Skip to main content

The Rooibos Cookbook - The Making Of Part 2: 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa

Today we'll revisit our 2 days of shooting at the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa with Roberto De Carvalla, probably the nicest guy I've met in yonks. The kitchen was so organised and well-run by the executive sous-chef, that we had Roberto all to ourselves, except for the the crunch lunch hour.

The biggest challenge here is that a 5-star hotel kitchen is busy, small, and more often than not, hidden in a dungeon somewhere close to the recesses of the earth, hotter than magma and lit with insanely powerful tungsten and neon lamps. This is a tad of an issue when you're shooting slow-exposures for movement, as all the colours become dirty and yucky. Some creative blocking, flashing and filling sorted out the problem though. (Sorry strobists, no space to discuss all that now).

_MG_1248i Jeremy earns his nickname for the rest of the project from Kanya - Mary (later Mark) Poppins, because of all his frolicking around with umbrellas.

Outside it was a tad dull, weatherwise, but we were spoilt for choice for surfaces, nooks and crannies to shoot in. We ended up with our first shot of an African pot with a dish I can't recall the name off, right in the water-feature outside the restaurant. The 12 Apostles is nestled right on the slopes of the ....12 Apostles.... of Table Mountain, in a conserved area (the Greens nearly went insane when it was built), so we were surrounded by fynbos, rocks and general well-being.

_MG_1335i However, shooting in and on waterfeatures always comes with the very real possibility of death, injury, disability, loss of property or making a fool of yourself. So I asked Jeremy to place the pot on the desired spot, while I eyed some stable looking outcrop of rock.

_MG_1349i Once that was secured, Kanya and myself proceeded to this very safe outcrop and planned our shot.

_MG_1256i Jeremy is a proficient multi-tasker. A proper voice-activated light trigger, rigger and boom stand. In the words of Bert Stephani: a BIOWIZARD. (If you don't get it - a Pocket Wizard is a light trigger, a biowizard is a human performing that function).

_MG_1337i One of our test shots. See the book for the final.

_MG_1411i Back in the kitchen - we were operating according to the METHOD - see previous post - there was some time here and there for lollegagging, but most of the time I was leaning over the pots shooting the goings on of the ladels, spoons and hands of the chef.

20080821_827i Roberto inserting a delish pie into the oven.

20080821_838i Jeremy and Kanya having having a funny moment.

20080821_857i 20080821_858i We were kept in fair solid supply of Coke for the duration of the shoot, and it does help to keep you cool, focused (caffeine) and generally happy. Like it goes with stylists, Kanya was fascinated with the bubbles as the Coke was poured. I was fascinated with how small, insignificant and totally unsatisfying  200ml of Coke really is.

20080821_879i Then there was the case of the Baked Alaska. We decided on a spot outside that overlooks the sea. Again, we were devoid of sun, but there was some shimmering on the water. However, it turns out, for this particular dish, we also got spectators - a room full of tourists and a nosy pigeon.

20080821_880i 20080821_901i 20080821_904i 20080821_905i 20080821_906

However, the rascal did not take into account that we have the SA version of Steve Erwin here, and with the sudden agility of a seasoned pigeon terrifier, Jeremy caught himself an unawares pigeon getting lucky with some baked alaskan (Note: we had the shot in the bag by now, so we wanted to see how the pigeon would react to our creation). With an explosion of feathers, the shocked gasp of greeny tourists and the frantic flapping of a terrified Alaskan thief, and the raucus laughter of yours truly, Jeremy caught himself a pigeon. However being the gentleman, he let it go fairly soon after it became apparent the pigeon will soon die of shock, cardiac arrest or choking. Jeremy let him go, and with that the pigeon let another couple of thousand feathers down and hairy bits loose on the 5 star hotel porch. Also accusive stares from the guests in the adjoining lounge.

20080821_882i 20080821_883i

20080821_897i One of the test shots. We had a waiter hold the plate for us.

_MG_1523i _MG_1541i The team: Rob, Jeremy,Kanya,Me.

All of us were in agreement that the shoot at the 12 Apostles was one of the highlights of the book. The general hospitality, quality of food (I'm still dreaming about the Baklava Rob made....yemmmmmmm) and effective execution of the shoot left us ready for the next chapter.


Jis dude

Dit lyk regtig asof jy en Jeremy 'n blast gehad het! Mark Poppins :)

Popular posts from this blog

Dangerous Photography Jobs is taken from the above article, with permission:Photography can be a case of life or death. It may sound absurd, but professional photographers often go to great lengths and compromise their safety in order to get the perfect picture. Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph Mount Everest or a mission to cover the Iraq war, many photographers risk their lives just to do their job. Here are 10 dangerous photography jobs: Extreme Weather Photography
Extreme weather photographers aren’t storm chasers, but they do have an eye for photographing hurricanes, tornados, thunderstorms and other severe weather in their most vulnerable state. As you can imagine, this job is nothing short of extreme. Extreme weather photographers have to get close to the storm when everyone else is running from it, which puts them at risk for injuries and often death. BASE Jumping & Skydiving Photography

Portrait Shoot: Pierre van Heerden

So a number of years back I did a shoot of Pierre van Heerden, South African actor, musical performer, playwright and comedian, at my old studio. It was just for fun, really. I was exploring some portraiture ideas, for a project I was considering at the time. We had a great time shooting these, exploring some cool ideas as we spent the morning talking rubbish, laughing and drinking coffee.

Fast forward some years later, and he contacted me to do an update of the images, but this time for his book.

The images were meant for publicity purposes, his marketing material and such, but what I want to share here is just some of the expression shots we did once we had those in the bag. Working with an actor in stills is great, as they know their face, they know expressions and have a large selection of facial "skills" to employ for a portrait.

I would simply call out a bunch of emotions/expressions and he would comply each time.

The "30 second portrait" I made is an idea…


Herewith a little video I put together for Creation Wines's leg of Stage 2 of the 2017 ABSA CAPE EPIC MTB Race. #untamed