This Independence Day the Post’s AJ Chavar brings you the story of one photographer who uses techniques 150 years in the making.
The work behind a remarkable picture is often a mystery. But not today.
In the highly public life of a politician, rarely captured photos that show their private, vulnerable selves are treasured.
We invite you to meet Joe Biden.
What matters in a pro kitchen: instant reaction, mindless repetition and crisp, efficient maneuvers. Restaurants run on the French “kitchen brigade” system, modeled after a military hierarchy more than a century ago. There’s the chef, a couple of lieutenants (the sous-chefs), and a platoon of line cooks —the kitchen infantry — manning stations assigned by menu category: appetizers, fish, meat and so on.
It has to be this way. The restaurant kitchen is a highly physical place, and if the saucier lunging toward the stove collides with the meat cook slinging plated quail toward the waiters, there will be a meltdown. Chefs, like generals, know they have two choices: discipline or chaos.
Watch the cook staff at the height of dinner service — the open-kitchen trend has put them increasingly on view — and you’ll see an intricate ballet. A refined body awareness and familiarity allows these tattooed Baryshnikovs to dance silently around one another between flashing knives and a stove at full flame.
“There’s a kind of wonderful grace that only happens when people are really good at what they do, and they adjust to each other’s motions,” says Ruth Reichl, former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine.
This occasional series looks at the choreography of life, and this first installment, set in CityZen, focuses on the delicate dance of waiters, chefs and patrons in a crowded restaurant.
Sadly, this is videojournalist Ben de la Cruz’s last assignment for The Post, as he left yesterday to work with NPR. Ben had a long and storied career here at The Post, and we’re sad to see him go, but happy to see him start a new chapter in his career. Send him off right by checking out his final, beautiful, thoughtfully shot, compelling and engaging piece, "The Dance of Life: The Kitchen"
-AJ Chavar videojournalist/The Washington Post
CES 2012 and New Hampshire Primary Timelapses
Post Videojournalists AJ Chavar and Whitney Shefte both chose to use timelapses as a way to tell a story last week. Timelapse photography is a pretty popular trend in current video production, but it is not just a fad. By speeding up our perception of time, the technique actually serves to make the passage of time more tangible.
In the case of Whitney’s video from New Hampshire, it condenses a day at the polls into a one minute vignette about GOP voters in the state, whereas AJ’s longer video drives home the massive scope of the Consumer Electronics show.
Have you ever done a timelapse video? Share it with us by tweeting @ajchavar.
Best of Post Video Week: Uniquely Washington
This week we’re highlighting the best video created by our VJs and producers in 2011. Each day we’ll be posting one video from each and all of our talented staff. Consider it a holiday gift from us to you! We’re kicking it off with stories uniquely Washingtonian—U Street, Arlington Cemetery, Mambo Sauce and even a trip to a Washington outside of the District, watch it all below:
Bob Taylor, 81, carries a Polaroid camera near Adams Morgan and U Street bars on weekend nights. He does portrait shots for $5 and tells people why it’s important to “get a picture.”
Thirty students from the District, Maryland and Virginia played against Maurice Ashley, the first African-American chess grandmaster, at the same time. The exhibition was part of a fundraiser for the U.S. Chess Center in D.C.
Mumbo sauce, also known as mambo sauce, can be found in carryout restaurants throughout Washington. It is a staple for many residents in D.C. and part of a completely unknown subculture to others.
Chuck Jensen is one of only a handful of people that own their own train car. He rents out the nearly century-old heavyweight Pullman observation car for private trips, but mostly uses it to vacation across the country with his family.
The U.S. Army Center of Military History collects and catalogs items of interest left at graves in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery where soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. For the past two years, a team of U.S. Military curators visits the section every Wednesday to archive the mementos left on graves.
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein talks about how the GOP and Democrats came to an agreement despite contentious rhetoric on both sides of the debt ceiling debate and how the United States was able to avoid default.
In Washington, a town of 4,000 in rural Georgia, the 2011 campaign for mayor became a contest rife with tension. (Photos)