photography

Julia Child: Photo portrait of a cook

This is a review of a book review (?!) jampacked with 1950s Paris culture and glamour, culinary groundbreaking history, Julia Child, romance and gorgeous photography.

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The book is “France is a Feast”, and tells the story of Julia Child, with photos by her deeply enamoured husband, Paul Child, who was also an excellent photographer.  The book text is written by Julia’s biographer and nephew, Alex Prud’homme, the photos collected by photography curator Katie Pratt, whose parents were close friends of Paul and Julia Child, so there’s a clear and close link between the writers and their subjects.

A well-written book review makes you want to rush to your local bookshop or library (depending on your budget)

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Alternative Christmas Tree - if you prefer to leave them uncut - get a Sandra Jordan photograph! Feature on the photographer's contemplative winter landscapes photos at www.commaand.co

Winter Photography: Alternative Christmas Tree

If you prefer your Christmas trees left in nature, unchopped, au naturelle – then an alternative for December decoration is to buy yourself a print from Sandra Jordan Photography.

The print featured is “Winter Forest #1”.  And, encouragingly, that number would lead you to assume that there are other photographs in a similar vein.  And you would be right.

With a touch of the poetic and humorous, this particular series is called Cabin Fever – and Sandra describes it thus:

cabin fever noun

a term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period.

I live in a busy city, I live with a busy mind, sometimes I feel trapped within my own limited space and have an urge to run away, to escape. Photographing this series allows me to stop, breathe and take stock.  I hope that my  photographs allow the viewer to experience the same sense of space, serenity and peace.

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Guest blog: Food Photography Tips

Have you ever cooked something rather wonderful – want to share the recipe with others – but found that when you took a photo, your glorious dish looked, well, underwhelming?

Professional photographer and food blogger “Cooking without Limits” has got it sorted out – I picked up some excellent tips from her blog – and she’s kindly agreed that I can share them.  Here’s how to deal with the nightmare of taking photos in poor light…..

Shooting in low-light is a challenge for all photographers. Late afternoons, rainy days, evenings or winter days are just a few situations when natural light is low. You could invest in artificial lights or flashes to deal with all this problems, but not all of us have money to spend on lighting studios. I have […]

via Tips for shooting low light food photography — Cooking Without Limits

Poems about Photographer Lee Miller

Jacqueline Saphra has written a series of sonnets about the colourful (even in black and white) life of Lee Miller: “A bargain with the Light, poems after Lee Miller”.  This book has 17 days left to sell a few more copies to raise the sum to publish it.  It will be in a limited edition of 300, each signed by the poet, and containing photographs by and about Lee herself.

Jacqueline Saphra explains what inspired her to write the book – unfortunately the still frame chosen does not reflect the interest of what she says!

Who is Lee Miller?

Lee was a pioneer – a New York model who went to Paris to learn how to photograph with Surrealist pioneer Man Ray (whose muse she became), a Surrealist artist in her own right, together with her husband Roland Penrose they were friends of Picasso, indeed hosting him on rare visits to Britain (where their young son famously bit the artist).  Lee also knew dark times as a survivor of childhood abuse, the obssessive love of an artist and her own work as war photographer including the liberation of Dachau concentration camp whose horror marked her.  An extraordinary woman in extraordinary times.  She both observed and recorded it in her camera but lived through it in a way only she could.

War Photographer

This video (below) takes you round the very exhibition which inspired Jacqueline Saphra to write the book of poems.  Our guide for this is none other than Katie Adie, BBC war correspondent, a TV broadcast journalist with a lifetime of reporting war and its atrocities.  She was a byword for covering the most difficult and dangerous overseas assignments – “They’re sending Kate Adie in” was a jokey expression in common use –  meaning that things in an area must now have become incredibly violent and dangerous if Kate was being despatched.  Because of her own career, it’s very appropriate that Kate Adie shows us around the War Museum’s exhibition.

Lee Miller’s house and Photographic partnership with Man Ray

Anthony Penrose, son of Lee Miller, takes us around parts of the family home and explains the photographic and personal partnership of Lee and Man Ray (he is recording this specifically for a forthcoming exhibition of Man Ray’s works).

 

Further Creativities:

Read:

I hope that by this point you are seriously considering purchasing a copy of the book “Bargain with the Light”.  If the poems and photos intrigue you to find out more, there are a few biographies of Lee Miller

See:

Visit Farley Farm House in Sussex, where Lee Miller lived with her husband Roland Penrose – it has a wonderful address: Farleys House & Gallery, Farley Farm, Muddles Green, Chiddingly, East Sussex, BN8 6HW

Their house had many famous artist visitors who were also friends:Max Ernst, Joan Miro, Man Ray, Leonora Carrington, Antoni Tapies, Eileen Agar, Kenneth Armitage, William Turnbull, John Craxton and Richard Hamilton  – and the house is full of paintings and photographs by not only Lee and Roland but by their visitors.  There is also a sculpture garden.

“For the most part the house is just as it was when it was occupied by the Penrose family. Lee Miller’s kitchen looks as though she has just popped out to gather vegetables from the garden and Roland Penrose’s study only lacks the aroma of his cigar smoke.” – House website   http://bit.ly/2llmO00

 

Taste:

There will be a surrealist picnic at Farley House on Sunday 27th August 2017, 4-7 pm  – limited availability so you must book (£10 each) and you are encouraged to dress in a Surrealist way and bring surreal food:

Bring your own picnic, bubbly, blankets & chairs for a late summer’s evening in our beautiful sculpture garden with stunning views of the South Downs. Advance booking is necessary as tickets are limited.

Picnic Suggestions: Pink cauliflower breasts, blue pasta salad & Muddles Green green chicken.

Or what dish could you invent which would be suitably Surrealist?

http://bit.ly/2fjIok2

 

Create:

You may want to feast your eyes on the house, to get inspiration for your own interior decor, colours and art.  Certainly the house is a great example of living with vast quantities of visual art and books in an interesting yet informal and at-home way.

Even if you live too far away to visit the house, Anthony Penrose has written a book The Home of the Surrealists: Lee Miller, Roland Penrose and Their Circle at Farley Farm House” (published last year, 2016)

Try writing a sonnet about someone whose life you greatly admire?

Make a Surrealist photo of a friend or a family get-together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iconic Photo: 1957 Milk drop – Harold Edgerton

An engineer who yet had an eye for a beautiful photo – Harold Edgerton pushed the boundaries of super fast photography, so we could see the motions of liquids and other natural things in beautiful, slow motion.

With today’s extremely fast shutter cameras, we can try and set goals of taking photographs in motion – something which happens faster than the human eye can register – because they are compelling, unusual.  They also help us consider that we live in a wondrous environment which is constantly growing, changing, even in the light falling upon it – all of which is part of slowing down and becoming aware of the now and the beauty of natural physical events.

Iconic Photo 1948: Dali, 3 cats, water….

When you’re going to photograph the Surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, you don’t just say “Cheese”.  Phillipe Halsman collaborated for decades with the painter – and his daughter recalls how their most famous collaboration was made:

To get the right mix, there were 26 attempts.  I can’t help wondering whether it was not rather more difficult to capture the cats for take 26 than take number one….

The whole premise of the photo was to shoot everything as in the age of the Atom – in constant suspension and movement.  Perhaps an interesting challenge for photography – a still portrait of movement.