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Little india at home cookbook

Over a few months of 2013 , I was involved in producing photography for book in association with Penguin books about the Little india restaurant chain .

Little india at home cookbookLittle india at home cookbookLittle india at home cookbookLittle india at home cookbook Little india at home cookbookLittle india at home cookbook

The purpose of the book was to introduce the story and history behind the restaurants to the public and to show some of the food that the restaurants produce in detail . Reading the recipes in the book will give someone reading it confidence in the quality of the food at little india restaurants. Pictures of the interiors and some of the staff at work were taken to complement the images of the food and help tell the story of the restaurants. Styling was doe by Athena Sommerfeld. Part of the brief was that we didn’t use bright traditional indian colours as that would detract from the colour in the food , making it less prominent

. Little india at home cookbookLittle india at home cookbookLittle india at home cookbookLittle india at home cookbookLittle india at home cookbookLittle india at home cookbook

Pictures of the interiors and some of the staff at work were taken to complement the images of the food and help tell the story of the restaurants. These were used for chapter openings and other illustrations in the book.

One of the hotter meals being cooked

One of the hotter meals being cooked

Retrieving breads fom the Tandoor

Retrieving breads fom the Tandoor

Naan bread in the Tandoor

Naan bread in the Tandoor

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken

Naan breads from the Tandoor

Naan breads from the Tandoor

Operating the Tandoor oven

Operating the Tandoor oven

Speedy service

Speedy service

Restaurant interior - little india Glen Eden

Restaurant interior – little india Glen Eden

 

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Polynesia magazine

When I were a lad , we used a thing called FILM! Smalll canisters with rolls of silver dye covered plastic inside  that we would put inside a camera to give us up to 36 Shots! We would take it to the laboratory and they would process them to things called transparencies? You don’t see quality like that today with your fancy new digital gadgets  on your iPhone app.

Ok , it wasn’t quite that long ago, but its been a while.

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From 1996 -2000 I worked alongside designer Athena Sommerfeld and Journalists Shona Jennings and Stephen Knight to produce a quarterly inflight magazine for the then National airline of Samoa, Polynesian airlines ( since amalgamated into Virgin blue).

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Market stall proprietors at Maketi Fou, Apia

The brief was to sell Samoa as a destination, not just the white sand beaches and sunshine ( and there was plenty of that ) but also to show the way Samoan people lived and worked at an everyday level as well, and to create a vehicle which conveyed the experience of Samoa. Rather than the resort style of island holiday , we were also promoting a more cultural “ecotour” type of experience.

While we always planned ahead with regard to articles and features we would be working on. We needed to have a lot of flexibility as situations often changed and many fresh opportunities presented themselves during our stays there . Magazine layouts were planned out in advance and we talked about what sort of aspects of Samoa we wanted to illustrate and in what kind of style they might be best represented in .

I used 35mm and medium format film cameras. I really enjoyed using the Pentax 6x7cm camera  . It was big and slow to use but the colour and saturation it produced often reproduced so much better in print than 35mm and gave great separation of subject matter from the background.  Fuji film was used , usually Velvia 50 or 100 .

Sunday Church , samoa

Garden produce , Samoa

Umu preparation on Savaii, Samoa

Umu preparation on Savaii, Samoa

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Sunday in Church , Savaii, Samoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The sea around Samoa

 

Maketi Fou, Apia

Maketi Fou, Apia

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Longboat racing in Samoa

 

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Fish and produce market , Apia

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Dancer in traditional costume , American Samoa

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Islands around Samoa

 

 

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Tonga was another Polynesian destination .

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The beautiful and friendly Manono island.

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Bell tea factory interior

 

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Machinery detail mural Bell tea factory

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Tea drying machinery mural

A few years ago I was commissioned through the PR shop and  by Glen Ryan , production manager of the Bell tea  factory in East Tamaki, to shoot the interiors and machinery .

The company was keen to document  the production lines and interiors before a major upgrade.

