If you haven't seen my story yet then this is the image that made on the cover of Times Wellness Magazine. They decided to crop half of the image out which doesn't make me particularly happy cause the charm of the shot is in the composition with the lazy boy on the right but nevertheless I am happy that the team which worked this hard got it's due.
BTS: This was the first image we shot in Crawford and as mentioned before the market was buzzing with vendors. Sarah had attracted enough attention already and it was becoming chaotic for sure. A lot of you sent tons of DMs after looking at my first BTS video.How do I manage to shoot with so much crowd and handle it? Now this may sound a bit philosophical but I love the fact that when I shoot, one of my eye is closed and the other is stuck to the viewfinder. This makes me completely black out the rest of the world and my full concentration is on my subject. The first thing I do though is; once I identify my frame or location I make sure to ask for permission to shoot in a situation like this. The owner, in this case the lazy swag boy was unbothered yet cooperative. Asking for permission is a respectful thing to do and if they say no I always obliged. Once I take my required shots I try to take some shots incorporating the owners in the shots regardless of wanting them or not ( I wanted him in the frame for this one though). I show the photos to the owners and I always get smiles back. This is a great ice breaker too, it puts them at ease and makes them more responsive and approachable. Coming to techinicalities, this shot if you notice is quite monochromatic, yellows and whites only. The bulbs on the roof gives a beautiful light on Sarah's face who is standing and also adds to the depth. The lazy boy sitting on the right counter balances Sarah on the left with all the whites. And the bright light bleed on the floor does two things leads you the lazy boy and also balances the bulbs on the top. Sarah's body language adds to the visual path as it's leaning on the left with hand out and the lazy boys does so on the right with his hand on the head.
Natural light: While the last photo was all about diffused warm soft light this one is sharp and hard top light, which is not always the best option in most cases especially when u shooting people. Why? Cause it creates hard shadows under the eyes and neck which doesn't look very appealing. It's funny cause the most common beauty light in studio is the top beauty dish light which creates a hard shadow under the nose n neck( popularly known as butterfly light) which is then of course diluted sometimes with reflectors. What does this conclude to? That no light is necessary a bad light unless you manupilate it to your advantage.
BTS: This was one of the last shots of our outdoor shoot and yes; the light was getting hard and unbearable and not very appealing. But it worked beautifully for this shot for few reasons. One cause a hard top afternoon light gives most saturation in colors (read a bit on how different quality of light affects colors). Hence the pop of beautiful blues in the photo. Two, this shot is very geometrical, so the high contrast adds to that feel and since it's also monochromatic the shadows and the highlights are the only thing that separates the blues from blues. I also asked Sarah to look up towards the light so the light hits her entire face and the ugly shadows become more attractive cause they are falling off behind making her look more chiseled. I kept my angle more lower to avoid any unwanted backdrop and just get the blue sky and the low and wide angle also made it very dramatic. As I have said this many times before, either studying your craft conventionally in a school or through any other medium is very important. A good foundation for any form of art gives you the confidence to build your style with more accuracy. I don't normally mention much about my cameras and lenses and focus more on the asthetics, composition, colors and lights because that what makes an image truely unique.
The beauty of natural light: For anyone who wants to learn lighting; all they need to do is study how the cheapest and the most beautiful natural light works. Learn by seeing how it reflects, bounces, changes temperature and creats mood. Once you start understanding it, its so much easier to recreate. When I was studying photography, for the first year I kept struggling with studio lights. No amount of practice helped as I kept relying on textbook methods and tried memorizing the different lighting techiniques. On the first day of my second year of college one of the most senior professor Mr. Rohington sir asked us-"you people want to learn how to light? Then switch on the bloody light and see how and where it falls." This might sound too simple and straight forward but that one line taught me lighting. I had forgotten photography is about observing and not memorizing, as there is no formula to right lighting. All I had to do was switch on the lights and let it do it's thing.
