All posts filed under “photography

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Sydney Night Noodle Markets 2014

Although not quite street food friendly, Sydney has been taking steps in recent years to welcome more food festivals. And the night noodle markets is one of the bigger ventures. On Saturday night, it was so busy and bustling, that no spare tables were spied even at 8:30pm. The stalls were packed and you better enjoy queuing because there’s a lot of that to be done

In terms of the stalls, there was a good representation of Sydney staples like Mamak, Ding Tai Fung, New Shanghai & Messina. With the exception of a few dessert stalls, it was all Asian fare. I guess “night noodle market” is deemed to be a more welcoming that “night hawker market”. But the latter term probably better represents the event. There are also sponsored “areas” where alcohol was available with themed setups where for example you could enjoy your meal in the vicinity of a luxury Mercedes Benz, because hey if you eat near one, you might as well be tempted to buy it right?

So…What about the food? In general it’s okay, as in okay I’m not too disappointed but I’ve probably had better in some Chinatown food courts. To start I had chicken Karaage ($8) & duck gyozas ($8) from Harajuku Gyozas which were adequate, with the gyozas surprisingly flavoursome. Then some hipster wholemeal roti & 2 curries ($12) from Spice Villa, again adequate, but come on, wholemeal roti? Look I’m a reluctant hipster at heart but sometimes, just don’t screw around with the staples. Then it was drop all pretences and gird your loins because baby there’s a BBQ pit nearby…

Sydney Night Noodle Market 2014

Sydney Night Noodle Market 2014

Boasting by far the longest queue of the entire night market was Hoy Pinoy, Filipino BBQ extraordinaires from Melbourne. The one thing I know about street food is that if there’s a giant throng of people around the stall, it’s probably good. Actually it’s probably better than good. JUST LOOK AT THE HEAVING PILES OF MEAT SKEWERS… OH MY!!!

Sydney Night Noodle Market 2014

Sydney Night Noodle Market 2014

Anyway, they sold Pork Belly skewers and BBQ Chicken skewers (all $5 each) with pork belly basically winning the night (honestly does pork belly ever not win the night? It’s really the joker card of the dining table). The skewer was sticky from the gochujang inspired marinade, smokey from the charcoal grill, beautifully caramelised and just blissful. And who doesn’t love a meal that comes on a dangerous weapon of mass destruction? Those were the largest and thickest kebab skewers I’ve ever seen. You could erect a medieval defense mechanism with them, in fact I was surprised no drunk bogans had impaled themselves by that stage of the night. They were indeed that sharp. Okay maybe said bogans were all too sloshed at the Harvey Norman tent to find their way to a good meat skewer. Hoy Pinoy was a line that I’d be happy to stand in again but unfortunately I was quite full by this time so dessert? y/y?

ALAS, by the time I’d waltzed to Messina in anticipation of their lucky pot pie gelato masterpiece, they had cut the line off so it was not to be. So instead we’d settled for mini pancakes with chocolate & red bean sauces ($10). Lending a slightly sugary and tepid disappointment to the night.

Sydney Night Noodle Market 2014

Hawker markets in Sydney are usually more miss than hit. Usually the food is adequately delicious for the setup but it’s the price that kills. Most plates are equivalent to or a few dollars more than their food court counterparts but with a smaller serving. So you’re essentially paying 8 dollars for an “entree” and 12 dollars for a “main”. Compare this to real street food cultures like Hong Kong or Penang where you’re paying only a few dollars for a similar plate. I get that Sydney is an expensive city (DON’T WORRY WE ALL GET IT!!!), but honestly when it costs this amount of money to eat food off plastic plates whilst standing around an assortment of plastic chairs and tables in a park. It feels pretty disingenuous when I can walk 5 min down the road and enjoy a similarly good if not better meal for 2/3 of the price in a much more relaxed setting.

Okay look… maybe it was all worth it for that Pork Belly skewer in the end.

