Category Archives: Local Context

National Trust Project

Some of my food images from my National Trust shoot.

l recently made some images of food for my Local Context project.  The images are mainly meant for use in ‘in-house’ publications and for menu illustrations so are not as arty as i would have liked to have made, but  I would like to take this further and make some images that are more creative and artistic using food.

bread_black_5868tart_cut_fork_white_5888trifle_white_5622 cheese_crackers_black_5854christmascake_black_5834tart_uncut_white_5782

I also made some of the images in square format so that they could be used as wall art and here are a few examples of those.

mincepie_white_square_5630 chickpea_white_5775 soup_white_5808cheese_crackers_white_5779


Photographing food

Just looking at tips and hints for photographing and styling food.  These websites had some interesting points on them and combined tothether the knowledge is pretty useful.  Been making a few flow charts/mind maps on the subject to help me (they are my preferred way to note take).

This one is particularly useful for lighting foods that need to ‘glow’ such as the honey used in the example.  Good blog post with clear instructions and lighting set ups and tips.

Creating Questionnaires and Obtaining Qualitative Data.

In researching the aspects and ideas required to produce an questionnaire to obtain feedback from the National Trust of my food project I have considered the following:

Firstly – the nature of the questions that you ask has a direct correlation to the reply that you get.

There are two types of questions – open and closed.

If you need to have feedback that is qualitative they you must ask open ended questions. If you want feedback that is quantitative then closed questions with a yes or no answer are best.

For my project I might use questions such as “How well do you think these images represent your food?” which would prompt a much more descriptive answer than a direct yes or no to a question such as “Do these images represent your food well?”

The Survey Monkey has a post which explains the difference between the two types very clearly with illustrations on how to expand your questions and conclude your questionnaire to enable you to obtain the type of information you are seeking.

The Surveygizmo has this post which describes how to Phrase Quantitative Questions. They suggest that you start questions with phrases such as;

How many?
How often?
How frequently?
How much?
What percentage?
What proportion?
To what extent?
What is?
What are?

They also have a good body of information on how to keep your questionnaire interesting and keeping the respondent actively engaged.

This is a descriptive post explaining how to format a questionnaire and the layout options.

Food Labelling Laws and Regulations

Having spoken to the Regional Catering Manager of the National Trust I have been researching the new legislation that is being introduced on December 13th 2014 that affects the labelling of what was previously known as ‘gluten-free’ food and its implications on my proposal.  Obviously a proposal that was based around ‘gluten-free’ needs to be adapted to suit the new legislation.  I have been reading these PDF’s that have been produced by Government Agencies regarding the regulations:

Other sites that I have been using for reference for this include:


Coeliac UK, (2014). How will gluten-free food labelling be changing on products and restaurants?.

Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2014]., (2014). Changes to food information provision from December 2014 – Coeliac UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2014]., (2014). Food labels – Coeliac UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2014]., (2014). Allergy and intolerance: guidance for businesses. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2014]., (2014). Labelling of ‘gluten free’ foods. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2014]., (2014). The Food Information Regulations 2014. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2014].

Poulter, S. and Harris, S. (2014). Now EU wants allergy alerts on all menus: Restaurants will be forced to list 14 substances including milk and mustard when rules are introduced later this year Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook. Mail Online. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2014].

WHSmith, (2014). Food in Food and Drink – Magazines. [online] Available at:×00064?filters=FILTER_magazine_country%3aUnited%2bKingdom [Accessed 25 Nov. 2014].

Inspirational Food Photographers – November 2014

Whilst researching the styles of photography that are in current vogue I have been browsing the portfolios of some of the top food photographers currently working in the industry. Amongst these I have discovered those such as Nicole Stich and Oliver Seidel, Marcus Nilsson, David Munns, Pornchai Mittongtare, Miki Duisterhof, David Loftus, Beatrice Peltre, Clare Borboza, Carl Warner, Keiko Oikawa and Tim Hill.

Of these photographers there seems to be a trend towards presenting the food images as a piece of fine art, with food stylists and designers working with the photographers to produce the final piece.

There are distinct styles of photographs of food in current vogue:
(1) coloured backgrounds
(2) dark backgrounds
(3) white backgrounds
(4) close ups
(5) whole plate shots
(6) whole scene shots
(7) action shots of chefs working/action shots of pouring sauces etc.
(8) shots of people enjoying the food/restaurant atmosphere
(9) food presented with ingredients photographed before cooking and the final product.

