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Träkol at By The River Brew Co

Träkol Food Photography
for Event Magazine Mail on Sunday
September 2018
If you are lucky enough to live in or near Newcastle and Gateshead you’ll have seen how exciting places to eat and drink are popping up in lots of new spots. As a bar, restaurant and food & drink photographer there’s suddenly lots of fresh opportunity to take interesting shots at attractive local venues. This year has been particularly lively with the opening of Route on The Side, Brinkburn Brewery in the Ouseburn and By the River Brew Co on Gateshead Quay to name but a fab few. I have been buzzing this summer as I’m a big foodie nerd outside of shooting hours and having all this choice and exceptional quality is just brilliant!
It’s not just the food that is amazeballs (Hawkers market at By the River Brew Co offers international street food, Träkol, Route and Brinkburn Brewery sophisticated small plates) it’s the venue locations that make them really exhilarating. Most are set within historic and very photogenic industrial Newcastle including terraced spaces within the Tudor architecture of the Side, a bar with an entrance to the underground Victoria Tunnel and river side under the 7000 tonnes of sturdy Tyne Bridge steel. So when the Mail on Sunday got in touch to ask me to take photos of Träkol restaurant I was pretty enthusiastic!

The brief from the Mail picture desk was to capture Träkol’s shipping container exterior sat between the beautiful bridges together with the interior design and restaurant’s open fire cooking. I was given a list of dishes Tom Parker Bowles had sampled the previous week to be reviewed in the Sunday supplement Event magazine on Sunday 23rd September. Träkol’s dishes of Surf Clams, Octopus Ceviche, Osado Cooked Lamb, Pig Tails and the Half Pig Head feast were prepared expertly and presented beautifully by the chef for me to photograph. The dishes were such a beautiful mixture of textures, colours and garnish that a week after I booked to go experience it for myself. I was blown away by the flavours, atmosphere, service and the high quality of the food. I really recommend a visit starting with an ale by the Tyne, then after a night cap in Hawkers Market. The location and views are exhilarating! Hurrah for these canny new businesses in the North East, giving us amazing new experiences and something to feel proud, show off and shout loudly about!

Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co

Food and interior photography by newcastle Photographer taken in Gateshead's Trakol by the river brew co

newcastle photographer takes food images at restaurant by the tyne

 

The Ultimate Big Cheese Kit Recipes

The Big Cheese Making Kit has had such success with it’s easy to follow kits for making a variety of cheeses at home that soon it is to launch the Ultimate Cheese Making Kit! This kit will be the king of cheese making kits and comes with an accompanied recipe book for delicious suggestions as to how to use the home made cheese in savoury and sweet dishes.

I was up in Edinburgh on location last week shooting food photography images for the home made cheese recipe illustrations in owner Ailsa Proverb’s now famous kitchen and these are samples you see below. The kits are sent worldwide and Ailsa recently received an MBE from the Queen for services to the Food Industry after only a short time in business. Bravo! Say cheese Queenie!

Here are a selection of images from the two days we spent in Ailsa’s fabulous kitchen. Photography tips are below for anyone wanting help and hints on food photography on location.

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Macro Lens & Food Photography on Location Photography Tips – The Basics

So my blogs are taking a new angle now as we all know the internet is rather old fashionably known as the ‘information super highway’ so I thought it important to start offering more informative photographic help and tips.

So to set the scene for well lit light and attractive food photography on location I needed elements of studio photography to be taken to the location. I used one flash 400 head with a 1m x .5m soft box bounced onto the ceiling to avoid harsh light bleaching out the white texture of the homemade cheese as much as possible. In terms of kit, I shot with my Nikon D700 (full frame) and I used my 24-85mm Nikon lens with built in macro to get detailed mouthwatering close ups of the ingredients. I shot on macro setting throughout and used the zoom on full 85 for some close up compositions.

Food photography really benefits from a shallow depth of field, so an f-stop of around 2.8 to 3.5 will give you the sharp focus and extreme blur in one shot. My shutter speed was 125 and ISO was 250 fairly statically as the flash head kept light constant despite the nearby window. Try not to rely on natural light as you will be struggling with setting changes if the sun goes behind a cloud. But do try to mimic the way that natural light can cast gentle shadows from a natural source like a window. NB when using shallow depth of field, you must be careful to highlight the correct part of the food in the photo and for this we had the mantra that ‘cheese is king’!

Ailsa’s colleague Alison had prepped most of the food the day before as most would be typically served cold or cool. This takes the pressure off as hot food wilts and hardens as it cools and becomes unattractive so the window to shoot is much smaller. We also had carefully chosen props with subtle shades with small splashes of colour on the crockery for the styling. So the prep had been paramount to the success of this shoot.

If you are doing lots of close ups then it’s a lot easier to work in a location environment as little of the backdrop will be included, so a little mess can be allowed! If you want some backdrop blur of the natural environment then remove any strong coloured items that may distract from the food, particularly red. You can also have relevant props blurred as I did with the Gnocchi shot leaving the parmesan grater in the backdrop. The macro lens was used throughout this two day shoot as it will enhance the recipe book by helping the reader identify the ingredients easily and imagine how it might feel and taste in the mouth as they eat it. You can get in really close and select the most attractive part of the dish. There is a lot of experimentation with this type of photography so it is a lot more time consuming that most. Although as you image extremely rewarding too!

 

 


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The Big Cheese Making Kit

Big Cheese Making Kit has been created by Ailsa Proverbs and her team offering an amazing product for those who fancy the idea of making cheese at home. It has exploded so fast that originally the kits had instruction manuals with quick phone snaps. With the demand increasing for Christmas from stockists such as Debenhams and Harrods, Ailsa wanted to replace the temporary shots with professional ones. I was commissioned to capture well executed illustrative photos of the key stages in the cheese making process for Halloumi, Goats and Mozzarella. As food and drink photography is one of my specialities I was delighted to get on board!

The day was lots of fun learning about cheese making as I worked and Ailsa’s beautiful new kitchen was a fantastic backdrop for the imagery. For anyone interested in these kits, have a look at thier website as they make a perfect pressie for any cheese lovers!  http://www.bigcheesemakingkit.com 

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The All Seeing Eye, Fluid Group Newcastle

The All Seeing Eye opened two weeks ago by owner Oliver Vaulkhard of Fluid group in Newcastle. Heineken’s Star Pubs and Bars have invested in the refurbishment of what was The Blackie Boy’s rarely used function room upstairs. The historic features have been exposed with the roofs rafter’s, rustic red brickwork and 30’s satined glass windows creating a cool New York feel together with ornate Moroccan tables and velvet furnishings adding a laid back vibe.

The brief was to capture PR portraits of Manager Dave Walker and his staff along with photography of the bar interior design showcasing the large atrium, the light features and the relaxed low ceiling snug area. The lighting and colours created dramatic compositions perfect for PR & marketing photography for todays Journal to promote this fantastic new late night bar in Newcastle city centre.

The article is in today’s Journal on this link http://www.thejournal.co.uk/business/business-news/popular-pubs-receive-240000-makeover-7120118

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Caledonian Brewery Cask Ale ‘Hero’ Photography

Well Monday entailed yet another sunny afternoon spent in a pub! But not guzzling pints, just making them look pretty! Caledonian had asked ND Creative to add some hero shots to the Cask Ale document they were designing. So I went to a fab little pub in Ponteland to elbow the locals out of the way at the bar and get the shots that make your mouth water.

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caledonian cask ale photos