Behind-the-Camera of Photojournalist Nic Coury in Monterey County, California.

December 28, 2011

My Favorite Photos of 2011.

Espresso. I love the stuff.

This year has been wild. I shot a lot of fun, interesting photos and a lot of photos that bothered me.

Here are a few of my personal favorite photos away from work.

Casey Stoner leads his Honda teammate down the start/finish straight at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August during the 2011 Indianapolis Moto Grand Prix.

I traveled to Indiana (above) to shoot the other U.S. moto race and it was a great chance to get out of the state and shoot racing. Cycle World magazine ran one of my photos from that race as well and I got stay with my good friend Andrew Wheeler who is a killer photographer on his own right.

"Serial" artist Ed Leeper.

Per usual, I did a lot of portraits, including my friend and artist Ed Leeper.

Below was a sampling of a few shots I did for Figge Cellars, a winery I have been working with for a few years. Peter and his crew make great, local wine and they're super nice folks.

The campaign this year was "Share It" and I think we accomplished that.

Below is a photo I did for Ferrari. Yes, the shiny, red car people. I did a video project for them in August, which was fun, but challenging.

A Ferrari 250 GTO heads down turn 8, the "corkscrew", during the Monterey Motorsports Reunion in August.

More portraits:

Mandalyn in her element.

Mandalyn is a good friend and this wild, artsy type and I have many photographs of her, but this is one of my favorites. She has this wonderful smile and it shows off here.


Curator Marcelle Polednik at the Monterey Museum of Art.

This last photo was taken in Santa Cruz only last weekend. Shot on my point-and-shoot of surfers at Pleasure Point. I saw this frame with the fading, cloudy mountains in the background and went out to compose a photo that showed all these great elements.

December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays from the Coury Family.

Dad, Nic, Mom, Vincent, Kristen and Mike.

December 23, 2011

A View of the Water.

Canon G12. ISO 80, f/8.

Surfers at Pleasure Point in Capitola this morning.

It just shows that you can make good photos with any camera if you "see" the picture you want to make and work within any constraints you may have.

December 11, 2011

This is the End: Thoughts from Visiting the Monterey County Coroner's Office

Monterey County Sheriff's Detective Randall Dyck wheels a cadaver out of the morgue refrigerator.

On Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving, I had a photo assignment for a feature story we did on the Monterey County Coroner's Office. It was an interesting and intriguing experience.

I got to see an full autopsy on a young man, which was also an interesting experience. I stood next to the body and other bodies in the morgue and while I'm not easily spooked, the main thing that struck me was how little life, if any, was still in them. It was a bit surreal.

Forensic pathologist Dr. John Hain cleans up following an autopsy.

The county's forensic pathologist Dr. John Hain is an interesting guy to talk to. As he put it, he wants the county to get better at how and why residents in Monterey County die. Hain says he can tell how someone died, but not necessarily why they died and was very intriguing.

In an area with the highest murder rate per capita and with occasional suicides, the reason of why a person chooses to send themselves or another to the afterlife baffles me as well. I have covered a handful of hard situations and murders in my career and I've never understood the motives of people in those situations.

As I photographed the four death investigators who work in the coroner's office, we chatted about the hard moments on both of our jobs. It was interesting to hear how to deal with death on a daily basis. I can't imagine being surrounded with the post-final moments all the time, but you would really start to appreciate life quite a bit more and start to care less about the frivolous nonsense that many people live daily.

One of the quotes in the story has Hain saying that, "(The coroner's office) is trying to give the dead a voice. They have something important to tell us."

My presumption would be that it is better to live well that hold pain and fear as the important things in life.

The morgue refrigerator is kept at 38 degrees.

December 7, 2011

Tudor Wines Wild Mushroom Dinner

I had the distinct pleasure to eat dinner this evening at the Tudor Wines wild mushroom dinner at Andre's Bouchee in Carmel. It was hosted by one of my clients Dan Tudor who makes killer local pinot noirs from Santa Lucia Highlands and he invited me to the dinner.

Dan paired five of his wines with the four dishes served and all were very good.

The menu is in order in the photos below.

Winter black truffles from Perigord baked in puff pastry, with butter lettuce in a truffle coulis.

Alaskan Artic Char salmon filet with sauteed local, wild chanterelles.

Fresh, local farm-raised saddle of rabbit stuffed with wild, local porcinis and foie gras.

Beef tenderloin in a wild, fresh morel mushroom sauce.

Chef's special creme brulee. (I think it had minced mushrooms in the creme...)

Dessert wine next to all the pinots.

It was all really good stuff.

December 2, 2011

A Quick Espresso.

Espresso. Canon G12.

Oh yeah, in case anyone forgot, I LOVE espresso.

It's been a long week with lots of breaking news, which I may get to later, but here's a $1.77 (tax included) espresso shot from Caffe Trieste in Monterey. It's good stuff really.

Also, here's my espresso photo blog: