Archive for March, 2008

31st March 2008

Monday, March 31st, 2008

This disused railtrack runs [under the A55] near Chester, and is regularly used by graffiti artists as a legal painting venue. It’s different every time I go back and you never know what amazing art you will find painted on the concrete walls here. I would love to meet one of the artists, but I have never seen anyone here. [Sustrans] are developing a cycle route along this track soon – I do hope the permission to paint here will still stand, so more people will get access this ever changing art.

30th March

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Poor man’s crème brûlée.

An ever changing combination of raspberries, blackberries, vanilla pod, crème fraîche, natural yogurt, maple syrup and sugar. This was the best one yet and only took about 5 minutes to put together. I won’t be trying to hold a blowtorch in one hand with a camera in the other again though.

All of these shots following the contemporary style for in-progress, close-up food photography. The informal presentation of the food is enhanced with the very shallow depth of field, perhaps slightly too shallow in some cases here. This style seems to be a good shortcut to the desired result of making the food look good enough to eat. I think it is probably much more challenging to get satisfactory results shooting product type food shots where everything in the shot needs to be perfectly presented and in sharp focus.

29th March

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Dough balls and herb baked tomatos, pretty much straight from the oven.

These shots both using natural light, diffused with cloud, worked fine without any additional diffusion.

28th March 2008

Friday, March 28th, 2008

This shot breaks the best practice [guidelines] I just learned for food photography – mainly as the light here is overhead tungsten lighting, which really shows in the flat look of the photo. The preferred diffused natural light was in short supply at 9pm though, plus our guests were looking at their withheld food threateningly. The [recipe] thankfully, was a real show stopper and also really quite easy to put together if you happen to have some Scottish flaky hot-smoked salmon handy.

27th March

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

I read an [article] on food photography earlier this week. The condensed version of the articles goes something like this; most food wants to be eaten, not photographed, and therefore looks rubbish when photographed. The advice was firstly to undercook the food, let it go cold, photograph low and close up on a non-fussy background, use natural diffused light, custom colour balance and finally to use a shallow depth of field. This shot uses most of those techniques, and although I can see I will be able to improve on this, it is my first attempt at food photography. The final point of the article is to know when not to shoot food at all, and with anemic looking cheese as a subject, this is probably one of them. More to follow this weekend with folk to cook for.

26th March

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Eucalyptus Tree, after the rain.

25th March

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Beer glass and water, glass ‘borrowed’ from Pizza Express

This backlit shot uses only a household lamp as the light source, but custom colour balancing before shooting makes all the difference. A flash, from the side of the glass, would no-doubt finish off the shot, adding more glass reflection.

24th March 2008

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Sunset over the Isle of Arran from the mainland, Scotland.

Goodbye beautiful Arran, until next time.

The [Caledonian MacBrayne] ferry to Ardrossan.

23rd March 2008

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Beinn Tarsuinn ridge and Goatfell from Meall Biorach, Arran, Scotand

Towards Meall Donn from Meall Biorach, Arran, Scotand

The Scottish island of Arran is the near perfect landscape photography location. Being one of the southerly Scottish islands, the weather is often more stable then the more northerly west coast islands/mainland. The main benefit though, is the size of the island; its possible to shoot/walk in the early morning light on the east coast of the island then drive over The String to the west coast for the late afternoon light. This combined with a hill range rivaling Skye’s cullin ridge in drama, plus many glens, waterfalls and standing stones, makes Arran a great place to find accessible photo opportunities without having to walk all day for one shot.

22nd March 2008

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Holy Island and Clauchlands Point from Merklands Point, Arran, Scotland

Cir Mhor from Glen Rosa, Arran, Scotland

I am starting to realise that to get any better at landscape photography, that the next level requires a big increase in the investment in not only time and effort, but also in (counter-intuitive) anti-social behavior. To get the magical shots means pre-visualising a shot, then going back to the location in ideal lighting (sunrise/sunset) at least once. On this trip this Easter trip, this would mean being on the hill at 4.30am, and therefore quickly using up any accrued brownie points with the already very patient other half!