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.

Square abstracts

I love abstract photography. It liberates you from looking for what you are supposed to see, and lets you take your creativity where it wants to go. Today I thought I would share three black and white square abstracts.

Square aspect ratio photography is a great way to focus more on lines, which is what is being explored in these three images. They come from wildly varying locations with different lighting: a harbor wall on a rainy afternoon in Ireland, railway tracks at night in Los Angeles, and a church undergoing renovations lit by the sun through windows in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. Even so, the lines — some straight, some curved — provide a unifying theme.

Harbor detail on the Irish coast

Harbor Abstract II

Railway tracks in Los Angeles

Downtown Railway Tracks

Church detail in Dordrecht, Netherlands

Church Detail II

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