Six Questions – Lauren Hanson

Hello! It’s time for another Six Questions post and this week it’s Lauren Hanson’s turn to tell us what motivates her as a photographer. Lauren blogs at A Girl With A Gypsy Heart where she aims to help and inspire others, and you can also find her on Facebook.

Lauren HansonSO HOW DID IT ALL START?
I have been taking photographs of… pretty much everything since I was a child. I purchased my first camera when I was 11 and ended up babysitting and doing extra chores to pay for film and processing. I just love capturing beauty and masterpieces.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY?
I have to say I have three favorite types of photography… all pretty different. I love portrait photography. As I said earlier, I love capturing beauty, especially in a woman who maybe has had trouble seeing herself in that light before. I love travel/landscape photography as I love to explore and am constantly amazed at all the wonders our world has to offer. And last, but certainly not least, I love food photography. I could eat my way around the world easily. 

Lauren Hanson
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION

I find inspiration in phenomenal lighting. Mornings are my favorite, but I find myself catching daydreams and beautiful images most often when I’m out and about just enjoying life. I find inspiration in laughter. I find inspiration around the table. I find inspiration in new life. I guess my inspiration just depends on the day and the moment!

Lauren Hanson
WHAT PIECE OF CAMERA EQUIPMENT CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? 
I have come to love and depend on my Canon EF 50mm Lens. It is so simple, yet so dramatic!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PHOTO FROM YOUR COLLECTION? 
My favorite photo from my collection is a photo of a friends 9-month-old daughter with this mischievous grin on her face. She entered this world at a whopping 4 pounds with little to no hope from the professionals and possibly as a result to such a beginning has developed quite the sassy little attitude. The photo captures her personality, beauty, and zeal so well.

Lauren Hanson
IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANY PHOTOGRAPHER IN HISTORY, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? 
If I could spend a day with any photographer in history it would be Sue Bryce. I have always been drawn to her work and have read her blog and watched many of her videos religiously. I love and appreciate everything that she stands for. She is an incredible businesswoman, but furthermore is unbelievably talented and selfless. Her passion for others shines through in everything she does.

Lauren HansonThank you Lauren for taking part in the Six Questions post. If you’d like to take part, drop me a message via the contact page :) 

Cheerio for now!
x

A stroll with VSCO Cam :)

VSCO Cam Helen OgbournWell I’m still missing my DSLR while it’s in for repair so I thought I’d try something new while I was away for a long weekend in lovely Wales. I kept seeing hashtags for VSCO Cam on Instagram and wondered what it was all about, so this weekend I thought I’d give it a whirl. 

I downloaded VSCO Cam unaware that it is much more than just a camera app; I wasn’t expecting it to be such a lovely photography experience :)  The camera is straightforward to use and there are some great filters in the editing tools (some are in app purchases). I like the range of cropping sizes that are really easy to set, and the square crop is perfect for sharing photos via Instagram. The strength of the filters you apply can also be edited so it’s really easy to get a look to suit your shot.

Photos can be shared to the usual networks or saved to your phone gallery, and they can also be posted to your own VSCO grid for which you’re given a web URL (mine is here). The grids have a simple, clean design and can also show a photo description if you choose to add one.

As well as your own photo library, the app also contains a regularly updated journal of tutorials, reportage and featured photographers, and I also enjoy looking through the curated grid/featured grids of photos which are full of inspiration. You can also find this content on the VSCO website if you want to have a browse. 

Despite it being a large app (the largest I have on my phone), I’ll definitely be keeping it and using it regularly. I tend to use my phone camera for quick snapshots but this app has inspired me to try and take phone photography a bit more seriously. 

As for the photos above, I snapped them yesterday on a family stroll along the coastal path and around the streets of Beaumaris, Anglesey. They are places that I know well and am very fond of, so it’s nice to capture the every day sights as memories of a nice trip :) 

Let me know if you have a VSCO grid!
x

p.s. The ice cream was delicious, just in case you’re wondering :)

Six Questions – Emily Wardhaugh

Hello and welcome to the next in the series of the Six Questions posts. Thank you to everyone who has contacted me to get involved! If you would like to take part, drop me a message via the contact page

Today we hear about what inspires Emily Wardhaugh in her photography. Visit her website to see more of her work. I really enjoy the moments Emily captures in her photos and I think you will too!

