Tag Archives: Photography

Photo Walking Along The Queensway


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.

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.

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

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
I have come to love and depend on my Canon EF 50mm Lens. It is so simple, yet so dramatic!

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 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!

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!

p.s. The ice cream was delicious, just in case you’re wondering :)

New Postcards in Store :)

Helen Ogbourn Photography - Love Padlocks - LondonJust some quick news about two new items in my Etsy store :) I love sending little cards to my friends just to say hello and thought it would be nice to get some of my own photos printed as postcards. I loved taking photos of the love padlocks in London and thought they’d make great little cards.

I received the first little batch today and they’re looking ace :) They have a glossy finish, with the usual postcard markings on the back for your message, address and stamp. Read more about them here: Urban Love/We Are Infinite 

As for photographs, I daren’t take my camera out in this incessant rain so am hoping that it’ll be a bit nicer this weekend. I heard rumours of a worldwide Instameet and there’s a group meeting in Birmingham on Saturday. I haven’t joined one before but I reckon it could be quite fun :) I’ll see if it stops raining first! 

Hope you’re having a good week!

Helen Ogbourn Photography - Happy New Year - London Love Padlock

Another Place

Helen Ogbourn - Another Place - Antony GormleyHello! I’ve just been looking through some of the photos that I took over the Christmas holidays and thought I’d share this one with you :)

Despite looking serene, this photo was taken in gale force winds! It was so windy on the beach that it was difficult to stay standing at times so I was only able to get a few shots. The sky is a bit blown out as the sun was really bright but I just liked how the rays were spread across the water.

Another Place is a series of 100 life sized iron cast sculptures of Antony Gormley’s (the sculptor) body which are scattered across the bay at Crosby, near Liverpool. At low tide they’re all revealed and they gradually disappear under the water as it rises. People go to great efforts to decorate them and I’ve seen them wearing hats, scarves, tinsel and knitted on leg warmers!

I hope this brings you a little bit of escape, especially everyone who has gone back to work today…booooo!

Cheerio for now

Happy New Year!

Helen Ogbourn Photography - Happy New Year - London Love Padlock
Hello again and happy new year! It feels like ages since I posted here as Christmas Eve seems so long ago! I’ve been having a lovely time travelling up and down the country to see family and friends over Christmas and it’s nice to be back home for the new year. I’ve been out and about with my camera while while I’ve been away and I’ll be posting photos over the next few days when I’ve caught up with myself!

This photo from Millennium Bridge in London is one of my favourite shots. Most people walk along without realising the locks are even there, but I enjoyed reading the messages on all of them :)

I’m not one for new year resolutions, but I’ve got lots of exciting things going on with my photography, website and store in 2014…

- If you’re starting a 365 photography project and are new to digital photography/flickr/blogging, check out my PDF eBook ThreeSixFive which is packed full of tips and month by month ideas. You can read more about it here and, as it’s new year, enter the code ‘NEWYEAR10‘ at the checkout for a 10% discount on all store items (valid until 8th January).

- I’m often asked about how I create the style of my photos, and I’m really excited to be working on a pack of Lightroom 5 presets which will be available in my store in the next few weeks. 

- I’ll also be starting to sell digital files (as well as the hard copy prints that are currently available) so check back in store to see items added throughout January and February. The love padlock photography above is now available as a digital file purchase here

- I’ve been learning more about portrait photography now that I have my super new Nikkor 85mm f1.8 lens :) I’m building a collection of portraits behind the scenes and will be sharing my progress with you as I go along. 

- I’m undecided on what photography project to tackle next. There are so many possible projects but I need to make a sensible decision about what is manageable! 

Finally, I’ll be carrying on posting my series of Ten Photos which are everyday shots from when I’m out and about with my camera during the week. I’ll also be continuing my regular series of Friday links. 

Thank you everyone for visiting and commenting on my photos and posts – I really appreciate you stopping by! 

Bye for now x

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas - Helen Ogbourn PhotographyJust a little shot of my favourite Santa decoration from under my Christmas tree before I pack all the presents up for giving out tomorrow…hooray! 

Thank you all for visiting my blog and I wish you all a very happy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!


Sonic Photo Walk: Listening to Birmingham

Curzon St tunnel 1 In my own little world of noise and photographs :) Photo by Fiona Cullinan (via Flickr). 

It’s not very often you hear silence. I remember experiencing it once when I was alone photographing a snowy loch in the middle of Scotland and I was quite astonished by it. It was such a contrast to the constant sound that I’m used to in the city: a mixture of traffic, people, construction, industry, and everything else that comes with urban living. Yet having lived in the Birmingham for over ten years now, it was only yesterday that I realised that I even though I hear the noise, I rarely actually listen to it.

Camera at the ready, yesterday afternoon I set off on one of a series of four sonic photo walks led by Pete Ashton and Sam Underwood. Pete and Sam had a variety of devices to help us listen to the small sounds of Birmingham and we all soon found ourselves holding stethoscopes to the walls and looking generally quite strange cupping our ears around the streets of Digbeth :) The aim was to photograph the detail and create abstracts based on what we could see and hear around us. 
Sonic Photo WalkAs I was strolling around and leaning against various walls, doors and fences, I realised there was an underlying noise to Birmingham that I hadn’t heard before, almost like I was hearing the heart of the city beating for the first time. It had become a living and breathing thing and was no longer just a collection of concrete and metal. 

It’s a little hard to explain what made me photograph the things below as it was such a subjective experience based on the sounds I heard, but I’ll give it a go nevertheless. 

The first photos I took related to the sound I was picking up through the stethoscope from vehicles: a train over the archways, the circular noise of trolley wheels, and cars passing us on the road. Using a longer shutter speed, I moved my camera in the direction of the noises I was listening to.Sonic Photo Walk Sonic Photo Walk Sonic Photo Walk Other photos related to the volumes of sounds that I heard; some were initially loud and decreased in volume, others were constant with varying background noise. There were also single noises that stood out just that bit louder than the others. Sonic Photo Walk Sonic Photo Walk Photowalk 5 Sonic Photo WalkPhotowalk 7Sometimes it was about putting yourself in place of the noise. I wondered what it may sound like to be working behind these locked gates, or what a smoking break might sound like to the depot workers. Sonic Photo Walk Sonic Photo WalkAs we walked along the canal paths, I used a different listening device (pictured below – though I can’t remember what these things are called…oops!). Kitted out with headphones, I found different textures to stroke the sensor on and listened to the varying sounds they made. The mass of cobwebs (no spiders, thankfully) on the green wall was lovely and soft in contrast to the scratchy textures of the pink wall. Sonic Photo WalkPhotowalk 13 Photowalk 14 Sonic Photo WalkAnd finally it was sometimes just about listening to your surroundings. My favourite sounds were the drops of water hitting the canal (which, it turns out, are ridiculously difficult to capture).Photowalk 15So there you have it…I suppose it all looks a bit bonkers :) I enjoyed being a micro-listener and experiencing Digbeth in a totally different way than I had before. I reckon I’ll be generally more aware of the sounds around me when I’m out taking photos around the city in future.Sonic Photo Walk Listeners Sonic Photo Walk Listeners Sonic Photo Walk Listeners Sonic Photo Walk Listeners Sonic Photo Walk Listeners