50mm Photo Project: 9/50 Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Oh dear, it’s taking me rather a long time to get posting my photos! Back to the 50mm project and this was taken in Paris on a day when it was really too hot to be walking around (I can’t even remember what that feels like after all these grey days!).

I love how the parks in Paris are just filled with the green chairs so you can sit and watch the world go by whenever you feel like it. These chairs were in a perfect place for watching the fun fair across the other side of the Jardin des Tuileries.

I’m glad to hear that some of you have been enjoying the discount from Rigu – the offer is still on so don’t forget to make the most of it :) 

Have a great week!


Exclusive! Rigu 10% Camera Accessory Discount

Rigu Colourful Camera Accessories
I’m very excited to share an exclusive discount today for followers of my photography blog :)

 is an online store of lovely colourful camera accessories by various brands and I’m teaming up with them to offer you a 10% discount on all orders (shipping to the UK and internationally). Simply enter the code HOP10 at the checkout to receive the discount on all items in store!

You may remember that I created a wish list of photography related goodies a while back, one of which was a new camera strap from Rigu. I was very happy to buy the lovely spotty camera strap with some of my birthday money and I’ve loved wearing it instead of advertising my camera brand in huge letters around my neck!! 

I chose an iMo neoprene strap as I find the padding really comfortable to keep on my neck all day long, although it is possible to buy straps in different materials. I took my camera out every day whilst on holiday and it didn’t irritate me once like my old strap used to. I also found the quick release clip feature really handy as it meant I could quickly hand the camera to someone else without faffing around! 

There are so many lovely items in store ranging from compact cases to M4/3 and DSLR bags, as well as straps, lenses and little jewellery items. You can notify the store if you spot an item there that isn’t currently in stock. I’ve chosen a few below which caught my eye…let me know your favourite items in the comments below!

Rigu Camera Accessories1. Blue ‘Lolli’ suede leatherette DSLR camera bag by ideer
2. Atomic blue and white 52mm DSLR lens cap by Smile
3. Black and white stripe camera pouch by Vlashor
4. Coucou Bonbon wrist straps
5. Leather camera strap with ring connection by Cam-In
6. Blue Pacific Camera Handbag by Vlashor

I received such a friendly and efficient service from Rigu which is why I’m happy to partner them to bring you this exclusive discount. I hope you also enjoy having a look around the store!

Have a great week!

Please note that this blog post reflects my own personal experience of shopping at RIgu; I have not received free items from Rigu for promotional purposes.

Lightroom 5 Preset Pack – New Portobello Presets!

Portobello Preset Pack

This summer I’ve been creating new Lightroom 5 presets based on my Portobello preset range and I’m excited that they are now in store! For the same price as the original pack, you will now receive 17 presets which will create desaturated, vintage and toned looks for your photos. 

The presets can be found over at my Etsy store where you’ll also find some preset FAQs and shop policies detailing how you can test the presets on your photos before buying them. 

Don’t worry if you bought the original pack – a message should be waiting for you containing the additional 9 presets that you don’t already have :) 

The pack now includes the following new presets (in addition to well as the 8 originals):

Portobello Blueberry
Portobello Cherry
Portobello Cream
Portobello Flat
Portobello Gold
Portobello Green
Portobello Rose
Portobello Tangerine
Portobello Violet

You can check out examples of the presets in action over on my presets page here. Please get in touch if you have any questions!


50mm Photo Project: 8/50 Pont Des Arts Love Locks

Last winter I visited London and spotted a number of love locks attached to the wires along Millennium Bridge. I’d heard of the love locks in Paris but had never seen them in the UK before. The London authorities weren’t too keen on the locks and periodically removed them so there were never more than a few bunched together in any one place. 

I really enjoyed looking at all of the messages on the locks in London, so I made sure that the Pont des Arts was on the route around Paris and I wasn’t disappointed. There are just thousands of locks attached several deep across the whole of the bridge. Some of the bridge rails have broken under the weight but the replacement metalwork doesn’t seem to stay empty for very long. A lot of the locks are quite plain, but if you are willing to look more closely you’ll find some really beautifully engravings and messages. 

