Fall 2017 my wife and I traveled through the Indonesian archipelago. Over a month we covered five islands. The trip was extraordinary. The photo essay below offers a glimpse into our travels and the island nation.

Thousand Island Nation


I prefer to eat food from a bowl. Unsure why. It just makes more sense to me; you easily hold the bowl in one hand, everything melds together, you can use for drinking. When you give said bowl to Rachel Yang, you can guarantee the food she puts in it will leave you harmoniously full. Take the Short Rib Rice Bowl. For the full article and recipe, visit Edible Portland.

Rachel Yang have risen in the Northwest's culinary scene by, among many things, honoring authentic cuisine through reinvention.




If you meet Scott Dolich, congratulations, you’ve met a mad scientist. Chef/owner of Park Kitchen, a picturesque restaurant in the Pearl District, Scott is down to earth yet has more tricks up his sleeve than most chefs in Portland’s illustrious food scene. One of his savory yet simple creations – chickpea fries. For the recipe, subscribe to Edible Portland.

Scott's favorite Mistake


Scott Dolich



For years John Sundstrom of Lark has been central to the Seattle food scene. And for good reason. His recent expansion of Restaurant Lark into the his new location on Capitol Hill is breathtaking. I had the chance to sit with John and discuss Seattle, sustainable produce as the backbone of his restaurant, and how to work through the abundance of late summer’s harvest via vegetable pistou, a recipe well worth stocking away.

Season of Bounty, Edible Seattle

When asked what makes this recipe special, John said:

“This is a wonderful way to use produce in abundance. Of course chefs love to be creative, but we also deal with the economics of running a restaurant. The best recipes are a result of creative efforts to use whatever is in excess. At first glance this may look more complicated then the average recipe, but it is simple and comes together quickly.

Add whatever is fresh and ready to eat from the garden or the market. The key is to be flexible. Sometimes people get stuck in a recipe or hesitate to change it. With this recipe it is OK to make changes. I encourage it. That is the fun of cooking and the way chefs operate. A rigid interpretation of a recipe can be a barrier to people cooking. And the goal is to get people cooking more.

The more we learn about food, health and wellness, the more it becomes clear that cooking is a pathway to better health, improving our environment, and supporting locally grown food. Let’s get people who already shop at farmers’ markets and cook a little to the next level of cooking – when you make delicious food with what is on hand. People cooking more – that is what I want to see.”

You can find John at Restaurant Lark 952 E Seneca St, Seattle, WA 98122, or take a closer look at his work via his cookbook Cooking Against the Grain.

Subscribe to Edible Seattle for the full article and recipe.

Sundstrom of Lark, Edible Seattle



Fresh Flours new location

Heads Up Seattle! Fresh Flours recently opened a new location in South Lake Union. The new Fresh Flours cafe, adjacent to 8th Republican Boulevard, is an architectural treat with inviting high ceilings, outdoor seating and an tranquilo outdoor water feature. Congrats to Jeffrey Woodward, Principal with The Architecture Department, on an aesthetically simple and pleasing design.

Fresh Flours South Lake Union

I stumbled upon the new café while dropping in at Glazer’s Rentals, which recently relocated to their new location next door. The area is up and coming. Cranes are busy churning overhead bringing to light new development projects. If at all interested in getting a glimpse of what is to come for South Lake Union and the greater Seattle area, check out The interactive map is highly informative. It conveys past, current, and future development projects with plans and a status update.

Fresh Flours South Lake Union

If you are in the neighborhood and need a coffee break, delectable pastry, and reliable Wi-Fi, drop in. They are located at 432 8th Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109, open Monday – Friday 7a – 6p Saturday – Sunday 8a – 2p.

8 Republican Boulevard     Fresh Flours South Lake Union



Summer months in the northwest are an ideal time for backcountry photography. With long days, clear skies, and endless ranges among the Olympic and Cascade mountains, opportunities to explore abound. Fellow photographers reach out with great interest to go into the backcountry, but are unsure where to start. Packing and preparation can be overwhelming. If you enjoy wildlife, landscape, or night photography and getting to distant places seldom seen, this post will serve as launching pad for your next backcountry photography trip.

Backcountry Photography

Backcountry Photography: Before you Go

When preparing for a backcountry photography trip, first thing first, check the weather before setting out to a trailhead. The weather makes or breaks a trip.

