New Wallpaper Download

Forest Wallpaper

Hello again and thank you for you lovely messages about the spring photos I took recently :) 

I’ve been using this forest photo as a desktop wallpaper and so I thought I’d share it with you all as a new free download. I’ve created a variety of standard and widescreen sizes which will suit most screens for desktop and laptop computers. If the image doesn’t fit your screen, or if you’d like a phone/tablet wallpaper, please email me via the contact page and I’ll make a custom wallpaper for you. 

You can download the set of wallpapers by clicking the download button below. Click here to check your screen resolution if you’re not sure what it is!


Enjoy!
hx

June Photo Challenge

Adventures with a disposable camera :)I mentioned the other day that I like to have a little photo project on the go in the summer….well I’ve decided to do something a bit different and have a go at a challenge inspired by Katie over on the Skunkboy Blog

I’ve been following Katie’s blog for ages and I love seeing the results of her disposable camera challenge :) It’s so easy to get carried away with digital camera settings and post-editing, so I reckon that wandering around with a silly little disposable camera will be quite nice for change. I’ve nothing particular in mind that I want to photograph…it’s just going to be a case of snapping the every day things and seeing what I come up with :) 

Disposable cameras are currently on offer at Boots where you can get two for the price of one, and the price includes the developing cost too. I headed down there today to pick up this super little spotty camera and got a stripy one to go with it. I think this is going to be fun :)

x

Photo Walking The Queensway – Walk Three

A few weeks ago I was able to join another of the Birmingham Queensway photo walks run by Matt & Pete’s Photo School :)

Queensway Photo Walk Three
The areas that we’ve explored so far are routes that I thought I knew well, but it turns out that the city is full of little surprises. The Queensway forms a ring road around the periphery of the centre of Birmingham and you’d think the land would be well developed and highly sought after by businesses. Instead, property seems quite disorganised and the city’s recent concrete past is falling into disrepair; however, occasionally you walk past an architectural gem of a building which gives a glimpse back to Birmingham’s more glorious days. 

Most of the places where we’ve walked aren’t necessarily areas that I’d ever have reason to visit. I’d probably just pass through them on my way somewhere else, and I’d probably be walking quite quickly through them if I was on my own! Having the time to walk slowly and purposefully has given me time to appreciate my surroundings much more…they’re more photo dawdles than walks :) 

I think I’ve said before that the photo walks have challenged me to take photos that are different to my usual style. I’ve purposefully headed out with only my kit lens and my smartphone so that I can document the areas as I see them, rather than trying to make something more creative out of them. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the walks, particularly because I’ve been able to explore like a child by peeking over walls and behind doorways :) Sometimes it’s been nice to just take shots of the general scenery, but I’ve also found myself looking for colours, patterns and shapes, as well as seeking out bits of street art or graffiti and the little details that would normally pass me by.

So here are a few shots from walk three. The walk started at the foot of the Alpha Tower, under the central library (who knew you could get down there?!), down to Summer Row and along the canal to Ludgate Hill near St Paul’s and the BT Tower, finishing near Great Charles Street Queensway.

If you’ve not already seen them, here are photos from walk one and walk two. Unfortunately I’m not around for the next couple of walks but hopefully I’ll get to some later in the summer. I really recommend them if you’re in the area! More details can be found here.

All photos below were taken on a Nikon D7100 using the 18-105mm kit lens, and are processed in Lightroom using my Shoreditch presets

Queensway Photo Walk ThreeQueensway Photo Walk ThreeQueensway Photo Walk ThreeQueensway Photo Walk ThreeQueensway Photo Walk ThreeQueensway Photo Walk ThreeQueensway Photo Walk ThreeQueensway Photo Walk ThreeQueensway Photo Walk ThreeThanks for stopping by :) 
hx


Oh May, Where Have You Gone?

Kite on Camber Sands-2This blogging stuff is quite hard work sometimes isn’t it? I feel like I’ve had a nice little blog holiday in May, although I’ve missed catching up with everyone’s posts and photos. In my free time I’ve been out and about with my camera around Birmingham, but have also taken opportunity to completely redecorate my office at home and it’s a much nicer place to be blogging from now. Decluttering is definitely the way forward :) 

I’m always much better at photography when I have a project to focus on and so I’ve been busy thinking of ideas to give me a focus for the next few weeks. I’ve got a particular project in mind inspired by a recent trip to London, so if I can work it out I’ll be heading back to the capital for a few day trips to give it a go. I’d really like to visit some other places this summer too; in particular I’m determined that we’ll get back to our university seaside town one day soon. On a sunny day it’s so colourful and lovely to photograph (but not so much on a rainy day, of which there are many at the moment).

So what else is new? 

Firstly, I’ve decided to close my Facebook page that is associated with this site. I think you only benefit from Facebook pages these days if you’re willing to pay up, which I’m not! You can still subscribe to post updates via the sidebar or by following me via Bloglovin.

My 365 eBook is available again in store following a few small updates. The updates reflect the changes to the Flickr/Getty images information now that the two are no longer linked. If you’re thinking of starting a project on 1 June then head here for more details.

