An Afternoon w/ Susur Lee at Bent Restauraunt

VEGGIELICIOUS by Bent Sept. 9-20th, 2014 w/ @susurlee

Yesterday I spent the afternoon at Bent Restaurant w/ world-renowned chef Susur Lee, learning about his cooking an sampling the upcoming Veggielicious menu. The five-course vegetarian menu runs September 9th-20th at Bent, which he owns with his sons. Yes, he is holding two fish in the photo but they’re for the raw sushi bar!

First on the Veggielicious menu is ‘Dip Three Ways’, a mixture of hummus, baba ganoush, olives, and spicy mustard seed tomato stew.  These didn’t last long!

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We started by making meringue desserts so they could bake while we explored the menu. I’m quite familiar w/ meringue as the Pavlova is a famous New Zealand dessert I’ve been making with mum as long as I can remember. We were given Susur Lee’s merengue recipe so I’m planning whip up a batch at the cottage this weekend and impress Sean’s parents. Look out!

Below on the left is the meringue Chef made and mine is on the right. Added some almonds to fancy it up a bit. It was delicious. Scroll down to see the dessert presentation, it was a thing of beauty.

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Chickpea Tempura Tofu

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Wild Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

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French Merengie w/ Golden Licorice, feat. wild blueberry, peaches, passionfruit syrup, raspberry coulis!

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They have some stellar cocktails you can check out on Instagram at @bentcocktails.

This is the Asian Caesar, the most popular cocktail at Bent. It’s got a whole bunch of ingredients including soy & Hoisin sauce. Yep, that’s an oyster on there too.

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Veggielicious at Bent runs from Spet. 9-20th so make a reso and take your fav veggie lover for a nice meal. There’s a raw sushi bar too.
For more info visit bentrestaurant.com.

Huge thank you to Chef Susur Lee and the team at Bent for a great experience!

 <3 CASIE

Making Memories

Over the last six months I’ve been learning how to use a my first DSLR through my partnership with Canon Canada. As one of 5 official Canon Blogtography Ambassadors I’ve learned how to take portraits, shoot a runway, properly focus, shoot in different lighting, and most importantly the beauty of photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR camera.

In our last session of 2013 we sat down for dinner at The Drake Hotel with our reps from Canon and Edelman Toronto. In effort to help us step up our photo game one more level, they hooked us each up with new printers (yes, plural!) AND gave us each a framed print of one of our own photos. It was like Oprah, “You get a printer and you get a printer!”. We all felt super touched when they revealed our gorgeous gallery style photos, printed from the exact printer we were just given. It was a magical moment (see mine in a previous post here).

Meet My new Printers

Prints from the Canon Prixma Pro-100

I was trying to print for a specific frame so they aren’t full size on the paper. Beautiful though.

Some of My Fav’s Shot w/ Canon Rebel SL1

Below are some of my fav photos taken since July 2013. They span from Toronto, to California, Thailand and back. I’m quite excited to print a bunch and frame them. We’re all so digital now, it’s easy to forget how lovely a nice framed photo is.

Huge thank you to Canon Canada and Edelman for creating this program. It’s been an awesome learning experience. We chatted about next steps and hope to expand it so YOU can learn more about taking awesome photos too. if you have any questions or comments, please share. Love to hear your feedback 🙂

Have an awesome day,

<3 CASIE

Driving in California – Super Fast GIF

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Emily’s Ice Cream + Canon’s Blogtography Program

Emily’s Ice Cream + Canon’s Blogtography Program

emily ice cream

Last night I had dinner with the other 4 Canadian Canon Blogtography Ambassadors and some great people involved in the program from Edelman Toronto and Canon Canada. We arrived at The Drake Hotel not knowing what they had planned for us. Each of the Canon sessions we’ve attended over the past six months has had a different theme where we learned tips and tricks from professionals similar to what video production companies austin texas employ in their work to try with our cameras.

Over the last six months I’ve really learned how to take photos. I mean, I’ve been using a camera as long as I can remember but snapping shots is different than knowing how to use a camera outside of the auto. I took that photo above.

We were on the trolly in High Park this summer and Emily had just gotten this massive ice cream with sprinkles, it was hot and about to drip everywhere. I cropped it and used one of the filters in my Canon Rebel SL1 then sent it off to Canon as part of my 20 favorite photos. Last night they gave each of us one of our prints, blown up and in a frame. The image was printed using a Canon printer which, in true Oprah style, we each got one. (Imagine “You get a printer and you get a printer”, it was kinda like that.) We were all amazed by the high quality, shocked by the generosity, and extremely grateful. As you already know, Canon is very famous and has been loved by many people over the years. You can look for Canon printer cartridges compatibility online at stores such as Toner City so that you are never without cartridges to print off all your amazing pictures.

After almost a decade of blogging, the world of social media has blossomed and I’ve been fortunate to be part of many ambassador programs over the past few years. I’ve carefully only chosen to take part in ones that offer products or services that I honestly like and have purchased or would have given I had the money. This is most certainly the case with Canon (and of course Ted Baker!). Back in 2004 I shipped off to Australia for school, I got my first digital camera ever, a Canon Powershot. I loved that little thing and took it everywhere. I’ve never owned a fancy camera and my Rebel SL1, the worlds smallest, lightest DSLR is my very first. I’ve always wanted one and more than bring an ambassador for a great brand through this program, I got to learn how to shoot.

I’m extremely thankful to have been in unofficial photography school over the past few months. Now that I have a pinter you can expect to see more prints of my photos as I perfect my craft. It’s also what everyone on my list will be getting over the holidaya!

