December 20, 2011

Highlights of 2011: Part 2

This year I was allowed to shoot one of my dream bands, Within Temptation, in addition to a couple of other concerts throughout the year. Here are some of my favorite concert photos from this past year!

Highlights of 2011: Part 1

This has been a crazy year, but here's some of my favorites from 2011. Nowhere near all my favorites of this year, as these are just from private shoots. I still have some pics to finish up, or start.

December 2, 2011

Recipe: Brown Betty

3 slices of Bread
3 Apples
2 cups of Brown Sugar (separated into three batches)
1 tablespoon of Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon of freshly-ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of freshly-ground Nutmeg
1/4 cup of Apple Cider
1/4 cup of Banana Liqueur
1 1/2 sticks of Butter

Take the 1/2 stick of butter and generously rub it around the dish casserole dish the brown betty will be baked in. You want some nice coverage of the base and walls.

Take the slices of bread and chop or rip them up into small pieces. You want fluffy crumbs, not compressed pieces of bread. Then separate the bread crumbs into three batches. Peel and core the apples, then slice into thin slices. Mix in a bowl with the apple cider, nutmeg & cinnamon. Divide into three batches.

Take the first batch of brown sugar and add to the dish, smoothing it out evenly. Top the brown sugar with one layer of bread crumbs, followed by the apples, smoothing out each layer evenly. Repeat two more times. Take the butter and cut into slices and top the brown betty, followed by the extra tablespoon of brown sugar. Then add banana liqueur to the dish, evenly pouring it around.

Place into a 350-degree preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes to an hour. Let rest for 5 minutes, before serving. Goes great with ice cream and/or whipped cream.

Notes: You can substitute other fruits or mix in other fruits in place of an apple, such as pears, persimmons, peaches and etc.. The brown sugar can also be replaced with regular sugar, but you won't get the consistancy you'd get with the brown sugar due to the lack of molasses.

December 1, 2011

Weekend Shoots

Heading into Carlisle, PA, this Saturday to shoot with one of the winners, Danielle, of the contests held by my friend, Lindsay. I booked a three-hour block at RareToy Studios to shoot, so can't wait.

On Sunday I'll be shooting with a friend of a friend, Olga, and it looks like we're going to be aiming for the streets of SoHo.

November 28, 2011

Recipe: Tzatziki Sauce

32 ounces of Yogurt
8 ounces of Sour Cream
4 Cucumbers
2 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 tablespoons of fresh Dill
3 cloves of Garlic
1 Lemon
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper

Take yogurt and sour cream and add to a colander lined with a cheese cloth or paper towel placed over a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge overnight to strain out excess moisture.

Peel cucumbers, seed, and dice into small chunks and add salt. Place into a small colander atop a bowl, and also leave in fridge to drain moisture overnight.

The next day, remove both bowls of yogurt/sour cream and cucumbers from the refridgerator. Zest the lemon, then juice. Combine all ingredients in food processor, including the lemon juice and zest, and let sit in fridge for an hour, covered with plastic wrap. Remove from fridge thirty minutes, entire bowl or small batches, prior to usage.

Recipe: Mayonnaise Dill White Sauce

1/2 cup of Yogurt
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
Juice of one Lime
1 Jalapeno Pepper (minced)
1 teaspoon of Capers (minced)
1/2 teaspoon of dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon of ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon of dried Dill
1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl thoroughly. Let sit in room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe: Guacamole

3 Haas Avocados
Juice of one Lime
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1/2 medium White Onion
2 Roma Tomatoes
1 tablespoon of fresh Cilantro
1 clove of Garlic (minced)

Cut avocados into chunks and mix in bowl with lime juice, thoroughly coating all pieces. Drain lime juice, and save, when done. Dice onions. Peel, seed, and dice the tomatoes. Add salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper to avocados to avocados. Mash with potato masher until smooth, then add onions, garlic, cilantro, and tomatoes to the mixture. Fold ingredients in with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add one tablespoon of the reserved lime juice back in. Let sit at room temperature for one hour, before serving.

November 26, 2011

Recipe: Mulled Apple Cider

1 gallon of Apple Cider
2 tablespoons of whole All Spice
2 tablespoons of whole Cloves
5-6 whole Cinnamon Sticks
4-5 slices of an Orange

Add all ingredients to a pot (except the orange slices) and bring to a boil, then lower flame to a simmer for 5-10 minutes. Be careful, as it can bubble over, so you may want to occasionally lift the lid to release pressure, or at least crack the top by angling the pot's lid.

Note: If you have a small cheese cloth, you can add the cloves and all spice by wrapping them up and tying the top. This will make it easier to remove later on.

Turn off heat, let sit for a few minutes and add the orange slices. Strain out all spice and cloves, before serving (see above note).

