Art of plating.

Vue De Monde contacted me to document their new menu last year.
If I may put my foodist hat on, the food appear more rustic and nordic.

Shooting at VDM is always enjoyable.
Natural light is everywhere.
Backdrop, props and food compliment each other.

So what is left, is simply placement and composition.
Plus the pressure to shoot 15 dishes in one go.

It was later featured on The Art of Plating.

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Launceston, I love you.

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You get twelve shots in a roll of medium format film.
(In my case, sixteen as I was shooting a 645.)

It’s not difficult to calculate the cost of shooting film.
Cost + development, over the number of frames.

But.

Sometimes, you get one shot, and it is enough to summarise the moment.
The day. The relationship.

At that point, price and effort becomes irrelevant.

 

Mildura backyard wedding – Sarah & Sugata.

The first time I visited Mildura, I shot a wedding.

It was also the first time a plane was unable to touch down due to the rain, and had to fly back to where it came from.

My plane.
Rain, at sunny Mildura.

That’s why folks, you never fly on the same day as the wedding.

I’ve known Sarah and Sugata for a while, so it’s quite difficult to write anything that would not be mocked at our next dinner meeting.

Maybe a big thank you for letting me be part of your big day.

And also sorry about the shoes.

Who knew going into a vineyard after a rainy day was a bad idea?

You can read the full story from the Polka Dot Bride feature last week.

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Last day(s) in Queenstown.

Our last day in Queenstown, we went to Sherwood Hotel for breakfast.
A friend told me we should check it out, in his words: ‘someone has hipsterfied a cafe in the middle of Queenstown.’
It was surreal, that someone could actually cosplay a hotel.
We saw a girl Facetiming with her family in America.
We saw the chef making brioche buns for dinner.

We didn’t need to return the car until 2pm, so we visited the local farmer’s market with the best view in the world.
We bought a cheese platter made of wine barrels.
Ok, we bought several cheese platters made of wine barrels.

I saw this peanut butter in Glenorchy which I regretted not buying.
And with the power of mobile data, I managed to track it down at an organic food store on the other side of town.
Yet once we got there, I found out it was made from Australian peanuts, and the desire to buy, simply disappeared.
We had coffee in their cafe section, sitting next to the bread cabinet.

We returned the car on time, only to find out our flight was delayed.
I picked the corner of another stylish cafe/pub with electric outlet and started working, with beer-battered fish and chips.

An hour later,there was a ping on my gmail: our flight was cancelled.

So we waited for the airline to arrange accommodation for the night.
Spoke to an elderly French couple who told us it was their first time flying budget airline.
Fortunately they allowed an extra day for their connecting flight back to France.
They were both holding a book, both calm and collected.

By 6pm we were on the bus to surprise, surprise, Sherwood Hotel.
You simply can’t make this up.
We ate two meals and spent more than 12 hours at the same place.
As if fate attended the hotel’s marketing executive meeting.

We made dinner reservation for 7.30pm.
Chika was grumpy because the food was slow.
So we started chatting to the couple next to us from Orlando.
I corrected Jeff’s pronunciation of Roti Canai.
So now he is the Malaysian food expert in the whole of Florida.

We enjoyed our company so much that dinner finished at 10.30pm.
We promptly went to bed as the airport bus would arrive at 6am the next morning.

That was our unexpected last day in Queenstown.

I thought with internet and smartphones, we can never get lost during a trip, ever again.
We don’t need tour guides, we don’t need guide books.
Everything is searchable and manageable online.
We could pick and choose in isolation whatever we want to do, even in a foreign country.

But the internet can’t prevent flight cancellations.
And that’s when we actually interacted most with others.
Stayed at places we never intended to stay.
Ate unexpected food.
Saw a rainbow.

May your new year be filled with unexpected rainbows.
Powered by adaptation and serendipity.

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