JT’s 12 Days of Christmas at Storyhouse Chester

A restaurant scene from The Kitchen at Storyhouse, Chester. Two table setting opposite each other, the nearest plate has a cooked English breakfast. There are drinking glasses and a jug of cold water. With a graphic overlay saying 12 Days Of Christmas-Day 11

12 Days Of Christmas, Day 11

You may or may not know, but I really love the performing arts. I love to work with all kinds of performers and I am blessed to have incredible dancers as friends. In 2018 I got to kind of combine my restaurant photography with performing arts when I was commissioned to shoot in The Kitchen at Storyhouse, Chester.

Storyhouse used to be a movie cinema and a few years back they began renovating the whole building and creating a wonderful hub of live entertainment. I remember seeing lots of movies in this building. Up and Under was the last one I believe, back in 1998. I think I won tickets to the showing too. Now that’s a blast to my past!

A restaurant scene from The Kitchen at Storyhouse, Chester. Two table setting opposite each other, the nearest plate has a cooked English breakfast. There are drinking glasses and a jug of cold water

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

It was so lovely to work with a local business doing their part to really improve Chester’s city centre. I was very nicely surprised at the menu. After shooting these brunch dishes we moved onto the main sharing plates. I’d certainly recommend dropping in for a meal, it looked and smelt delicious. The table top was the main challenge in this situation. You can see how polished it is, which is nice for the customer but a problem for lighting.

Gridding my large softbox and feathering it back was the key. This gives me the most control over my light source and keeps the light from reflecting off the table.

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Dragging Out Of The Darkness

The other part of this shoot which needed a solution was the background fell into darkness. When the camera exposure is set for the flash, most of the ambient light doesn’t register on the sensor. In order to bring in some ambient light, you need to drag the shutter or slow down your shutter speed to allow the ambient to show in the frame. The alternative would be to light the background as well, but I chose a bit of shutter dragging in the case of this shoot.

I’ll see you back here tomorrow for the beautiful conclusion to my 12 Days of Christmas. If you’ve missed the other posts in this series you can start at Day 1 with Clare Smyth and follow along. Please share any posts you find helpful and entertaining. Let’s build a community. I’d love to hear what you’d like me to cover on this blog, leave any comments below

Cheers, JT

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