Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Is Traditional Photography Making a Revival?

In Uncategorized on 21 May 2011 at 13:50

According to today’s Daily Telegraph Harman Technology, the company that bought Ilford, has reported a substantial increase in the sale of 35mm and 120 roll film. Harman has said that there has been about an 8% increase in the sale of film over the last year. This comes as great news to traditional photographers of the ‘old school’ who believe that the overall quality of film is superior to that of digital capture.

Many young photographers, according to Steven Brierley, sales manager at Harman, see using film as ‘something cool’. He said ‘they want to do something different than point their mobile camera and take a picture’.

The London firm West End Cameras has also reported an increase in film processing and printing of between 10 and 15 per cent over the last year. What is more encouraging is that the business has said that prints from traditional film are outstripping prints from digital by 25 to one.

Personal Memories of Seve

In Books, Sport on 7 May 2011 at 19:03

Along with other sports lovers I have been saddened by the loss of Severiano Ballesteros after he died from a brain tumour diagnosed three years ago, aged just 54. He was a terrific golfer, a professional’s professional, and a great character. His passing will be a huge loss to golf and sport in general.

I have my own fond memories of Seve. From 1986-1994 I was the official photographer for Dunhill at the British Masters Golf tournament held at Woburn Golf & Country Club. I met him for the first time in 1986 in the tent  assigned to my team on the 1st tee at the ProAm event that preceded the main tournament. Seve had been teamed with a rather nervous Tim Brooke-Taylor, the former Goodie, who was concerned about how his golf might stand up to scrutiny playing in the same foursome as the great master. Tim had cut his hand while searching for a ball while warming up on the practice ground, and as my wife applied first-aid to his injury, they were filmed by TV cameras which only caused Tim further trepidation. Seve won the Masters that year and returned to play in the tournament several times more, winning again in 1991.

Tim Brooke-Taylor need not have worried; accordingly he told me later that Seve had been amazing and had been a calm influence on him and the other team members throughout the 18 holes by giving them all a great deal of encouragement that boosted their confidence.

I had taken a photograph of Tim with Seve (seen here) before they teed-off and I was privileged when Tim asked if he could use this to illustrate the back cover of his book Tim Brooke-Taylor’s Golf Bag. When the book was published in 1989, to mark the occasion I invited Tim to my studio after the ProAm event where I presented him with a framed canvas bonded print of the photograph. I was thrilled when he took the trouble to write to say the photograph took pride of place above the fireplace at his Berkshire home.

Over the years Seve’s command of English that seemed at first limited appeared to improve – sufficiently in fact to tick me off on one occasion for unthinkingly placing myself in his eye line as he was about to make a putt. I got the rough end of his tongue but he was suitably gracious to exchange some pleasant banter about he had finished playing for the day. Despite a tiring round that had not completely gone his way he willingly gave his time before returning to his hotel to be photographed by me with various competition winners that had won tickets for the Masters. He didn’t have to do this; and while others on the golf circuit may have refused, Seve had time for his fans.

As a photographer I worked with Seve on four or five occasions. I always found him to be easy going, polite and ready to share a joke when off the course – but during the tournament, when concentrating, he could sometimes be feisty. But Seve Ballesteros was always thoroughly professional and gained everybody’s respect and was extremely well liked.  His passing marks the end of a legend.

Fallowfields sets news standard in fine dining

In Bartercard, Business, Fallowfields, Food & Drink, Hotels, Restaurant Reviews, Wine on 1 May 2011 at 15:43

Fallowfields Hotel and Restaurant has always had an excellent reputation for food and hospitality.

They have just announced the arrival of Shaun Dickens as Head Chef. Shaun’s sparkling career has taken him to a Who’s Who of Michelin starred restaurants; with three years at Oxfordshire’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons (two Michelin stars), two years at Per Se in New York (3 Michelin stars) and L’Ortolan (1 Michelin star) where he worked with Alan Murchison for the last two years. Additionally, he spent short periods with Gordon Ramsay in London and New York, Michelle Roux Junior at the Gavroche and Daniel Boulud at Restaurant Daniels. In 2009 Shaun was a finalist of the Young Chef of the Year Competition, and in 2010 won the title for the South West Region and came 3rd overall nationally.

The world of Michelin seems open for Shaun, almost wherever he has chosen to go. So, why did he choose Fallowfields? “I am at a point in my career where I needed a project”, says Shaun – “and Fallowfields, with its farm, orchards and kitchen garden, is a chef’s dream turned true. So when I saw Fallowfields was looking, I just knew this was the job for me”. There was a sense of passion about Fallowfields that struck me when I first came, that matched my own – you could feel it – and with the passion that I as chef will bring, the future of Fallowfields is unlimited. The journey starts here, today the 26th April.

Anthony Lloyd, owner of Fallowfields commented: “This is an unparalleled opportunity for a good business to become a great business. We are food led and Shaun’s arrival has been anticipated with much excitement in the last few weeks. Right from the days when my wife Peta cooked in the kitchen on an Aga and we planted our vegetable garden and orchards and then starting the farm three years ago, Fallowfields has almost been sitting waiting for a talent like Shaun to come along to make it come alive”.