Tag Archives: Photography

A few little gift ideas for the photographer in your life!

Gift Ideas for PhotographersI don’t know about you but I love choosing Christmas presents and stocking fillers. I’ve recently been keeping an eye out for gift ideas and, as usual, have found myself browsing photography goodies (probably more suitable for me than anyone else I know!). I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve found in case you feel like treating yourself or the photographer in your life :)

1. Viddy from The Pop Up Pinhole Company. I love this, not only because it’s an adorable design, but also because it started via a Kickstarter campaign. The camera is a screen printed design which you can build yourself, and it can accept medium format and 35mm film. I’d love to take one of these on a trip to London and see what I could shoot :) There is also the Videre design based on a twin lens reflex camera…beautiful.

2. Remember when you used to print photos and stick them in albums? I know…it’s been a long time hasn’t it. Paperchase always stock beautiful albums and this laser cut album would look just perfect on my coffee table. 

3. I stumbled across Kayleigh O’Mara‘s store a few days ago and spotted some sweet little camera brooches. This Brownie brooch made from Kayleigh’s pen drawn design is my favourite :)

4. I can’t resist a lovely set of notecards, although I’d like these so much I’d find it difficult to part with them :) They are available via PRINTforLOVEofWOOD on Etsy. 

5. Following my disposable camera challenge, Ioana directed me a Photojojo article and while there I also came across this Disposable Camera Hack Kit. I like that the kit includes a little project book, a fisheye lens and a filter, as well as the 27 exposure camera. Fun stuff :)

6. I’ve previously been a customer of Inkifi and loved their photo prints. I think this little mini photo book would be perfect for holiday photos. It would fit perfectly in my bag so that on cold winter days I can remind myself what summer feels like. 

7. How sweet are these little camera clips from Mustard! I have a set of little photo prints that would look great hanging from these on my home office wall. 

8. I spotted this fun little disposable camera in Urban Outfitters. There are a variety of cameras all with different effects, but this one is the best Christmassy one I think. Each shot contains a graphic, text or pattern which, if you’ve had a bit of disposable camera practice, could make some silly pictures. The back of the box indicates which pattern is featured on which number exposure so that you know what you’re shooting. 

9. I’m keeping my eye on shoulder camera bags at the moment and a few bags at Rigu have caught my eye including this Able Camera Bag. Don’t forget that the 10% discount code is still active – just add HOP10 at the checkout for the code to be applied.  

10. Finally a perfect stocking filler…you can never have enough mugs :) This little retro mug is available from the Science Museum.

Is there anything that catches your eye out of these? Leave a note in the comments and let me know what you think (feel free to share your present tips too!).

Happy shopping!
x

50mm Photography Project: 10/50

Montmarte
There’s something delightful about the Paris skyline with its light coloured buildings and higgledy-piggledy chimney tops. I just loved this view from Montmartre with all the lines and random bits of graffiti (can you spot the Pacman character?).

I’m not the only one who loves the rooftop views of the city; Michael Wolf has built a whole collection of photos of the city’s rooftops. I’d have loved to have visited his exhibition (if I lived anywhere near San Fransisco!). 

Two months down and only 10 shots into my 50mm photography project. I’m going to have to speed up a bit if I want to finish it this year :) 

Have a great weekend!

HELEN







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 :)


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

Photo Walking Along The Queensway

Photowalking

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!

Photo Walk 30/03/2014

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!

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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 :)