50mm Photo Project: 4 – Metro Saint-Michel, Paris

50mm Photo Project 4/50
It was totally delightful walking around Paris with my 50mm lens attached to my camera; in fact it was almost a little overwhelming being faced with so much to photograph in one day (it was just too hot to spend any more time in the city). It’s also nice to just appreciate being there instead of spending the whole time looking through a screen, so I probably didn’t take as many photos as I could have!

This is the Metro station at Saint-Michel in the Latin Quarter, one of my favourite parts of Paris. There’s nothing better than sitting in the Jardin du Luxembourg on a sunny day and watching the world go by, and then strolling down the road for a drink at the Place Sorbonne. Happy days :)

Thanks July, you were awesome!

July is my absolute favourite month because it starts off with my birthday and usually means holidays and sunshine. I’ve had a month of road trips with my camera never far from my hand, although some days it was just too hot to do anything that required any effort :)

Summer InstagramsThere are so many things that I love about this time of year…

♥ Endless sunny days, where the biggest decision you have to make is which ice cream to choose next
♥ Sitting out after dark when the sky is so clear that you can see the Milky Way (and making up names for constellations ‘cos you can’t remember what the real ones are) :) 
♥ The noise of the sea lapping the shore on an empty beach
♥ Jumping the waves (never too old)
♥ The evening light that makes the farmland crops shine like gold
♥ The smell of summer rain (and splashing about in it wearing flip flops)
♥ Sunshine sparkling on the sea
♥ Road trips when it doesn’t matter what time you set off or get there 
♥ Freshly picked summer fruits
♥ Having to eat ice lollies really quickly because they melt so fast
♥ The soft pastel light after sunset

(I could go on, but I’d be here all day!) 

I’ve been carrying on with my 50/50 project while I’ve been away and have a few more photos to add to the collection. For now I’ll leave you with number three which I took after sunset on a stroll down a lane in rural France; the farmland stretched for miles across the landscape and the sky stayed a lovely shade of pale blue until really late. The barley was just asking to be shot at 50mm :)

Ah summer evenings :)

3/50

Cheerio for now x

5 tips for planning a summer photography project…

Summer is an awesome time for a new photography project! The days are long, there is plenty of lovely natural light, and it’s a great time to explore new places. I like to have a bit of a plan in mind so that I can make the most of the time of year. 

Kiki left a comment on a recent blog post which got me thinking about how I make practically make plans for my photos, and so I thought I’d share 5 tips to consider when starting to plan a summer photography project. I’d love to hear your thoughts too so feel free to share your comments below!

Nikon Photography Project Tips
1. Choose your topic. Find an aspect of photography that you want to learn more about. It may be a style (e.g. portraits, street, lifestyle, landscapes), a camera setting (e.g. shutter speed, manual white balance), a theme (e.g. summer, happiness, a colour, Instagrams) or a new piece of equipment (e.g a new lens, a remote shutter). There is no better way to learn than to get out and do it and learn from your mistakes! It’s amazing how fast you will develop your technique and how much your confidence will grow. 

2. Choose your timescale. As with any project, a definitive start and end gives you something to work with. It means that you can devote specific time to developing your skills without it dragging on or taking over your life. A summer project gives you 3 months to build your photo collection, but you may want to choose something a little more intensive if you’ve got the time. 

3. Choose how many photos you want in your collection. Bearing tip number two in mind, the most important thing is to make sure this is achievable; you don’t want to set yourself up for a fall before you’ve started! Choose a realistic number that you can manage alongside your other commitments if you want to undertake a more relaxing project that won’t become a chore!

Also take your theme into account; for example, it is better to build a smaller collection of photos if the theme requires more time travelling to shooting locations. My favourite project involved taking 30 photos over the summer months…it was enough to learn new skills, not too many to become a hassle, and just a nice amount to make a coffee table photo book at the end :) 

4. Be super organised. It sounds a bit boring but start off as you mean to go on by setting up folders and naming conventions for your files. You’ll be really glad you did it from the start when it comes to the end of the project :)

Keep a notebook handy as you’ll find that new ideas pop into your head at the most random of times. It’s good to have a little list for inspiration when you find some days that it’s lacking!

It’s also a good thing to think about the format of your photos too e.g. do you want them to be the same size and shape? It’s all worth thinking about depending on what you intend to do with them at the end!

5. Enjoy it! The whole point of a photography project is that it’s fun; if you’re really not enjoying it and it’s causing too much frustration then ditch it! But first just ask if you’re being too harsh on yourself…it’s too easy to compare your photography with other people’s so remember that the project is primarily for your own pleasure. It’s probable that not every photo will be great but who cares! Stick with it and you’ll see improvements.

I’m really excited about my new project which you may have already seen over the last couple of days. I’ve just got myself a new 50mm lens so I thought 50 photos over summer would be a great way to get familiar with it…it’s already proving to be a treat and I can’t wait to take it on my travels.

So there you go – a few pointers to get you started. What are your photography plans for summer? Leave your links below so I can check them out!

Bye for now x


2/50 – 50mm Photo Project

Nikon D7100 50mm F1.8G

There’s no excuse not to be out with my camera on a such a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon! These are my favourite flowers to photograph in the summer, although it took a bit of contortion and a pair of dusty knees to finally get the shot I wanted. My previous camera had a flip screen which helped me to get all sorts of random angles in my shots, but my DSLR doesn’t have that luxury. 

