Yesterday we arrived at Heathrow Airport from LAX excited & ready to board the Eurostar for Paris. London put on a glorious day for our arrival & while we didn't stop to see the sights, our arial view from above as we landed didn't disappoint. It struck me how green & scenic England is. Having arrived early our flight circled London for 20 minutes before landing. Talk about taking it all in. We boarded the train at St. Pancras international (pictured) & the stations majestic ceiling is something to be marveled.
Of course I have been shooting away on my trusty SLR, so far using 400 tri-x. I had no issues with security in LAX asking for a film check as I'm traveling with the now unavailable Neopan 1600. All was well until we went to board the Eurostar. Security wouldn't let me through without x-raying my negatives. The 400 & 50 I wasn't happy about but was prepared to let it go (begrudgingly). But the Neopan 1600 I fought (kindly) tooth & nail for. You see it's my last roll. I haven't got immediate access to any more. Maybe some hardcore searching on eBay might turn something up but I wasn't going to risk it. The claim from security is that their X-ray can scan up to 3200 with no issue.
I wasn't prepared to find out the hard way.
After a few jabs at how I might already have faulty stock (security blaming fuji) or a bad camera (not 3 days ago when I checked my latest roll of processed film) I got upset. Really, is this their selling point?
Needless to day I will head right to Lomography Paris today to develop one of my rolls to see how it held up.
Fingers crossed that modern technology is as good as they say.
Well the time is finally here, I am packed and ready to go! Armed with some decent threads (hey I have to be stylish in Europe) some film, a camera and my husband, I'm ready to go to Paris and take it all in.
So I leave you with a spring time image of Paris, a multiple exposure of the a tulip over the Eiffel Tower taken from Sebastian Erras on a Hasselblad 500 C/M. He used Kodak Ektachrome 64. Check it out here: Tulip Eiffel Tower.
A Year Without Clothes- My husband introduced me to this fabulous blog by "Sylvia and Lucky" Muse and Photographer, where both partner up to take two shots of Sylvia, one clothed and the other nude. They appear to shoot as often as possible and are currently on day 91 of their project. It's a fantastic concept and it's well executed. Each set up/idea seems simple yet it's complex. You can tell a lot of work goes into these shots. Attention to detail is obvious and you can't help but want to see all the images in one big giant coffee table book. Check it out.
Some things are just meant to happen for a reason. Call it kismet, fate, luck or chance, a couple of years ago I was introduced to a woman whom I believe has changed my life. Her name is Margaret Floyd.
I had received an email from Margaret needing an urgent headshot of herself done for a biography page on the back of a book that she had just written called "Eat Naked. I had been recommended by Dave Waite, of Zookeeper, whom I had worked with on a previous job.
It was a rather exciting prospect, shooting something that would go to print in a book, that book would be distributed to every major book store in North America. We shot the photos in Culver City one afternoon with some greenery as the back ground. Considering the theme of the book (Eating unprocessed un-polluted foods) & Margaret's message, natural light, natural green back grounds seemed like a no brainer for the photograph.
You can imagine my surprise when I received word from Margaret that the publisher was going to run the image as the cover of the book.
This became the start of a wonderful partnership. Margaret explained to me that there was another book in the works and that images might be required for it. Being incredibly proud of the situation, I purchased the book as soon as I could. But then I read it. On a side note, diet has been and always will be a major part of my life. I've lost weight previously on Jenny Craig, which was great for me at the time. It helped guide me to a better place than where I was regarding my health & body image. I've read my fair share of diet books, articles and opinions. One book in particular (that shall not be named) made the New York Times best seller list and its chic cover & title drew me to buy it. While some of the arguments made sense, it became very apparent that it was a vegan book and it all became annoying and too preachy for me. Eating meat is a personal choice & those choices should be respected both ways.
Eat Naked made sense to me. It was informative, with honest real facts and a no nonsense attitude that respected peoples beliefs when it comes to meat and dairy. I recommend the book to everyone. I can never do it justice to explain to you how it has effected my own life. But for someone who has dieted her whole life, I can tell you, that I have never felt or been healthier and I don't count calories or get worried about those scales. I do care about the quality of food that goes into my body and that makes a huge difference for me.
