Over Farm Market, Shoot 1

Monday 27th March

I had arranged to be at Over Farm Market for 10am. The weather was very flat, bright grey sky with no texture, so i already knew that any outdoor shots were going to be compromised by this, having flat tones and a lack of sky. I was using the Pentax k1000 which i had done my previous shoot on, as it is small and easy to use, and had 4 rolls of 35mm film, one 36 exposures and 3 24 exposures. I found that 4 rolls was slightly too little, as i couldve happily taken more photographs. But this may of been a good thing since it made me stop, so i can now reflect back on the images and use the rest of my film next time i attend the farm.

I met Barry on arrival, the manager at the shop, and he agreed to go through some questions with me after i had taken some photos of the shop. The lighting in the shop was good as it was mainly natural and it filled every area. The abundance of colour and texture through the shop was amazing, and the rustic feel made it look authentic and natural, just as you would want a farm shop to be. I used about 40 shots inside the shop, focusing on the produce and different shapes and textures to get interesting shots.

I am really pleased with the images of within the Farm shop. They are all well exposed and provide context to the shop. A few images of the cow in the butchers are darker images due to the lack of light in the back of the butchers, but they have still come out well. I exposed the contact sheet for 18 seconds and it demonstrates the different contrasts well. I found many of the frames only needed one shot, which made me confident with shooting as the shop was already very aesthetically pleasing.

I then interviewed Barry, using the questions i had previously prepared. He was very helpful and informative, answering all the questions he could:

  • For their fresh produce, they see what they need each morning and then one man picks it from the fields
  • The events work between the farm shop and the barn. Money goes towards the upkeep of the barn, but this complements the farm shop by bringing custom.
  • They like to keep the animals adventurous, ostriches etc.
  • Haven’t followed what they buy back to the source, but they only buy from markets in Birmingham, Bristol and Gloucestershire so they would hope it was all sustainable.
  • Only import what they really need to
  • Keeping carbon emissions down by doing everything one man on the farm
  • Chickens come from Devon. Because they don’t believe there are any truly free range chickens locally
  • Cow comes from Hewlett’s at Westbury-on-Servern
  • Lambs come from Churcham, neighbouring village
  • Barn has government funding for the upkeep of the historic buildings e.g. Old milk parlour
  • Struggling with customers atm as they transition from their older customers who opened with them in 1982, our generation isn’t as sustainable but they hope the next will be. They have 8-10 year olds having work shop days on the farm from schools, so they hope to inspire them to cook fresh produce
  • Main custom is local, but they enjoy customers from e.g. London as they like to buy lots due to not having much around them.
  • Left over produce then gets used in the deli, creating a sustainable chain

After leaving the farm shop i went up to the farm, where the animals are and the crops are grown. Here i met the farmer, who showed me around before i went off to take the photographs. The weather still hadn’t cleared up, but i took the photographs anyway as i can use the compositions again on another day which has better lighting if they work well. The animals were difficult to photograph on film as they move so quickly, but particularly the ponies and pigs made it easier by coming to the fence. Because of the time of year, only rhubarb was growing in the fields, and only a small amount of it. I still took some photos of this, but it doesn’t fill the frame and context as i would’ve hoped. Inside the barn was simple, but providing context of the events that are held here and the funding they get makes the photographs make more sense.

I scanned in all the images, so i can look at the photographs i like together. These are the images i have chosen from this shoot which i think fit the best in terms of context, flow, exposure and aesthetics.

From looking at these images, next time i need to focus on:

  • People, natural. Interacting with the animals, shopping?
  • Landscapes, make sure lighting is right on the day
  • Few more animal shots
  • Picture of the front of the shop
  • An event would be good for lots of people
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