There also seems to be a leaning towards using natural materials such as hessian cloth, wooden chopping boards, linen, lace, wood table tops (natural wood and painted), chunky blue stripy china, fine bone china cups and saucers and silver cutlery in the newer work of these photographers.

The images that really caught my eye were the ones that were set out with lots of space around the food item. Others were those images that were a combination of a close up, and a wider shot of the food presented side by side.

Creative Production in a Local Context – Beginning the planning for my proposal.

A search on the internet for ‘gluten-free options at National Trust Properties’ brought up many articles.  This one was particularly interesting because it was written in 2004, long before gluten free food became a ‘trend’, and it shows that the Trust had an interest in making their properties accessible to all, including diets, at least a decade ago.

“Visiting National Trust properties

Lynda Brewer, Catering Development Manager with National Trust (Enterprises) Ltd informed the Group in 2004 that the National Trust was aware of the challenges of special dietary requirements. Catering Managers have been issued with a training document on special diets.
As a minimum they are required to provide a soup and salad and at least one cake which is totally gluten-free.”

This is a fantastic step ahead, but I can find little evidence so far that the National Trust has managed to share this information within the coeliac community.  I am coeliac and was not aware, until last year, that items such as a gluten-free cream tea are available at many properties in the Southwest of England.  It is an absolute delight to be able to feel ‘normal’ and enjoy a treat out when visiting a property and a huge consideration as many coeliacs just avoid going anywhere so that they do not have to sit and endure the horror of either the whole family going hungry as there is nothing their coeliac member can eat or having to watch their family eat whilst they are left with a pack of crisps!

I feel that Trelissick has a very social aspect to the property, with access to some of the grounds free for dog walking, etc and a large social/eating area, and would like to produce something to showcase the foods and drinks that are available to the coeliac visitor.  At this point I am considering the use of an online campaign via social media (facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram) with images and posters of the foods available and the ethos of the catering staff to cater safely for all their guests.

This was the most information I could find easily on the menu options for Trelissick Gardens (page 36) – nothing really to tell me to what extent I could eat on a gluten free menu

In 2011 The National Trust Scotland took part in an initiative by the Coeliac Society to provide glutenfree food for a week long event:

Possibility of creating an App with glutenfree options at each property would be a thought (much the same as they have done here for maps around the gardens) but obviously focusing on the food available

The National Trust does develop its own Apps and there is a link to the helpline/information centre about their apps on this link:

The possibility of getting (if it isnt already) The National Trust / Trelissick accredited at a bona fide gluten free venue can be explored here:

National Trust Branding Guidelines considered in the production of my timelapse

Things to avoid when photographing for the National Trust (as advised on page 53, National Trust Branding Guidelines).

  • Sky retouched to an unreal blue (It looks fake and artificial.)

  • Distortion from odd angles or wide-angle lenses (This gives a peculiar view of the place.)

  • Special effects (The natural beauty of places doesn’t need special effects getting in the way.)

  • Contrived or artificial set ups (Strike a false note. There’s much more interest in what is real.)

  • Posed people (People are very good at spotting what is fake and what is real.  Images of fake moments make anything else we say less believable.)

  • Staged action (Again, people are very good at spotting what is fake and what is real.)

It is with these points in mind that I have not over edited the images in the timelapse, instead leaving them at a natural colour, just using the lens correction profiles to adapt the GoPro lens to a suitable format.  In Photoshop there are colour profiles, called LUT’s that would have given a variety of atmospheric effects, which on other projects would have been ideal.

The National Trust have their own typeface which they have designed to be warm, modern but keeping a timeless quality. They have guidelines on what font to use in your document, dependent upon the type of production method. Typefaces to use when creating National Trust documents and projects (as found on page 31 of the National Trust Branding document).

Typeface family
The typeface family has four members:
National Trust Display for headlines above 16pt
National Trust Bold
National Trust Regular for the majority of body copy
National Trust Italic for emphasis, foreign words
and mentioning the titles of books, pictures and so on.
For documents produced in Word, Publisher or
PowerPoint, and for emails, use Arial.
We also use Arial for all body copy on websites.

It is for this reason that I used Ariel font when creating the credits for my timeline.