Having had such a good time with the cheese and flies, it seemed only right to see how the next thing that came to hand would fare in the atmosphere of my newly chosen shooting space. These apricots were the lucky candidates.

A great part of my life has been spent bending light, both artificial and natural, to my will. In my youth I was apprenticed to a magician with light from whom I absorbed as much as I could before my ineptness forced him see the wisdom of “letting me go”. The fun of being in the world of fashion photography in London in the 70’s totally eclipsed, for me, the whole point of my apprenticeship. A good example of my lack of total commitment would be the pleasure I took in driving the open sided, red Mini Moke at high speed to the processing house after a session. This often resulted in my delivering less rolls of film for processing than the amount with which I had been entrusted. Some stray rolls would fly out of the Moke during extreme cornering ย where they would lie in the gutter until the Council dustmen next cleaned the roads. ย Sadly, the work ethic and I are not like peaches and cream: more Arctic and Antarctic – poles apart. But, I do have a spongelike quality when knowledge is randomly spilled. Amongst the magic light potions that I mopped up there was one with which I have become recently reacquainted.

“To produce dark and moody pictures you need to use a lot of light”. The picture above was put together with bright sunlight pouring through a window.


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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39 Responses to Stoned…

  1. wisejourney says:

    Beautiful picture…as always

  2. I don’t know how you did it (I wish I did!) but it’s beautiful. The apricots look pretty tasty, hope they didn’t disappoint.

  3. Mad Dog says:

    Stoned and you still produce good work!
    Your story reminds me of working for Terry O’Neil in Holborn Studios. He was photographing the cast of Phantom of the Opera, in costume. He was very unhappy because he couldn’t get the shadows he wanted. He worked with an old Hasselblad with 12 on backs which are slow to load. Terry works quite fast and while changing a roll of 120 and trying the get it very tight before licking the gummed strip the damn thing shot out of may hand – ruined! Fortunately it was behind Terry’s back and he never noticed. I don’t suppose it mattered, he always shot 3 or 4 rolls that looked identical ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Amazing. I worked so much in Holborn Studios – I knew Margaret and Vince very well. Clive worked with the same Hassel – 12 on backs,ect. How many unnoticed rolls of masterpieces did we assistants lose, I wonder?

      • Mad Dog says:

        It definitely wasn’t the first one that shot out of my hands (though the only one of Terry’s) and I remember fogging 6 sheets of shot 10 X 8 at Selous Street Studios (when I was very green), as I hurried to get it out of the slides and into a box for the bike that was waiting. I think I closed my eyes and left the light on!
        Did you go to the big Holborn party when it moved to Eagle Warf?

      • I think I was there. I did an awful lot of shoots at Eagle Wharf as well. I think I got quite well known for my “outstanding balance”!

      • Mad Dog says:

        We’ve almost met then – that was one hell of a party ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • ..there’s every chance that we did meet.

  4. Gorgeous. I want to do that.

  5. I get a moody shot once in a while.. but purely by accident. Would you share with us amateurs:D Never mind.. just share your dessert.. I’d settle for that.. xx

  6. I would never have thought light was required for dark and moody, Roger. Excellent advice.

    I rushed to the Farmers Market for peaches this morning, thinking of you. They were sold out. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I got head-on fresh shrimp instead.

  7. Ok that is pretty cool you got to work with a magician. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love hearing about people’s journeys in life.

  8. cecilia says:

    You and Mad!!! Bad boys, I can just see it. The peaches on my tree were looking so gorgeous I was looking forward to sharing them with you but we have had downpour after downpour this morning and the extra weight and wind has quite broken the branch.. and down it came peaches and all, it is an old tree and does not have many branches left.. should have thinned harder.. Great shot, great tip!! have fun with your knives.. c

  9. Eha says:

    An absolutely wonderful moody photo . . . you certainly have not lost the touch! But, hmm, those post headings!! ‘Stoned’? These days as bad as ‘gay’ methinks put down on paper . . . I can just imagine the wry smile on your side . . .

  10. they’re good enough to reach through the screen and eat. A great subject for the season.

  11. Tandy says:

    I love this photo Roger ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I shall remember that one. That’s a veritable Heathcliffe of a photograph.

  13. Inspiring stuff Roger, I always tend to go for the darker moodier shots, and I love this one.

  14. ChgoJohn says:

    Stunning photo, Roger, and fascinating that full light is required to create the effect. Stone fruit are still a few weeks away and, as much as I’d like to see them, I can wait. Summer has just arrived and I’m not about to rush it along.

  15. Gorgeous light! And your apricots? The perfect models.

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