I’ve also made a few updates to my store which is currently selling Lightroom presets, digital photography files and a couple of prints (including a cotton giclée print of kite image above). 

Finally, I’m looking for new contributors for my Six Questions guest posts. Please get in touch via the contact page if you’d like to join in. You can read past posts here

Cheerio for now!
hx

Oh lovely Spring :)

Walking through the rapeseed blossom

Just dropping in with a couple photos from the last few days…Spring in the English countryside is just glorious when the sun is shining :) 

I’ve only ever seen rapeseed fields from a distance from motorways and trains, so it’s been really nice to be able to get close and have a stroll through the fields with my camera. I took a few shots of the whole field as a landscape but the shape of the hillside didn’t lend itself to making a nicely composed photo. Instead I thought I’d wander down one of the tractor paths and try and capture the abundance of blossom down either side (I used my 85mm f1.8 lens to create a shallow depth of field). 

While I was photographing this field, I also noticed that the field across the lane was absolutely full of dandelion seed heads that hadn’t blown away because the air was so still. It looked like a crop of little lollipops :)


It was like a field of little lollipops :)

Not far away was the forest and it was lovely walking through the trees as the light from the late afternoon sun was peeking through. I switched back to my kit lens so I could get as many trees  in the shot as possible. The 85mm doesn’t have the width needed for big landscape shots at close range. 

A little stroll through the forest

Cheerio for now, 
hx

Photography Wishlist

Photography Wishlist
The downside of loving photography is the desire to own everything photography related that I see :) I thought I’d share a few things that have caught my eye recently that would be at the top of my photography wish list…

1. Fujifilm Instax MIni 8 – I think I mentioned before that I was looking at these on the Fujifilm stall at the Photography Show last month. I think they look really fun and the mini instant prints would make a fab little wall display. 

2. Kawaii – Patterned DSLR camera strap by Smile (from Rigu) – I really don’t like wearing a strap that advertises my camera brand to everyone who walks by. I’ve recently started using a wrist strap which I find really useful, but if I were to use a neck strap again I’d want this one :) 

3. Framed print from Inkifi – I recently used Inkifi to print some 4″x4″ Instagram photos. The prints were ace and I have now got my eye on one of these.

4. Street Photography Now – I could sit and read photography books for hours and this is one that I keep spotting on the shelves at the book store. I love street photography because of the random and unique moments that are captured so this book is defo on the ‘to read’ list.

5. Nikkor 50mm f1.8G - I don’t need another lens but if I were to get one, this would be it. I have a 85mm f1.8G lens which is lovely for portraits and detail from a distance. A 50mm would give me a bit extra width in my shots at a closer range which I’ve thought would be useful at times. The bonus of this lens is that it’s in the affordable range (which I guess is why it’s so popular). 

6. Pandora camera charm – I’ve got a Pandora bracelet and this is top of my Pandora wish list. It seems the most obvious choose for my next charm :) 

7. Apple iPhone 5c – Now this is a strange one for me to add on here. I had an iPhone a few years ago but, being a bit of a nerd, I love the flexibility of Android phones. I’ve no complaints with my current phone as it does everything I want very nicely; however, I’ve recently become much more of an Instagram user and I would like to use it more in the future. I unintentionally  strayed into the Apple store last week and ended up testing out a 5c. I loved how instant and responsive the camera is and would be very happy if I had one to use for Instagramming. The other thing about the 5c is that it feels physically like the kind of phone that I’d be happy being just bit more carefree snapping with (it’s made of plastic as opposed to the metal 5s). 

So many lovely things to choose from! I’d love to know what’s at the top of your photography wish list at the moment :)

x

Time to get out of the city…

UntitledHello :) It’s time for a change of scenery as I’ve escaped the city and headed down near the south coast for a week. I’m looking forward to getting out for strolls in the rolling hills, across farmland, and along the proms in seaside towns with my camera in hand :) 

I love photographing blossom but I don’t find it particularly easy to get good shots of it! I love getting close up to the detail using my f1.8 lens, but picking a bunch that makes a well composed shot always takes me a bit of time. Sometimes it’s nice to step back and see a bigger picture.

This lovely tree is in the grounds of where I’m staying and it’s got so many low branches that it was just begging to be photographed! There are a few different types of blossom around here, but this one is my favourite because it’s so dense it looks like a giant candy floss :) 

Hope you’re having a great Sunday :) 
hx

New Lightroom 5 Preset – Shoreditch

Shoreditch Lightroom 5 Presets
I’m very excited to have a new item in store today! Presets save me so much time when I’m editing photos and I thought it was time to share my new Shoreditch pack :) 

If you’ve been following my photos recently you will have seen the preset in action. I’ve include two presets in my pack:

Shoreditch is the main preset which will give your photos a matte, light and washed out feel. 

Shoreditch Lite is an accompanying preset which gives a less intense matte look and retains some of darker shades in your images.

Check out my before and after photos in the slideshow below. You can read more about using Lightroom 5 presets and my Shoreditch pack in my Etsy Store!

Cheerio for now! 
x

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