March 31, 2014
March 15, 2014
Hello! Finally I managed to get out with my lovely working camera this weekend. It’s been so long that I’d almost forgotten how to use it :)
Yesterday was the first in a new series of photo walks run by (Matt & Pete’s) Photo School and I was glad of the opportunity to have a stroll and get back into the swing of things. The aim of these walks is to visit eight different stretches of the Queensway and explore the areas around them, taking a peek down all the little side streets and alleyways that are often ignored. There is something quite lovely about stopping to look closely at the detail that is often bypassed, and it’s even more interesting to see how a group of people capture these same things on camera.
Yesterday’s walk focussed on the area around Smallbrook Queensway (that’s a Google street view link so you get an idea of what it’s like). It’s an area that I often dash along to get to the train station or cinema, but often take no real notice of. I’ve never really found the 1950s/1960s concrete that appealing and I really didn’t know what I’d take photos of!
For the first time, I actually looked closely at the buildings and in the shop windows and there were lots of little treats in store :) There are so many things around us that we miss because we’re in too much of a hurry to notice them: reflections, patterns, signs, colour. The area is so much more interesting than I imagined!
As well as going at a slow pace, I enjoy that the photo walks are informal and that it’s not about the camera that you’re carrying. I took quite a lot of shots on my DSLR, but also enjoyed snapping away with my VSCO Cam phone app. I usually enjoy using my prime lenses as these allow me to get more creative with my shots, but yesterday I decided to only take my kit lens and shoot things just as I immediately saw them. The results are photos that are different to my usual style, but I really enjoyed the freedom of being a photo tourist :)
My favourite finds were the postbox that’s having some kind of identity crisis, and the drainpipe full of little dotty stickers (which you can see in the Instagram shots above). The originals and remainder of my photos can be seen in the flickr set here (this is my new Birmingham photos flickr account for creative commons photos: my regular flickr account is here).
At the end of series of walks, Pete’s aim is to create artwork using the photos submitted by participants and I’ll look forward to seeing what he comes up with. You can check out all the photos so far in the Photo School flickr group.
So there we go. I’m back on it and back to blogging. It’s very nice to be back again :) Cheerio for now!
Hello there folks :) It’s been a whole month since I last blogged, during which time I’ve been pestering various people to try and get my camera fixed and returned to me!
February 5, 2014
Since I was last here, Nikon accepted that I didn’t cause the damage and they agreed to foot the cost for the repair – very good news :) They seem to think that sunlight blew the holes in the shutter while I was using a fast lens which is an uncommon and quite bizarre fault. Had I been stood pointing it at the sun for ages it would be a bit more understandable, but I was just taking snapshots on a sunny day. Ah well – it’s fixed and working and I can soon get back to business.
It’s been strange taking time out of the blog and I have so much to catch up on! I’m excited that it’s looking a lot more like spring round here too ‘cos I can get out and about to take some new pics.
I’ve still been snapping away with my VSCO Cam
app which I’m thoroughly enjoying (the shots in this post are from a stroll across the city a couple of weeks ago). I’ve also learnt to love Instagram much more and have discovered lots of new inspiration on there recently :)
I also took a trip to the Photography Show at Birmingham’s NEC at the beginning of March. It was an absolute nerdfest and I especially enjoyed getting my hands on some Canon and Nikon 600mm lenses, as well as lots of super little system cameras which have come such a long way since I got my Lumix G1 a few years ago.
At the moment I really fancy getting a Fujifilm Instax camera
(which I also saw at the NEC). They look like they could be lots of fun and I love the size of the instant prints for little displays at home and for sharing with friends. The camera costs about £75, including 40 prints, and then each film pack of 20 can be bought for about £13-15. If anyone has one, I’d love to hear what you think about them!
So that’s me…hopefully I’ll have some new photos for you very soon!
Bye for now :)
February 3, 2014
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
.SO 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.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATIONI 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!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.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.
Thank 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!
January 29, 2014
Well 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!
p.s. The ice cream was delicious, just in case you’re wondering :)
January 28, 2014
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.SO 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.WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATIONI 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 :)WHAT 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.
If you enjoyed her post, why not pop over to her website
and leave her a message!
January 27, 2014
Hello! I’m really excited to bring you the latest of my new Lightroom 5 presets today!
‘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.
Please contact me
if you have any questions about my presets!
Thanks for stopping by!