An American’s Guide to Pad Thai at Home

Step 1: Go grocery shopping without much of a plan. You may be okay with eating frozen vegetables and canned beans this week, but your wife insists on fresh food.

Step 2: Enter the ethnic isle and eye the dried pad thai noodles. You love pad thai. Surely you can cook it at home. It’s like spagehti, but with rice noodle instead of regular noodles, and peanut sauce instead of tomato sauce.


Step 3: Look up the recipe on your phone while at the supermarket. Move out of the way first. Someone’s behind you and wants to get to the taco sauce. Let’s pretend you found this one. The recipe calls for fish sauce, or oyster sauce, and white wine vinegar. You’ll never use those again. Just buy some pre-made peanut sauce.

Step 4: Let time pass, it’s time to make pad thai. Cook the noodles per the instructions on the package. They are likely slightly crunchy or complete mush. Proceed regardless. Add peanut sauce and other things you bought for pad thai.


Step 5: Throw directly into the trash. This is hard, and you are not good at this.

Step 6: Go to You forgot your password? That’s fine. They have steps for that.

Step 7: Order pad thai from one of the available restaurants.

Step 8: Enjoy your pad thai at home!

A Definitively Unprofessional Guide to Flower Photography Vol. 3: The Flower People

Flowers enter the photographer’s frame on a daily basis, regardless of whether or not it was the subject of intent. For this writing, I will conclude that most photography is enhanced with the addition of a flower. In these examples, much like a funeral, wedding, prom, or the closing night of a 3-night run of a high school musical, flowers aren’t necessary, but always enhance the experience.

Posing With/Under Flowers

The subject of each photo in this initial batch is the human. But in each case the photo would seem a bit pointless if the flower was absent or replaced with less pleasant vegetation such as Spanish moss or brick lichen.

Creating Depth With Flowers

The act of taking a photo with a human and a flower is entry-level work for the photographer. It is portrait photography with an accessory. However, there are strategic uses of flowers that can take a photo from a boring snapshot to a complex piece of art worthy of most name-brand refrigerator magnet displays.

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A Definitively Unprofessional Guide to Bridge Jumper Photography

On paper my résumé for photographing bridge jumpers is very impressive. It spans 10+ years and 5000+ miles; from the Northeastern corner of the US to the southwestern end in Hawaii. All of that is true, but my experience is limited in part to a chance experience in Hawaii in 2005 as depicted in the photos below. It’s a classic story of locals drink tequila, locals jump off a bridge.

All of my other experiences comes from Martha’s Vineyard in the last 5 years. It’s limited to early August, and at around noon time, so the variables in light are limited to clouds vs. sun. It’s also focused only on the Jaw’s Bridge in Martha’s Vineyard, but it’s arguably the most famous and family-friendly bridge for jumping into water. This guide is focused solely on that bridge, and its 3 affordable vantage points, in order of simplest, to most difficult/rewarding.

Head-On: The Common Audience View

A man-made rock edge runs perpendicular to the bridge which separates the sand from the river which flows between the lagoon and Atlantic ocean. There’s probably a more accurate word for it, but it creates a comfortable head-on view of the bridge. The rocks provide a convenient seat for the photographer to sit comfortably between 25 and 100 feet from the bridge jumpers. This view allows the photographer to capture a group of ideally symmetrical jumpers together. The challenge at noon in August is the bright summer sun coming from nearly directly above us. The bright light-blues in the background can easily cause the jumping subjects to appear too dark which can be righted by a light-fill through photo editing software, however, too much of this effect makes a photo look too cartoony to me.

A cropped photo is never the intent but a zoom lens can only do so much. When a shot from this vantage point does single out a specific jumper a crop becomes necessary.

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A Photographer’s Perspective of The New England Festy

I’d first like to thank Colleen Laney, the Festy’s Marketing & Media Director, for providing me with a Media Pass for the weekend. The following is highlights from my photographic adventures from that weekend. The commentary is only there to break up the photos.

Old Salt Union started Saturday off on the side stage as people became accustomed to the new space for the first Festy in New England. The high-energy, old-timey traditional style helped wake-up a crowd wary of the weekend’s questionable weather forecast. Bassist Jesse Farrar’s infectious smile created enough sunshine for everyone.

Old Salt Union – Jesse Farrar

Old Salt Union – John Brighton, Fiddler.

Old Salt Union – Jesse Farrar focusing on Mando player Justin Wallace

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Jason McGorty