Recipe: Falafal

2 cups of dried Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)
2 medium White Onions
8 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 cup of fresh Parsley
1/2 cup of fresh Cilantro
2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt
3 teaspoons of ground Cumin
3 teaspoons of ground Coriander
1 teaspoon of crushed Red Pepper
2 teaspoon of Sesame Seeds
2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
3 teaspoons of Corn Starch

Rehydrate chick peas in cold water overnight (minimum 12 hours). Drain water afterwards and then add to a boiling pot of salted water and boil for 30 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Note: You can skip the boiling if you want, but I've noticed the chick peas tend to be much firmer and rougher, whereas I prefer a smoother texture to my falafals.

Add chick peas to food processor along with onions, fresh parsley and cilantro. If there's too much for the food processor, then mix all three in a bowl and make in small batches. Process until smooth, then add to a cheese cloth-lined colander (strainer), over bowl, to drain out excess liquids. Don't squeeze out the liquids, you just want the excess liquids to drain out over the next hour naturally.

Add mixture back to food processor and add remaining ingredients (except baking soda and corn starch). Let sit for another hour after everything has been thoroughly blended.

When you're ready to fry up some falafals, you'll want to add the corn starch and baking soda to the mixture, about 10-15 minutes before cooking. Again, the food processor comes into play.


Prepare falafals into whatever desired shapes and set onto a tray or plate.

Add about 2 inches of oil (vegetable, olive, &/or sesame) to frying pan and one tablespoon of margarine (or butter) and turn heat onto medium-high, let oil get very hot (about 2-3 minutes). Add falafals, in small batches, to the oil and fry until golden brown.

Once done, you can remove and place onto a plate with paper towels, to let drain for a few minutes and then serve.

Goes great with:
- Tzatziki Sauce

Recipe: Coconut Rice

3 cups of Coconut Milk
2 cups of Rice (Jasmine or Basmati)
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil
2 tablespoons of dry, shredded Coconut

Add coconut oil to the pot used to prepare the rice, and cover bottom and lower half. Add rice, shredded coconut, milk and salt to pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent rice on bottom from burning or sticking.

Once the coconut milk boils, lower heat to lowest sitting to simmer, while covered, in the pot for 15-20 minutes. Looking for all the liquid to have been evaporated and/or absorbed by the rice at the bottom. When ready, turn off the heat and let sit for 5-10 more minutes, until ready to serve.

November 14, 2011

Recipe: TRON Shots

1 quart of Blue Raspberry or Fruit Punch
15 B-12 Vitamin capsules
1/2 quart of Lemonade
1 quart of Vodka

Boil the blue raspberry or fruit punch drinks in a pot, with the lemonade and add the vitamin capsules' contents (open capsules for their powder - don't just drop in!) and stir well, until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature, then add vodka and chill.

When ready to serve, serve under black lights for the glowing effect!

Note: You can substitute fruit-flavored vodkas for the regular vodka for better flavors and scents.

Recipe: Watermelon-Chipotle Vodka BBQ Sauce

2 1/2 cups of Ketchup
1/2 cup of Vidalia Onion (diced)
1/4 cup of Watermelon juice
1/4 cup of Watermelon Vodka
2 cans of chopped Chipotle Chilies
1/4 cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 cup of Hoisin Sauce
2 tablespoons of Canola Oil
2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
2 cloves of Garlic (minced)
1/2 teaspoon of Celery Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon of Honey

Heat oil in a sauce pan, and add onions and garlic, sauteing until soft and onions are translucent. Stir in brown sugar, celery salt and black pepper. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until the sauce thickens. Cool to room temp and use as desired.

Recipe: Apple Pie Shots

1 gallon of Apple Juice
1 gallon of Apple Cider
7 whole Cinnamon Sticks
1 tablespoon of freshly-ground Nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon of All Spice
1/2 tablespoon of Cloves
4 cups of Brown Sugar
1 liter of Everclear 190

Combine all ingredients, except Everclear, in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Let cool, strain out cloves and the all spice (the cinnamon sticks can remain), add Everclear 190, and chill. Before serving, add Whipped Cream to the top and enjoy!

Another option is to create a spice bag from some string and a small cheesecloth or empty tea bag (in which case, break the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces), in which case you can leave the spices in - it's annoying to fish out the cloves and all spice later on.

You can substitute Spiced Rum or Vodka for Everclear, but in doing so you add more water, so you may want to add half a can of apple juice concentrate to the boiled batch.

Recipe: Fish Tacos

1 filet of White Fish (Tilapia, Mahi Mahi or Orata)
1/4 cup of Canola Oil
1/2 teaspoon of Cumin
Juice of one Lime
Zest of one Lime
1 tablespoon of Ancho Chili Powder
1 chopped Jalapeno Pepper
1/4 cup of fresh Cilantro
8 Flour Tortillas

Combine canola oil, lime juice & zest, cumin, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro in a bowl and add fish filet. Let marinate for 15-30 minutes. Remove from marinade and add fish filet to a hot grill (over medium flame), flesh-side down, and let sit for four minutes. Flip to other side for 30-45 seconds. Remove and place on a plate, letting the filet rest for 5 minutes. Afterwards flake the filet with fork.

