snapshots and observations

Friday, 30 April 2010

science of eight limbs

i did a shoot this morning for a band called
science of eight limbs.

the band forgot the props that i'd asked them to bring along.
they didn't bring any instruments,
nor did they bring the special labcoats they wear on stage.

as i said to them... " it's just going to be a picture of two blokes...
how is anybody going to know you're a band ? "
they usually open their live sets wearing gas masks. i think this could have been
interesting if they had their gas masks on... their lab coats too.
it would have had something about it... looked like a band pic perhaps ?

i did a few frames with my light in the shot, to kind of
make it look like a photo shoot rather than two lads having a snapshot taken.
once again, i think it would have looked better with labcoats and/or gasmasks.

i think we'd all had enough by this point...

imagine it with their gasmasks on, or even with a guitar, microphone,
drums... hell even if one of them was holding a bunch of flowers it would have
been better !

still, i did manage to do one shot that i really liked...
so it wasn't a totally wasted morning

proper kit-kat review

so here we have it. the king of the kit-kat world

no fancy packaging. simple yet efficient.

open it up and...

boom !

four fingers, no excessive packaging within packaging.
no fancy flavours, just chocolate and biscuit.

job done.

green tea kit-kat review

day three of kit-kat reviewing.

have a look at this...

is there any chance ?

green tea flavoured kit-kat !

as usual it's an impressive package and when opened...

two packs of two fingers... grrr !

in the name of all that's holy !
green kit-kat !

to be honest. it didn't taste as bad as it looked.

it's still not right though is it ?

the table in brighton

a nice big photo of mine appeared in a magazine last sunday.

the restaurant is called 'the table' and it's in brighton.

if you're ever in brighton, i'd recommend it.

turtles are surprisingly fast swimmers

let me recommend a film to you.
it's hard to describe it... perhaps a little like 'amelie'
i would also say it's a bit like a japanese version
of an almodovar comedy.

£5.99 on amazon.

i would say exactly what it says on the box...
"one of the funniest films i've seen in a long time"

Thursday, 29 April 2010

royal milk tea kit-kat review

in the interests of fair play, i've decided to review the kit-kats
one per day. so following on from yesterday's wretched
strawberry flavoured effort...

royal milk tea kit-kat

once again, fair play to the japanese. the packaging is first class.
nice tartan detail. a photo of a cup of milky tea and some traditional
shame i had to break into this... it would have made a nice little ornament.

and again, after opening up the box...
 the contents are split into two packets of two fingers. 

i'm unhappy with this situation and i'll tell you why.
anybody who has shared a chinese meal or say a pizza with me knows the rules...
'marky don't share'
my family and what's left of my friends know this rule only too well.
my views on chocolate covered snacks are well documented so there is no 
way on earth i am ever going to share a kit-kat.
so what i'm saying is... nice packaging but pretty pointless.

opening up the packet and boom !
the smell of medicine again...

what a con... a cross between a milky bar and a kit-kat.

absolute filth !

time for another twix !

foto: mark whitfield

i've photographed jamie oliver a few times over the past couple of years.
here's a grab from a danish magazine who asked me to take
some photos of jamie to show how sexy he was.
( i was told that their readers had voted him the world's 2nd sexiest man )

i liked the credit they gave me... nice and big.

spanish socks

i had a shoot in a shirt shop in mayfair this afternoon.
i'm not much of a shirt wearer but gentleman's hosiery
has been an interest of mine for quite some years now.
 the shop had special socks made for the forthcoming world cup.
socks in the national colours with embroidered flags... perfect.

i looked long and hard but couldn't find any wales socks...

so i bought these bad boys

i also bought a pair of mexico socks but they gave me the wrong size and 
i have to take them back... grrr !

if you're interested in the world cup shirts, boxer shorts or socks...

bad twin, bad snack.

i had bad twin assisting on a shoot today.
she seemed to be in a mood with me, but it's difficult to tell.

i asked her to stand in for the subject when i was setting up the lights.
and here she is giving me her trademark look...

after the shoot we went next door to apostrophe for a snack.
for some reason i chose to eat this...

i won't lie to you. it was the worst thing i've eaten since school dinners.
the problem was that this was displayed next to a chocolate eclair.
so i assumed that the pastry was eclair-style stuff... so it was basically
a chocolate eclair but with fresh raspberries and chocolate smeared on it.

i was wrong.
sure enough it was raspberries sitting on a thin layer of chocolate sauce,
but the stuff around it was not a sweet and soft pastry... it was a rock
hard baguette !
ay caramba ! a rock hard mini baguette. what a liberty !
it was absolutely foul.

the only good thing to come out of it was that when she saw
what a mistake i'd made and realised how unhappy i was...
bad twin began to smile...