Time in the backcountry quickly becomes unpleasant if weather turns and you are unprepared to deal with it. To start, I identify 2-3 different areas I want to photograph in opposite directions. A couple days before heading out I choose the one with the best weather. Clear skies with minimal light pollution is preferable. However, if you are shooting sweeping landscapes – cloud cover can add dramatic effect to final images. It all depends on what you want. If you are chasing night shots of the milky way, for example, avoid light pollution and cloud cover. Resources I will typically check include this light pollution map and clear dark sky – an excellent website with 48 hour clear and dark sky forecasts for different North American locations. Weather Underground has proven time and again to provide accurate weather forecasts for backcountry photography in the pacific northwest.

The Sacred Backcountry Photography P-illars

Preparation and packing – the Sacred P’s – are religion for Explorers. The same applies for backcountry photography. Two concepts that guide my preparation and packing process are 1) you can handle anything so long as you are prepared and 2) there are always trade-offs, so choose what is best for you.

Blue Glacier Ascent, Hoh River Trail, Olympic Peninsula


When planning your backcountry photography trip, it is awfully satisfying to zero in on a mountain, valley, or ridgeline on a topo map and spending the next 24-48 hours ascending and photographing it. Yet hiking that mountain begins well before you ever step foot at its base.

Backcountry photography in distant places requires a high degree of self-reliance. Simply put, you are responsible for going in and coming out with everything and everyone you set out with – safely. This requires a high level of physical and mental fitness to endure long days of hard work carrying heavy equipment. For example, to climb 1,500 feet of elevation with 35 – 45 pounds of equipment, figure it will take five sets of 300 foot climbs, each taking 15 – 30 minutes of non-stop work.  Having a realistic understanding of what it takes to gain elevation and distance is crucial for a successful backcountry photography trip.


There are always trade-offs with backcountry photography. Each additional piece of equipment you bring expands the scope of what can be captured. It also adds to the ever-growing weight in your pack. Before you set out, make a list of every piece of equipment for hiking, staying overnight, and capturing a specific set of images.  Once the list is laid out, go through each item and determine if it is a NEED versus a WANT. A need is an item required to accomplish the goals of the trip with a safe return. A want is something that adds value to the trip (i.e. a pillow or binoculars) but isn’t required. Below is a sample packing list. In the interest of carrying as little weight as possible, I ruthlessly distill needs versus wants.   Remember, every pound counts.

Packing List

Backcountry Photography Camera Equipment

My backcountry photography focuses on forest interiors, landscapes, and night sky time lapse images. With a paired down list of equipment I am able to capture these three different kinds of imagery. This usually includes a combination of:

Outex case

5D Miii body

Gitzo GK1545T-82TQD tri-pod

4 LP-E6N batteries

☐ Canon 17-40 mm f/4 lens

☐ Canon 70-200 mm f/4 lens

☐ Vello intervelometer

☐ 3 x 32 GB flash memory cards

A mix or all of this equipment fits compactly into my backpack. I usually wrap the equipment within my sleeping bag for protection. The trade-off being my time is strictly divided between hiking versus shooting. Stowing gear deep in one’s pack makes it time consuming to pull out and setup.

Blue Glacier Ascent, Hoh River Trail, Olympic Peninsula

The gear list dramatically expands for expeditions including pack animals. When you carry the gear yourself, I ebb on the side of less is more.

Bringing to light images you set out to capture is extremely rewarding, especially when it involves a degree of fortitude and planning to go out and achieve it. Backcountry photography is time well spent, even when you come back empty handed. Hopefully this information gets you closer to exploring and photographing safely in backcountry.



A project to rethink professional photography presentation during a website redesign – website

Professional photography presentation via the website

Change is Constant

In professional photography one thing is certain – change. Styles, trends, the definition of what is and is not ‘professional’ in the world of photography swirls in a circle of reinvention. And this, in my humble opinion, is good. Ten years ago the creative sector could not get enough of deeply-saturated-uber-edited-dreamlike photographs from phenoms like Tim Tadder and Erik Almås. Flip through their portfolios and you will see it took a team of extraordinarily talented people to pull off these photographs. Tim and Erik pushed the field of visual storytelling by creating excellent imagery. Their work is still excellent, yet the style is no longer the flavor of the moment.

Take Alice Gao, a lifestyle photographer based in NYC. Mercedes recently hired Alice Gao to shoot an entire campaign with – you guessed it – an iphone. Alice’s style expresses a clear intelligence and elegance. It is best defined by its simplicity – the precise opposite of what Tim and Erik taught us about ‘professional’ work. Alice is as busy as any of us working hard to make beautiful imagery. She and others are pulling the field, styles, and trends, in a new direction.

Pick up the latest issue of PDN magazine and you’ll see this direction. Understanding it is important, because it informs not only what advertising agencies, editorial clients, photographers, and other creative companies think is professional, it also conveys how ‘professional’ photography is presented.

