych

  1. Abandoned
  2. Cerrillos Hills, winter
  3. Cerrillos Hills, summer
  4. Dallas Divide
  5. Estuary II
  6. Font’s Point
  7. Glacier Text
  8. Gorge
  9. O’Keeffe Country
  10. Mills Canyon
  11. Into the Rain
  12. Near Manzanar
  13.  Harvest

    cropped-harvest-ii.jpg

    Harvest

  14. Ojo Cottonwoods
  15. Salt River
  16. Taos Doors
  17. Tuolumne River
  18. White Sands
  19. Unicorn
  20. Soon Pecans
  21. Hot Fudge Sundae with Butterscotch Ice Cream
  22. Ubehebe Crater
  23. Chianti Vineyard
  24. Volterra
  25. Crete Senese
  26. San Antimo
  27. San Juan Mountains
  28. Yellowstone Magic

B. Badlands

  1.  Sky Dance
  2. Zabriskie Point
  3. Sky King
  4. Ramparts to the Castle
  5. This One’s for Your, Judy!
  6. Font’s Point

    Fonts Point

    Font’s Point-Anza Borrego Desert State Park, CA

  7. Anza Badlands
  8. (Relatively) Slender People Only (aka Anza Slot II)
  9. Elephant Feet
  10. Eat Your Heart Out, Henry Moore
  11. Pebble Place 1
  12. Peeble Place 3
  13. Golden Canyon
  14. Golden Canyon Exit
  15. Carizzo Badlands
  16. Dante’s View
  17. Zabriskie Point
  18. Hot Fudge Sundae with Butterscotch Ice Cream
  19. Bisti to Heaven
  20. Bisti Wings

C. Sequences

  1. LA Quad
  2. Bunker Hill
  3. Made in LA
  4. Waves

    Waves

    Waves

  5. Waves II
  6. Slots
  7. At the Shore BW
  8. At The Shore C
  9. Sand Patterns

D. The Crown Jewels: Western National Parks*

Yellowstone

  1. Yellowstone Magic
  2. Mammoth Springs I
  3. Mammoth Springs II
  4. Mammoth Springs III
  5. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
  6. Denizens of Yellowstone
  7. Pool

Yosemite

  1. Pot Hole Pine
  2. Tuolumne River
  3. Near Manzanar
  4. Chessboard
  5. Another
  6. Bent
  7. Fifty Years After Ansel

Grand Teton

Teton Mists

Teton Mists

  1. Gros Ventre
  2. Across the Water
  3. Teton Sunrise
  4. Later that Morning
  5. Teton Mists

Death Valley

  1. Zabriskie Point Sunset
  2. Dante’s View
  3. Sky King
  4. Sky Dance
  5. Zabriskie Point Pan
  6.  Zabriskie Detail
  7. Ubehebe  Crater Pan
  8.  Ubehebe Crater Detail
  9. Golden Canyon
  10. Golden Canyon Exit

* Some of these images will be on display at the Vista Grande Public Library during the month of September, 2017.

 

Gallery Explorations

Oh brilliant moon

is it true that even you

must run away, as if tardy?                        

                                                  Kabayashi Issa

 

 

These and 15 other square format, black and white images are available in a book entitled Small Scapes: Photographs by Joan Concetta Biordi. See the side panel for more information about buying books.

 

Possible Categories for Portfolio Images

Introduction

I will eventually want to create collections of images that speak to an idea or theme. Several come to mind. I want each to be accessed by a link within the site and each to be a slide show, assuming the slide show can be manually operated by the viewer. What follows are some of the themes I have in mind and, for my benefit, the titles of the  images that might be included.

Black and White

   A.  New Mexico in Black and White

  1.    Soon, Pecans!
  2.    Folsom
  3.    On Johnson Mesa
  4.    Quebradas
  5.    Helices
  6.    Yucca Moon
  7.    Sugarite
  8.    Rio Grande Gorge
  9.    Taos North
  10.   No Sanctuary – Taos, 1847
  11.   San Geronimo
  12.   Clouds Over Deming
  13.   Wild Rivers
  14.   Across from Black Mesa
  15.   Cerrillos Hills
  16.   Santuario
  17.   White Sands
  18.   Ninety Degrees   
  19.   Abandoned
  20.   Into the Rain &/Rain
  21.   Burn Area 1
  22.   Burn Area 2
  23.   Burn Area 3
  24.   Pebble Place “River”
  25.   San Geronimo
  26.   Marc’s Garden
  27.   Eat Your Heart Out, Henry Moore
  28.   Judy’s Trees
  29.   Bisti Wings
  30. Bisti to Heaven

  B. Trees

  1.      Helices
  2.      Sugarite
  3.      Dance
  4.      Drama
  5.      Dance II
  6.      Soon Pecans

    images

    Enter a caption

  7.      Burn area 1
  8.      Burns area 2
  9.      Burn area 3 
  10.     Reflections
  11.     Madera Canyon
  12.     Guajome
  13.     Joshua Tree
  14.     Joshua Tree II
  15.     Mammoth Springs I  & III
  16.     Reflections C
  17.    Gunnison
  18.    Judy’s Trees

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