2016-03-11 Assignments as free as when Wired asked Aorta to work on an editorial about the world famous Danish restaurant Noma are rare. The duo were told that they had completely free hands to create three still life photographs, as long as the food was in the pictures.
They share with us: Two weeks before the shoot we started to collect items that we thought would be interesting to include. Everything from feathers to colourful minerals. It became more and more clear that this was not a shoot we could do by packing a bag and jumping on a plane. Over two weeks we had collected four big plastic boxes with props and backgrounds. We realised we had to drive to Noma in a mini van.The evening before the shoot we took turn driving from our studio in Gothenburg in Sweden down to Noma in Copenhagen, a nice little road trip. We spent the night in a rented apartment next to the restaurant and in the morning we met up with Steve Peck from Wired and knocked on the doors of Noma. We were shown the premises and chose to set up our temporary studio in “the food lab”, a very small space but a space where we could work undisturbed.
Already early on in the process we decided that we wanted every part of these images to be tack sharp. To achieve this we would have to take many shots of each motif with small incremental changes in focus and then use focus-stacking software to build the final sharp images. The ability to control the focuspulling from inside the Phocus software in our tethered computer would be crucial for our work. The first dish presented to us was a wild roasted duck that a Danish hunter just came in with and it was prepared for the shoot immediately. In the resulting image we wanted to illustrate what the duck had experienced right before being roasted. Maybe it had left its nest by a quiet lake and set out flying high over the white clouds, overlooking the mountains before it met its destiny on the plate.The second dish was forest flavours and chocolate. Here we wanted to bring more forest into the image, creating a still life where the viewer had to search for the actual food, playing with the idea that nature can ́t be controlled.The final dish was grilled baby corn with cured egg yolk. We thought the dish looked a bit like an insect that stings or perhaps some kind of futuristic vessel so we wanted to give it a feeling of levitation.
We were inspired to create a small world that could be a scenery from another planet. Round levitating shapes, blue sand and roasted worms approaching the dish. Overall we had a fantastic time at Noma. Their artful way of working with food inspired us to try to bring that feeling into the pictures.