It’s really exciting for us here at Photoion Photography School when our Tutors are involved in interesting photography projects, and nothing could be more exciting than Ben Quinton’s latest project….

Ben Quinton is a London based professional freelance portrait, documentary and editorial photographer. He regularly shoots for clients such as the Saturday Telegraph Magazine, Monocle and Guardian Weekend. Originally his background was in painting, but soon switched to photography.

His latest photography project entitled “Israel” is explained (in his words) below, as well as his images:

“This was a piece commissioned by the Saturday Telegraph Magazine. Me and a writer were flown out to Israel to do a food story on the medjool date harvest which was underway in time for Christmas. As well as covering the harvest we were asked to look at dishes that use dates, and also have a poke around the souks in Tel Aviv were thousands of dates are sold everyday. We didn’t have much time, with had half a day in Tel Aviv, and then a full day shooting on the plantation near Eliat.  In that time we needed to get food shots, portraits, details, shots of the harvest, shots of Tel Aviv and more…

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In Tel Aviv I got up before sunrise to make the most of our morning there, after snapping the sunrise from my hotel balcony I went out to wander along the coast road photographing the locals turning up for an early morning surf on the beach. After a bite to eat I explored further, going to the main souk, an incredible place, but difficult to photograph since it was so busy and the light was challenging. Some of the guys there fed me lots of dates, my first taste of what was to come.

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Early afternoon we hopped on a short flight to Eilat, where the bulk of the story would be shot. Eilat is a small city right at the northern tip of the Red Sea, backed by desert where all the date plantations lye. I grabbed an early night, only to get up again at 4am, so that I could get a taxi into the desert to meet the plantation owners before sunrise. Whilst it was still dark we got up in a crane, hanging over the enormous plantation at tree height waiting for the sun to rise, it was an incredible experience.  After the calm of the sunrise the rest of the day was spent frantically running around the plantation shooting away in 45 degree heat. Once we’d finished at the plantation we jumped into waiting taxis and raced back to the hotel in Eilat. Now we set up a miniature studio and proceeded to photograph 10 dishes… eventually we finished at 9pm, the next morning we hopped on a plane and flew home.”
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