Emily also has a blog and can be found on instagram too.
Emily WardaughSO HOW DID IT ALL START?
I’ve always loved taking pictures as long as I can remember. My first camera was a cheap 35mm given as a Christmas present by my aunt, I was probably around 8 or 9. I spent that Christmas collecting all my new toys into still lifes under the tree. I should try and dig those out! 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY?
I love anything that has meaning and has a importance to the photographer. An image that is telling a story, capturing a moment the more subtle the better. My favourite work will usually be simple and delicate.
Emily WardaughWHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION
I find my inspiration for a huge format of outputs. I get lot of ideas from period paintings hanging in the V&A and National Portrait Gallery. Majority of images I like are from yesterday, documentary photography of a time gone by. I created a scrapbook when I first move to London 5 years ago to start my career in photography, I knew I won’t live in this big city forever so want keep all the mementoes I can. It is full of exhibition tickets, cuttings, photos, darkroom test strips, labels, postcards. I add to it every few months and helps collate my ideas. I also love tumblr and pinterest to gather a collection of images, letters, sculptures and video together. I am on tumblr too much if I am honest!

WHAT PIECE OF CAMERA EQUIPMENT CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? 
My trusty old fuji natura classica :)
Emily WardaughEmily WardaughWHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PHOTO FROM YOUR COLLECTION? 
Not sure if I have a favourite as such, but I do love the image of flowers from my 1st visit to Japan. It’s become very popular.

IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANY PHOTOGRAPHER IN HISTORY, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? 
Good question! To be in Cecil Beaton’s studio would be cool, to see how he worked with the limit equipment they had in the 1920/1930s.
Emily Wardaugh*******************

If you enjoyed her post, why not pop over to her website and leave her a message!
x

Carnaby – New Lightroom 5 Preset!

Hello! I’m really excited to bring you the latest of my new Lightroom 5 presets today! 
Carnaby Lightroom 5 Preset‘Carnaby’ is a single preset, available for instant download for £1.50 via my Etsy store. I often want to create a vintage/documentary style for some of my photos and so created this preset to do just that :) 

The preset will give your photos a darker matte look and can be used for all photography styles. See the slideshow below to see examples of how this preset can be used to give your shots a vintage feel. 

‘Carnaby’ can be used as a one click preset, or as a basis for further adjustments on your photos. The preset gives a smooth look, but a simple change to the grain setting can be made to give the preset a vintage film feel. Guidance for this really simple adjustment is provided in the PDF document which accompanies the preset.


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Please contact me if you have any questions about my presets!
Thanks for stopping by!
x

Thinking negatively? (Quick tips for using negative space in photography)

Sometimes less is more! We’re often so busy thinking about the positive space (the subject) in a photograph that the negative space is a little neglected.
Negative Space PhotographySo what do we mean by negative space?

Well essentially it’s the space around or between the subject that is not the subject itself.

We often use negative space without thinking about it, but giving more consideration to this space and using it effectively can add a lot of interest to a photograph.

Why should we think about it? 

- Negative space draws attention to the subject and helps to direct the viewer’s eyes around the photograph.
- It’s an important element in balancing a photograph.
- It can simplify an image.
- It can add greater contrast between the subject and the background.
- Using space can evoke emotion, for example it may show the scale, isolation, drama or freedom of a subject.

Consider…

- Negative space varies as you move your camera around, so play around testing shots with varying amounts and shapes of space. Experiment by cropping your digital shots during processing.
- Keep in mind the rules of thirds to make sure your composition is balanced. By shifting a subject to the side of a shot, the negative space is used more effectively.
- It doesn’t have to be plain; it can be textured, coloured, blurred.
- Negative space can be the focus of the photo. Use the edges of objects or buildings to create interesting shapes in your photo.
- Negative space can be used to convey movement out of or into a shot.

While I’m waiting for my camera to be fixed, I’ve been having a look through some of my photos to see how I have used negative space in the past…

Negative Space Photography Negative Space Photography Negative Space Photography Negative Space Photography Negative Space Photography Negative Space Photography Negative Space Photography Negative Space PhotographyNegative Space PhotographyI’d love to see examples of your photos where you have used negative space – leave links in the comments below if you have any photos to share!

Have a great week!
x

What’s in store?

Good morning! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far. Just a quick post to let you know what’s going on in my Etsy store at the moment!

My Portobello preset pack (includes 8 presets which you can read more about here) is still on sale at an introductory price until 31st January 2014!

Portobello Lightroom 5 Preset Pack
As Valentine’s day is approaching, check out my London love lock photo postcards which are on sale at £1.50 (exc. postage). 

London Love Lock Photo Postcard
If you’ve started your 365 project enthusiastically but inspiration is running low, check out my 365 project PDF eBook for some encouragement and plenty of tips and ideas to keep you going! 

365 Photography eBook
And of course, there’s all the usual prints and aluminium’s available if you’re wanting to brighten up your walls :) 

Please contact me if you have any questions about my products!
Helen x

Friday Links

Friday Links Photography
Friday again! Unfortunately I’ve spent a lot of time this week trying to work out why my camera is broken :( It started misbehaving last weekend and my plans for a photo day on Monday quickly turned into a day of looking forlorn and asking for help in a local photographic store! The camera has been packaged off for repair and hopefully I’ll hear about what’s wrong with it soon. In the meantime, I’ve been spending time enjoying other people’s photography so thought I’d share these in my Friday links today…

1. Minimiam – I love these tiny people photos by Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle who have used food as scenery in their shots. I really like how there are two shots for every scene; one a close up, and the second a wider view where you can see more of the foods they have used. I particularly like the cycling ones, but check out each of the galleries to see different themes. (Navigation is via the little circles on screen once you’ve got past the intro).

