It’s that time of year when food stylists and food photographers start to pack away the Christmas decorations and make efforts to loose some weight before the real Christmas season starts! It’s been the busiest period to date and this year I started photographing for Christmas in July and its only just ended. Thats a 3rd of the year surrounded by deliciously rich food, chocolate and mulled wine. No wonder I’ve put on an extra stone in weight!
It’s been a tremendous few months and what better way to celebrate the end of this period than to return ‘home’ to Somerset, to the village where I grew up and spend some time with the family and make Cider!
Every year, the Fletchers at Old Ditch farm host a cider making event. The local community are invited to bring their apples, and help in the labour intensive process of making cider – the traditional way!
Some of the apples include old varieties such as Stoke Red, Tom Putt, Dabinett and Somerset Streak. These apples are loaded into an old bath tub where they are hand washed to remove any surface dirt and inspected for rot before being loaded into the Scratter.
The Victorian Scratter is a hand turned device which funnels apples through spiked rollers and passed through two mill stones, pulping the apples ready for the press. Its no easy job turning the wheel of the Scratter, but I must admit it probably helped me burn some much needed calories! Once the pulp is loaded onto the press, a team of people spread it out to make a foot deep layer. During the day seven of these layers are made on top of each other and separated by straw to make the ‘cheese’. The ‘cheese’ is then pressed and the luscious juice flows through the layers and into the bucket, which when full, is transferred to an old spirit cask for the fermentation process.
The day followed with a communal lunch where people brought home cooked and local food, from breads, soups, pickles, and cheeses, to cakes and lets not forget that wonderful thing – Cider!
As a London based food photographer, over the past seven years, Ryan has worked with some of Europe’s largest retailers, local restaurants, and food suppliers. With such clients he produces sensational images for advertising, packaging, and editorial purposes. His images have been used for both local and national campaigns: store merchandising, brochures, magazine editorials, TV advertisements, in-store/billboard posters, and national press advertisements. Now based in Tooting, South West London, he continues to work regularly with some of the best food stylists in the industry, creating appetising images with a natural and contemporary look.