A taste for travel…

PHOTOGRAPHING FOOD ON LOCATION

On many of my travel & location lifestyle commissions I get to shoot some wonderful chef creations. Understanding how to work the natural light, and styling on the spot is a great asset. My background as previously an Art Editor has served me very well when sent off on a commission alone, never knowing what I will find at a location and then make the most of it. Here I recall some of the images I have captured…

JW Marriott Hotel, Venice

This beautifully presented Panna cotta above I photographed when on assignment for Conde Nast at the JW Marriott Resort in Venice earlier this year that appeared in their July issue of Traveller. With a quick glance around I placing and turning the dessert in a lovely softly diffused light area of the restaurant. Then I tweaked how I wanted the papery leaves to fall for nice shapes and so that the light shone through them. The final touches were adding the spoon on an angle and placing the potted herb just into the top of the shot with a very soft aperture to create some interest and sense of being on a real table setting and not in a studio. These seemingly little details I love to play with.

Pescheria San Pietro, Florence, Italy

Above is a wonderfully fresh seafood platter I shot in Italy. I decided it worked best from an aerial perspective. I like the main circular shape clipped off on the left side. I placed in the natural muslim fabric napkin to soften the shapes. Then I positioned other circular shapes of the glasses, in top left each partly filled, which along with the fork was a conscious decision to capture a feeling that I had just casually grabbed my image as someone was enjoying this lunch. Two empty glasses would have looked wrong. Plus, always enjoyable to sip some of the wine to achieve exactly the right amount I want visually in the image : )

JW Marriott Hotel, Venice

Great restaurants always present such attractive food, but when photographing reportage style, I like to add my own touches such as above a little bit of the food spilling onto a fork, and twisting around the clam shells to capture different shapes and textures – a glimpse of the shells’ exterior colors and pattern, and at same time the soft edible centre. Once happy with the fine tuning I then explore different angles to frame the shot, and how close to come in on the dish.

SOME TRICKY LOCATION LIGHTING – Interior locations can offer tricky light for shooting food & drink, such as hard light pouring through windows into a darker interior or too many different artificial light sources. But I try to play to what I visualize working with the quality of the object I am shooting and what available light I can find at the time.

The image below I shot in a wonderful cocktail bar interior lit by day with only a very low light spilling in from just one small exterior window, but it worked well as a very directional backlight to shine through the cocktails, which ‘lifted’ them against the dark upholstery and created sparkle.

JK Place & Cocktail Lounge, Florence, italy

Below, Natural light spilling in through frosted window out of shot, on the righthand side. The rich textures of the furniture, and placing a black area in the background helped ‘lift’ the brightly coloured cocktails in the foreground.

Dublin

I really enjoyed my shoot to The Pump Street Bakery in Orford, Suffolk for Country Living Magazine – spotting the quality of the harder sunny light shining through the cafe window and their wonderful clear glass teapots, combined with extra luminosity it gave the gilded vintage cup and saucer with delicately tinted herbal tea I pushed them further into the pool of light to capture this image, which I hope does emulate a true sense of what it was like to sit there sipping lightly fragrant tea with sunlight on your face.

The Pump Street Bakery

Below: The bakery sold their own delicious cakes but the counter area was lit by vintage light bulbs. As food is best shot in daylight the solution was to move them, still on their glass stands to a window on the other side of the room with a much softer natural light than the image above, so as to remove any moody shadows. If you can not find such an ideal softer light then you can always use a diffuser to place in front of a window to create this light as it passes through its fabric.

The Pump Street BakeryThe Pump Street Bakery

TIME LAPSE – Some times after I have photographed first the complete dish I like to deconstruct the food, slowly breaking into it with a fork or spoon until there is just a smear of sauce and that one final mouthwatering piece left to savor…

Lydia Evans wedding pudding

Lydia Evans wedding pudding 2

Lydia Evans wedding pudding 3

Lydia Evans wedding pudding 4

FOOD MARKET CLOSE-UPS – There are so many great graphic shapes and textures to photographing food in street markets around the world, from Istanbul to right here in London Borough market…

Pomegranates, Istanbul

Street Food on Istiklal Caddesi, Taksim, Istanbul

Simitci bread roll, Istanbul

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

ON A FINAL NOTE… just take one cupcake… This is one of the simplest but favorite shots of mine taken in a cafe in Stoke Newington Church Street, London to represent in just one shot: the feel for the interior, its vintage mismatching crockery and yummy cakes.