In 2011, Margaret, Chef James Barry of Wholesome to Go and myself started the process that was to become a series of shoots for the Naked Foods Cook Book. What made the second book so interesting was now I was emotionally invested, because I believed in it's principles and the message.
We shot at local farmers markets, in two kitchens, in my house to get the coverage we believed necessary for the new book. What I feel very fortunate for was that I was able to witness first hand how to do these recipes for myself. My approach to the shoots were similar to the first one. Keep it natural, keep it real. Many people ask me if I am a food photographer, I wouldn't answer that as yes. Commercial food photography is another thing all together. For a start, you would never be able to eat what you are shooting. There are all types of glues and agents used for that type of photography. It takes many hours and the talent of someone who specialises in that field. That person is not me. I take photos of real food, when asked. I will light it and take my time and ensure it's presented nicely, but it was important for me that the food Margaret & James were preparing was truthfully represented to their reader.
Just this month, The Naked Foods Cookbook was released in print and for kindle on Amazon. All throughout the book are images from the kitchen, farmers market & prepared dishes for readers to enjoy. It's a nice sense of accomplishment for everyone involved and it's make me eager to grow and do even more.
Mostly, what I have gotten out of the whole experience, isn't just nutritional education, I have also gained new friends and that's one of the most rewarding parts of what I do for a living. Meeting wonderful people who enrich your life. Photographers & Cinematographers are so lucky because we get to meet some amazing people and see some rather wonderful places. So check it out, if you buy the book in paperback, the images are in black and white, however if you buy the book on a kindle... you will see the images in their glorious colour. Check it all out at www.eatnakednow.com.
It's been a fun journey researching and compiling the new class together. I can't wait to meet my students. The whole process has inspired me to shoot more. Testing certain stocks for the class has been lots of fun. Most recently I've been playing with Kodak Tri-X after a bit of a hiatus on the creative front. These past six months I've been genuinely busy with work, which is great, however I feel my journey as a creative photographer hit a rather stale path. With renewed enthusiasm I'm now learning from these frustrating moments to shoot new material for my projects. In the last few years I've been so excited about my beloved Ilford Delta B&W stock that I haven't really given myself a chance to explore Tri-X, so I figure, now is my chance. In a test shoot recently with friend, fellow creator & muse Sarah Ledesma, I set up a series of indoor shots, used 400 speed stock, rated it to 1600 ISO, Rebel G body and L series 24-70mm lens and shot away. I'm pushing the stock by 2 stops (something I haven't done on this stock yet) to see how it holds up. On a side note, I'm considering Tri-X as my shooting stock for when I head to Europe in a week. I'm yet to decide if I am shooting on the Argus (a rangefinder that once belonged to my husbands paternal grandmother) or my trusty Rebel G with Diana F+ lenses. The later is currently being tested & the Argus is currently having a service done. Fingers crossed the service is done before I depart.
A colleague in Santa Monica has made a very generous offer to lend me a rather good quality rangefinder as well. I will pay him a visit this week to have a look at the camera. There is something hopelessly romantic about black and white photos of Paris. In Paris I will be reunited with dear friend and muse Kate Feldman and while our time together will be limited and busy, she as always makes for a fabulous subject and is fearless when I ask something of her.
Excitingly, I have just received word that a retrospective of the talented Helmut Newton's work will be on display in the Grand Palais, Paris while I am there. Clearly, attending is now a priority as since his death in 2004 there has been no such exhibit of his work done.
Click on the link to check out the glory of the Helmut Newton Foundation to see & learn about this master of photography.
I have neglected my page and forgotten to inspire. With life feeling overwhelmed by an excess of various social media platforms it's easy to drop off for a bit while testing out new grounds... well, in my case it is. However, I always come back to blogger. While my posts are few and far between, I am determined to gain momentum again and keep sharing all that is inspiring.
Todays inspiration comes from a PR video (don't run, it's really lovely) that I just watched for SilverFX. Joel Tjintjelaar, whose stunning B&W photography, which I am sure you have seen before, truly leaves me breathless. I wont ramble too much, just check out his wonderful images.