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Archive 2013 · More portraits
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · More portraits

With the second round of med school exams over, a few friends and I decided to take a break and head to the local watering holes to procure some choice beverages for them.

1. The afternoon started with a trip to "The Pub" where absurdly tasty lamb burgers were consumed with two fingers of Macallan 18. The gorgeous caramel was making it difficult to focus on focusing.

2. I collected myself and tried real hard to focus properly.

3. Fast forward a couple of hours and we ended up at Primanti Brothers in search of a good pizza.


5. Everyone we came across greeted us with a smile

6. We came. We bit. We were stuffed.

7. The sendoff included a smile too.

8. We ran into a couple of wise guys who couldn't figure out the "who has two thumbs" joke. No, they weren't drunk.

9. They showed us how what their mating call was. I promised them I would try it when I got home. It didn't work.

10. Then they showed us how Arnold posed in the Mr. Universe competition.

11. We came across a model who only wanted a dollar in exchange for services rendered as a subject.

12. Some people pretended (quite poorly) that they didn't want their picture taken.

13. The night ended at The Drunken Taco where we had an excellent conversation with Gil who wanted me to email him this photo as he liked it a lot but wanted to make sure that I knew his name was Gil, not Gill. He mentioned with a quivering voice that his mother would have killed him if he ever received any correspondence addressed to Gil.

All in all a well deserved break from the books. Now back to the grind. Your thoughts, as always, are welcome.

Everything shot with a D800 and a Sigma 35/1.4 wide open at ISO 800 or ISO 1250. Might have bumped it up a little higher for the really dark backgrounds.

Nov 10, 2013 at 10:49 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · More portraits

I enjoyed your pics and narrative.

Thank you for sharing.

1- Did you sharpen the girl's eyes in pic 4-5.
All the pics are a bit too sharpish for me and I would like a bit more separation with the B/G but appreciate that such is a personal preference. The Sigma 35/1.4 is too sharp for my taste unless you have been touching that slider?
2- Do they really serve water with a Macallan? We usually just add few drops to release and enhance the flavour.

Nov 11, 2013 at 03:59 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · More portraits

Thanks for the kind words

1. I think I used a wee bit of "iris enhance" in Lightroom but looking at the before and after pictures just now, it really is a very subtle difference. The images are crunchier than usual (for me) but I wanted to try something slightly different for this particular set. Get out of my comfort zone if you will.

2. My classmate in the picture is a Scottish Russian (or a Russian Scot ) and he made certain no one at the table used anything more than 4 drops to release and enhance the flavor as you mentioned. At one point, one of the uninitiated was about to drop an ice cube in there and he nearly had a stroke. The water, we were told, was served on the side with ice cubes so be sipped concurrently with the Macallan.

Nov 11, 2013 at 04:14 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · More portraits

A slight bit too digital/hdr-ish for my personal taste, but still an interesting set with the story line.

As one who is also apparently uninitiated in Macallan and "release" ... a bit more education on the matter would be welcome.

Nov 11, 2013 at 01:48 PM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · More portraits

Rusty, given how whiskeys can be anywhere between 30% and 60% alcohol, adding just a few drops of water (4 - 6) starts a chemical reaction with the alcohol and other ingredients that allows the whiskey to "open up." This makes for a more flavorful and aromatic sip. This is known as freeing the bouquet. Purists will only add water drawn from the same source the original distillery drew water for the whiskey from but given how the river Spey is a little bit of a drive away from the Americas, other water needs to be substituted unfortunately. Adding ice will supposedly make the most battle hardened Scot cry and weep like a baby for wasting a good whiskey as it numbs the taste sensors on your tongue. So it is strictly prohibited. With cask strength stuff (50-60%) adding various amounts of water will lead to different chemical reactions as the whiskey gets more and more dilute leading to a different taste and aroma as one goes on.

Nov 11, 2013 at 02:51 PM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · More portraits

Kleenex warning:

So if I've added ice ^^ because I liked the flavor (experiencing some release ) changes as the ice began to melt, a few drops of water will yield similar reactions. I've probably never had any really "good" whiskey, but I have thought that there was something about the ice melting that changed the flavor (beyond simple dilution).

Hmmm ... if the cooling temperature is considered detrimental to release, would a few drops of warmed water enhance the (catalyst) release more than tepid water?

Nov 11, 2013 at 03:44 PM
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · More portraits

I think at the end of the day, do whatever you like most. I like the taste of chinese food at the mall over the boutique store that claims truly authentic chinese food. There might be a "right" way to do things but that doesn't mean everyone has to like that way. If you enjoy it with ice, drink it with ice. I would however, recommend at least trying a few sips the "right" way just in case...

I don't drink most alcohol simply because I haven't found any that I found palatable. Beer and wine are difficult for me. The only alcohol I have found to enjoy is whiskey I cannot afford but have been introduced to by some rather affluent friends.

Warmed water I fear might speed up the reaction too much. Cold water might inhibit the release but control it more. Instead of the aroma getting overpowering perhaps. Also, warm whiskey? :blech:

Nov 11, 2013 at 05:48 PM

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