I enjoy still life photography and still life photography with a message is even better. It involves more thought and creativity. And who knows, it could make a difference, however small.

The message

I wanted to create an image that highlighted the connection between the food in the supermarket and where it comes from. It’s a connection that’s easily overlooked. I chose fish because I like fish, well, mackerel to be more precise. Countless articles championing the importance of omega-3 in your diet and labelling certifying its sustainability made eating it guilt-free. 

But even without a sustainability certification I think most would think it’s OK to eat, after all, they wouldn’t be allowed to sell it if it wasn’t, right? But you don’t have to dig deep to find some of the labelling is dubious plus the simple fact it’s a wild animal whose numbers have plummeted as ours have gone up.

Environmental issues aren’t something I normally talk about. I’m not a vocal campaigner, I don’t know enough, but I am trying to do my bit. But the fact people have to campaign at all when it comes to saving the planet (or more specifically ourselves), doesn’t fill me with much hope.

It’s surprising that even with all the scientific data predicting we’re basically stuffed, how many people are quick to criticise you for making greener choices. It seems, to some, you can’t make small changes in your life that might help the planet, you have to live in a mud hut and be self-sufficient or you’re just a hypocrite. Who’d have thought trying to do a little good could be so bad.

I haven’t settled on a title for it yet, but something like ‘Fish doesn’t come from a supermarket’ seems a good fit.

How the photograph was achieved

I sketched out the image I wanted to create and will admit to being surprised at how close I got. Shot at home I used a small fish tank and some old pond netting. I used two speedlights, one with a snoot illuminating the tins and one with barn doors and a blue gel illuminating a black panel behind the tank. I placed a few pieces of white card around the tank to reflect some light back into the shot. The bubbles were created by simply pouring water into the tank as I took the shot.

Taken using a Nikon D850 and a Nikon 105mm macro lens.

You can see more of my flash photography by clicking here.