The Factory had changed very little over its lifetime and some of the filling lines and packaging machinery was a little old but visually interesting . The interiors of the factory were site drab so to liven it up , my assistant , Rod Gibbs , and I used coloured  Gels over the lights to create more interest through different color balances. By necessity , the Shots had to be done during factory working hours. This gave an opportunity to incorporate a little bit of blur to show the movement around the machinery , which otherwise looked quite static.

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Production line , Bell tea factory

 

 

 

 

The images were assembled  and along with a recent aerial shot of the area, printed as 30x 45 inch murals to line the interiors and boardroom of the refurbished factory.

Bell tea mural

Aerial shot of the area. The Bell tea factory is roughly in the centre of the image.

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Filling machinery mural

 

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Filling machine detail mural

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Packaging machine detail mural

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Vintage machinery detail mural

 

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Fashion Quarterly entertaining food shoot 2013

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Canederli di spinaci con salsa di gorgonzola noci

I n 2013, I worked with Fashion Quarterly  entertaining magazine  and food stylist Alessandra Zecchini to produce a series of images of her family’s most treasured recipes. Art direction and props are by Marcel Gull.

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Pizza al timo con pomodorini e mozzarelline

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Insalata di rucola, pere, parmigiano eAceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena.
Torta di spinaci e scalogno

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Tagliatelle alla zucca e funghi porcini

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Minestrone di verdure con rinforzo di aglio e prezzemolo

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Frittelle alla crema al profumo di arancia

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Automated machinery 2011

I ‘m always a bit suspect of video and movie guys that do a few ” stills” on the side. I don’t think that you can really do justice to video or photography trying to do the two at once, they really are separate skills.

With this job I reversed the process, and became the still photographer that shot a bit of video on the side. It still needed scripting and timeline skills and a careful appraisal of where the video  was going as it was being shot.

Generally speaking , photographers these days are expected to have some moving image capability, even if just shooting short videos for the internet. Most modern cameras have some video capability,  often of a high quality. 

Once long , long ago I did do some video and movie training so have a basic idea on how shooting and editing film and video is meant to work .

Because of that a couple of years ago I was asked to shoot some video for an automated machinery company. Apparently I know one end of a video camera from the other which qualified me .

At that time they needed something a little more than still photography to use in and interactive sales presentation they had developed.

The video was never edited or used in a short film format the way it is here. The machinery is considerably speeded up in this video otherwise it would be pretty  dull viewing.

It was a race against time to shoot video as the machinery was having its final test run before disassembly and shipping overseas. A time line and shot list had been worked out beforehand but sometimes it was a  matter of waiting while the engineers adjusted something and ran another test before we were able to shoot .

There was no opportunity to set up and move lighting around and the conditions were quite  dark. The fact there was a rainstorm for most of the time we were shooting didn’t help matters much. We shot on a Canon Dslr that gave very good results at higher iso settings.

Blame Stanley Kubrick and 2001 a space odyssey for the  use of Johann Strauss’s ” The Blue Danube” – but I couldn’t resist it .

 

 

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2013 The Complete New Zealand Seafood Cookbook – the upgrade!

 

cpmpleteseafood coverOver late 2012 to mid 2013 , Alongside the Auckland seafood school and Penguin books, I worked on The Complete New Zealand seafood cookbook  . I promise its all delicious! An update to the earlier book , it is a MUCH bigger (288 pages , hardback) and thoroughly comprehensive review of New Zealand seafood recipes.

Styling and propping again was by Athena Sommerfeld .

Chefs involved were : John Campbell, Steve Roberts, Colin Doyle,Mark Dronjak, Marco Edwardes, Petra New and Steve Roberts.

One of the bigger challenges on this shoot was to keep the images light and airy to give a sense of the delicate flavours on offer. A range of backgrounds was created and adapted for use , some out of stuff found at the side of the road. As the shoot progressed  as recipes were finalised , decisions would be made as to which backgrounds would be used, with care to make sure the backgrounds didn’t over whelm the food.

As before , natural light with some modification was used. I think it maintains the natural colours of the food much better than studio flash.

