They carry produce that Americans normally won’t touch unless introduced to it as a “gourmet item.” And for cheap, too.
Case in point: fresh, tender watercress. For soup, or for yummy egg, cress and prosciutto sandwiches.
Case in point: sweet, mellow golden kiwi. (2 for $1). For breakfast, or for a treat in a bento.
The bento, by the way, is an airplane meal from last Thursday, when I traveled to Kentucky for my uncle’s wedding. The sushi is a ready-made “shrimp california” maki roll from the HK Supermarket down the street (there’s actually 8 pieces, but you can only see 4 because I stacked them). Ginger candy lozenges and my favorite fish-and-almonds are in the plastic packets. The rest is pretty self-evident: carrot sticks, golden kiwi. It was too much for me on the plane (didn’t eat the carrot sticks), but by the time we got to the hotel, I was starving again, so I ate dinner a second time.
The wedding was beautiful. There was a bit of family drama, but fortunately nothing too crazy. I was asked to be a 3rd photographer, which was kind of a neat experience. I always take photos at weddings, but I’ve never actually officially been asked to help cover one before. I really enjoyed the challenge of shooting under changing lighting conditions (for example, the ceremony was outside, and I couldn’t believe how much difference it made in terms of the exposure I needed when the sun was shining directly overhead vs. when the same spot was partly hidden by clouds), and of trying to coordinate my position so that I stayed out of the primary (pro) photographer’s way, didn’t obstruct the other guests’ views, and yet moved around enough that I could shoot from different positions and angles than the other two photographers. I finally sort of found my stride more during the second day (when the big reception was held). I love taking pictures of small things at weddings – candles, flower arrangements, table settings – since I’m a very detail-oriented person and (confession time), having read a lot of wedding-photography related blogs (a secret guilty pleasure of mine), I know that the bride and groom often like it when the details are recorded since they’ve put so much time into preparing them. However, as I was compiling shots for the digital display at this weekend’s Saturday reception, I changed my mind and decided to cut any photos that weren’t of people. (It was late and I had a lot to post-process, my mom recommended against it, and anyway I didn’t think any of the guests would care about what Friday’s escort tags looked like!). But when I showed my uncle what I was doing, he picked up on the photos of candles and desserts and nametags right away, and requested that I put them back in. Apparently the other photographers had focused pretty much exclusively on people! (Something that admittedly surprised me, since if you look at a web site like The Knot, you’ll see that at the very least, photographers will be sure to include pictures of the dress and/or shoes, the rings, and the flowers/decorations). So I put the detail shots back in. And on Saturday, I stopped worrying about trying to get candids of every single guest, and allowed myself time to focus on the details instead. It ended up working out really well for me that way, as I’m still pretty inexperienced with portraits, and it allowed me to do a lot of my shooting under the natural light coming from the windows, since the swing band, the bar, and most of the decorations were ranged around the walls. It also allowed the other photographer (the pro wasn’t there that night, so there were two of us) to focus mainly on the action and the guests, and while I still backed him up, I was able to focus primarily on environmental textures – the curve of the trombone player’s bell, the glow of candles, the colors of the flowers, the twinkle of wine glasses, the varying shapes and opacities of the treats in the candy bar – a task with which I have a lot of practice, thanks to blogging! I’ve no photos that I’m ready to post at the moment, as I still have loads of post-processing to complete. But the experience was really great overall. I was honored to be asked to take part in my uncle’s wedding in such an intimate way, and I think I learned a lot in the bargain.