Sydney Night Noodle Market 2014

Sydney Night Noodle Markets
Hyde Park, Sydney, October 10 – 26, 2014

 

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Brochure Food

A while ago I was asked by my parents to design a brochure menu for their little Fish & Chips/Seafood shop. Can you imagine after 13 or so years of owning it we never had a brochure menu? Yikes. Of course with my newly found passion for food photography I took it incredibly seriously, possibly too seriously much to my parents chagrin. This was to be my first foray into commercial food photography. I had to keep things simple and in line with what their business was all about, namely to provide old-fashioned fish & chips, burgers and fresh seafood to the local community.

So definitely no hipster food styling here, no lifting the blacks, no casually placed herbs or cutlery. It was about presenting the produce in a clear, defined and delicious way. And ultimately to take photos which would in work in print (which is very different to an LCD screen), in a folded brochure. Honestly to my surprise the assignment proved to be much tougher than my usual food styling philosophy of “faking it ’till I make it”. It certainly made me appreciate even the simplest of commercial food photos these days. You know that photo of a delicious kebab at your local? A photographer possibly slaved hours over it.

Fresh Seafood

Fresh Seafood

Fresh Seafood

Calamari and chips

Grilled Salmon with Chips & Salad

Cheeseburger

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Best of Summer Photography 2013-2014

Even though I tried to take it a bit easier these summer holidays, I still managed to pack in 3 crazy interstate trips, the first of which was a road trip with my high school bestie and her other half to the 12 apostles along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. It was the first time I’ve ever hired a car and the first time I’ve ever undertaken that amount of driving. The trip was epic and really made me appreciate the rugged desolation of Australia’s untamed coastline. It was also the first time that I really tried my hand at some landscape photography. Although I was severely disappointed as the sun ducked behind heavy clouds in the last hour or so of golden light at the 12 apostles, I still managed a couple of good shots, still a lot to learn though.

12 Apostles, Victoria, Australia

12 Apostles at Sunset

 

My 2nd trip saw me head to Brisbane for some tennis and to my absolute suprise, I also discovered that Brisbane has one of the coolest art museum complexes in Australia. I was mighty impressed with QAGOMA and in particular the Falling Back to Earth exhibit by Cai Guo Qiang. My partner in crime and I also discovered yummy delights in the QAGOMA cafe in between our bouts of tennis fueled glee courtside at the Brisbane International. It was my first time shooting tennis with my new 5D MKiii and Canon 70-200mm F4L IS combo, and along with eliciting camera envy from those around me (and possible annoyance as well), it was awesome getting the results in lowlight and with ISOs of 3200. It makes it insanely hard to go back to crop sensors now however my wallet is still screaming distress.

Eucalyptus by Cai Guo Qiang

Heritage by Cai Guo Qiang

Dessert at the Cafe

Roger Federer Brisbane International

Roger Federer Brisbane International

Roger Federer Brisbane International 2014

Brisbane International 2014 Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova

And of course my last trip was to be my yearly pilgrimage to the Australian Open in Melbourne once again. Of course the main reason was to stalk Roger Federer and watch him play/practise (after all how many more years is he going to play right?) but I was more relaxed about my photography this time round. I didn’t shoot every match I saw, I tried to be a little different, perhaps a little more artistic this year.  I wanted to get closer and capture more emotion…some black and whites even crept into the final mix. Overall  I was balled over once again by the new camera/lens combo and I hope one day I can get accreditation to just get even a bit closer and personal to really capture those intimate shots.

Roger Federer Black & White

Roger Federer 1st round match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer Day 3 Practice Australian Open 2014

Australian Open - Belinda Bencic - Black and White

Australian Open - Grigor Dimitrov - R1 - Black and White

Australian Open - Richard Gasquet Practice

Australian Open - Grigor Dimitrov - R1

Red Currants
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A Very Merry Red Currant Christmas

I saw these beautiful fresh red currants in the supermarket the other day. It’s not often that we find very Christmasy and festive fruits in the middle of summer here but these certainly bring a old school festive charm. I do have to say that they look much better than they taste. Since the only currants I’ve known are the dried ones, the tartness of the fresh berries took me by surprise.

Before I get inundated with some crazy festive hosting and cooking duties over the next few days, have a very Merry Christmas everyone and hope you enjoy some awesome food!!!

 

Red Currants

Red Currants