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

pub quiz

last night we had arranged to go to the dartmouth arms pub quiz
with jackie's niece rosanna and her boyfriend mike.

we hadn't been since january...

i thought long and hard about which gloria gaynors would be best suited to 
wear to a pub quiz. nothing too flash, nothing uncomfortable, no, it 
had to be a pair of kicks i felt at home with. it had to be trainers to
help my brain cope with anagrams and football trivia.
in a flash of inspiration i pulled these out from a far away alcove 
in the furthest corner of whitfield towers...

silver nike vandals.
i bought these about 5 or 6 years ago and i wore them to death but i probably
haven't worn them for 2 or 3 years now.
they are made out of a silver satin material. hi-tops with a velcro strap.
damn they are comfortable.

so off we went to the dartmouth arms.
the quiz sheet arrived and we had to choose one of the rounds as
our specialist round ( for double points )
look what we chose...
i have been tutored in the language of cockney rhyming slang by the
master himself... gooner jeff, for many years now.
though i'm deeply welsh and also have spanish in me, i've been
living in london for a long time. i've also been out with danny and jeff
on numerous occasions when as the night has worn on, they
almost stop speaking english and speak pure cockney.

i have even been tutored in an offshoot of rhyming slang...
pure cockney that doesn't rhyme.
( for instance one night gooner jeff came out to a gig i was
photographing and greeted me with the words... "blimey it cost me 
a carpet to get in 'ere" )

the quizmeister did throw a curve ball in here with
"hit and miss" a phrase which most of the locals didn't know but i had actually
used just a few minutes earlier !

to cut a long story short we came joint first in the quiz.
it came to a tiebreaker question and we won !

check out our prize...

like a boss !

strawberry flavoured kit-kat review

over the past couple of years kit-kat has started to overtake
twix as my snack of choice. although the twix will always have a place
in my heart, and is still doing a good job. i am beginning to think
of the twix as more of a seasonal snack. it seems like it's really useful in winter,
when it can be dunked into a hot chocolate or a cheap coffee.

for the other seasons though, it seems to me that kit-kat is the
one to choose.
of course the twix has been let down in a way by poor marketing.
it does it's job in a steady reliable way but it's not looking to the
future. it's not attempting to break into a new market.

that's where the kit-kat kicks in
( that's easy for you to say - ed )

in japan they love kit-kats and bring out new flavours every
few months. the packaging is also very cool.

over the next week i'll review a few kit-kats, but for now let's
start with a review of this bad-boy which i bought in hong kong a few weeks ago...

nice box

also when the box is opened there is more packaging. perhaps it's meant to be shared ?

opening up the packet immediately a smell hits you... a bit like medicine.

i won't lie to you. it's a horrible kit-kat.

i think i'll have to go to the cornershop and buy a twix.

eating churros

am i scraping the bottom of the barrel in the world of blogging here ?

my love of churros has been well documented over the past few months.
and i believe i've shown some fine photo's...

i've shown the churros being made. how they look when presented,
and now i'm showing how they look at the half-way stage...
( are you sure about this ? -ed )

so here i am with 2 churros left to eat. by now there is hot chocolate 
spilled all over the place and the cinnamon sugar too.
note the bottom left of the napkin where i've been wiping my greasy fingers.

eating churros is not easy. there is definitely a knack to it and i've not quite
perfected it yet...
but i'm prepared to put in the necessary practise.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

bunny banger

i was just finishing editing the west house photos and i found
this pic. i think it's possibly my favourite frame of the day...
the chef placing the rabbit sausage ready for me to shoot it.

damn that was some tasty sausage !

