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Thursday, 17 June 2010
If you asked me to name my 3 top passions in life there is no doubt that it would be great food, great photography and the South Downs (not always in that order). Imagine then my excitement when I was invited to attend, and take photographs of, "Lychees to Local", a food event being hosted by West Dean College - right in the heart of the South Downs... what a privilege.
These shots are of the event, some of the food we ate and the gorgeous gardens around the college at the moment - if you've got time it's well worth a visit.
Sheila Dillon of Radio 4's Food Programme, facilitated a discussion between 3 members of the Guild of Food Writers, Katie Stewart, Colin Spencer and Xanthe Clay. Rosemary Moon, self-acclaimed food activist and well-known cook in this part of the world, was present as co-host alongside West Dean but also laid on the most fabulous lunch of locally sourced food - proving that this area is 'right up there' with the best in food production.
There was too much discussion to write about but the panel touched on how food, and more importantly, cooking, has changed over the last 20 to 30 years. They discussed how food photography has changed (everything used to be in black and white!) to the introduction of Nouvelle Cuisine and onwards to the current effect of celebrity chefs. What was paramount was in the middle of all these goings on we somehow missed a generation of foodies - the ready meal being the problem. However, right now our passion for great food is back and growing and the more we can do to shout about buying British, buying local and encouraging and teaching the young of today the better. There are many obstacles to overcome yet - price being the top one in my opinion. In the current economy, just having enough money to feed a family can be a struggle, let alone worry about where it's all come from..... (a good read about all of this is the newly published How the British fell in love with Food, compiled by Lewis Esson)
I'll leave it there but one slide in particular summed up where we need to be going in our approach to food and I believe if everyone did this the world would be a better place, and we'd all be a lot healthier
Eat one meal a week knowing where the ingredients come from
Plant a fruit or nut tree
Eat less meat
Teach a child to bake a cake
Who's with me?
Friday, 14 May 2010
If you drive anywhere in the UK at this time of year, you can't help but see miles and miles of yellow fields - Oilseed Rape as far as the eye can see. It's a true sign of spring and always brings a smile to my face. I was walking in West Marden last week and strolled to the top of Jubilee Clump where I took this lovely lot. It's in the heart of West Sussex with views down to the Solent and Isle of Wight - spectacular on a clear day. It's interesting that you'd imagine the best results would come with the sun out but it actually made the exposure extremely difficult. I'm still quite pleased with the results though - what do you think?
Thursday, 22 April 2010
The sun has finally come out this April bringing with it flip flops, t-shirts, sandy feet and happy children (big & little). The first hot weekend of the year just happened to coincide with a family lifestyle shoot that's been in the diary for ages. I grabbed the opportunity to take them all to the beach and took this lovely lot of informal shots. I was so pleased with the results because it actually wasn't that warm when we got there but luckily these kids didn't mind one little bit. Wittering Beach, just east of Chichester is a fantastic place to visit at all times of year and is right up there on my favourite walk list. At the very end of the beach is East Head with old wooden piles to climb all over and lovely sandy dunes to roll about in. I really like the results and can't wait to get back there one evening this summer for the lovely soft light and amazing colour you only find on the coast. All comments welcome!
Thursday, 11 March 2010
My lifestyle portraiture always goes a little quieter in the winter - everyone is snuggled up inside waiting for the spring to come. But there is a lovely light to be had on some days and luckily a few Sundays ago was exactly the light I was hoping for when I photographed this lovely lot at the Hot Walls in Southsea.
The Hot Walls run along the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour - in the summer the sun shines on them all day, heating them up like storage heaters. The walls then keep pumping out the heat so you can sit there long into the evening and enjoy the comings and goings of the small boats, yachts and ships passing by.
I love doing portraiture sessions on the beach both in the winter and summer - kids love running and jumping and really come to life. I think the black & white have worked particularly well - what do you think?
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
For those of you into country sports you'll know that the end of January heralds the end of the shooting season which started in September. Since the first day of the season I've meaning to join a friend's shoot in East Dean, West Sussex, to get some practice of capturing dogs in action, smoking barrels and weird garter things that the guns wear to keep their socks up!
It was a bit dull and miserable but still lovely to be out walking in some stunning scenery. The dogs are alert and excited so their ears prick up and, if trained well, do exactly what they are told. Here are some of the photos I managed to take. Note to self; next season go out on a sunny autumn day when the trees are blazing in red and orange and get that lovely low autumn sun!
Sunday, 10 January 2010
I, like the rest of the country, have been pretty much snowed in these last 5 days. But, what better opportunity to get out on foot with the camera and remember what it was that inspired me to do photography in the first place - capturing that moment in time before it disappears.
Here are a few of the shots I've taken over the last few days - all comments welcome. To see them all, just click on my flickr link in the right hand panel. Enjoy!