So pleased to be invited back to photograph another of Nick’s amazing kitchens – this time a painted kitchen in a converted barn near Much Wenlock. Free standing units making up an island with pantry cupboard and a beautiful brilliant white granite worktop.
I arrive at the property and meet the owner Graham who is quite excited to have his kitchen photographed. He sees the array of lighting equipment and stands in the back of my van and offers to help me carry them in but I explain that if needed I’d come back for them, I wanted to see what natural light there was on offer for this kitchen.
The converted barn is upside down in that; the living quarters are upstairs, along with kitchen, with bedrooms downstairs. Graham explains that the property has been modernised with walls taken out, beams exposed to give a natural warm feel to the property.
The kitchen is not as big as the last one I photographed for Nick over in Montgomery and you’d think it would be a pretty quick shoot, but as with the kitchens I’ve shot for Nick in the past, there is detail in every aspect, every corner, from door handles to the grain in the paint work and brush strokes.
With such awful Autumn weather recently, today was no exception and as a result, the natural kitchen light a little dark. The installed lighting was a mixture of colour temperatures but some good window light, just enough to counter the LED lighting.
Having quickly looked around, I let Graham know that I am ready to shoot, so he leaves me for a while but I don’t pick up the camera just yet. I need a little time to get to know this kitchen, look at the light, shadows, the effect of having the lights on and off, even imagine the installers fitting the units, proudly wiping them down, standing back and admiring their work – what did they see that I need to also see and capture through the lens.
So, time to get too it – I decide not to bring in any additional lighting apart from a single Wescott ICE light, the area around the cooker was in a lot of shadow so this helped to chase away those shadows and provide an even spread across the scene. Moving between aperture priority and fully manual, I overexpose slightly just to give me some room to play with the levels and bring out any detail in post-production, the Sony camera I am using is very forgiving in its dynamic range and a lot of detail can be captured.– even the most blown out highlights have managed to get rescued, great for weddings on bright sunshiny days.
For the majority of the shoot and restricted space, I use a CZ 24mm lens, tripod to give me stability and expose at around 1/20th second with a mix 1.4 to 8 depending on the frame - ISO 200, occasionally moving up to ISO 400 where I can’t get enough light for the shot I need. Occasionally swap to a CZ 85mm for some detail work.
Two Hours later, I have a bemused Graham looking at me wondering what else I could possibly photograph and after a brief rundown of the work carried out and a big thanks for Grahams time I head back home eager to take a look and share with Nick – who by this time should have them up on his website.
I’m really pleased with the way the images have turned out but I think I could do better – what is missing is the fact that I’ve never met Nick! I can get a lot of information about a person through photography - but to capture the spirit of the product – hand made by a craftsman, I need to understand the person behind it, as with all aspects of photography, be it ballet, cultural, wedding, the inspiration is learning the human side of what makes the subject of the photography session meaningful. So, watch this space and hopefully we will learn a bit more about the man himself - Nick Over.