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Teavana Tea Anyone? – Emperor’s Clouds and Mist

Updated for 2013

Teavana tea shops have been popping up all over the map and for good reason. Their tea is fantastic and fresh! Over the past few years, I have amassed a pretty decent collection of greens, oolongs, and black teas. Each one is unique so its important to have a good variety on hand for when the mood strikes. There is nothing better than steeping a pot of green tea about an hour after dinner and sitting down on an oversized cushy couch with a laptop in hand relaxing the night away.

Emperor’s Clouds and Mist

Green teas come in a variety of different complexities; some are vegetal with a strong earthy taste – think grassy here. Others can be mild and bring back a touch of sweetness to your palette. Emperor’s Clouds and Mist is a delicately soft green tea that adds a touch of honey to its taste. I suppose this can be indicative of the region its grown or how it is harvested, but that’s what I taste here. I’m a fan of Teavana tea and most recently, a newer tea shop called DAVIDsTEA, which can be found in the NYC village at 275 Bleeker Street.

Mix Your Teas to Create Flavorful Blends!

Teavana is all about mixology and their iPhone app will give you suggestions to create new blends! I particularly love black teas that have chocolate undertones combined with dried fruit like acai and blackberry. Write this down… this blend is to-die-for and was my own creation!

Combine equal parts of Golden Monkey black tea with Wonderberry Chocolate Truffle Oolong Tea. This blend is not listed under the pairings section, but it really should be. Try it! You won’t be disappointed!

Speedlights for Detailing Tea

In the spirit of everything speed light from class yesterday, I decided to mess around with an off-camera strobe and try to extract as much detail from these tea leaves as humanly possible. My SB900 was placed on the floor in line with the tea and in pretty close. Notice the soft shadows? iTTL mode was also used.

Tea leaves spell "Tea Anyone?" with three pieces of rock sugar used as the period in the question mark.

Location Lighting Workshop With Rick Friedman

I had the pleasure of attending a location lighting workshop instructed by photojournalist Rick Friedman this past Saturday. This class crammed a four day curriculum into 6 hours of nonstop lecture and group activity. Rick taught speed light fundamentals, how to mix ambient light with flash, on-camera flash techniques, and studio/on-location set-ups with octaboxes, softboxes, ring lights, snoots, grids, gobos, beauty dishes, and sweeps. Reflectors, sun screens, home depot solutions, and other various tools were also introduced.

Rick Friedman is high energy and extremely passionate about photography and it shows in his lectures. We barely had time for lunch and I’m okay with that because I wanted to maximize my time and get the most out of the 6 hours.

Rick Friedman’s Lighting Course Modeling Shot

Unique Photo and Rick come prepared; we even had a model to shoot during our break-out sessions. This photo was shot with a single Dynalite studio strobe inside a RiME LITE Octagon Softbox and a Home Depot foam core reflector @ camera right.

A single octabox lights a brown haired model with a white foam core reflector @ camera right to fill in shadow falloff.