Floating Vegetable Market
In 2016 Paula Watts from the USA took first place in our Partridges Food for Sale category with her image ‘Floating Vegetable Market’ described as, “an early morning floating vegetable market where vendors and customers coincide on shikara boats to exchange goods.”
Technical: Nikon D800
How did it feel to be a Finalist for the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2016?
It's was such an honour to be recognized for my imagery. I am not only extremely thankful for the opportunity to travel and photograph unique scenes around the world, but to achieve an award for it is icing on the cake.
What was it about the image that you feel fitted the category so well?
When I heard about the early morning floating vegetable market in Srinagar, Kashmir, I knew I had to see it for myself. I arranged an early morning transport on a shikara boat (like pictured) and headed out before day break. It was misty and dark and felt like a romantic movie scene. As soon as dawn broke, boats from all corners of the lake began to appear and it was absolute gridlock and traffic with different vegetable vendors and customers. After about an hour, boats started drifting back to where they came, and soon there was no trace of the market existing. It felt surreal.
What would you say attracts you most to the photography of food?
The winning image encapsulated the different method of purchasing food around the world. It's vastly different than any exchange you would see in the United States and such a great way to experience a different cultural interaction with food purchasing.
What are your thoughts on the cultural impacts of new smartphone apps on the photography sector? Positive, negative, no impact? Why?
I love the way food photography can actually create a response of hunger or desire if it's done well. Lighting and texture and all the aspects that make a great food photograph can really cause the viewer to want the food right off the page. That's exciting.
I've personally noticed it gives us professionals the challenge of instant gratification for our clients and the expectation of everything being published immediately.
Which photographers, if any, have most influenced your work?
Michael Thompson, a fashion photographer in NYC that I worked for years ago has influenced me greatly. He photographs people as if they are subjects to be painted with light. It really taught me how to see light and utilize it for a great image.
Please tell us a little about where you live and if, at all, how it influences your photography.
I recently moved back to California after living in India for 3 years, so it definitely influenced my imagery by the world I saw around me. The perspective I gained through travel and living in a culture different than my own is really unique and gave me a breadth to my story telling abilities with my imagery.
What projects have you recently been working on?
I've been fortunate with some great clients and teams who both challenge me outside of myself while also allowing me creative freedom to create imagery for them. I recently worked on a large pizza company's campaign and an amazing pie company, doing both lifestyle imagery and food photography of their product. The mixture of lifestyle and food is one I'm very passionate about. It shows the love and enjoyment for food within an advertising campaign.
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