I took loads of photos here (trying to keep all of the crowds out of the shots) and I think this one is my favourite simply because it gives some idea of the volume of density of the locks. Definitely lovely place to be shooting at 50mm.

50mm Photo Project: 7/50

7/50 - Self

It seems ages ago since I was spending sunny summer evenings on the beach! There’s nothing special about this photo apart from nice memories for me really…I’d got the tripod out and set the camera going on a self timer. I thought it would be interesting to see what the shingle on the beach would shoot like at a wide aperture – it seems to have gained a but of motion style blur. I was just pottering around, sitting looking for pretty shells, and seeing how far I could throw pebbles into the sea…usual lazy beach evening kind of stuff :)

Finding Vivian Maier

When I first stumbled across John Maloof’s blog I thought it was a terrible shame that Vivian Maier’s photos had never been published while she was still alive. After watching Finding Vivian Maier at the cinema yesterday I realised that she was a lady who would have hated the fame – not out of modesty, but because it would have been such a huge invasion of an intensely private life. At times during the film, I wondered whether we should really even be watching it for that very reason. 

I remember being drawn to Vivian’s photos because she managed to capture something of the human condition. She managed to get up close to people but at the same time she seemed removed from society; it was almost as if she was invisible. As you listen to the interviews with those who knew her, it’s hard not to want to find out more about a lady who described herself as kind of a spy. John Maloof is certainly committed to the cause but there’s only so much that you can find out about someone who seems intent on remaining a mystery. The contradictions in the descriptions of her character by those who she worked for add to the intrigue.

Out of all her photos and videos, I think it’s the self portraits which interest me the most. I like the way she positions herself in some of the shots taken through mirrors or windows. She’s often not the focus of the scene and occasionally you have to look twice to find her. I hadn’t realised that she’d also taken a trip around the world with her camera, and made trips to see family in Europe. My favourite parts of the film are where John Maloof visits France to find where her photos were taken and the learn more of the story behind them, especially as there is also mystery about her family life. 

There was something about her character and her experiences in life that allowed her to stand at the edge of society and capture these moments with such brilliance. I spent a lot of the film trying to work out whether I would actually have liked her if I had ever met her and I’m still not sure of the answer. Those who she allowed to know her well talk of her fondly, although there were no illusions that she was perfect. 

The film is definitely worth a watch if you get the chance, although if you’re anything like me you’ll leave with more questions than you arrived with.

Friday Links

Hello Friday! It’s been ages since I posted any Friday links, mostly because I’ve barely spent any time online while I’ve been away. This week I’ve been catching up and have stumbled across a couple of things to share with you today… 

Firstly Kinfolk films: I’ve been following Kinfolk on Instagram for a while and finally got round to checking out their website. I was very glad I did because there is section of delightful little films which had me captivated. If I made films, which I hope to try someday soon, I would want to make them like these :) (Beware audio!)

Another thing I’ve been meaning to mention is the Photography Oxford Festival ’14 in September. Oxford isn’t too far from Brum so I’m tempted to pop down and take a look around the exhibitions

Finally, a little post that was created as a bit of a joke and has gone viral. The folk over at Count It Joy had a bit of time to spare and decided to make a set of newborn photos with a difference. I’m not a big fan of a lot of the styles of newborn photograph, but these pics are pretty sweet :) 

Have a great weekend!

50mm Photo Project: 6 – Paris, je t’aime

6/50 View from Montmartre, Paris
Back to Paris we go for photo number 6 of my 50mm project! After arriving into the east of the city it seemed silly not to explore Montmartre, starting with elevenses at the Café des 2 Moulins of Amélie fame :) I love all the winding streets that are so full of character and some rather extraordinary street art.

This was taken at the viewpoint in front of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica which was inevitably packed with tourists. It was unlikely I’d find a shot without someone getting in the way, until I noticed that I could sneak a side on view of the telescope that wasn’t being used. There were plenty of clouds around which I thought might bleach the photo, but it actually blends with the colour of the buildings and the telescope quite nicely. An aperture of f7.1 was used for this shot which makes a change to my usual f1.8-f3, but the distances involved give the same effect :)