Canon and Edelman, thank you.

Check out my posts from the last few months and feel free to share your photo tips and tricks below. I’m always up for learning and sharing!

Have an awesome day, soak up some of that sunshine. 🙂

<3 CASIE

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Canon Blogtography: Holiday Portrait Session

Canon Blogtography: Holiday Portrait Session

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

I  LOVE the holidays! Nothing like meeting up with friends, letting your hair down with colleagues, boxing day deals, and making memories. In our most recent Canon Blogtography Session at Herman & Audrey, I was pleasantly surprised to see Christmas decorations, a tree, and lights.  It may have only been November but there was no stopping me from putting  on the Christmas music! You can bet I started with Mariah!

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

In this session we learned how to take portraits. It was my most favourite session all the ones we’ve had so far. We went over a variety of ways to shoot perfect holiday portraits and what lenses to use. We worked on depth, putting things in focus, and shooting under low light. ex. candle light.

I’ve been taking my own portrait since 2004 when I started this blogging so it was really wonderful to learn how to actually do it right. Our session was lead by top Canadian portrait photographer Steve Carty.  He’s taken a few of my portraits before, see here and here for video.

Tips on Taking Portraits from Canon Canada

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

My Portraits from Our Session

We were encouraged to snap shots of each other. These are a few of my favourite shots from the session. I’ll share some they took of me before Christmas comes!

Andrew Dobson 

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Corinne McDermott

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Steve Carty

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Nelia Belkova

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

It definitely helps to have a tripod when you are shooting group shots like this around the table for example. You can pick up a tripod from any camera store. I love to use a tripod and the self-timer for taking self-portraits and making sure I’m included in group shots.  Aren’t they cute? 🙂

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

For more tips and tricks on taking great photos visit canonoutsideofauto.ca and check out Steve Carty’s portraits for creative inspiration.

Happy Holidays form the Canadian Canon Blogtography Ambassadors!

#CanonBlogtography: Holiday Portrait Session via @casiestewart #thisismylife

<3 CASIE

Travel | Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao, Thailand

Travel | Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao, Thailand

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

We went on an afternoon snorkelling cruise with Good Time Adventures around Koh Tao, Thailand. It was absolutely amazing! Our crew was so much fun and we drank, swam, jumped off the boat, and visited beaches. The shot of Jenni above was assisted by our Tour Leader, Luke, way to go!

These photos were taken with my Canon Rebel SL1. To see the group I was travelling search #ContikiThai on Twitter or Instagram and visit this Twitter list.

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Good Time Adventures in Koh Tao via @casiestewart #thisismylife

Thank you to Contiki, Tourism Thailand, and Good Time Adventures for this experience. It was absolutely amazing. I’ve got a few more pic from this cruise on my Instagram here too.

Hope this warms up your Monday!

<3 CASIE

Canon Photo Session with an Award Winning Photojournalist

Canon Photo Session with an Award Winning Photojournalist

Recently I had a session with a professional photographer as part of my Canon Blogtography Ambassador program. It was all five Canadian Canon Ambassadors in the beautiful Distillery District for dinner and working photo session. We were joined by  Steve Russell, a Toronto Star photojournalist who walked us through some tips to improve our photos. Over dinner, he shared stories of travel and celebrity encounters over the course of his career. Steve has not once, but twice won Photojournalist of the year!

Canon Blogtography Photos by Casie Stewart

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I really love the Distillery District for it’s sheer beauty. It’s filled with heritage and  old buildings.

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I’m pretty creative, as you know but I’m trying to show that through my Canon photos.  I snapped pix of things I found interesting and tried to take a different perspective, focussing on little elements in the area. We were there during sunset ‘magic hour’, a great time to get outside and take photos.

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This man was sitting alone playing guitar, there was something magical about him. Steve helped us with how to set our camera to take photos of moving things in order to keep them crisp. I need more practice as you can see this lady on the bike is looking pretty fuzzy.

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Some Tips I Learned from A Professional Photojournalist

There were lots of take-aways from our dinner and photo session but below are some of the things I learned from Steve.

  •  How to hold your camera so you don’t look like a total noob – put the camera flat on your hand, don’t hold your pinky up like a dork, don’t be afraid to lean into the shot
  • Rule of thirds – this is key to composing beautiful shots
  • Squaring up your photos – match straight lines, think about composure
  • Cropping your pictures –  you might want to crop your photos when you get back to the drawing board aka computer to highlight certain elements of your shot
  • Contrasting colour – think about how the colours go together in your shot, contrasting colours can really help to bring out creative elements
  • How to hold your camera so you don’t look like a total noob – put the camera flat on your hand, don’t hold your pinky up like a dork, don’t be afraid to lean into the shot
  • Rule of thirds this is key to composing beautiful shots
  • Squaring up your photos – match straigh lines, think about composure
  • Cropping your pictures –  you might want to crop your photos when you get back to the drawing board aka computer to hilight certain elements of your shot
  • Contrasting colour – think about how the colours go together in your shot, contrasting colours can really help to bring out creative elements

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One of the things I’m really learning from being a Canon Ambassador is how to actually use my camera without keeping it on Auto. (I was a MAYJAHHH auto user, only because I didn’t know what I was doing!) If you’re  looking for a great resource to learn more about aperture, exposure and ISO settings visit canonoutsideofauto.ca.

Above, Andrew (@dobbernation) was taking a photo of me taking a photo of him on his phone through the camera. SUPER META! Here’s his shot on Instagram.

Have an awesome day!

<3 CASIE

@casiestewart