Monday, 26 April 2010

the west house

i did a shoot at a restaurant called the west house last week.
it's the one where bad twin stood in for the chef

it's a great little restaurant and the chef is some sort of genius.
his name is graham garrett and here are some portraits i did of him.

here he is in his kitchen just after i asked his opinion on triple cooked chips

and in this shot he was contemplating west ham's survival hopes

we moved into the restaurant where i'd set up a couple of shots
i did a few in black and white...

and a few in colour

i think i was doing my james martin impression at this point...

and this was the very last frame of the day

ok, so that's a few portraits, now here are some shots of the food
graham conjured up in his kitchen.

this is octopus something-or other...
to be honest, although the food was offered to us, this was not really 
my cup of tea... what with the green things kicking around.
bad twin gave it a go though.

graham was making this garlic gnocchi when i arrived...
in fact it's in the first couple of shots of the post:
once again, a little too much green for my liking so i left this to my assistant too.

i think this dish came next...
unbelievable !
the best sausage of all time. it's a rabbit sausage ( bunny banger )
and i scoffed this bad boy in a new uk record time.

ha ha ! i can't remember what this was except that i thought it
looked amazing, 

this came next...
some pork, black pudding and the most fantastic egg.
perhaps i should call graham and ask him to describe it rather than 
explain it myself ? i think it was poached then fried on both sides or
something like that. without a shadow of a doubt it was the most amazing
egg i've ever had. the rest of it was perfect too ( apart from the green stuff
under the egg, which i left )

i think this was a treacle tart of sorts. maybe blood oranges on it too ?
it was very nice... ( yes i did remove the green bits before eating it )

the next dish up was this...
some top of the range creme caramel kind of thing with rhubarb

here's a shot of me offering it to bad twin afterwards...
as you can see by the playful expression on my face, it was an empty offer
as i quickly placed it infront of me and eat the whole thing by myself.

last dish up to be photographed was perhaps my favourite of the day.
it's called 'all the fun of the fair'
i probably shouldn't describe it as i can't remember all of it but it
is the most amazing dessert ever.
toffee apple panna cotta with candy floss and wait for it...
a shot of popcorn !
graham has a bit of willie wonka-type genius about him.
this dessert was off the hook.

it was a great shoot. graham is an amazing chef...
a michelin starred chef too. he tells good stories, he used to
be in a rock band or two, he seems to know everybody in the 
restaurant world and he's a west ham fan on top of it all.
he looked after us and kept us fed all day. top man graham !

Sunday, 25 April 2010

weekend stuff

saturday morning and the breakfast was looking good
pineapple, grapes, yoghurt and honey.
a latte each and a fresh orange juice to share
while we read the papers and looked out over sunny n7.

we caught a bus to the tate modern where i took this shot of
me and jackie.
i am wearing the t-shirt released for the re-opening of the london bapestore.
trousers by minotaur ( only available at their shibuya pop-up store last year )
and oki-ni edition snakeskin adidas superstars...
just incase you were wondering.

after a while at the tate, we crossed the road to grab some brunch
at the table. feeling more peckish than somewhat, i ordered up
eggs benedict with an extra portion of pork and leek sausages.
what a schoolboy error !

i forgot to tell the waitress that i didn't want any salad, and there it was...
salad everywhere spoiling the whole meal.
i was in a foul mood now... glaring at the ruined dish and wondering if i could
send it back. jackie told me to 'man up' and tentatively i picked away at 
the food trying not to touch all the nasty green stuff.

well i did pretty well. the eggs ben, bacon, sausage and muffin were

but i left all the salad...
that was a close one !

the coffee at the table is pretty strong so i just ordered a normal latte.
last time i ordered one with an extra shot and i didn't sleep for 3 days
this was perfect.

today ( sunday)  i decided to bring into play a pair of kicks i bought
in tokyo in 2008.
they are made by a japanese company called 'madfoot'
and i bought them not only because i knew that they would
go perfectly with any pair of trousers, but because they don't sell them
in the uk... ( probably a good reason for that - ed )


we took a trip to fernandez and wells and although i really fancied
a chorizo and cheese sandwich, for some reason when i was asked
what i wanted, the words 'chelsea bun' came out of my mouth.
the chelsea bun then went into my mouth and it was surprisingly
good. shame i didn't have my tape measure with me as i'd like to
have made a note of the dimensions of the thing... next time perhaps ?

on the coffee front i decided that i needed more than a stumpy so
i opted for a regular latte.
as ever, fernandez and wells delivered a perfect coffee.

then it was back to whitfield towers to edit a big shoot i did on friday
and to listen to chelsea's season collapsing against stoke city...

or maybe not.