I always find that photographing flowers from underneath is pretty hard. It’s tricky to find a decent composition as there are always a few with really tatty or lots of missing petals, and then a breeze will blow a random stem across the frame >:( Shooting with the 50mm lens was lovely, although f1.8 was too large an aperture to use (I changed to f2.8 just to give me a bit more depth of field). I need to remember that not all my 50mm shots need a large aperture, but for now I’m loving it!

So there you go….2 down (I chose the top one for my project), 48 to go! 

(Both photos processed with my Shoreditch Lightroom preset)

Nikon D7100 50mm f1.8g

New Summer Photography Project :)

Summer Photography Project

Sail Away (processed with my Portobello Vignette preset)


Hello! I’m very excited this week because I’ve finally got myself a 50mm prime lens and I’m starting a new summer photography project :)

I already own an 85mm prime lens which is so beautiful to use, but the 50mm is much more practical for every day use. I took a bit of time debating whether to get the f1.4 or the f1.8 and I decided the f1.8 was more suited to what I need (it’s the Nikon 50mm f1.8g). I’m particularly excited about taking it to Paris in a few weeks time…I think Paris at 50mm could be beautiful! 

So about the project…

I like to learn how to get the most out of my camera and the best way to do it is just to get out and use it as often as possible. In no time, I find myself becoming so familiar with the settings that I can respond quickly when a photo opportunity arises and my confidence with the equipment grows a lot.

As I have a new 50mm lens, I thought that 50 photos would make a nice collection of shots! I always start off a little bumpy but then I usually find that my photos improve, and I also hope that this project will allow me to get a real variety of shots. I have no photos in mind so far so I’ll just see what comes my way over the summer. I’ll post all the photos on the blog so you can follow along too :) I’ll also blog later in the week to tell you more about how I go about planning and executing a project and hopefully it will inspire your own summer photography plans.

I took the photo above this afternoon while I was in a café waiting for a torrential downpour to end. I’ve been carrying these little paper boats around with me for the last couple of days waiting for the right moment to set them sailing away, but it’s either been too wet or too dry! I just need some typical British drizzle and I’ll be able to get the shot I want. 

I hope you’ll enjoy following my new photos! Cheerio for now, hx

When photographing people is unavoidable…

Birmingham Bullring I’ve never been much of a people photographer but, living in a city, people are pretty much unavoidable. I’ve spent quite a bit of time exploring the city centre with my camera recently and decided it was about time that I embraced the fact there are always going to people walking across my shots! 

It’s not that I don’t enjoy photographing people; it’s more that it’s quite hard to get the right moment and that it’s not easy to stay very anonymous. I had a bit of spare time this weekend so decided to go out and make an effort to find some more creative way of getting people into my photos. 

This photo was my favourite of the day’s shots. I’ve strolled past this writing a few times but the stairway is often crowded and it’s not an ideal place to be stopping on a busy afternoon. I found a little spot against the back wall and soon enough, people walking past just didn’t notice that I was there :) 

Shooting at a slower shutter speed was a challenge in the daylight  especially as I don’t have an ND filter for my Nikon. Not to be defeated, I took photo after photo until I found the right settings (although I took plenty of totally bleached shots in the process). I set the shutter speed at ⅕ second with an aperture f22, as well as setting the exposure compensation to it’s lowest setting (-5EV) and it did the trick. I’m not sure this would have worked had there been a lot of sky in the photo, but fortunately the walls helped to block out some of the bright sunlight. Once the settings were sorted I just had to wait for the people to be in the right places for a good composition!

I used my kit lens for this shot, but I was very excited to have a new lens in my bag that I had collected on my way into town…woop! It was about time I got myself a 50mm prime lens as they’re just so useful! I couldn’t decide between Nikon’s f1.4 and f1.8 but decided finally on the 1.8 :) I already have a prime lens which is awesome (85mm f1.8g) but the 50mm is just much more practical for every day use. I’ve taken a few shots with it but am hoping to get out and about this weekend with it…can’t wait :)

So until then, I hope you all have a good week and I’m looking forward to catching up with your pics soon!

hx

Love Lock Postcards Back In Store!

Hello :)

Just dropping in to let you know that my London love lock postcards are now back in store! There are small number of ‘We Are Infinite’ postcards for 75p ($1.27) so check them out here.

Helen Ogbourn Photography - Happy New Year - London Love PadlockHope you’re having a great week!
x

Paradise Place

Birmingham's Concrete Paradise


I’m always finding new little places I haven’t been to before, even in the areas I think are so familiar to me. In the city centre yesterday I had been trying to get a shot from the side of the old library looking towards Victoria Square and suddenly realised that some people were walking along behind a wall to the back of me…so I decided to go for a little explore to see what was there. Apparently, it’s a place called paradise. 

I’ve certainly never imagined paradise to consist of concrete brutalist architecture. For those of you not familiar with Birmingham, the inverted ziggurat building in the background is the city’s old library. It was once famously described by Prince Charles as ‘a place where books are incinerated, not kept’. I can’t say that I was ever very fond of it. 

I’ve walked past the front of the building hundreds of times but seeing it set amongst other concrete structures, and seeing the stark lines of the library against the curve of the stairway, I found myself actually appreciating the building for the first time. Luckily I got there in time because the site is soon to be demolished.

It just goes to show that it’s always worth looking around more at the places you think you know well because, more often than not, you’ll stumble across a new perspective that will surprise you :)