Grilled Caesar salad with barbecued scallops and prawns.

Grilled Caesar salad with barbecued scallops and prawns.

 

Tea steamed salmon with Thai red curry  and coconut cream emulsion.

Tea steamed salmon with Thai red curry and coconut cream emulsion.

Moroccan- baked chermoula fish with couscous

Moroccan- baked chermoula fish with couscous

 

Whole steamed snapper with ginger , basil and chili.

Whole steamed snapper with ginger , basil and chili.

White bait flan

White bait flan

Seafood chowder

Seafood chowder

Asian crab cakes with peanut and sweet chili dipping sauce.

Asian crab cakes with peanut and sweet chili dipping sauce.

Market fish with butter bean puree, scallops and chrizo with salsa verde.

Market fish with butter bean puree, scallops and chrizo with salsa verde.

Chapter opener  Barbecues and grills.

Chapter opener Barbecues and grills.

Petra cooking moneybags

Petra New steaming moneybags

Frying fish!

Frying fish!

Marco Edwardes

Marco Edwardes

Steve Roberts

Steve Roberts

The complete New Zealand Seafood cookbook

Snapper with green pea puree and crispy shrimp polenta.

Snapper with green pea puree and crispy shrimp polenta.

Snapper and chorizo tacos

Snapper and chorizo tacos

Parmesan and olive wafer stack with seared tuna

Parmesan and olive wafer stack with seared tuna

The complete New Zealand Seafood cookbook

Poached monkfish in potato and tomato casserole.

Poached monkfish in potato and tomato casserole.

Citrus paua with herbed butter

Citrus paua with herbed butter

Seafood crepes

Seafood crepes

Crispy tiger prawns with lime and chili

Crispy tiger prawns with lime and chili

 

Colin Doyle

Colin Doyle

BBQ squid

BBQ squid

Snapper with green pea puree and crispy shrimp polenta.

Snapper with green pea puree and crispy shrimp polenta.

Grilled crayfish

Grilled crayfish

Snapper and chorizo tacos

Snapper and chorizo tacos

Flounder Papiettes with prawns, spinach and lemon beurre blanc

Flounder Papiettes with prawns, spinach and lemon beurre blanc

Seafood soup with garlic crustini

Seafood soup with garlic crustini

Crispy tiger prawns with lime and chili

Crispy tiger prawns with lime and chili

Mussels steamed in thai red curry with citrus.

Mussels steamed in thai red curry with citrus.

Citrus paua with herbed butter

Citrus paua with herbed butter

Grilled crayfish

Grilled crayfish

Baked market fish with white bean puree, fennel salad and orange oil.

Baked market fish with white bean puree, fennel salad and orange oil.

 

 

Colin Doyle

Colin Doyle

 

John Campbell

John Campbell

Steve Roberts

Steve Roberts

 

 

 

 

 

Spicy scallop and noodle soup

Spicy scallop and noodle soup

White bait flan

White bait flan

Prawn , fish and steamed moneybags.

Prawn , fish and steamed moneybags.

Herb and panko crumbed fish fillets

Herb and panko crumbed fish fillets

 

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2008 The New Zealand Seafood Cookbook

the-new-zealand-seafood-cookbookIn 2008 , I worked with Penguin books and the Auckland seafood school to produce the New Zealand Seafood Cookbook . A large book and project , it covered 191 pages and 66 recipes.

Styling and book design was by Athena Sommerfeld

A number of different chefs were employed by the school to produce the recipes, with support staff from the school who sourced products and did prep work.

Keeping the food looking fresh was a priority. Natural lighting was used ( somewhat modified with reflectors and diffusion ) because it really seems to maintain the natural colours and tones better than artificial studio lighting.

The work was shot over two weeks . Consistency with the light and also the different styles of the chefs who worked on the book was  a priority , also selecting the appropriate dishes and materials for the shots. Sometimes seasonal food considerations became an issue .

The book has sold  well and now is almost at the end of its second edition .

