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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Glasgow Grandeur

Glee tearing open my early morning post today to feast my eyes on my complimentary January issue of Conde Nast Traveller – quick to thumb to the pages with my published images for yet another ‘In Britian’ feature, this time ‘Glasgow’.

I recall getting my 5am taxi to City London airport excited to see a new Scottish city for me. Slight butterflies how it would be as it was just days before the Scotish referendum. What questions would I get asked in the street… what discussions to avoid! It all turned out good in end with a taste of great interiors, art, and stylist new eateries. The odd sip of Whiskey, and only twice on the receiving end of sharp Glaswegian wee blether.

Here, I would like to share some of the images…

Kelvingrove Cafe

Kelvingrove Cafe

Above: Not too far from the Kelvingrove Art Gallery is The Kelvingrove Cafe a converted ice-cream parlour with lovely tactile wooden parquet flooring, tangerine walls, deep burnt chocolate coloured leather booths and service of delicious cocktails. Great stop for brunch or a livelier stylish evening crowd.

Below: My next stop was The Crabshakk seafood restaurant, Argyle Street where I could not resist asking this member of staff to step into one of my shots.

Crabshakk

Next photograph to set was this wonderful seafood dish below which conveniently made a very good late lunch option for me : – ) Looking at this image now makes my mouth water.Crabshakk

A short walk away is the grand Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum who’s entrance hall has your head in a spin gazing up at the gloriously huge Art Deco lighting. Suddenly music bellowed around the walls as a diminutive figure sat at the far end playing possibly the largest church organ I have ever seen! Off to the right hall a grand staircase leads you up to high surround balcony where I was amused by the floating heads instillation.

CNT_Glasgow_2014-881

Whilst the Original Glasgow school of Art designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh is still under repair from a fire, across the road is the Modern Seona Reid Building which forms part of school of art today an exciting place to study with a large international intake.

Seona Reid Building

Byres Road is the location of Kember & Jones’ delicious custard tarts, macaroons and meringue with summer fruit…

CNT_Glasgow_2014-961 CNT_Glasgow_2014-1014

Further along Byres road the Nardini’s ice cream parlour…CNT_Glasgow_2014-1030

The Drygate Brewery – craft ales The Drygate Brewery CompanyThe Drygate Brewery Company

Below: Style and glamour of Blythswood Square Hotel restaurantThe Blythwood Square Hotel

Stroll through Gardens of Pollock House, Pollock parkCNT_Glasgow_2014-1153

Vintage finds at The City Retro boutiqueThe City retro fashion

CNT_GlasgowJan2015Issue

Dublin city cooool!

I am very please I can finally share my images published in this November’s issue of Conde Nast Traveler, a feature I photographed for them in Dublin to capture the city’s renewed ‘sassy swagger’ fueled by the entrepreneurial flair of returning bright young independent venturers that had gone overseas to seek new things and be inspired.

With a brief to capture this new cool dynamic energy I spent a great couple of days amongst one of the friendliest nation I know. Never short of striking up a conversation. Great quirky interiors, and wonderful brunch served at The Fumbally – a plate of scrabbled eggs, avocado, chilli & tomato on toast I photographed then simply could not resist eating.

DublinDublinDublin

Even on time-out for a lunch break my lobster risotto at Super Miss Sue looked too good with fresh basil leaves on top not to be photographed! Yes, it was delicious. The Diver and Siren black and white photographs in the bathroom here also added a WOW factor.

Dublin Dublin

Below: The Marker Hotel Dublin

Below: Vintage Homeware at ‘Find’ in Temple barDublin Dublin Dublin

Below: Cow’s Lane Designer Studio in Temple barDublin

Peruke & Periwig’s barman Robert went beyond his call of duty nearly setting light to his gristly beard as he repeatedly lit his flaming ‘Walking dead’ cocktail for me to capture it at the ‘decisive moment’, at one point leaping backwards as the amber flame shot high into the air. I will spare him blushing by not showing that image.
His cocktail mixing skills were super and adventurous!

DublinDublinDublinDublinDublinDublinDublinDublinDublinDublinDublin

Impossible not to drink a guinness when in Dublin and one of the best places for this was The Kehoe’s pub where I got to share a pint and some good Irish banter with the subject of my photograph who thought he was just quietly sipping his guinness whist waiting for a friend until I spotted the photographic potential with a nice light flooding through the door. The three of us swopped a few good tales, then off home I went to my lovely room at Guesthouse Number 31, for an edit of the day’s shots.

Dublin

Below: Guesthouse, Number 31Dublin

A huge thanks to the Conde Nast team for this assignment, meeting great people and feasting my eyes on fab interiors, cuisine and cool quirky buys. I hope readers of my blog enjoy the images and you are tempted to visit Dublin for a long weekend. xx

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

Where for art thou in London?

What an opportunity I had thought… A commission to run all over London for three weeks photographing a new guide book of the City. Then I saw the length of the picture list! followed by the arrival of a heat wave… thus followed some very hard work. The schedule was tight, but 8,000 files later edited to 2,000, another deadline met. Now a month later it is very rewarding to sift through and edit a small selection I like most. Can you guess where any of them were taken?

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, LondonInsight City Guides, LondonInsight City Guides, LondonInsight City Guides, LondonInsight City Guides, LondonInsight City Guides, LondonInsight City Guides, LondonInsight City Guides, LondonInsight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

Insight City Guides, London

The House Of Wolf

Earlier this year I was commissioned to photograph the very funky eclectically styled bar #houseofwolf, (http://www.houseofwolf.co.uk) in Islington’s Upper Street, London.
My brief was a nice relaxed portrait of the owner Matt Fleming plus, some interior details of the multi level bar and restaurant, and two close-up food shots of a nice cold pint of beer coupled with their chef’s bar snacks: pork filled doughnuts or chunky chips with a chocolate dip… both great yummy combinations, trust me, (dabbing my mouth with the napkin once the shot was done).