BTS: When we reached Crawford market with Sarah she just stood out and since it was 8am in the morning the market was buzzing with vendors. Some people got pissed, some asked us to leave and some were just over excited. Once it got a bit too much for us to handle we decided to leave. We were walking out when this over enthu watermelon seller insisted we shot at his stall. Believe it or not I was hestiant looking at the crowd. But Sarah being the rock star she is just said let's do it. He had tons of watermelon lying around and I asked Sarah to just lounge there. The vendor also suggested to give her a cut piece to hold. This image would be nothing without his persistence. For light, the place was covered with this thick but translucent shade which was warm in color which gave an amazing diffused light. The water melons got the beautiful highlight from the side which was not covered ofcourse and it makes the photo. I definitely pushed my ISO here as I wasn't using any additional light. A small hole in the roof threw a small spot on the watermelon in her hand and a bit more light on her face. The yellow dress and her smile just looked like a sunshine amongst the dark green backdrop.
Sarah Todd series 2: While the first series was about Mumbai and travel and organic and raw ingredients, this series was shot in a food hall much more fun and laid back styling with surrounded with packaged and frozen food.
Sarah runs a restaurant called the Wine Rack in the same mall, this was a good connection for our story.
BTS: We shot two different stories in the same day. Once the sun went harsh we shifted to Palladium mall for our second set of images. We were to shoot these in three different locations all over the mall and her restaurant but Sarah suggested that we should make this into a story by just shooting this at the food hall. And that made so much sense. I like hoe collaborations brings out the best in people and a good team work makes everything seemless.
Since this was not an outdoor shoot, for light I used my new Godox 200 which was such a convenient light to shoot with as it was as tiny as a speed light, wireless and powerful. I mounted it on my light stand with a reflector bowl attached with a grid. It gave me such a beautiful directional light and poped all those colors right through. Ofcourse Sarah's fun expressions made the shot what it is.
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Sarah Todd’s famous Iced Nougat with candied orange and streusel 🌸 at Antares 🎀
Sundried tomato kulcha, crumbled bocconcini, sriracha hummus at The Wine Rack.
An oenophile’s dream come true, the food at The Wine Rack should definitely not be missed. It would be a crime to not try celebrity chef Sarah Todd’s delish food.
Try the sundried tomato kulchas, goat cheese churros, pasta, and the doughnut platter.
#winerack #thewinerack #kulcha #sarahtodd #gobblediaries #thegobblediaries
Another fun shot from the Sarah Todd's shoot. Firstly let me tell you, this was funnily my first time at Dhobi Ghat and I kick myself for not coming here before. This was such an amazing Location to shoot at it was vibrant and colorful. Sarah was wearing this beautiful blue toned short dress so I decided to shoot her against an all blue shirt line up.
BTS. This was our last change of the day and by now the light had gotten super harsh and all of us were melting in the heat. The best bet was to use the harsh light to our advantage or shoot in a shaded area. I saw these blue shirts hanging in a line which matched her clothes and I decided to make her sit so there is no direct sunlight on her just a hint peeping as a back light coming through the shirts. Just as we started this white dog decided to walk into my frame and got so attached to Sarah he just would not leave her side. And I ended up getting some unique shots of Sarah and the dog who at one point yawned and I kid you not he seems to be having the longest tongue ever. If you notice there is also a tiny dog in the frame counter balancing the white of the dog in front. The important thing to note here is how you need to have a presence of mind and let things happen organically for something interesting to happen.
One of the key things to do while photographing personalities is to understand their personality to start with. My first interaction with Sarah on one on one basis was on the day of the shoot itself. Before this, I had only seen Sarah on TV and my perception was that she is a bit more poised and composed. I wanted to shoot this bright pink outfit in front of Gateway as I knew it will stand out against all the warm browns and the morning light. I had imagined this shot to be more serene in my head with all the back light illuminating through the translucent outfit with Sarah giving all powerful gazes.
