Food for thought

Markets are a photographer’s playground: so many different colors, patterns, contrasts, and textures to experiment with. Wherever I travel to, I try to visit the local markets. They are windows into the soul of the city. They display the spices and fresh ingredients used in local traditional food, but they also typically show the melting pot of cultures and influences in a town.

“Markets are windows into the soul of a city.”

On top of that, I myself love cooking with fresh and locally grown ingredients, so having a fruit and vegetable market stand around the corner where I live is my kind of heaven. It really is comforting and so important to support local, sustainably grown produce. Food for thought, in this age of globalization and mass production.

About every other time I pass said market stand, I will strike up a conversation with the very pleasant folks running the stand, and after some time I scrounged up the courage to ask if they would mind if I did a photo shoot of their produce. Ordinarily I would not necessarily go through the trouble of asking in advance if I am just passing by with my camera, but this time I wanted to really take my time composing images. The subject matter warranted some patience and attention. After all, George Bernard Shaw said:

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

Now it turns out that on this particular day it was incredibly windy and rainy. This resulted in a very white and not particularly charming quality of light. It was not a day for bright color contrasts. Instead, I focused on patterns and textures in the soft light that was available. The blustery wind forced me to use short exposure times to keep things from getting blurry, and in the low light this meant having a very shallow depth of field. I decided to use this to my advantage and explore square compositions with a close-up point of view. I chose a natural overall atmosphere, which is enhanced by the white light and somewhat washed out colors.

Produce on a market in Cambridge, UK

Market Study I

Produce on a market in Cambridge, UK

Market Study II

Produce on a market in Cambridge, UK

Market Study III

Produce on a market in Cambridge, UK

Market Study IV

Produce on a market in Cambridge, UK

Market Study V

Bonus question for the reader: Any favorite recipes with the ingredients shown? (Not necessarily all in one dish!)

© 2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.

Beauty in the ordinary

I find the most satisfaction in photography when I manage to create an image of ordinary objects that possess extraordinary beauty in their own way.  When I was on the coast of Ireland in a tiny fishing village of which I do not recall the name, I passed a pile of fishing equipment on the harbor quay. The fishing lines and ropes had the most incredible colors and textures.

Fishing gear on the Irish coast

Fishing Rope Study IV

Fishing gear on the Irish coast

Fishing Rope Study I

Fishing gear on the Irish coast

Fishing Rope Study II

Looking at the weathered ocean fishing gear makes me think of the endless days and nights of rain, fog, gale and sun that the equipment and the people using them endure. It makes me think of generation after generation of fishermen with stories of adventure, of nature’s force and nature’s beauty, of friendship and hardship. A topic that absolutely warrants further exploration.

© 2010-2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.

Bonzai tree in The Huntington Gardens, Pasadena, California

Serenity in the Huntington Gardens

In the maelstrom that a metropole like Los Angeles can be, sometimes we find an oasis. The Huntington in Pasadena definitely qualifies, and will always be among my favorite spots. Not only is there amazing art, the gardens are stunning. The Japanese section is famous, and provided me with an opportunity to get more acquainted with bonzai trees. Having never really seen one up close, this collection was quite the revelation, and made for a lovely study subject.

Bonzai tree in The Huntington Gardens, Pasadena, California

Bonzai V

Bonzai tree in The Huntington Gardens, Pasadena, California

Bonzai VIII

Bonzai tree in The Huntington Gardens, Pasadena, California

Bonzai VII

Bonzai tree in The Huntington Gardens, Pasadena, California

Bonzai VI

© 2009-2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.