Professional Photography Presentation on

Professional photography presentation is almost as important as the work itself, so for the past three months, I’ve worked with media artist, designer, and experimenter Nick Hardeman to rethink professional photography presentation on the web. Below are five criteria that drove our design.

  • Phones first. In 2015 we crossed a tipping point in the world of internet searching. According to Google’s internal data, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan. This trend will only continue. So when you design a website, anticipate most people who will visit via a mobile device.

  • Backend managementAs a photographer you want to spend as much time behind the camera and as little time managing your site. So, you want a smart content management system (CMS). A handful of companies offer template websites specifically for photography portfolios. They may look beautiful but behind the scenes are a nightmare to manage. Pay attention to the details. For example inquire about security, storage limits, where content is stored, how metadata is handled, and how content is created, updated, and posted. Of all the CMS available on the web, I recommend wordpress. Excellent backend management, no monthly fee, and everything is customizable based on your needs.

  • All about photographsScreen real estate is the amount of space available on a display for a website to present information. As we discussed how to use screen real estate it became clear everything should be devoted to imagery. Surprisingly, it takes real effort to present photographs as large as possible and then get the hell out of the way. website

Depending on your browser window, photographs will snap to full frame, taking up all of the screen’s real estate.

  • Infinite scroll. Through Nick’s infinite wisdom we prioritized visitor experience for professional photography presentation based on what people do when on a portfolio site. The main activity is, you guessed it, scrolling. So we decided to make scrolling uninterrupted. No end of album. No back to main menu. Just keep the good times scrolling.

  • Keep it simple. It is important to understand the latest styles and trends in professional photography presentation, but it is even more important to stop investigating, put down the computer, take a long walk in the woods, and come back with an eye towards keeping it simple. People who hire photographers are busy. Real busy. They don’t want to spend time on a portfolio site that is flashy, clunky, and has every imaginable bell and whistle. Every time I suggested the latest and greatest effect, plugin, or feature, Nick would quietly hold up a hand held stop sign, and we’d move on.

Simple info page that briefly describes Matt Mornick.

Simple info page that briefly describes Matt Mornick. website

Click bottom left ‘info’ button, and a brief description of the photograph or album will appear over the image.

Hopefully this gives you some insight before you rethink your professional photography presentation. Check out the result of our efforts at




Edible Seattle Editor in Chief

With a mission to strengthen local food systems and support sustainable agriculture, I had my eye on doing food photography for Edible Seattle the moment I landed in Washington.

On rare occasion people enter your life with a manner and philosophy unlike any person before. Alex Corcoran, Editor for Edible Seattle, is unique to my world. He moves like ship captain inside a sensei inside a lumberjack inside a teenager. A mishmash of worldly conquests has resulted in his unmistakable swagger, tempered by his genuine curiosity for everything and his acute ability to listen and articulate his thoughts. He is likely to make you laugh, put you in your place, and correct your elocution all within the same breath. His presence is complete, and within three minutes of meeting him I trust whatever work he is going to ask of me is well worth my time. During our first lunch meeting at Pork Chop and Co. in Ballard, I convinced Alex to let me write and complete food photography for Edible Seattle.

SevenBeef Food Photography

My first food photography assignment was to interview and photograph Eric and Sophie Banh, successful and well established Seattle Restaurateurs, at their new Steak Shop SevenBeef. This Steak Shop is unique in the city, and it was up to me to find out why and share my findings with Edible Seattle readership.

One Cow Seven Courses, Seven Beef, Edible Seattle food photography by Matt Mornick

Eric and Sophie have expectations for food quality some would consider high, and you would be right to agree the quality of food at SevenBeef is just that: extremely high. But Eric and Sophie would disagree with this assessment. SevenBeef‘s mission is to serve grass-fed and grass-finished locally raised beef to their customers via their in-house whole cow program.  They don’t think this is extraordinary. They believe it is normal. Eric and Sophie believe this is the way – the only way – beef should be consumed. They make a strong case the US industrialized cattle industry has pulled us so far below the threshold of eating a normal healthy cow, that we’ve lost touch with the taste of normal.

For the full article I encourage you to subscribe to Edible Seattle. You not only receive fresh recipes that keep weekly grocery store visits interesting, you get insights into the efforts of chefs, farmers, brewers, cheese makers, restauranteurs, and the many others working to make the world more harmonious one meal at a time. Also, the photography ain’t half bad.

Seven Beef Edible Seattle by Matt Mornick, Seven Beef, Edible Seattle food photography by Matt Mornick