Warm tortillas on a hot grill for 30 seconds. You can actually use the grill used for the filet, if you want the tortilla to mop up some of the juices. Afterwards scoop up fish and add your own desired toppings (e.g. white cabbage, radicchio, freshly-cut tomatoes, tomato salsa, avocado, guacamole, and etc.).

Disclaimer - Most know I don't eat seafood, due to allergies, but I used to cook them for my ex's and they loved them. They're also still alive ;)

Goes great with both:
- Guacamole
- Mayonnaise-Dill White Sauce

November 7, 2011

New York Comic Con, Steampunk Day & Exxxotica

2011 was a big year for New York Comic Con (and Anime Festival)! The con saw about 105,000 attendees this year, a huge jump from last year's estimate of 75k! This year was also the marking of the con as a four-day convention, instead of the usual three, though some con-goers managed to whine over Thursday's events, but I'm not going to get into that... Anywho, here's some quick teases of the photos from the four days!

On the Sunday of the Brooklyn Indie Market (Oct. 23), I arrived a few hours before the fashion show to shoot some photos for Berit New York's "Fairy Warriors" collection, but for photos of the fashion show, here's a quick tease!

I checked out the Exxxotica Expo in New Jersey this past weekend, but only Saturday. The convention itself is three days long. I was kind of underwhelmed with this one, but I was also pissed as I had three shoots with actresses attending this and they all flaked out pretty much last second. The first two were true flakes, but the third one was kind of more she missed her flight and shit fell-through, but still some warning would've been nice. This con pretty much threw my whole weekend in the crapper :/

Anywho, here's some quick teasers!

September 16, 2011

Rock & Rolla Fashion Show

Some sneak peaks of photos from the Rock & Rolla Fashion Show at Katwalk NYC this past Monday.

Still have photos to process from Candy-Rock Couture, Natasha NYC and Vengeance Designs!

September 14, 2011

Within Temptation

Every once in a while, a rare opportunity will present itself...

I had one of those opportunities! The symphonic metal band, Within Temptation, was playing a few dates in the U.S., and one of them was at Terminal 5 in NYC. After contacting their label and some emailing back-and-forth, I managed to secure a photo pass for one of my favorite bands!

The concert was great, aside from some technical difficulties during "Angel." They never finished it sadly (one of my favorite songs by them).

After the initial three songs were over, it was a pain trying to find a good spot to take additional photos from the crowd, and this was after asking different security staff if it was okay, with different answers every time. Despite that, I had fun! :D

More pics can be on my Flickr!

August 15, 2011

Roller Games

This past weekend I got to check out a triple-header game hosted by the Gotham Girls Roller Derby. It was my first roller derby actually, and I must admit I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would've.

I arrived in the middle of the first match, The New York Shock Exchange vs. the Harm City Homicide. The second match was the Wall Street Traitors vs. Suburban Brawl. The final match was between the Gotham Girls All-Stars vs. the Mile High Club.

August 12, 2011

Lack Of Updates

Sorry for the lack of updates, been busy with work and life, stress and all, LOL!

Here's a pic of two cosplayers from "Calling All Gamers" at QXT's back in July:
Bad Girl & Cammy

June 23, 2011

AnimeNext 2011

Okay finally done with the photos from AnimeNext! Here's some samples:

June 14, 2011

AnimeNext 2011

This past weekend was AnimeNext 2011 in Somerset, NJ!

The photos from Friday are done, but I still have Saturday and Sunday to go through! I had a lot of fun this year, probably the most thus far actually from the past three years I've been attending. Some minor hiccups, but whatever - mainly weather on Saturday, costuming issues on Saturday and the annoying gnats at the con throughout the weekend whenever one stepped outside.

I started to get bored throughout the weekend with static poses and what-not, and started to have people doing action shots for more intensity, liveliness and fun. I also got into the action, as you can see below:

June 6, 2011

Resolute Cobra Commander Preview

Here's a quick preview of my Cobra Commander outfit from G.I. Joe: Resolute, going with the black and red motiff, instead of the traditional blue and white:

I'll be wearing the outfit for a few hours on Saturday at AnimeNext, while I take a break from photo shoots and event photos.

June 1, 2011


Yesterday I decided to venture into Manhattan to try photographing the Manhattanhenge, a phenomena that's piqued my interest since I learned of it a year ago. It was quite an experience as I ended up taking photos in the middle of 42nd Street, at the Western crosswalk of 2nd Avenue. There were so many photographers out, and the phenomena was very quick, about 30 seconds or so. I literally only managed to snap four photos, but one of them did end up getting picked by the Gothamist.

May 30, 2011

Zombies Sighted in Williamsburg

This past Sunday I decided to drive into Williamsburg to check out the Memorial Day weekend NYC Zombie Crawl. It was pretty crazy, especially once the signal was given for the zombies to rush into the streets of Williamsburg. Traffic came to a halt as hundreds of zombies shambled, ran and walked through the streets, shaking cars, climbing trucks and attacking the designated victims, fighting over their entrails.

Here's some photos: