B361 – THIS IS GIVING ME A MINI HEADACHE

you know how I said yesterday that I had a pretty cool place to go and check out, well, heres a kind of mini story the day. At the start Amy and me headed out for breakfast in Covent Garden, it had just started raining that really heavy and wet rain that gets through even the best gortex jacket. We had just finished our starter at brunch in this really cool little greek restaurant and the conversation came up about how we were going to get to the location and then we realised that trains weren’t stopping near by and the bus was just not really an option. I know what you are thinking, uber? but to be honest, it would just have been a pain getting one there and then getting one back would have been a nightmare. things really wern’t looking up for us and this plan, it was time to make an extreme decision, so…

After our meal we headed across the road to a coffee shop to think of a new game plan, we were both pretty clear that we didn’t want to head back to the flat and spend the rainy day inside watching movies and eating food, we wanted a mini adventure and to see something new. it has been the first time in like 6 weeks, where we literally have the whole day to spend together, one of us didn’t have to work in the morning or disappear in the evening, so we wanted to do something fun and make the most of it, but every idea we had didn’t work out, see a last minute west end musical? not one on at the right time. London Dungeness? Nope, just nope. Then, just as we were about to finish our coffee’s, Amy had the idea about going to the design museum in Kensington and boom we had a plan and somewhere to go!

For yesterdays mini adventure I decided to take the 28mm lens, its something that I think has real potential and one that I want to get to know better. I like to think that I know how to get a lens to focus and can take an OK picture with basically any lens you put on my camera. After all, I have been doing it literally every day for the past 361 days. but for some reason I just cant get the focal length right for really any picture, its so annoying. I cant seem to get it perfect, its giving me a headache. But Im not just going to put this lens on the side and not use it again. it must have been made for a reason, and I’m sure its portraits and street photography, maybe I just need to spend some more time with it and get to the bottom of what it can be used for.

Heres some of my shots from yesterday, I hope you like them and just so you know, I will be using this lens again today and will do my best to figure it out!

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– us sitting across the road trying to make this day work out –
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– we found a big puddle with some water fountains so I decided to jump in it –
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– see I just cant work out the focal length of this length, maybe I need to use the aperture to make these photos sharper, but this is a stair case inside the design museum –
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B360 – AND SO IT BEGINS

Thursday and the start of a four day weekend, what more could you want? Yesterday was a filming day so I didn’t get any chance to run off on my lunch break and take some cool photos, it was more about chasing Amy around Tesco’s trying to get some cool photos with a 28mm lens I’ve got this weekend.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the 28mm, it’s basically a wide lens that is really good to street photography and I would say nights out, it’s a f1.8 so that basically means it’s really good in low light.

But less about the lens I will probably dedicate a whole post too over the next few days. Yesterday I met Amy in Tesco’s for fish Tacos night, which was an experiment and something that definitely needs an improvement, not sure what happened but both of us weren’t happy with the result, luckily we had a big bag of Doritos and some cheese to make cheesy nachos while we watch a movie, only 10 minutes in and Amy’s fast sleep and that meant that was the end of movie night, time to hit the pillow. You know someone’s working hard when they fall asleep at 9:45 on the first night of a bank holiday weekend.

Today though we are up early before heading to a really really really cool place this afternoon, I’ve got all my camera batteries in charge so I can take some sick photos. I would say more but I quite like leaving it a surprise and trying my best to take some cool photos. but first I need a coffee and some breakfast. I’ve also just realised that this is my last weekend before I’ve finished this 3 a day blog challenge, so I really need to start thinking some of cool way of finishing! but dont worry, Ill have a little brainstorm and come up with something.

Here’s my photos from yesterday, enjoy.

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– sometime shop fronts give you really cool lighting, but shooting with red lights is never easy –
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– taking the lift down to meet amy for movie night food –
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– after this photograph the security guard came and told me off –

B359 – THE CANON MACRO LENS, WORTH IT?

So today I had more of a play with the Canon 100mm f/2.8 L series Macro Lens, its basically a lens that can magnify objects close up and give you a view of something that the human eye might not necessarily be able to see. Now the lens RRP is around £900 which for a Canon L series Lens isn’t really too bad, its like of a mid price lens and something that I think every photographer should at least have access too, its a great lens to have a play with and is the perfect lens to just pull out the camera bag one day and mix your photography game up abit

For this review I decided to do it as fair as possible, so I set up some lights and created a kind of mini studio, with a black bounce board and a magic arm to hold up the object. My plan was then to tether my laptop to the camera and after each shot go through the image and work out if I was happy with the point of focus. I wanted an object that had different textures and something that no matter how close you could get you would always discover more and more detail, my object of choice was trimmings off the plants out the front of the office.

My idea was to shoot with both a high ISO and also bring the ISO right down and use the shutter speed to control the light, and because I was using a Tripod I could now minimise camera shake. for those that don’t know the ISO is basically something that you make higher for low light conditions and decrease for well lite shots, my idea was to use a high ISO and a fast shutter speed to see how that effected the shot, and I definitely lost detail when close up and in full Macro mode, it made the shots a lot more “grainy” but once I lowered both the ISO and shutter speed, I noticed that my photos were a lot smoother and the level of detail had gone up ten fold. I was now capturing light in even the darkest areas of each photo but because I was shooting with an amazing lens, I could pull focus on the areas I wanted too and blur completely out areas I didn’t think added anything to the photo.

I also have to agree with canon that an aperture of 2.8 is probably right and thing lower and the depth of field would become way to shallow. At the same time I wouldn’t mind seeing what a 100mm macro would look like with an aperture of f1.8, I know that would be very shallow but that mixed with something like a medium format camera would mean you could see even more than the human eye. Anyone out there heard of a f1.8 100mm macro?

All in all this is a great and lens and something that really mixes up not just my photography game but photography in general. Its a lens that I would love to add permanently to my lens collection and something that I think will help me to improve the overall look of my future photos.

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– this is a photo I wanted to take and show the whole head of the leaf and show how the focal length handles a wider shot –
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– close up, Im pretty happy with this but if I had a higher megapixel camera I would definitely would have cropped in further –
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– shooting something thats been out in the rain means I get to see how the macro lens handles reflections and contrast, I really think this lens is worth £900! –
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– This was my set up for this shot, probably the most effort Ive ever put into shooting a leaf –

B358 – MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY AND MY SHORT ATTENTION SPAN

Today on my lunch break I decided that instead of spending it on Instagram or youtube I would grab the 100mm Macro lens and have a bit of fun with it. At first I wasn’t really sure what I could take photos of and figured out the best place to start was probably outside and try to photograph something close up and looking a bit weathered, when I headed outside I found an old piece of rope and boom I had my first thing to try the lens out on.

I know that a lot of people use it when filming but I hadn’t really ever given it a go taking stills, its a great lens and one that I want to get to know better and just have a bit of fun with I think. Since I took my photos, Ive been sat on google having a look into what other people have done with it and now I know that I dramatically need to up my game, I feel that with Macro photography you need to be a perfectionist and thats something I tend not too be, my attention span isn’t that long. So tomorrow on my lunch break I might just set up an object or something and spend like an hour just trying to get the best possible shot and see what happens, maybe I need to photograph flowers or something small but with a lot of colour and detail because at the moment, im struggling with the focal length, so I think I need to think more about my set up and use the right kit to get the job done. It seems to be really REALLY shallow depth of field and that makes taking photos without a tripod hard because you hand can’t be properly steady. I might even go full on crazy and set up like a mini lighting / photo area somewhere and see how good I can actually get my macro photography and make tomorrows post my full review of the Canon 100mm Lens!

Ive seen some amazing stills online and definitely think I can match them if I can just make my attention span last longer than 15 minutes.

Heres my first round attempts, let me know what you think!

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– I can definitely get this shot more in focus –
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– to be honest Im pretty happy with this shot, its a lightbulb if you didn’t realise –
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– the old piece of rope I was talking about –

 

 

B357 – NOT JUST A HUGH GRANT FILM

So now im sat on my sofa after driving back from a long day of shooting in Kent, its like 10:30pm and Im trying to get this post done so i can watch an episode of Sinner before I go to bed. All in all today has gone pretty well, and it feels good to be back at the flat knowing that the shoot went well. The plan for todays post is to show you some more photos from the other day in notting hill, for those of you that arent so familiar with this place that features heavily in that film with Huge Grant which by the way is called Notting Hill, apart from that its been home to the likes of Jimi Hendrix as well as Damon Albarn and George Orwell.

I think though one of the best reason to head over to this part of town is for all those crazy little shops that sell thinks that you don’t even realise you need, till you see it for sale. thats the kind of place it is, like the door knob shop, which by the way I think it really cool, they basically create custom door knobs, how cool is that. I know plan on installing new door knobs on everything I can in the flat from cabinets to bedroom doors if thats even possible. Ive been fully sucked into this idea, I just need to get my vision past Amy first.

Notting Hill kind of has its own style that aren’t seem to be recreated anywhere in London, its got the hustle and bustle of Camden but the social standing of Chelsea, its a place where Sirs and Madams live in harmony with Goths and rock stars. Im not sure if thats just a 2018 thing or if its always been that way, though I cant imagine Jimi Hendrix is the type of person to live in a quite part of the town.

Im going to keep this post short as I need to catch up on Sinner and also spend to time chilling out. I hope you all had a good monday and all getting ready for easter.

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– Driving back to london tonight, I love the london Sky line. this might be all out of focus but I had the wrong lens on the camera. Sorry  –
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– this guy just wanted to play the guitar and pose like a Glastonbury Headliner –
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– I really like this kind of mirror, the Cafe shops round Notting hill are worth the trip too –

 

B356 – SUCH A GOOD SUNDAY

After a night out that didn’t really finish till 5am, today was all about two things, food and Sunday vibes. once we had managed to get up and get dressed we decided to head to a proper greasy spoon and eat like we haven’t eaten before. After that the plan was to do something we havent done for ages and just walk around a cool part of town and explore, the destination was Notting Hill and mainly the Portobello road market. what I think both Amy and me like about this area is the colourful houses and cool shops, its a really cool area and somewhere I wouldn’t mind living.

To be honest if you forget about the area, it was just good chilling with Amy and taking photos of the day. We both have been non stop for ages and spending the day together was nice, even though I had to leave in the afternoon and travel to a hotel in kent and now im sleeping in a single bed. but hey, least we got to spent 24 hours together not talking about work and just having fun. So amy if your reading this with your morning cuppa tea, thanks for today and I just want you to know that I am now sleeping in a bed that my legs hang out of the end.

I took quite a few photos of today but I want to show you more tomorrow, I will probably write something more informative about Notting Hill but for now I just want to get a bit of an early night. One thing I did want to mention though is my camera settings at the moment, Im shooting with a lower aperture so my photos are on the boarder of being over exposed, but I quite like the look of photos that have information missing and thats kind of the style that im liking, over exposed and faded.

Heres my photos, enjoy.

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– Notting hill, this photo kind of sums it up –
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– the typical notting hill photo –
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– I do love notting hill but I also love a greasy spoon in bethnal green –

 

B355 – I LOST THE FIGHT

Yesterday was not a photo friendly day and by that I mean that the whole day until the evening was pretty much one big 9 hour fail. I decided yesterday morning that it was time I put that ikea light we brought a few months ago up, well that light is now in the bin, I dont know who designs lights at ikea but who ever you are, just make it simple but yet effective, don’t just say “hang it on a hook” because that is not a clever idea.

After fighting with this light for a good 2 hours, I was now on my way to John lewis with my tail between my legs, looking for a new light fitting. I did manage to get one, how ever it quickly became apparent that in order to put a light up, you need to know a thing or two about electrics. Long story short, the light is sitting in my wardrobe waiting for an electrician aka Amys dad to put it up but some people out there would be proud of me because at the same time as buying the light I also got a floor lamp, just incase my plan didnt work. So we arent just sitting in darkness, we can still see. Thats what you call future proofing yourself (I have just read this back and realised how boring this all sounds).

After fighting with the flats lighting, we then headed out to meet some of our friends and went to some place in Brixton called, Brixton Jam. its kind of like a disco night at a club, to be honest im not really sure what else happened but I do know that we didn’t get home till like 5am, which is probably the latest Amy and me have ever got home. I know, I know, its a crazy life we both lead.

I think the plan for today is to head over to Notting hill this morning and grab some coffee, and have a pretty chilled out day before I head off to work this evening. So I will be taking my camera and hopefully get some pretty cool photos of possibly my favourite part of London.

heres my photos from yesterday, all photos were taken on an Iphone.

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– you cant tell but this photo was taken at like 4:30 this morning, thank you mr mayor for keep the tubes open 24 hours a day on weekends! –
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– Amy about to clear up on the pool table –
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– dave –

B354 – SODO PIZZA, UP THERE WITH THE BEST.

So yesterday evening Amy and me were sitting in a pub in Bethnal Green thinking of something to get for dinner, the idea was simple, writing in google “pizza near me” and see what pops up, thats when we saw it. Sodo Pizza, its location was down a back street off of Cambridge Heath road, the location was set and we finished our drinks and headed over, to our surprise this was a new pizza place right near our flat that we had only just heard of, this evening just got interesting.

As we sat down in the corner of the restaurant, you cant help but acknowledge the amount of green plants they have dotted around and to be honest I had never really thought about plants in a restaurant before but it really works, they had used some big “green leaf” plants in a line to help break up the space and has worked perfectly. a solid 8/10 for vibes.

As with any time eating out, first you order your drinks, Amy went for a house white wine and said  it was pretty good. We arent too clued up on our wines but its always a good start when the house wine is good. My drink of choice was a Shoreditch Blonde, which is actually only brewed about 400 meters from where we are sitting, at the Redchurch Brewery up the road.

