Favorite Shots from 2014

Enjoy the Road AheadI’ve been compiling my favorite photo shots for years for family and friends – travel, birthdays, that sort of thing. But starting in 2013, I took a more serious look at the images I make all year long and how they tell a deeper story of where I’m at in the work/creative/life process. The challenges. The triumphs (as small as they may be). The questions. The sometimes circuitous way I come to answers, solutions or shifts in focus.

What I can tell from compiling my 2014 favorite shots is that what I chose to define my year was the epitome of all that went right. Obviously, the year was not without its personal and professional challenges, difficulties and stumbling blocks – those play into the images one makes all year long. But where I chose to portray those more in 2013, I flipped the coin in 2014.

View 2014 vs. 2013 on Flickr.

As I move from the freelance career that has spanned nearly three decades in publishing, journalism, public relations and marketing into one that employs all this into a creative agency that tells stories with digital media, you’ll see that in 2014 I got to travel fairly extensively, spend quality time with my 80-year-old parents, watch my paying work begin to merge with the image making and writing I’ve struggled with for so long, and enjoy the freedom of living life with my Australian wife in the afterglow of equality, justice and simple fairness being granted in the United States.

I also got a new camera.

Wishing all of you who read this far continued breakthroughs in your creative process in 2015! Enjoy the road ahead.

“Enjoy the road ahead.” Photo by KT Drasky. Hipstamatic, taken with an iPhone 5S, Helga Viking lens, Blanko film. Savannah, Georgia, March 2014.

Marsala Is the Color of 2015

marsalaNot to be outdone by recent press heralding the word of the year (2014: “vape“) or other famous food-themed colors before it (“eggplant”), the color sensation predicted by Pantone to be on every interior designer’s palette next year is: Marsala.

I’m of two minds upon hearing this. Why, of course, is one of them. Tanya Basu writing for The Atlantic pretty much covers off all those reasons. Specifically, a quick social media roundup:

Social media has questioned what Pantone calls “a naturally robust and earthy wine red color” as “a color that makes you want to go to Olive Garden or order Tampax in bulk.”

My second inner voice wants to cook up a batch of a dish I used to make a lot (back in the ’80s, I think – which is fitting, since the color Marsala per the above cited article is also associated with nearby decade “’70s-era carpets that lined offices and industrial spaces, created to disguise wear-and-tear from foot traffic and errant crumbs from desk lunches.” Yum.

But, if you feel like I do (Peter Frampton) about the Internet, writing, color schemes and food, you have quickly blocked such images out of your head and are ready to cook. Here’s my version of Chicken Marsala, adapted from one of the best cookbooks I ever scored at a yard sale: Italian Cooking for Pleasure by Mary Reynolds (pp. 70-71).

Petti di Pollo al Marsala (Chicken Breasts with Marsala)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts (pounded to be thin, like fillets – or just buy fillets)

Seasoned flour (i.e., salt and pepper)

3 oz. butter

4 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

4 Tbsp Marsala wine

4 Tbsp chicken stock

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Instructions

Coat the chicken in seasoned flour and fry in butter. When golden pour over Marsala; let bubble for a minute. Cover each breast with grated Parmesan cheese, moisten with chicken stock. Cover pan; cook gently for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, then serve with pan juices poured over the chicken.

Photo courtesy of Pantone.

 

“Vape” Is the 2014 Word of the Year

vape

There’s a new habit in town, one that’s skyrocketed to the top of the English lexicon faster than last year’s “selfie” (which took an estimated 3 years to be crowned “Word of the Year”).

The 2014 word of the year, “vape” blew away its competition thanks to two simultaneous trends converging in well…a puff of vapor: e-cigarettes and legal cannabis. Both of which are consumed in what is believed to be a healthier way than evil tobacco or janky weed.

The esteemed Oxford Dictionary defines vape as both a verb and noun:

the verb means ‘to inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device’, while both the device and the action can also be known as a vape.

According to Oxford, you are 30 times more likely to encounter the word vape today as you were two years ago. While most of the research crowning vape the word of 2014 hails from the e-cigarette community, which has brought back nicotine without the tar in a big way, there is no denying that the growing legal and medical cannabis industry in the U.S. contributed to the word’s high profile. Runner-up “budtender” as well as the growing popularity of the term “cannabusiness” support that angle.

Other 2014 runners-up included: bae, slactvism, contactless and normcore (all of which my spell-check is highlighting as I type).

Source: The Oxford Dictionaries.com

Photo credit: Katie Orlinsky for The New York Times.