Nov 25, 2013
Oct 28, 2013
So I just got a few rolls back from Hillvale Photo, amoungst them was a roll from our trip to Bali mentioned in a previous post. As well as my 5D MKII I also took my trusty Olympus 35RC and some film. I think there's another roll floating around my bag somewhere, but it's interesting to compare results from the two mediums. The Olympus has a 42mm f2.8 lens, which in theory should be pretty similar to the 40mm f2.8 pancake lens I took on the DSLR. I've really enjoyed the reults. I don't shoot anywhere as much film as I'd like, so thie was a really fun little experiment. All scans are done by Hillvale and are straight from them.. No editing at all on my part. Not even straightening!
I'm always stunned at how sharp this little camera is. It has a light meter, but I've never bothered putting a battery in it.. I love testing my internal light meter and seeing if I still got it, relying on my version of the f/16 law. Sometimes I get it, sometimes, well not so much. Anyway.. Here's some film.
Oct 17, 2013
My partner is smart enough to know when we need to take a holiday, and by the time it got to us leaving for Bali recently, I was right on the edge of near burnout. Working too much, and sleeping too little was beginning to take it's toll, and I was getting grumpy. We had ten sunny days in Bali, between Ubud, Gili T Island and Seminyak and it was glorious.
I'm always torn when it comes to taking a camera away on holidays with me. There's so many great compact rangefinder digital cameras on the market these days.. But I feel super conflicted spending a sizable amount of money on a camera that is really, not going to make me any money. But at the same time, the idea of lugging my camera around with a great big L series zoom makes my skin crawl (as do the idiots that walk around with all the latest brand new professional grade gear, just taking happy snaps). Besides that, something inside me is always on a quest to become as at one with the bit of gear that I spend most of my time with my eye to as possible, and any time spent with thing else is using that self training time poorly. Maybe I'm being ridiculous, but it seems logical to me. Anyhow, I ended up taking my 5d mkii with an inexpensive 40mm pancake lens which is so tiny, it's barely any bigger than a body cap. It's small enough that the 5d becomes small enough to fit in a little satchel bag. Something in my head has always thought that applying limits to your creative tool yields better results. I'm not sure if it's really true, but I always like to try, so the 40mm it was. Along with that I took my little Olympus 35RC with a few rolls of film, and of course my iphone loaded into a Lifeproof waterproof case (check my instagram for super fun underwater iphone photos!). Inevitably, most of the cool iphone photos are now on my instagram, and the film is yet to be developed, but I've finally gotten around to rounding up my favourite photos from the 5d.
I've never thought myself much of a street photographer.. I like people, but it feels somewhat invasive just holding a camera in someone's face and clicking away. A few times I tried to engage people and ask to take a little portrait, but most of the things i found most interesting or inspiring was colour and shape. The Balinese use colour completely differently to westerners. Even rundown old garages will be painted lovely lime green colours, and junky old doors will be sporting gorgeous orange tones. It's a different aesthetic, and I really like it. Anyway, here's some snaps. I will be accepting travel commissions from here on via my contact form (ha).
Sep 10, 2013
I thought I'd enter Good Food Week's "Shoot The Chef" competition, since I seem to take photos of so many chefs these days!
I dug up one of my favourites, Mr David Zhou from David's Country Shanghai. David is always a pleasure to work with. His beautiful resturant in Windsor is absolutely gorgeous; full of light and oozing with warmth, much like David. An absolute gentleman and a damn good chef. I love this photo so much, beacuse I feel so much of his personality shines through. I managed to get a perfectly natural smile, and the expression to match. David and his resturant have a formidable reputation as being amoungst the finest in Melbourne, but when you meet him it's apparent that this hasn't at all affected his primary motivation; producing the best food he can. I had a click through some of the other entries, and while there's some really great ones, so many of them are so constructed and contrieved. Whereas I feel this one is the opposite. And I'm really proud of that.
Anyway, If you like the image, please send me a few clicks over at the voting page and help me win!