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Chapter opener – pies , one pot casseroles and bakes.

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Chapter opener – pasta , rice and noodles

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White baked alfonsino with seasonal vegetables

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pan seared gurnard with seafood and tuscan olive risotto

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chapter opener – pan seared, deep fried and sauteed

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simple grilled leatherjackets

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sesame crusted tuna with asian greens

scampi

grill- fired king prawns with a fresh asian salad and mango / chilli lime dressing

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citrus stuffed fish parcels

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paddle crabs

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Asian style barbecue oysters

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ocean fresh snapper kokoda

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pacific rim fish cakes with citrus/coriander dipping sauce

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sensational seafood chowder

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thai pipi,cockle,mussel, lemon grass & coconut broth

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trevally baked in a citrus salt crust, with mustard and tarragon aioli

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the ultimate fish pie

seafood book

the ultimate fish pie

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mediterranean barbecued kingfish skewers

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salmon foil parcels

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crayfish bisque

seafood book

white bait fritters

seafood book

salt and pepper scampi

seafood book

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Tindall foundation 2012

Supported by the Tindall trust

A practical session in the clinical training and education centre at Middlemore hospital.

Supported by the Tindall trust

Demonstration of airway clearance

Supported by the Tindall trust

Midwifery student Katerina Komene with Ripeka Kururangi, her daughter Shelyn and newborn son Tureia Joseph.

Supported by the Tindall trust

Members of the roundabout Meadowood, a group supported by Know your neighbors.

Supported by the Tindall trust

New Zealand housing foundation homes are designed to support healthy , stable communities

Supported by the Tindall trust

Cui Yu Ling and Liu hai Ying in an English for the elderly class.

One of the small but interesting jobs I completed in 2012 was the annual report and calendar for the Tindall foundation .

I was working with Peter Dowling and Alessandra Zecchini from Oratia media.

 

 

 

The purpose was to illustrate some of the work the Tindall foundation  funds in the community.  The groups supported by the trust included healthcare and housing , also language for immigrants and an Midwife programme .

 

 

 

Supported by the Tindall trust Supported by the Tindall trust

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Miss Melicious Cupcakes 2012

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Approximately the middle of 2012, I worked with the very talent Missy Fleming and Penguin books to produce a book of cupcake recipes.

For those of you who may not know her , Missy runs a cupcake shop called Miss Melicious Cupcakes, in Te Atatu, Auckland where she bakes cupcakes from early in the morning until late for a growing and satisfied clientele. As a sideline , she also makes the most fabulous custom cakes for special occasions.

With Missy’s grand plan, some simple props and styling assistance from Athena Sommerfeld, a series of scenarios for each style and flavour of cupcake was created, from the Elvis , to the Colin and Cherry bomb. From the selection below, which do you think is  your favorite?

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

Bailey’s baby

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

Cherry Bomb

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

French toast

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

Gingerbread man

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

Flaming apricot

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

The Fat Elvis

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

The Colin

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

Pupmkin Pie

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

After 8

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

Beet Box

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

The Aloha

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

Lady Grey

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

Feijoa

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

Hello Kitty

Miss Melicious cupcakes!

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The New Zealand Gluten Free Cookbook

glutenfree14February 2012, I completed photography on the New Zealand Gluten free cookbook , published by Penguin books. The recipes were produced by gluten free chef Jimmy Boswell with assistance from Penny Oliver, who stepped in to complete the book when Jimmy had an unfortunate accident.

Glu tten Free cookingGlu tten Free cooking

The food was photographed in natural light to preserve the appearance of the natural colour and texture. Styling by Athena Sommerfeld, was kept simple and uncluttered so the attention stayed on the food, the look and lighting consistency was maintained despite having to deal with changing locations and weather

Glu tten Free cooking

Gluten Free cooking

The challenge , as always , is to keep the food looking appealing and interesting, keeping it fresh while in front of the camera.

The range of food was quite extensive , from baked products to meat and pasta dishes. It didn’t necessarily follow that angle and lighting on one dish would work for the next.