After a quick scout around for where to shoot the portrait I fell in love with this first floor room as the backdrop, with it’s gloriously rich swirling coppery embossed wall paper, mustard coloured leather armchairs and huge circular mirror. The natural light spilling in from the open roof top doors sealed my decision. The crucial thing for me as photographer is directing the pose but at same time capturing a relaxed subject. Hopefully I achieved that here… absolutely nothing to do with sipping delicious cold beer. Matt was great, and very passionate about his work which shows in how he has created the locations aesthetics and what original cuisine to serve in the restaurant as well as the bar food.

A very enjoyable shoot. Very inspirational as hopefully something like that multi stranded, multi bulb light feature in one of my images below will soon be making an appear in my home.

LydiaEvans_HouseOfWolf_LR-036LydiaEvans_HouseOfWolf_LR-101LydiaEvans_HouseOfWolf_LR-070LydiaEvans_HouseOfWolf_LR-150LydiaEvans_HouseOfWolf_LR-160LydiaEvans_HouseOfWolf_LR-168LydiaEvans_HouseOfWolf_LR-178LydiaEvans_HouseOfWolf_LR-225

LydiaEvans_HouseOfWolf_LR-217

A road trip to Suffolk and beyond…

It was great to be invited by Country Living magazine to photograph one of their first ‘Dream Business’ features. I could not have asked for a better visually beautiful business to shoot than ‘The Pump Street Bakery’ in Orford, Suffolk, (Issue February 2013). They are the winners of BBC Food Awards – Best Food Producer 2012. I was blessed to have a bright Autumn day for my shoot and thought I would share some of the images I like to wet your appetite…

The Pump Street Bakery  The Pump Street Bakery The Pump Street Bakery

The Pump Street Bakery CL_PumpStreetBakery_LR-1090 The Pump Street Bakery The Pump Street Bakery

The Pump Street Bakery

The Pump Street Bakery

The Pump Street Bakery

The Pump Street Bakery The Pump Street Bakery-758

The Pump Street Bakery The Pump Street Bakery The Pump Street Bakery The Pump Street Bakery

I arrived at 6am after a VERY early start driving out of North West London. These guys though had been there from about 2.30am! They held back some of the product for my arrival but very rapid photographing was required as rising dough needed to be put in and out ovens with specific timings. I dashed between floors in the bakery photographing pastries on the ground level and breads on the first floor. I grabbed sips of a freshly made coffee and did not say no to a freshly cooked doughnut straight out of the machine whilst at the same time re-setting up my tripod in different spots around the busy workers. There was just so much that caught my eye to shoot.

Once Cedric Citroen, (the mobile bread shop) was loaded up, we took a short trip down a country lane into Orford itself to the shop and cafe. The staff were so friendly and very patient as I had to pick my way around customers and cake stands fully of wonderful crafted eccles and a variety of pastries to get my shots.

THANK YOU! to all there that day. For my wonderful homemade soup, the interesting conversation exchanged with locals and accommodating my efforts to do a good job. Cheers!

Country Living Feature Feb 2013

http://pumpstreetbakery.com

@pumpstreetbakery

A taste of Istanbul…

Last month I had the great commission from Rough Guides to shoot their new Pocket guide to Istanbul. I was very excited to be going to photograph a city I had never been before. Arrived at my five star bunk bed in my very own hostel room, and off I went for 13 days traversing the different neighborhoods by antique red tram, the tunnel, electric T1 and ferries of various shapes, sizes and quality. Here are a handful of images to share the wonderful delights and food! of Istanbul: Click on thumbnails to view larger size.

Travel photography is seen by some as a glamours job… but the days are long, carrying
a tripod for hours, passing tourists sipping tea in their best holiday clothes. Then at the end of the day downloading, captioning, and editing into the night. But heck! I can not complain – the highs are getting lost in the back streets, eating the food you photograph, and the interesting encounters with other travelers on ferry crossings, hearing their tales of where they have just arrived from and their hopes to where they plan their travels will take them; swapping tips on good places to check out. Another late afternoon after getting my final shot of the day, I got to watch the sun set over the mosques and the Maiden’s tower from the Asian shore of Istanbul, whilst sipping my own sweet tea. Getting on a VERY local bus that would wind its way up through the hills to drop me off with a 20 minute vertical walk to a view of where the Bosphorus meets the Black Sea. As the sun was dropping fast zig zagging back down the Bosphorus missing and catching wrong ferries to eventually arrive back to my Hostel to edit with a nice cold bottle of beer… or two.

The best bit is once home home, working through all your images, smiling and appreciating the opportunity you where given, and sharing my pictures and stories with my son.

Just Desserts!

Just as I am thinking about a new diet I came across these images that I shot as part of a wedding commission. Photographed as I found the dish to be served up in front of me, and oh dear yes it was me eating it as I wanted to capture each delicious stage towards that satisfaction of an empty plate.

Ladies Of The Rise – April

Living in such a creative neighborhood full of energetic talented ladies is never more apparent than popping along to the group ‘Ladies Of The Rise’, a new monthly soiree in Kensal Green. I was invited to photograph their second event with guest speaker Juliet Kinsman, Editor and chief of luxury travel specialists ‘Mr and Mrs Smith‘ interviewed by television and radio presenter Gaby Roslin. Rebel Bakery supplied us with very tasty cakes. Lucky I was very busy photographing or I would have eaten too many! Here is a handful of the images I took of the night.