Jul 31, 2013
I was asked recently by Broadsheet to photograph some of Dave Verhuel's amazing food at his and Christian McCabe's stunning new resturant 'The Town Mouse'. I was extremely nervous, as I'd already seen some extraordinary images created of this equally exraordinary space.. Sean Fennessy had already been in with Lucy Feagin from The Design Files in tow (the images already appearing in for Vogue Living), Eve Wilson had popped in for Gourmet Traveller and Broadsheet as well as others whose names escape me. So yeah, I was feeling the pressure a bit; producing something less than spectacular was clearly not an option (not that it ever is). Along with the awesome work from Eve and Sean, I also found plenty of fairly dismal attempts from other photographers online, something I was determined to not be lumped in with.
My shooting time was booked for the beginning of service, and the ever professional Christian politely told me that I would need to be done reasonably quickly. Fair enough, the resturant books out almost every night without fail. The first dish, Dave informed me was the most difficult and that everyone tends to struggle with it. This what came out. (I didn't know what anything was while I was shooting it.. I only saw the descriptions when I took a menu home for the editor to glean the names off).
Anyhow, it came out and Dave wasn't kidding!! It looked like it could be beef or anything (it's pretty dark in there) and it wasn't till I shot a few frames that I noticed that it was pinky/redish in colour.. I couldn't really make head or tails of it trying to figure out how to approach it. It kind of ended up looking more like a purple moss covered in fluffy white-ish fuzz. Turns out it's "Slow roasted red cabbage, prune, parmesan and red apple". I cut into it to try to show off a bit of the insides (I have to say I felt so bad ruining this crazy artwork..) but even still this light absorbing mass of fuzz still didn't seem to want to give me anything. "Well if that's the hardest one, then we should be alright" I said to Dave with false confidence and out came the next dish.
A main, nothing particularly unexpected here. Without taking away from the dish, it's your usual big plate with things beautifully arranged with sauces dripped around it. Fairly straight foward to shoot. All good.
"Pork jowl with charred octopus, Ink, turnip, kohlrabi and chickweed". Tasted amazing. Looked fantastic. Dish basically shot itself. Wish I'd bumped up my depth of field a bit, but more or less no real complaints. Next.
I'd seen this next dish on Sean's site and my mind had boggled. Is it cheese? Is it some wierd chalky dish of something that only fancy foodies know about with some amazing mess of faux ash trays and.. God I don't know.. Apparently it's challenging to shoot the way they normally plate it up in a smaller ceramic bowl so they were bringing it out on a plate. By this point we'd reached the time when customers were coming into the resutrant and a few were stealing particularly curious glances over at what I was doing. Dave does not come out in the the resturant during service time "he's very professional" Christian told me. This is what was put down in front of me.
Bear in mind, I still had no idea what this thing was. What on earth is the white thing? I shot a few of it looking perfect, then I thought I'd try the trick I'd learnt from Peter Tarasiuk "make it look like someone's just gotten up and left their meal behind".
First inscision.. The white stuff was quite difficult to get through, but I managed to make a clean break establishing some lovely lines.. Quick, shoot!
I pushed some onto my fork and put it in my mouth.. HOLY CRAP IT'S ICE CREAM. THE WHOLE THING IS A DESSERT. After further examination, I realised that there was more sorbet underneath the mound of chocolatey cakey goodness. More snaps.
The dish is "Chalk and Cheese", or as listed on the menu "Lemon and yuzu curd, white chocolate, burnt coconut, spiced rum and coconut sorbet".
I shoot a lot of food, which unfortunately means that I often get sick of seeing the same thing. Without wanting to sound like a wanker, I very rarely see anything as innovative and fresh as this. Absolutely top notch, and a pleasure to shoot (and even more of a pleasure to eat..).
Dave is a very clever man.
Full story on Broadsheet. Oh, and if this post wasn't already a testament to me being impressed? I'm taking two of my most hardcore food nerd friends there for dinner tonight.
I've just decided to incorporate a blog onto my website, hoping to invoke a bit more interaction with visitors, and to give you an idea of what I'm up to. I do already have a tumblr, but I feel that reblogging cat photos and pictures of myself doing stupid things in supermarkets isn't going to exactly cement my image as a serious professional, hence a purely photography blog on my website.
For the first post.. Here's an image I'd forgotten about from when I was driving back from Sydney recently. Actually, I don't think it was recently. I don't even remember when it was (I've done that drive too many times). I couldn't get it to look quite how I wanted, but loved the shapes and colours. I love it when a photo is super geometric and can become more about shape and lines than the obvious content, and I love this as an example.
Till next time!