Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bacon Tenderloin Explosion with Cheese!

2nd Annual Bacon Celebration Day, 2011

Bacon appreciation day was marked with the completion of another modified Bacon Explosion, this year cooked on a smoker for 5 hours. We took some liberties from the classic recipe and added a tenderloin to the middle with Jalapenos, Feta, and Pepper Jack cheeses. We didn't have a smoker to cook it in last year, so we used the oven and finished off on the grill to crisp up the lattice bacon exterior. This year, we could do it up right with the addition of a smoker and Hickory chips for flavor.

Here is our 2011 Bacon Explosion, and it was glorious, epic, and "unbelievable."

Starting off with 2lbs of bacon, interweave the strips of bacon into a lattice.

If you have multiple people, the second person should fry the remaining strips.


Add a touch of seasoning salt.

Take the Italian Sausage and spread evenly on top of the bacon.

Spread some Jalapenos and press into the sausage.

Take the bacon cooked earlier, crumple into small bits, and spread over top

Add crumbled Feta

Lay pork tenderloin along leading edge, and add Pepper Jack cheese for filler.

Add some BBQ Sauce to taste...

Roll Bacon Explosion into log to seal in the goodness.


Add a touch more seasoning salt to the outside

Proud Papa!

Ready to go on the smoker for a few hours.

Since the "Explosion" will take a few hours to cook, we cooked up some additional pork items as appetizers to keep the spirit of Bacon Celebration Day going

Side-Pork and some left-over Italian Sausage meatballs

Ok, back to the smoker after about 4 hours...

We cut into it to make sure it was cooked all the way through. It was still extremely juicy on the inside, so we thought another hour couldn't hurt

The final bacon log is ready to eat after 5 hours on the smoker.

The majesty of the inside of the Bacon log...

Steve's first bite of the Bacon Tenderloin Explosion. I think that his expression tells all.

Truly epic once again.

The addition of Tenderloin, Jalapenos, and different cheeses was a fantastic addition, and we plan on experimenting even more next year for the 3rd Annual Bacon Celebration Day!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

11m & 12.5m Carp Poles added to my PAP Arsenal!

I've upgraded my Pole Aerial Photography rig to include 2 new carbon fiber poles, one 11m and the second 12.5 meter. These poles just arrived from England, where their primary use is for fishing. A fellow Kite Aerial Photographer from England was nice enough to ship them to the US for me, where they are not available. This is a great upgrade from my painters pole, and fiberglass windsurfing mast.

The longer of the 2 poles, the Avanti Oxygen Commercial Carp 12.5m, is basically a 11m pole with one extra piece. The poles separate into 9 sections, with the top most section discarded, as it's too thin. I use my GoPro HD Hero with all but the top section, and my Sony NEX-5 with everything but the top 2 sections.

I used a design I saw replicated a few times on flicker for my GoPro rig. This attaches to the top of the 2nd thinnest section using Aluminum, rubber grommets and the Tripod mount for GoPro. When the 12.5m pole is fully extended, and I'm holding it above my head, I get over 40 feet of height with the camera.

The other pole I purchased was a 11m Ramrod Power Carp, which may not get much use after playing with the 12.5m pole, but with the hassle of ordering and shipping from England, I didn't want to have to buy another one in year...

I created a balsa wood and aluminum rig for my Sony Nex-5 camera, which has more weight than the GoPro, so I designed a super lightweight, but hideous rig, that centers over the top of the 3rd thinnest section of the pole. I plan on using form epoxy to harden the balsa wood to give some strength, but my initial tests the rig performed well.

First time with the new pole, I had to get a self portrait.

Uke's Harley Davidson has a super cool facility that I've wanted to capture from my kite for quite some time, but lies directly in the path of the Kenosha airport, and probably would violate FFA regulations flying that close to the airport. I figured that this was a perfect alternative to capture the building via Pole Aerial Photography, and test out the new rig.

This is a perspective I can guarantee that no one has ever captured. Gives a good sense at the height of the pole.

Thought I would try getting a picture of my house too, fully extended to maximum height. I think that this will be a great addition to the quiver of photography gear, and help lock down some real estate gigs.

Music on the Border: Drum & Bugle Corps

I was able to barter a photo pass for myself and a friend to get field level access for the Music on the Border Drum and Bugle Corps show in my hometown of Paddock Lake, Wisconsin at the new Central High School stadium. They had a number of bands perform for a standing room only crowd. Having a background being a Drummer in the the state champion Merrill Bluejay Marching Band, and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band, I was excited to see the different field shows. I was focused very heavily on the photography, but did manage the different shows and masterful percussion.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Steel Wool Photography... I'm on a boat!

After my initial experiments with the art of steel wool night photography, I decided that we needed to try it out on the water. I used a 2 different cameras, both set to capture 30 second exposures and let my friends try the spinning the flaming wool. Here is a couple of our attempts out on Lake Mendota:

"I'm the king of the world!"

Everyone on the Terrace, Look at me!

I had the opportunity to capture a couple of quick images from Lake Mendota of the Memorial Union Terrace just before sunset and Rhythm & Booms. The Terrace becomes a very popular place to watch the fireworks from across the lake, and the weather was fantastic.

It's not often where you can have a very large crowd sitting on the shoreline looking at you, wondering why you have a 20 foot pole with camera on top. I'll have to remember this for next year, and prepare a little better.

Vintage Russian Camera and Working Polaroid

Working in Madison yesterday, a local photographer was poaching the scenery at the UW Lifesaving Station, and doing a model shoot using some interesting equipment. His main camera was a Russian knock off of a classic Leica, and vintage, but working Polaroid camera. They were doing a "pin-up" style shoot, and I offered a tour of the Lifesaving Station. Now, I explained my interests in photography, which seem to be on the exact opposite of the spectrum. He also had an assistant, which was shooting 8mm film. The polaroids turned out great, and it's nice to meet other photographers and chat about their work. Check out his webpage, which I can only describe as "Not generally safe for work..."