Glu tten Free cookingGlu tten Free cooking

Glu tten Free cooking

Glu tten Free cooking

Glu tten Free cookingGlu tten Free cooking

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bradburymckegg

Recently I photographed some Urban Paths in the Rosedale suburb of Auckland for Bradbury Mckegg, Landscape architects who specialise in the integration of landscape, infrastructure and architecture. Shared cycle and pedestrian path winds through parks and suburbs creating a convenient space for exercise or transport.

Landscap path designs
Landscap path designs

Landscap path designs

 

Landscap path designs Landscap path designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some retouching was necessary to bring the exposure of the land and sky into balance , but the early morning light gave the  location a modern and interesting atmosphere.

Landscap path designs

Landscap path designsLandscap path designsLandscap path designs Landscap path designs

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2011 GE money promotion

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An old shoot , but a lot of fun at the time.

Working with Ian Fraser of Pacific Shack  I produced an image of some sports fans cheering on the financial product being advertised . The main shot needed quite a few takes to get the right combination of expressions , and we shot a lot of extra expressions just  in case there weren’t enough , to be photoshopped in later. As it turned out , there were a few of the main shot that were pretty good, but some of the extras were used in other collateral. the scarf colours had to be photoshopped as there were none of the correct corporate colour available.

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Auckland University of Technology graduate profiles

I love shooting portraits. Its a great opportunty to meet people and get to know a little more about their lives .

This year I had a great job with AUT shooting profile portraits of some of their graduate and post graduate students. The portraits are to be used in their 2014 Study guides.

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Sla Pole – Master of philosophy student

I found it a really interesting and positive experience meeting the different graduates and getting  glimpse into the work they did .

Here are a few of the images produced.

 

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Sam Lin – Bachelor or engineering (Honours) in Mechanical engineering and Bachelor of design in Product design .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Danni Blackburn – Book editThe variety of subjects the students were involved in showed the depth and breadth of the subjects studied at AUT .

 

The brief was fairly open and had to include something in the students surroundings that visually referred to their work or study.

Each portrait had to be produced in vertical and horizontal formats, to accommodate the different media they may have to be used in.

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Paul Scanlan – Bachelor of education in Montessori primary.

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Rebecca Jarvis – PhD candidate, conservation planning from a socio-ecological perspective.

 

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Robbie Perris- product engineer at Fisher and Paykel healthcare.

 

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Shweta Mhatre – Master of international hospitality management student.

 

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Liam Badger – Bachelor of sport and recreation study guide.

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Anusha Yenugula and Vidusha De Silva – Bachelor of Engineering Technology students.

 

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Maggie Buxton- Phd candidate, Design and creative technologies

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Dianne Hemopo – Bachelor of Health science ( midwifery)

 

 

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2013 Portage trust Ceramic awards

 

Every year for the past five years , I have had the pleasure of photographing the Trusts Portage Ceramic Awards

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Helen Yau – Lace city

 

 

 

 

 

Organised  by the curator and staff of Lopdell house, the awards attract a large number of entries from New Zealand and international artists working in ceramics.

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Sangsool Shim and Keumsun Lee – mountain with snow

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Liz Rowe – Space waste and other cosmic debris

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Helen Yau – E book era

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John Roy – Void

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Sam Ducker -Jones – A headstand with Lloyd in 1988

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Rachel Carter – Solitude in numbers

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Owen Bartlett – Quake stone

The artworks can be challenging to photograph as they vary in shape, size and texture . The abstract nature of many of the artworks means presenting them as sympathetically  as possible to the artist’s vision , and shooting them in a format that is consistent with the demands of the catalogue design .

Artwork form the portage trust ceramic awards 2013

Linda Bruce – Illusionary Machinations: Clouds

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White ribbon campaign 2012

 

In 2012 I was commissioned by Mission Hall design in Wellington to produce three portraits for the  white ribbon anti domestic violence campaign. The look was to follow the style of a portrait of a film director, David Lynch.

