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Tall Ships Festival 2012

I didn’t realize that the Tall Ships Festival isn’t an annual occurrence in Halifax until after it happened. Thankfully, I still made it out a few times to see this amazing spectacle – and an amazing spectacle it was! I’m so glad we were lucky enough to be living in Halifax this summer to see the tall ships fill the pier and to share in the celebrations, fireworks, music, and more.

Here are some of the photos I took from one evening down by the water.


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The ocean & a lot of rhubarb

If you ever ask me if I want to go visit the ocean, go the beach, be near any body of water, the answer will always be YES! And (an important consideration in Nova Scotia), it will be an extra enthusiastic yes if it’s sunny.

Every time I visit the salt water I’m hit with the realization that I now live on the east coast. Somehow it still hasn’t sunk in, even after 9 months. I am on the edge of Canada and it’s pretty neat. For those that aren’t here, and thus may be enjoying the heat of elsewhere, here are some photos of the ocean for you to enjoy! In the coming weeks we’ll be developing the film so keep an eye out for those, too.

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On another note, I just scored a huge bundle of rhubarb! As mentioned in previous posts, rhubarb is one of my favourites. Actually, a lot of things are my favourites, but rhubarb’s definitely up there. Any brilliant ideas for what I should bake with it? I was thinking lemon-rhubarb squares, but I want to explore some other ideas. What are your favourites?

Mamiyaflex C – round three

My other film camera, a Mamiyaflex C, was given to me by my father who got it from his father.

It’s a great camera, shoots amazing photos, but I haven’t used it too much. It doesn’t have a light meter, which makes it difficult to accurately expose each image, and the manual isn’t super clear about loading the film, so I’m always nervous about starting a new roll. Also it takes 120mm film, so that provides another challenge in finding somewhere to get it developed.

All that said, I’ve decided to run another roll through it, having downloaded a light meter app for my phone. I know, cheating a bit, but whatever. I want to use the camera and this should help me get used to recognizing light settings and, to be honest, I’m not going to be buying a pro light meter any time too soon.

So, stay tuned! Since there are only 12 shots on a roll, I’ll hopefully be sharing some photos soon.

In the meantime, here are some photos (including some double exposures) I took with this camera the last time I put a roll through.

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New camera & first roll of film

I was surprised and thrilled to get a new camera, a Pentax K1000, for Christmas. Seriously thrilled!!!!

Here are some shots from my first roll, Lomo 800:

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If you’d like to see more photos you can check out my KittEliz Flickr account here. I have two accounts, the one linked to this blog that features all things edible and my personal account for photography as a hobby. 

Do you ever shoot in film? What camera (digital or not) are you using? I’ve only shot one roll in film so far, but I’m enjoying it so much. It really forces you to think about the composition and settings, rather than just being able to shoot 30 frames to get a good photo. We’ve been getting our film processed at the store, but we scan and convert the images ourselves. Kevin James built this negative scanning box and it’s working pretty well for us. We’ll be building a new one soon that can be used for 35mm and 120mm (I have a Mamiyaflex that shoots 120). We also picked up a film developing tank and will soon be getting the chemicals to process our film ourselves. More on this later! 

** Also! I’ve started a new twitter account for the blog. I had my own account, but that’ll be replaced by the new one: @60percentbaking

Cooking & baking inspiration

Over the course of the day, week, and month, I typically come across a whole bucket (yes, a whole bucket, maybe even more) of great recipes, beautiful food photography, and blogs that I star or bookmark.

So often I see recipes that I’d love to try, but I don’t have the time (or money -_-) to try everything. I bookmark sites constantly in hopes that I’ll be able to return to them or that they will be a source of baking advice or guidance. This information is essentially just sitting there not being used or given a broader audience, which is why I decided that I should share them (hopefully in some sort of systematic or themed way) with those who read this blog. Some of these may peek your interest and maybe you’ll get to testing before I have the chance. So here’s to the spirit of sharing!

I’ve tried to pick three that might go well together for a super supper gathering of sorts. They’re definitely all appropriate for autumn and look incredibly delicious. All your friends would be impressed if you made these and so would I. Enjoy!

Apple Latkes
(smitten kitchen)

Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar
(smitten kitchen)

Chocolate Stout Cake with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting

I saw some cool shit in Rome

 Yeah, that’s right. I did.

Rome was absolutely fantastic and was a great way end to the trip. I was in the city for a longer time than all the others in Italy, so I could do a bit more exploring. You could spend months in Rome and it would be great. It’s such an amazing city and I’m sure I’ll be back one day. I must say I certainly enjoyed having jam-filled croissants, cappuccino and orange juice in the outside garden patio at 8am in only my sweater (in March). Yeah, I went back to reality when I came back to Ottawa and it was in the negative degrees.

Rome was one of the few cities were I actually did some touristy stuff: Colosseum, Pantheon, Roman Baths, Vatican Museum, and St. Peter’s Basilica. I’ve posted some of my favourite photos from each of these places, but, honestly, I took so many that it would probably be best to check out my flickr account to see a few more if you’re interested.

What were some of the highlights? Well definitely the breakfast I mentioned before. Yum. That was the best way ever to start the day. The Roman Baths were amazing – they didn’t have the chaos that comes with all the tourists, such as at the Colosseum. It’s a beautiful area to spend a few hours, the landscape is amazing and the area is essentially a huge park, filled with ancient ruins. What could be better? I also really enjoyed Vatican City, simply because I’ve never seen anything quite like that before in my life. It was beautiful – there was so much to see and think about (trying to imagine how old things are and how they were made and used). The Colosseum was neat, too, especially when you try to imagine the events that went on there and the complexity of what the building was and served as. The Pantheon was interesting for its architectural qualities. Look it up on the web – there was so much symbolism in the way things were build.

Also, I can’t forget to mention that Rome had the best pizza place ever (Pizza Pazza). SO GOOD. Love pizza. Also love gelato. And cappuccino. Good food and drink add so much excellence to a city. Fantastic times!

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Florence is wonderful

It’s true – Florence is cool. It was a great post-Venice city, a nice change of pace. Very different from both Venice and Rome. A city with more of an energy than Venice, probably due to the fact that you can actually feel that people live and work in Florence, but it wasn’t as large or metropolitan as Rome. Regardless, I really enjoyed Florence and would definitely go back. The leather market was good, the people were friendly, and the food and drink was deliciously fantastic.

One morning I woke up around 7AM and wandered around. I soon found the river that runs through the city, took a few photos, then just sat on a bench and watched people as they went to work (heh – vacation is so very good). I found this a really good city to wander. It wasn’t too big, but there were lots of things to look at and lots of buildings with free admission that you can check out. The only major touristy thing I did was climb the duomo of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. I’m kind of mildly terrified of straight-vertical heights, so I wasn’t “able” to stop and take the time to get a good shot on the inside of the dome, but I was fine once on top. Amazing, amazing views and incredibly beautiful building, as you can see from the details on the outside. I really enjoyed doing this and it was a great lead up to the excitement of the ancient-ness of Rome. More on that later. For now, here are a few of my favourite photos from Florence. Cool times!