The Forest Bakehouse at Longhope – using Ricoh Theta S 360 camera to find a new way of telling the story

The Forest Bakehouse is a fantastic bakery in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire uk.

I asked if I could go along early in the morning, hoping to capture something about their process using my 360 camera. It was a real learning curve for me, how to be present in the space, yet discrete. Not to get in their way, to observe, while keeping them notified of where I slipped the camera, without disturbing their work rhythm. Their focus and choreography of space was wonderful. They are very experienced in negotiating the work area together, both independently and as a team. It really was like seeing a performance unravelling.

I used the tripod or placed the camera flat on surfaces. I filmed through baskets, from shelves and in cupboards. The portability of the camera is key. It is quite sensitive and is vulnerable to toppling over, if a surface moves even slightly. And then there is the issue of me. The me that dislikes being in my own photos. I often hid behind cupboards or ducked behind tables, but the damn thing is so perceptive it often caught me out. This could be a whole series of out takes to make people laugh in social media!

The one I have edited pleases me because it uses a discrete hiding place above a sink to view the intensity and speed of the baker working against the clock. She navigated the task with a real knowing and understanding of the oven, the dough and the distances between them. I enjoy the distortion of the lens, the way it frames this small area of action.

I hope you do too. I am definitely willing to do commissions like this, to capture what is special abut certain making processes.


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