After experimenting with lighting before the shoot  I came up with a classic  style of lighting reminiscent of the Vermeer style of painting . It gave a gravity to the portraits that suited the direction and purpose of the campaign.

Sox Teng, the makeup artist, was briefed to give and even and natural look to the subjects.

The original shots were shot a little  wide to give space for cropping to different formats and adding text later. Lighting was planned so that text would be placed on the same side as the shadows on the face. A range of images were taken of each model , also different styles of clothing were used in case a rage of similar images were required .
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The images were then cropped and imbued with a grain texture to add further drama.

grahameguy3harryngataThe images have been used extensively in media, web  and location advertising.

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Photography and travel in China 3, Xi’an to Suzhou then Shanghai

Canal and doorway,Suzhou

 

I really enjoyed the time I spent in Xi’an , and was starting to feel quite at home exploring the areas within the city walls, trying  the different food styles.  It seemed sometimes from the conversation in the hostel that many of the westerners staying were taking refuge from the foreignness of the exterior, and had lurid stories of the strange food and experiences. Xi’an is a modern city but  it was the beginning of the silk road so has a real mix of cultures and cuisine. Maybe it was all to much for them to absorb .

Booking a berth on a sleeper train was a straightforward affair as despite priming myself with all the right language I was quite deflated when it turned out the woman in the ticket in the office spoke perfect English. I discovered it pays to book early as there are a lot of people coming through Xi’an from further in the interior so the trains are well patronised.  I had planned to be a little bit adventurous and go hard sleeper, but was in unable to book one so fortunately had to go Soft sleeper. 16 hours on a train was a novelty for me, still suffering from the flu I was glad to be able to do it in comfort. When you go soft sleeper, you get to wait in the comfortable soft seat lounge at the station and are spared the scramble for the platform. Thank goodness as it turned into quite a long wait.

Finally we were permitted to go on to the platform to the train.

I only just settled into the berth and was idly staring at the platform and wondering if I should go out and buy some more food when I was greeted by and extraordinary spectacle. Two travellers who turned  out to be Mexican  waving fists full of RMB at the Guard as they wanted to upgrade from the hard sleepers they had originally booked.  It seemed they were getting the last train out of some disaster and more and more money appeared. ”We have money!” they declared.

Their English wasn’t that great and the guard had none so I found myself in the roll of incompetent interpreter. Despite the traveller’s hysteria, the guard was unfussed and found them room on the car, having to shift a few of the other passengers around so they could be in the same compartment. She said to me there was no need for any trouble, it happened all the time. As long as they could pay the extra charge it just took a little patience to work something out. Sadly I couldn’t make the most of the opportunity to extend the conversation. But I was relieved I hadn’t found myself in the same situation.

The train was fairly uneventful. The compartment had four berths but was spacious and comfortable. There was plenty of room for luggage above the door. I shared with two others, but for the most part of the journey we all slept. I got up a couple of times to walk the length of the carriage, to see the bleary eyed guard sitting in her office. At some point she retired and another guard took over duty. When the sun came up the train passed through dusty towns and villages , past power stations and farms. It was all very similar, but pretty in the early morning sun. At a very early hour the radio started, blaring out cross talk ( a  form of spoken chinese comedy not dissimilar to English speaking comic duos)  then at one point exercise suggestions , along with a count . Looking out into the hallway, I discovered many of the older passengers out there actually doing the exercises while admiring the view.

Eventually we arrived in Suzhou ( Venice of the east!) where I disembarked . I walked out of the platform and immediately into what seemed like a wall of touts and vendors. Clearly it was a slow day the way they converged on to the single foreigner disembarking the train. I bought a map and then started to look for a taxi.   I had many offers for taxis from the crowd, but stuck to the plan and got a taxi from the rank, which was half the price I had been quoted by other non official taxis!.

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Photography and travel in China 2 , Qingdao to Xi’an.

