This time last year, suffocating under a pile of essays, I couldn’t wait for this time this year. I imagined I would have a job, work reasonable hours and have time to do what I wanted in the evenings and at the weekend. Such imaginings almost seem laughable now.
I may not be writing essays all weekend and in the evenings, but I’m definitely not having heaps of fun either. I’ve just finished interning in London which has been brilliant but meant lots of time lost to commuting, with my evenings and weekends completely taken up with filling in applications, interview prep, writing various bits and pieces and going to bed early because my brain has been grinding to a halt around 10pm and words lose all meaning. And so I have only just, just, been able to find enough snippets of time to post-process (badly!) the photos from the photography workshop I attended in London a month ago (how did time go so fast?!) and write up this post about it.
The course was run by Meeta from What’s for Lunch Honey and Jeanne from Cooksister with Sumayya, aka Pukka Paki, providing us with a gorgeous Pakistani brunch on the first day and an enormous feast of Pakistani street food on the second. Not having eaten Pakistani food before, I was in my element tasting all these new dishes and flavours, some fragrant spicy, some hot spicy, some cool and creamy, some comforting – all delicious. Sumayya has definitely inspired me to try experimenting with Pakistani food at home – as soon as I finally get back to cooking again – whenever that might be!
The first day was largely theory based with talks on photography basics, styling, low-light photography and post production. In the evening we had a private room booked at the Montcalm Hotel with dinner hosted by Chiswell Street Dining Rooms, providing the perfect opportunity to put our newly acquired knowledge of low-light photography to use. Rare is the opportunity to snap away endlessly at plates of food in a restaurant, or even at home, without causing annoyance to your dining companions.
On day two, after a talk on using Light Room and a styling demonstration, things got more practical. We were split into pairs and provided with a brief to put together four photos for a magazine feature, one from the restaurant, one an ingredients shot, one an action shot and one of a finished dish.
Trying to get a good action shot of Sumayya cooking, with everyone else crowding around attempting to do the same, was a challenge but there’s something I really like about some of the ones I managed to capture, even if they’re far from perfect!
I especially love the ones I managed to get of Sumayya slicing garlic – I think there’s something about hand shots that really appeals to me – and those bright red nails against the white are just brilliant!
The only problem now is finding the time to put everything I’ve learnt into practice before I forget it all…watch this space!