2. Empty Underground (Whatleydude) - I found this flickr pool via Whatleydude who seems to have as much of an appreciation as me for all things London-y :) He started to capture photos of the rare moments when the tube stations were empty and this led to the flickr group being created. The pool is full of captivating photos of unoccupied platforms and passageways, many of which must have been captured in the seconds after trains had sped out of the station. 

3. David Uzochukwu – Check out these beautiful creative portraits, which are even more amazing when you find out that the photographer is only fifteen years old. He also has a flickr stream here.

4. It’s raining, it’s pouring – As the weather here is so miserable at the moment, I’ve been looking for a bit of inspiration for taking photos in the rain. 121clicks compiled a list of fifty rain photos which has given me a bit of motivation to give it a go :) The image above is by Victor Eredel.

If you’ve not checked it out already, don’t forget to have a read of the Six Questions post published this week where Ines Monnet talks about what inspires her photography!

Happy browsing!
x

Six Questions – Ines Monnet

Hello! Hope you’re all having a good week :)

Today is the first in the series of the Six Questions posts where you get involved and answer a few questions about what inspires you as photographers. I’m always finding inspiration from my fellow bloggers so I thought it would be nice for us all to get to know each other a bit more! If you’d like to take part, get in touch via the contact page…I’d love to hear from you :) 

So starting us off today is Ines Monnet who can be found via her blog, Flickr, Facebook and Instagram.

SO HOW DID IT ALL START?
I remember asking for a camera when I was around 11/12 years old and getting it for Christmas. From that moment on I was taking it everywhere, documenting my vacations, travels, family time, adventures with friends, etc. I remember I used to make albums with the printed photos. I guess for me photography has always been about telling a story. Things got more serious in the Summer of 2011 when I purchased a dSLR, took a photography basics course and started a 30-day photo challenge. (The image below was the first one I took for the challenge).
Ines Monnet
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY?
 
That’s a tough one to answer! I don’t think I can choose just one and I’m still searching to define my own. I love images with a dreamy feel, full of magic light and bokeh, images taken with wide apertures are definitely my favorites. I’ve become more interested in portraiture lately and I also like street and travel photography.

Ines Monnet
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
I once heard photographer Don Giannatti saying “Imitate. Assimilate. Innovate.” and I think that’s how inspiration works for me. I surf the internet a lot, read books and magazines looking at beautiful images taken by others, from there I take the details I like the most and apply them in my own work on my own way. I’ve also started two photo projects on my blog to keep the inspiration flowing. One is a 52-week project for which I post photos taken each week, called “Bits & Pieces xx/52″ and it helps me keep up with my photography. The other is a monthly photo collaboration where I share photos that I and someone else in the world took on a particular day, it’s a challenge that makes me (and you) find inspiration to take an interesting photo each hour.

Ines Monnet

WHAT PIECE OF CAMERA EQUIPMENT CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
I’m still building my photography kit, so every piece of equipment is pretty much indispensable for me right now :) My last aquisition was a 50mm lens (Sigma 1.4) and I love the sharp images I can get with it! Its aperture also allows a very nice depth of field. The portraits below were taken with this lens.

Ines Monnet
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PHOTO IN YOUR COLLECTION?
 
I guess our favorite images are always part of our most recent work, which kind of makes sense since we are always getting better and better. The one below was taken a couple of months ago at sunset. It’s currently my favorite image because it represents my state of mind at this moment, I’m a bit in the dark (like the first layers in the image) wanting to change a few things in my life and I know there’s something awesome waiting to happen, I just have to get there (the beautiful light and indefinite horizon behind the trees).

Ines Monnet
IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANY PHOTOGRAPHER IN HISTORY, WHO WOULD IT BE?
 

There are so many photographers I would love to meet! If I could spend a day with Lara Jade, for example, I would be more than happy. She’s an English young talented and successful photographer currently living in New York. She started by shooting Fine art photography and experimental self-portraiture, nowadays she’s got her own business shooting commercial campaigns and editorial projects. I attended an online workshop she did once, that’s when I heard her story and got to know her work better. I like her photography a lot, both the concept she uses in portraiture as well as the way it’s edited. If you never heard about Lara Jade I do recommend you click here!

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Thanks Ines for taking part in the Six Questions series. If Ines has inspired you, why not follow her projects or even get involved in the photo collaboration project! :) 

Cheerio for now
x