Straight to plate: large panoramic prints of the Bear Café’s kitchen

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser.

I recently installed a permanent series of four large format prints in the Bear Café in Todmorden. It was a great commission; combining my passion for local food and photography, crafting a detailed and distinctive view behind the scenes in the kitchen.

Four panel panoramic print in the Bear Cafe, Todmorden

The initial brief was to deliver an artwork which would achieve two things: showcase some of their local suppliers and producers, and better inform customers that all the food is prepared on the premises.

Both are central to their business… the Bear is passionate about using local, sustainable produce wherever possible, and has long been affiliated with initiatives like Incredible Edible Todmorden. They’re also proud of how their dishes are produced on the premises, but as the kitchen is two floors away from the dining area, customers are often unaware of this. The client had previously seen my work so was onboard with the idea of using a high resolution 360° panoramic print, so we could capture the detail and experience of the kitchen fully.

Like any shoot, proper planning was key. I shot an initial test panorama during a recce a week beforehand: this allowed us to consider the positioning of products and people, and then we used a printout to mark up areas to address. As we always had a large, detailed print in mind, one of the key things to bear in mind was that we wanted an even distribution of points of interest throughout the scene. The client was keen to emphasise the importance of the teamwork and skills of the whole staff, so we planned their positioning.

Four panel panoramic print in the Bear Cafe, Todmorden

We were keen to use bright natural sunlight streaming through the kitchen window to beautifully illuminate the fresh produce on display, so worked out the optimum shoot time for direct light. The team at the Bear ensured the space was organised, and added a lick of paint to the walls, making sure even a working environment would look at its best, while still staying true to its purpose. I’ll always explain to clients that a quick wipe-down or tidy-up in real life can save hours in post production… and the real-world effects last for longer too!

Chef Scott and manager Rhian added lots of little touches and details to the scene to reflect the personalities in the business… from Scott’s homemade kimchi in jars and stickers of seminal Manchester club nights on storage containers, through to the signature wooden bear who normally sits on the bar upstairs. See if you can spot them all…

After the shoot I processed the panorama, working at higher resolution than normal, and then tested several different projections to portray the whole 360° of the kitchen with as little distortion as possible. In the end I chose four square prints, each covering 90°, and prepared the final images for print.

The detailed fine art printing and mounting was by CPS Digital in Manchester. They did a great job. The installation, before opening hours, was fun… and the final work closely resembled the mockups we’d envisaged. Looks great, can be seen from the street outside, and it’s been provoking discussion and interest since it went onto the walls.

Exterior view of the Bear Cafe Bar in Todmorden

Thanks to all at the Bear for their help, co-operation, patience and enthusiasm. Read below the jump for more technical photographic info…

Four panel panoramic print in the Bear Cafe, Todmorden Read more

High above a Handmade open workshop in Hebden Bridge

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Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for this year’s Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade. After capturing some of Thingumajig and Handmade’s creations at the recent Pollination Parade, director Andrew Kim asked me to come down and capture the joyously organised chaos of dozens of kids and adult helpers, all working in sync to make the parade more spectacular then ever. This was meant to be the last open session before the big day, and it was always going to be a wonderful spectacle.

Now in its fifth year, the parade gets bigger and better with every iteration. This year’s theme is ‘Enchanted Wood’, and floating high above the floor at Victoria Mill where the dress rehearsals and last-minute refinements were taking place, that woodland motif is apparent. From oak leaves to giant hedgehog and deer, the puppets and costumes look fantastic, and the excitement was palpable.

Originally scheduled for Saturday 23rd, the parade had to be rescheduled following the severe flooding which so badly affected parts of the Calder Valley on Friday 22nd. Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Todmorden were all hit by rising water levels, and on the Saturday everyone was focused on mucking in and cleaning off Hebden’s centre. However with some nifty and rapid reorganisation, the parade was rescheduled for Saturday 30th June, to happily co-exist between the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival launch and the Mytholmroyd Gala.

This is just a sneak peek… hopefully you can come along on Saturday at 11am to see the rescheduled parade… show your support for the many children and adults who’ve worked so hard to make this happen; the resilient Hebden Bridge community, and the Calder Valley in general. It might rain on our parade, but it won’t extinguish the spirits of the people which makes this part of the world so special!

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee beacon on Stoodley Pike near Todmorden

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser. Select the icon on the beacon itself to toggle between a lit and unlit scene. Enjoy the view!

It’s been an especially long weekend in the UK, with two extra days holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and it seems as if most of the country’s taken it to heart as an excuse for an extended party. Me too, but the crowning glory for me was seeing our local Jubilee beacon lit at dusk on the hills above Todmorden.

I only found out by chance on the day that the nearest Jubilee beacon would be at Stoodley Pike, a favourite vantage point overlooking the Calder Valley. As I read the details a couple of hours before it was due to be lit, there was a slight drizzle outside, so I was unsure if I’d be rewarded with a spectacular view if I climbed up to the monument.

However by 8pm the evening sun was glorious – a perfect example of the photographer’s golden hour  – and I decided it’d be well worth a drive and climb to capture a couple of my 360° panoramas as the beacon was set alight. I’d already had a busy day in Todmorden, photographing the Pollination Parade, and thought it’d be perfect to round everything with a bit of exercise and a stunning view over the South Pennines.

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Don’t worry, bee happy: Todmorden’s Pollination Parade

Wide-angle elevated photo of Pollination Parade in Todmorden

Here’s an aerial panorama of this weekend’s Pollination Parade (as it passes Todmorden Market) which launched Incredible Edible Todmorden’s new Green Route…and coincided with both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend, and a welcome window of sunshine!

The parade showcased the best of local creative talent. Led by Handmade Parade and featuring artworks from Thingumajig Theatre it was a riot of color, activity and music. The atmosphere was great; the costumes and performances were fantastic; and everyone had a brilliant time.

If you were there, see if you can spot yourself in the crowd by linking on the picture below to view a 360° view. (My favourite bits are the young lad doing a handstand, and Andrew Kim energetically at the fore of the parade on his stilts!)

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

(Update) Here’s a couple more views, this time from outside the front of the Town Hall on Halifax Road.

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser


Creative Calderdale business event

Anti Limited took part in the Creative Marketplace component of Creative Calderdale’s latest business event at the Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre in Halifax.

It was a great chance to meet up with like-minded local businesses and talk about their creative requirements. I met some really interesting people; thanks to everyone who said hi and were keen to find out more about what Anti Limited offers. If you were there, hope you spot yourself in the video!

I played a range of my eye-catching timelapse videos on a large monitor to draw traffic to my stand – and thought it was a great opportunity to show how easy it is to capture the event in its own timelapse – so I set up a discrete rig to do just that. (Some cynics suggested I did this just to monitor how quickly the sweets on my stall disappeared…)

After the majority of attendees headed to the various funding seminars I also took the opportunity to shoot a quick panorama of the full space, and you can view this below.

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