Culinary Cinemagraph Artist Realises your Harry Potter Fantasies

Daria Khoroshavina, Russian photographer and collaborator with Olga Koleskinova on the culinary cinemagraph project Kitchen Ghosts, is back: and this time, there’s a twist. Following our feature last year, Kitchen Ghosts has blessed us all with a continuing crop of captivating cinemagraphs, from hot waffles to glazed pies; now, though, the team have branched out into the world’s biggest fictional obsession: Harry Potter.

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Because, now we think about it, what were the wizarding world’s famed moving photographs, if not cinemagraphs? Thanks, technology: we’re all one step closer to Hogwarts.

The duo are true masters of the scene, with eyes that hone in on the most delectable moments of gastronomic consumption that we all savour: the billowing steam of hot tea on a cold day, the drizzle of golden syrup onto a fresh waffle, flipping the first page of your brunch-time book. Through the composite method of cinemagraphy, the pair tease them out into infinite moments of delicious pleasure. With this new series, we get a glimpse of the sort of thing that would show up on the Instagram feed of a brunch-fanatic wizard. Steaming brandy and toasted rye bread, anyone?

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Call it visual ASMR, call it ‘That PG moment’, call it what you want: Daria has it covered: “I have a wandering mind and a big imagination that finds its way out in an art form. I love this project with all my heart. It’s not just about food and recipes, it’s about magic in everyday life: surprising, inspiring, exceeding expectations.”

We caught up with Daria again to hear what she’s been up to this year.

TP: How have you been since we last spoke to you in April last year?
Daria Khoroshavina:
I’ve been doing great: working a lot, growing our Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/kitchenghosts/) audience, and experimenting more with cinemagraphs.

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TP: What is it about cinemagraphs, rather than photography, that gets you?
DK:
After I started working with cinemagraphs I couldn’t go back to photography anymore, it seems too easy for me now. Making cinemagraphs is a much more complicated process, and has a lot more magic to it. And I don’t mean that it’s difficult – it’s multi-faceted, I’d say.

TP: So would you consider including more: sound, say?
DK:
I agree with the idea that they should be enjoyed in silence, so no, I won’t be adding sound. I really like playing with special effects though – that’s the direction I will be exploring further I think.

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TP: Could you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the Harry Potter series?
DK:
We’ve had this joke about illustrating Hogwarts books for a while, so I thought, why not make a shoot about it? We made these little pages with the actual spells from the Harry Potter books, and illustrated them with cinemagraphs. It was lots of fun to work on.

TP: So you’re a bit of a fan?
DK:
Yes I am a big HP fan. Felix Felicis potion is my favourite: it’s pretty, and fun (and I really like how it’s appearance is described in the book, rather than in the movies)

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TP: Are there other non-culinary areas you’d like to branch out into?
DK:
I’d love to shoot more conceptual art: something more dramatic and touching on a different level. But it’s not going be a huge production: rather, a mix of something extremely worldly and natural with the unexpected and unexplainable. After all, my style is still just me, in a small comfortable space, with a crew of 2 people maximum. At least, that’s what I think of it at the moment.

TP: So how does your style inspire your compositions?
DK:
I’m always looking for the right dynamic in the animations that we make. You can capture the prettiest moment, but if it doesn’t create this smooth loop, or is too fast, or too slow, it won’t work. So I think I’m inspired by the mood of the everyday moments, and try to re-create it. People often comment how cinemagraphs are calming to them, or exciting in some way.

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TP: It seems you work with food a lot – what sort of cook are you yourself?
DK:
I’d say I’m an adventurous cook. I love trying new recipes and then using them in our shoots. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, and the most important one. I usually have a cup of earl grey tea (I never drink coffee) and always have something savoury, like avocado and smoked salmon on toast ,or a crispy fried egg with sriracha.

TP: Any projects you’re working on right now?
DK:
We’re doing some client work at the moment, but for times like this I have a little binder with sketches and ideas for new personal shoots, and it’s growing really fast! A lot more magic stuff is waiting to be created.

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More gifs work from Daria:
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