Light

You Forget It All Starts Outside

When it comes to cooking, dining and just enjoying food, we sometimes forget that it all starts outside. Great produce is what makes a great dish and it’s something that I keep being reminded of.

There are two things that I love and its food and being outside. The connection between the two is often forgotten or overlooked but when you remember, your appreciation for what you eat is so much more.

To me, there is nothing as great as stepping outside into the sunshine, fresh air and wide open spaces. As a photographer I look at the light but I also make it a point to step outside every day for pure joy. It helps me to feel more grounded and remember the simple things in life. My friends joke about it because my delight on a sunny day has me even jollier than normal. We call it a ‘Suasti Kind of Day’.

There have been so many times that I have gone to eat in a great restaurant to be amazed at the food but the moment that I think about how long it took to actually grow a certain tomato, raise a piece of kobe or mature a beautiful cheese my appreciation sky rockets. It takes so long! The people who create these products for restaurants to use and put on our plates, go through so much trouble to nurture and take care of their produce. In a world which is about fast consumption, the slow and time honoured way that these producers work makes me think twice about how it ALL starts outside – in nature.

In doing this photoshoot for Odette, we decided to take Chef Julien Royer, outside, to where it all starts with food. We are so used to seeing chefs in the kitchen that we thought the often unspoken symmetry between nature and the kitchen would be a good way to remember exactly where a great dish starts.

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Julien Royer 

With Chef Julien growing up in the country in France we had to shoot this series outside in Singapore, for his restaurant, Odette, named for his grandmother who first taught him to cook. I imagine growing up in France, he spent countless hours outside on the farm, growing vegetables and harvesting them from season to season and perhaps even sitting under a tree and day dreaming about being a great chef one day.

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Julien Royer 

 

Choose Beautiful. Which one would you walk through?

The latest Dove Real Beauty campaign #ChooseBeautiful has come out and it is one that makes you think twice.

The video which you can see above shows two doors that women must walk through to get to their every day destination. One door is labeled Average and the other Beautiful. As you watch you see many women falter, enter through the door marked average and one lady turns around and walks in the other direction altogether.

The greatest impact that the short video had was that there was no one but themselves that had to choose which door they should walk through. In the resulting interviews you hear the women feeling bad about them selves and questioning why DID they walk through the Average door. Do they see themselves as average or is it how they believe they are perceived by the outside world.

I was fascinated with what was said and did my own little survey and asked a few ‘women’ I know which door they would choose – Average or Beautiful?

The 7 and 8 year old instantly said “of course I would walk through the beautiful door – I am beautiful and on the inside!”. Fantastic I thought, exactly the sentiment I would hope to hear.

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The 19 year old said “ God I would walk through the Average door because I wouldn’t want anyone else to think I rate myself – especially if I was with one of my friends or if someone I knew saw me”. Hmmmm not so great as it appeared to be very peer dominant. When do you validate yourself for all the amazing traits you come with from the get go? At what age?

The 40 year old said “ I guess I would walk through the beautiful door now because with age comes wisdom and some wrinkles! I have a good heart and beauty always comes from the inside”. Wise words to me. Its ironic that realizing what is truly beautiful comes with age.

Dove Choose Beautiful

Which door would you joyfully push your mother, sister, best friend or aunt through instantly – without thinking twice? I think I know the answer.

Now which door would you confidently walk through?

 

 

 

A Photographer and The Light

I have just returned from an amazing trip ‘home’. I am not really sure where home is these days but perhaps I am one of the lucky few that feel at home in many different cities. There is something that ties me to each one, and for Australia, as a photographer, it might be the land itself.

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I have barely spent any time in Victoria being from Sydney and for the first time I got to spend a week there and take it in slowly. Why do Victorian’s feel so strongly about their state? It had baffled me but now that there are some years and countries between our ingrained Sydney and Melbourne rivalry, I was able to see what everyone was talking about.

The streets are wide and tree lined in Melbourne and reminiscent of one of the things I love about Singapore. Growing up, we would drive through one of my favourite streets and it was lined with giant majestic trees. Big solid trunks and branches full of leaves that the light would filter through. Each day I would press myself against the car window to see this street and I would hope and wish that one day I would get to live on a street just like that.

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The weather was beautiful in autumn and I was able to see Melbourne in all her sunlit glory. A huge highlight for me was being able to venture into the backyard and pluck sun ripened apples and peaches straight from the tree and eat them. Organic, sweet and juicy – I had not tasted a peach straight from the tree in ten years and all of a sudden my appreciation of that simple experience heightened everything I would take in for the rest of the trip.

I looked up every day mesmeriezed by the sky in Australia  – so blue and wide with fluffy rolling clouds that go on forever. There are big open spaces of land and scrubby gum trees, long sea grass, wattle and clean, crisp chilly air to breathe in. The magical thing to me was the light, there was such clarity to it. I could basically reach out and touch it. Different times of day saw the light change dramatically and I watched with delight.

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I spend a lot of time looking at the light in different countries.  You may think ‘same sun same light’ but the light hits differently on each location on earth and there is a crispness to it in Melbourne that I adored.

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I hope you enjoy these few images from my trip. The simple, everyday things can sometimes be overlooked but if you stop and slow down to even look at the light for a minute – you will see that life really is beautiful.

IMG_4328-2 copyPhotographer Yarra Valley