In the kitchen of Copper & Ink

Tony Rodd

Situated in the heart of Blackheath village, run by two wonderful people Tony Rodd who you may remember from Masterchef finals 2015 and Becky Cummings. Copper and Ink is a clean fresh break from the chains that inhabit our high streets especially here in Blackheath. An independent restaurant with a monthly change to its outstanding menu. This is not a review of the restaurant it’s how I see and find the world around me.

I was first drawn to the restaurant by three words, Jazz, Evening and Food. If you ask me the perfect combination. As I type this Im getting hungry just thinking about it. But it’s 7.36am might be lucky and get a bacon roll from the tea hut, not so glam on a chilly bank holiday Monday.

Back to Masterchef 2015, not only do we have Tony Rodd also runner up Rob Parks. When photographing a kitchen it always helps with some powerful personalities Tony, Rob, Martin and Jayden.

Rob Parks

In the Kitchen

Tony
Rob
Jayden
Rob and Tony looking at ideas for the following months menu
Tony
Martin prepping
Martin

Rob
Tony

Martin
Tony
Rob

Rob and Jayden

Tony

Jayden
Martin

The Team

Martin

Tony

Venice and Veneto

When you are away from you’re everyday surroundings your eyes are open and you look harder at what’s around you.

In 2015 and 2017 I spent a bit of time in Northern Italy, Venice and Veneto. I like to visit out of season in the winter. Venice has a smell of wood smoke mixed with winter rain. It’s the best time, locals have there city to themselves. Here is my photographic essay “Venice and Veneto”

All images available in print contact us for details ” Some prints have a limited run”

PUGLIA

Over the last 18 months all our lives have change in one way or another. We can no longer hold the freedom to move around like we once did.

We have not had the chance to travel so all we have is memories in the form of photos and music.

My passions in life and not in any order Food, Music, Travel and Photography.

Over recent years we have found ourselves spending more time in Puglia a region of Italy on the south Adriatic cost. One town in particular, the small town of Polignano a Mare. Built on the cliffs overlooking a small rocky cove with a rich history dating back to the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century. This is the first of many posts about the place Ive fallen in love with.

With many local restaurants and bars this small but perfectly formed town has a gem at its heart, a vegetarian restaurant call Mint Cucina Fresca.mintcucinafresca.com If I was in London there is a good chance I would shy away from a vegetarian restaurant. There is no shying away from Mint and the style of food they serve. If you’re not on board with what they do they would rather turn the booking away.

After a good few visits Fabrizio the Chef and owner invited me into his kitchen along with my camera. I could hardly say no.

Fabrizio
Mixing ingredients for the restaurants desserts for that evening.
Placing Lemon slices on the Lemon tart
Fresh from the oven.
Yet more goodies for the dinners that evening. They tasted great by the way.

Jazz Noir

Front cover from the book

It’s taken sometime to get this little project off the ground. A few reasons, what to choose, will be colour or back and white or both.

The next big one is who’s in and out, well everyone who I’ve photographed will be “In”

It’s not about who the artist is, it’s about the image. Some work in Black and white and some stand their ground in colour. As the book is Jazz Noir it’s all about the Black and White.

After 6 years photographing at Ronnie Scotts and before that photographing for UK Vibe there are not many artists Ive not photographed. If I’m honest loved every min of it.

So the book is self published project and it print on demand. Hardback 10/8 landscape with dust jacket. 122 pages of beautiful Black and White Jazz images.

Release date is yet to be confirmed depending on the proof copy and if the book needs to be tweaked.

So watch this space………..

Below are a selection of images from the book.

Watch this space………….

The concept…

It’s a trick a lot of musicians miss, the album or cd cover. They spend months, if not years, recording their finest work and then they forget about the cover. I can’t begin to tell you how many times an artist has emailed me saying: “I need a cover shot by next week” “What for?” “My new album”.

I do think this is the first impression people will get on picking up the product: plan the cover, what the music is going to be about, “who are you”.

I’ve been privileged to work on some great projects so I’ve picked this one out as an example.

I’ve known Freddie Gavita since I started working at Ronnie Scott’s in 2014.

Myself, Erminia Yardley (writer, journalist and my muse) and Freddie had a good sit down over a coffee in Soho one night and he explained the album and the concept behind the music. For me this builds a picture in my head, sometimes a hazy one, but nevertheless a picture.

After a day or so, I was clear where I wanted to take it. The image was in my mind, the next step was to visit the location. I’ve walked the location a few times in the past and it fitted with everything Freddie had explained.

The next step was to shoot some test shots to present to Freddie, to give him a visual on how I saw the cover and how it fitted in with his vision for the music. The album title was decided to be “Transient” which means: a person who is staying or working in a place for a short time only. It’s interesting how our minds and eyes see things in a different way, our minds are truly our own.

Test shot…..

Test shots done and sent over to Freddie…… It’s a yes from him. The date is set: 10th Jan 2017 at 6.30pm

We spent a few hours at the location shooting the front and back cover checking images along the way on the back of the camera. I’m not a fan of cluttered shoots with laptops and leads running everywhere especially on location in a public space. No fuss, straight to the point and get on with the job in hand. It’s surprising how much more you can think of once you’re there shooting, I tend to roll and roll with more and more ideas. I find I start with a basic idea and then it moves on from there.

This image of Freddie playing in the tunnel we set as the image to be printed on the cd itself.

Used in the inlay tray. Pushed this photo more than I normally would to give it a more dramatic effect.
Freddie then chose this image to form the back cover.
Final back cover……
The photo selected for the front cover
The final front cover….
Once the cd is laid out and ready to print……

Studio Life…

Sometimes you just take an artist and define who they are. Binker Golding, with no real plan for what he wanted out of his photo shoot, told me: “Just go for it”.

We spent the day using different lighting set ups, coloured gels and just playing around with edit presets with the camera tethered to the Mac. Creatively, this is still one of my favourite shoots.

Sometimes we work to a concept other time, it is a very easy-going shoot and we go with the flow. It’s a joint venture between the sitter and myself. We may mix natural light with flash heads. I don’t like making it too technical, it has got to be fun.