BTS: So all this was my pre planning of the shot I wanted to take but I always keep some room for spontaneity. The morning light was amazing at Gateway and I knew I wanted to do a backlit shot. We started with normal poses and more serious non smiley images. But it wasn't working for me and I think Sarah could notice that. She decided to mix it up a little and surprised me with this kick in the air moment. This was such a fun shot and it was so shocking to see this playful side of her. I realized how my idea of her was so wrong and I needed to keep that in account for the rest of the day. The brief in my head changed from dead pan high fashion looks to fun and quirky.
As for the techinical aspect I shot this on my trusty 35mm. Shooting against light is tricky. You have to balance the glare coming in the lens. I had to keep moving and adjusting my frame every few minutes as the sun was rising quickly. All these things are micro analysed in nano seconds while shooting on the spot as no matter how much you plan half of the things never go according to the plan. Your ability to visualize and act on it as fast as possible gets you the right frame.
I have been wanting to do a fashion story as a homage to Mumbai since a while, so when Sarah Todd( super model/Master chef/tv host) and Shikha (that stylist) came to me with this project I was very excited. They wanted me to shoot at all the iconic Bombay locations and that was my brief. I like when people put trust in me and my vision and let me choose my mood board. Sarah was a dream to work with, as she has been a model in her last life before becoming the master chef she is now. Shikha did a Fab job with the looks. With Sarah opening her first restaurant in Bombay and her new show also being about the street food of Bombay we wanted to use the city as a backdrop.
BTS. When I saw this pants and jacket look I knew I wanted to shoot it in a way that it does justice to the height Sara has. The look was androgynous hence it needed to be a power look. Using the Kali pilli taxi with a iconic backdrop that balances Sarah and not over power her was the aim. We made sure that we shot early morning and use the beautiful morning light that not only lights Sarah but also is perfect for the the building behind. Also I love how the typical details of a Mumbai taxi, i.e. floral interiors get partially lit giving some color to the image. Positioning Sarah in a way that she is not merged with the backdrop was important too. I asked her to put one of her feet on the handle which gives some dynamic shape and structure to the pose. Overall the vibe of the city had to be captured without being too overpowring which I think is coming through in the image.
World on a Plate's (WOAP) third edition is here... and with it comes Bangalore's biggest culinary event. VR Bangalore is host to this years edition of WOAP. The three day event, from 8th to 10th June will showcase culinary superstars such as Geoge Calombaris, Sarah Todd, Ranveer Brar and Saransh Goila. This food festival also brings together foodies, food bloggers, restaurateurs, journalists and food brands under one roof in support for GIFT A MEAL with HUG. HUG is an initiative to collect funds for the underprivileged as a part of a hunger management programme, which aims at giving away 100,000 meals in 2018.
At the media event held today morning, i and other food bloggers had a chance to interact with the above chefs and get an insight into WOAP, their role and their love for food. Post this session we got a chance to taste thesignature dishes created by the chefs for WOAP, like Chef Calombaris's Fusion Jacket Potatoes and Chef Ranveer Brar's Matcha Modaks With A Miso & Chocolate Stuffing (the vegetarian dishes). Apart from this, there were also food stalls which had been put up by restaurants such as Caperberry, The Whitefield arms, Rajdhani, Good Dot, Healthy Buddha, Siam Trading & Co etc.
Myself and Priya Iyer also got to sample a new thing today, a vegetarian meat (mock meat) from Green Dot. We tried their Kheema Pav and chilli chicken...both made totally from soya
substitute. Very interesting and tasty... Foodies and all, be sure to sample some of the goodies available at VR Mall, the stalls are open to till tomorrow evening (10th June). Thanks @srobona_tinni
for the invite and @the_girl_next_door_diaries
a fun foodie day it was :) #WOAP #HUG #newat200deg #foodevent #VRmall #georgecolambaris #ranveerbrar #sarahtodd #saranshgoila