The Tea Room, Stoke Newington Church Street

The Tea Room, Stoke Newington Church Street

 

 

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The Talented Mr Oldfield

This month You Magazine published a lovely feature on the ever stylish and talented Bruce Oldfield. It was great to be part of this, to meet Bruce to take his portrait and details of his glamorous creations at his showroom and atelier around the corner from Harrods.

Here below are a small selection of images I shot that morning.

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It’s all in the detail…

How does one capture the essence of a place?
Here is a second taster of my Insight City Guide to London… Borough market, Kew, Ham House, Hogarth house, Chelsea Physic Garden, Westminster Cathedral, Nelson’s Column, Hampton Court and Chiswick House. I just laugh at the three elderly ladies in Chelsea Physic Garden with the busk of a man’s head amongst the flowers. I often am trying to get low and shoot through layers to create atmosphere. Trying to remember to look for all the angles; the graphic shot from above, or the low down close up where you can almost smell those cakes! Feel free to write to me at the foot of any of my blogs.

Beyond my commissions I teach a few short courses at Morley College, London. Why not come along to one of my ‘Street Photography’ courses? Two Saturday workshop 21 & 28 Sept 2013, and better still a 6 week program, working to themes within Street photography,  3 hrs a week from 4 November 2013.

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Cuba covered…

The Malecon, Havana, Cuba

I discovered this week that the image above that I photographed on the Malecon in Havana, Cuba has been bought for a cover of a book. I always get excited when I see an image of mine republished. Although I have shot both Time Out ‘Havana and the best of Cuba’ and ‘The Rough guide to Cuba’, this was a personal image I took on a much earlier trip, back in the day of ‘film’ photography. I once entered it into a Guardian photographic competition and it did make it to be featured on their website. See below a handful of some other favorite photographs I have taken in Cuba…

Afro Cuban Dance performance about to start in Havana Vieja

Chelsea Flower Show 2012

A great day had at the Chelsea Flower Show press day yesterday. The light may have been a bit flat and dull until late in the day but still the glowing plant and flower combinations were amazing. Also a great opportunity to catch up with lots of familiar faces that I have know from my time as a freelance Art Editor on Gardens’ World magazine and others very talented freelance writers. Many now doing some very interesting blogs.

I did spot the odd famous face but most of time I had my eye looking down the lens at a flower or two. Enjoyed a refreshing complimentary cocktail at The Caravan Clubs garden… very nice , very strong! Waited about an hour before sipping a champaign at the David Austin Stand. Could not go the whole day without a little indulgence.

Here are a few of my images taken on the day:

Chelsea Flower Show 2012… here I come!

Yippee! Another year I have the great honor to be going to the RHS Chelsea Flower show. Hopefully lots of good pictures to be taken for placing with my picture library client, GAP Photos. Last year was great weather, for a change. So let’s hope it will be a dry day this coming Monday.

Here are a few images I took last year

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Three lovely ladies


A big thank you to the Corker Regert Family for popping along to my children’s studio portrait event. Pretty dresses, pretty smiles… great little models!  I hope that your family and friends enjoy looking at them. Thank you Alexis for your feedback  … ‘the photos are lovely! Just what I wanted from the family photo session. ‘

Always nice to hear

What a lovely surprise when I opened an email this week from the mother of a bride that I photographed getting married at Islington Town Hall. Always great to get good feedback and to share it. Here is what Beverly kindly had to say… ‘My all time favorite is Kathryn helping Sophia with her bouquet and Florence is holding onto her dress. The light is amazing. You have caught a precious moment. Many who have seen it come out with the comment that it looks like a fashion shoot. You have this combination of very personal and the wow factor’. (Beverly Lane, mother of the bride).

Thank you! This makes me even more passionate about what I do. To see more of my Contemporary Documentary Wedding Photography please visit http://www.lydiaevansphotography.co.uk

Checking out my children’s photography

Looking through children’s images that I have been taking since 2007, and found these gorgeous little models. All lovely to work with. Would be great to see them printed and mounted large scale.