Lewis Mulatero shoots culinary excellence for Ōra King Salmon

Lewis Mulatero was recently commissioned to shoot brand imagery for the online launch of King Salmon’s premium breed of salmon, ŌraKing.

Called in by the talented folk at Designworks, the brief called for hero imagery and video footage that reflected the purity of Ōra King Salmon as the finest for culinary excellence. Bred in the deep, cool and pure waters of the Marlborough sounds, the challenge was to capture the salmon alive and fresh in their natural surroundings, being nurtured by nature.

Shot over 5 days in the South Island, Lewis and crew travelled to the King Salmon sea farm in Ruakaka Bay (the world’s largest producer of King Salmon) and remote Nelson bay areas to pick up supporting seascapes at dusk. Being an avid filmer it was only natural Lewis pick up stunning moving footage for the online video while there.

The technicality involved in capturing the space and texture of the salmon in their environment was a challenge. The recce deemed it unpractical to be in the water shooting due to the salmon being so easily ‘spooked’ so Lewis used an unobtrusive underwater pole camera system of varying lengths to get the intimate shots. Large clusters of salmon needed to be avoided to create balance. Any artificial lighting would give off backscatter of minute particles in the water, so only the bright, natural light of the full midday sun was used to ricochet off the water and salmon skin, creating a slow motion feel of calmness and harmony.

Here are some behind the scenes from the Ōra King shoot – capturing the essence of the Maori name “alive and fresh”. Lewis’s thanks go to the superbly pregnant (but not showing it!) art director Sarah Melrose and top assistant Tom Roberton (pictured).