 

 

Baozi (steamed pork bun) stall, Qingdao

Daoist statue, Laoshan national park , Qingdao

 

 

 

 

 

Helping Dad in the food market, Qingdao

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaving Qingdao the dragon bus took us through some of the larger industrial areas in this part of China, and also gave us a view of some of the spectacular construction projects going on . In one case, it was the 38km long bridge spanning a bay.

A bridge outside Qingdao stretches across a bay

A comfortable 5 hr ride took us to Qufu and to the birthplace of Confucius and the home of the Confucius family.

Qufu is a fascinating place, It still has the city wall and within it is set up for the large numbers of Asian tourists who come to the home of Confucius.  After reading the entry in the lonely planet guide I wasn’t expecting much, but in fact they were wrong . While it is a little touristy, its not expensive and in fact my experiences with the locals were very positive. The temple, residence and tomb were all worth seeing. The hostel was clean and comfortable and if you didn’t feel like venturing out the food was ok.

After we arrived in Qufu, Andy and I decided to go to find some food, the others decided on an early night. Most places were winding down for the night ( and highly uninspiring) and eventually we got in a taxi and asked him where the locals would go at such a late hour. He drove us out of the city walls and to a small local restaurant where we had a delicious meal of  various dishes and the small delicious lamb kebabs ( 羊肉串,if you are trying to find it on the menu, just remember the character that looks like a kebab and you are pretty much there).

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Food photography class at the Gourmet gannet, Muriwai

(more examples available at www.foodphotography.co.nz and www.seanshadbolt.co.nz )

The inaugural food photography class for food bloggers took place last weekend at Muriwai at the gourmet gannet workshop www.gourmetgannet.co.nz.  All partcipants all found it useful , but had particular concerns that I thought I could address further in this post.

The basics of cameras is always a good place to start, and some of you found apertures and shutter speeds confusing. Simply put : With the aperture , the higher the number the smaller the hole and the smaller the whole the more there is in focus . With Shutter speeds the higher the number the faster the shutter speed and the better ability to stop fast motion. So if you are pouring cream or sauce in a picture , you might want to consider this. The two are interrelated so in any given amount of light  they need t0 be adjusted to get the correct exposure , and then creative decisions taken as to  whether you want more in focus or you need to stop movement for some reason – or if you are hand holding the camera you will need the fastest shutter speed you can use to make your details crisp and sharp. If you need to acheive a small amount o focus then a wide aperture and a fast shutter speed need to be used.

In focus with detail

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Food Photography

Shellfish for the New Zealand Seafood cookbook

www.foodphotography.co.nz

The New Zealand seafood cookbook

 

 

Food photography.

(more examples available at www.foodphotography.co.nz and www.seanshadbolt.co.nz )

The number one rule in food photography is the food must look fresh and inviting. Generally if it can’t look fresh, it means it isn’t fresh and is very difficult to make it look otherwise. Food only stays suitable for photography for a few minutes after being prepared, so you need to be ready in advance to photograph it.

There are very few tricks involved. For consumer law reasons, you have to be able to eat what is photographed. The most common technique is to spray water or oil on to the food to keep it looking moist, but even this is not often used. Food can be manipulated with tweezers and arranged to make it more camera friendly and don’t hesitate to do this if you think it means a better picture.

Equipment and technique.

Professional food photographers generally use expensive medium format digital camera equipment to produce photography. It gives a very high quality result for books and magazines.

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The 50mm lens effect

I was recently reading an article where a photographer received criticism from another that he used zoom lenses too much .His point of view jumped around all over the place and he might do better to stick to single focal lengths and to develop a more singular  point of view.

I was coming to the same conclusion over the last couple of years. Modern zoom lenses are great quality and have their place . they can be incredibly useful if you are stuck in one position and unable to move in closer  or out further, I use them a lot in aerial photography as it saves having to continually manouver the helicopter to the right position.

Modern point and shoot photography has also become very convenient with zooms that go from wide to ultra telephoto in the flick of a switch. But there is nothing like a few boundaries to help develop your own point of difference.  A lot of my still life photography is based on one lens and I wanted to see if this could apply in other situations.

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