Brandy Snaps

As things wound down for Christmas and seeing in the new year, I found some time to mess around with some Brandy. Fitting for the season! Enjoy!

Single Use is No Use.

In recent years, consumers have become ever increasingly conscious about the effect that their habits have on the environment. Possibly none more than the use of single use plastics. A hot topic of the moment.

Plastic bags and straws have provided large talking points, and pressure has been put on businesses to make small changes to help protect the environment.

Things as small as changing plastic straws to paper ones. It’s crazy to think that the plastic in a black straw is non recyclable, and here have been a few videos circulate on social media to highlight the damage done from such a small and seeminglessly harmless product. The one that sticks in my mind was the turtle that had a black straw lodged deep into its nostril. A distressing watch which provoked thoughts that this could easily be prevented.

I've wanted to do a project that looked at these single use plastics for a while now, but I wanted it to be more than just plastic bags. I popped into a few shops and managed to find a whole host of cheap, single use plastic objects, most costing less than £1 for a whole pack of things. I couldn’t believe how readily available and unnecessarily cheap it all was which makes it even worse. 30 plastic forks, spoons or knives that cost just £1 would be around for the next few hundred, if not thousands of years.

Single use plastic is becoming a huge accumulative problem.

Here are the range of things I managed to pick up in about 20 minutes in various high street stores.

Pour us A Double

Here are a couple of test images from over the summer months when I decided to shoot some Whisky. Both based around a pour, one a more clean cut studio image, and then the other a more lifestyle based image.

Both came with some challenges, the pour into the glass being the most difficult. Getting the pour to meet the glass in the exact spot I wanted proved testing, but with some patience and persistence we got there in the end. Thats what still life imagery is all about!!

Throwing It Together

When I was younger, I remember my mum saying things like "I've just thrown a cake together." I'm not sure what it was that jogged my memory about that, but it got me thinking about how that could be bought to life in a visual way. Maybe I should have started with throwing a cake together, or, maybe thats something for another time. I thought about the idea for a few weeks and then threw myself into it. 

After I'd sat on the idea for a bit, in December 2017 I started to shoot what would turn out to be a long and testing body of personal work.

Starting with breakfast. A full English to be exact. This image would set the framework for the project and how I would execute more of these thrown together images. The trouble was, at this point I wasn't sure how many I wanted to do, or what was going to be next. Things seem to work nicely in three's, but I've got a bit of a habit of shooting series of work that always come out with three final images so I wanted to go further with it than that.

The first image took me two days to shoot. There was a lot of tinkering as you can imagine, but I wanted to make sure that this could be an elaborate and real talking point within my portfolio. As is always the way with the first step of a series or new body of work, you have to find the best ways of doing things. A bit of trail and error, probably lots of swearing as things didn't quiet work out and a bunch of patience goes a long way with this kind of thing. Everything had to be shot near enough where it is positioned in the frame in the final image. Perspectively things wouldn't line up otherwise, something might just look odd about the images, but it would be difficult for the viewer to figure out what if they weren't "visually trained". It was the perfect challenge for me, offered up plenty of problems to solve, which in turn appeals to my precise way of doing things. I guess thats what really makes still life photographers tick.

I can't remember which image I shot next, but after doing so it started to become clear to me that I could do a whole days worth of food. Maybe an indulgent day, but that seemed like a logical way to go with and it would give me a natural order for the images. Now not only did I want to do the dishes, but I wanted to throw in a drink for each stage too. This obviously started with the brew on the breakfast which I didn't really have to think about with a fry up, the rest went from there.

After about 6 months I'd ended up with the images you see below. A little bit of an epic, but worth all the tinkering and eating all the food afterwards!

Sometimes the best work just seems to grow organically.

Full English Breakfast

Smoothie

Cheese Toastie with Tomato Soup (very American)

Surf and Turf

Trifle

Cheese and Biscuits.

Shooting at The Savoy, London

Premium Food & Drinks Photography

Back in the Autumn we were asked to put together a shoot that helped Simpson's In The Strand restaurant, which is part of The Savoy hotel in London. The client's brief was to show the craft that goes into the food and drink at the restaurant. We shot both food and drinks photography as well as video to really show off the talent and the restaurant's processes.

Ominous Art Direction

The art direction required a dark and moody feel to the images with some extreme close up's too. It was a pleasure to work with head chef Will Hemming and his brilliant team. The food, as you would expect, was incredible.

Take a look below to see a selection of the stills and a cut of one of the videos. Just be warned: don't look if you're hungry...

We also had some help form DOP Mark Pullon on the day to help create some moving images of the processes we shot stills of. All in all, a very satisfying day with some beautiful food.

Zest Imgery

The guys at Stuff Advertising got in touch last year with a lovely little brief to shoot some food details for a client of theres. Of course I was delighted to help and here are some of the results.

2016: A Year in Review

2016 has been a year of highs and lows. A strange year. One to remember for many reasons, but also one to forget for a variety of things too.

Looking back at the year at the photographic highlights of the year as we prepare to move into 2017. Hope you enjoy looking back as much as I have.

Excited to see what the new years going to hold for us all!

TRON

A Personal project using Perspex, mirrors, gelled lights and a precise placement of the lighting to create a series of images that reminded me of the film Tron. I coupled up complimentary colours to help the effect and to accent the refraction through the blocks.

3 days were spent in the studio creating the images. The perspex blocks had to all be as clean as possible, which is a difficult task within itself because of there static nature, and then arranged onto the mirrored surface to create the set. Lighting was then brought in with gels to show the refractive nature of the blocks. A timely, and pretty testing few days in the studio, but really pleased with the results.

Shouts must go out to Sophie Morrison (http://creativepool.com/SophieMorrison/projects) who retouched the images and added the final gloss to them!

 

GLITCH - AN EXPLORATION OF REFRACTION.

I recently had an idea about taking the conventional, painterly kind of still life stuff and trying to turn it on its head a little bit. Flowers have been painted and photographed for years. Karl Blossfeldt's early photographic studies of flowers and fauna stand out, but almost every photographer has done something with flowers along the way.

I wanted to try and see if I could do something a little different. Glitch like as it were. Perspex blocks make for a perfect way to achieve that as what they "see" on the ends can be pretty strange at time. 

A lot of careful placing and waving a tape measure around helped determine what would be seen through the blocks, here are some results. Retouched by Darek Szwedo (szwedo.co.uk).

THE SCIENCE OF COFFEE

This ones been a while in the making. I came up with the idea when I was sat in a coffee shop in London with one of my mates. We watched on as the staff prepped coffee with a seemingly precise attention to detail. But not only that, there was coffee that looked as though it was some sort of chemical experiment. That was it, the idea was born!!

I sat on the idea for 6 or so months before I actually started to shoot it. I developed strong visuals in my mind of how I wanted each image within the piece to look. Sketching them down helped, then it was time to make this idea a reality. Here’s what I have so far. Bit of an ongoing one this I feel so look out for more of it throughout 2015 or 2016!!

Best enjoyed with a coffee…