Friendly-faced Ferne Britton launched a new TV series the Big Allotment Challenge on BBC2 this month. The family show challenges people to grow, arrange and eat. Here at Parrot Print Canvas we’ve decided to turn the programme on its head and challenge you to plant, shoot and print instead!
Whether you’re green-fingered or not, we’re convinced vegetables can help you to unleash your creativity and get more than five-a-day the easy way, with a little allotment-inspired photography.
For a close up shot that’s best in show, select a macro lens and you’ll soon be seeing new beauty in the leaves and flowers of your vegetable plants. Want to capture the beds behind? Choose a wider angled shot, ensuring there’s something interesting in the foreground. Don’t forget a soft cloth and water spray so you can choose which bits of your plant look earthy! The colours of vegetables tend to show better in natural light, which you can diffuse with white material or tissue paper. If you’re not blessed with much sunlight and want to pop a little flash try and bounce it off something nearby rather than straight on.
Although pushing through the earth or tangled on the vine make some of the nicest subjects, arranged vegetables can really bring out the artist in you. Try placing vegetables of different shapes and colours in a basket on the ground with your tools in front or choose examples of the same fruit or vegetables and try and highlight their subtle differences.
Think of all the exotic foods you’ve tried on your travels – the colours and textures of unknown fruits and vegetables, the tastes, the smells! These finds are often best captured at their freshest in local markets. Next time you travel why not take the time to seek out the place the locals shop and get there just as stallholders set up? This is when piles are most plentiful and you won’t have to wrestle with the crowds to get a steady shot. As ever, don’t forget to check it’s ok to shoot by asking with a friendly smile at least.
If you own a farm shop, café or restaurant with a focus on local food a photo canvas is a great way to show off how fresh your produce is. We think fruit and veg prints look pretty tasty on kitchen and dining room walls too. Why not take a photograph of the raw materials and the resulting recipes to showcase in your dining room?
The Big Allotment Challenge is on BBC2 on Tuesdays at 8pm. Anyone who has watched the show so far will know it’s not all fruit and vegetable based, the pairs are also being judged on the quality of their floral displays. To find out how to make floral canvas prints that look bloomin’ marvellous, check out our recent flora photography how-to.