Once the drinks had arrived it was time to order some food, we decided to go half and half on the pizzas, Amy ordered the Feta and Butternut Squash Pizza, I went for the Meat Cured pizzas with pepperoni and Ham, which don’t get me wrong was amazing and had the perfect tomato puree to toppings ratio but the clear winner for us was the Feta and Butternut Squash. That pizza was perfect, not too greasy but at the same time not so dry that you need a litre of water with each mouth full. then you get these little spontaneous  hints of Rosemary, which have completely changed the game of pizza, I know its probably been done before but this is the first time Ive noticed it and now I think I want it on every pizza I have. The other thing that shocked us, was for the fact that after eating this pizza and then demolishing a Tiramisu, we didn’t feel like we need to either roll home or get an uber, we were like the perfect amount of full.

I would also say that it doesn’t fall into that hipster category for new pizza shops in London, you know the ones where they have naked pizza where its basically just a pizza but without tomato sauce, now that should be illegal. I cant recommend Sodo Pizza enough, they are the new kids on the block around Bethnal Green and fit in perfectly.

heres a link to their website: https://www.sodopizza.co.uk/

Oh and sorry for the first time in 354 days I went out without a memory card in my camera so had to use a mixture of Amy’s iphone and my iphone cameras.

Sodo pizza a solid 8.5/10!

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– hats off to this chef, he knew what he was doing –
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– me and both my Shoreditch blondes –
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– sourdough pizzas are possibly the way forward –
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– see! no memory card, I feel like an idiot –

 

 

 

B353 – A NEW VERSION OF FAST FOOD?

So yesterday night I decided that it could be a pretty fun thing if I just came home with a bunch of random vegetables and some chicken, then just see what Amy and I can come up with. The kind of veg that I had was like spring onion, leaks, ginger, aubergine, fennel, onion, Sweet potato. I did have other stuff but I cant really remember, i did have a few beers before so everything was a bit hazy. we ended up making something that was actually pretty good, we added some jerk chicken sauce, chucked everything in a pain and just gave it a good stir. We then decided to make some sweet potato fries and boom dinner is complete. Ive found that the trick with sweat potato fries is to add a little paprika to the mix and just give it that extra something, trust me it makes them so much better than if they are just plain. Give it a go. its like a new way version of fast food, I genuinely don’t think Deliveroo could of got the food to me quicker or made / found a healthier choice.

After all that I decided that instead of sitting on the sofa and writing this post, I would take the evening off and just chill out on the sofa instead, watch some tv and just not think about anything other than what to watch next. Some times its good to spend an evening off not taking photos, writing posts or going out and not getting home till like 10-11ish. so yesterday was the the perfect opportunity to get some good old sofa session time.

It then became an idea to wake up early today and head to the gym for an early morning work out, I know that a lot of people think that sounds crazy but I swear if you work out in the morning, then your instantly in a better mood for the day and as it is Friday, why wouldn’t you want to be in the best possible mood? So thats why my photos don’t really follow each other today, Ive got two photos from dinner last night and the other photo is of Amy hopping to the gym this morning.

Hope everyone has a good Friday and some good plans for the weekend!

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– Amy loves an early start and especially when its time for the gym… –
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– my choice of vegetables –
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– it was actually surprisingly good, maybe its good way to eat dinner from now on, it might not look amazing, but trust me we were both pleasantly surprised –

 

 

B352 – EDITING PHOTOS

As I’m writing a fair bit about my photography techniques, then I though one good thing to touch on for todays post is how I edit my photos. The main piece of software that I use is a program called Adobe Lightroom, I think its one of the best programs out there for editing loads of photos at once, in fact I cant really think of a different program out there that might be just as good, to me it seems like Adobe have this corner of the market locked down.

What I tend todo with my photos is import all the stills I took that day into Lightroom, literally its just a drag and drop thing and then start working my way through the photos. one thing that I have noticed with my editing is that I like to play around with the highlight tool a lot and play around with the exposure. i start by going from one extreme to the other, playing with the dials on the right hand side going up and down the dial till I get to a point where my happy with the photo. once Ive played around with the lighting, I then move onto the colour in the photo and because this is an iphone photo, the White balance is auto so I cant really play with that,  but the saturation, vibrance and clarity can all be messed about with. The clarity is something I don’t really like to change to much, I find that it makes a photo too grainy or too blurry and I normally use it a lot more if a photo is out of focus, kind of like a safety net. Saturation and vibrance are something I normally like to bring down, i love taking colour of the photos and give them that faded look and if you have read some of my previous blog posts you will have read the reason why I like faded photos so I wont go into those details now, just read some of my previous post and im sure you will see why.

I hope thats helped you to quickly understand what I do to my photos and maybe if you guys want to know more I can do a more in detailed post about this.

heres my examples and also some print screens of the editing process.

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– a less saturated photo, really wanted the smoke to blend in to the sky –
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– have a look at the setting to the right, look at where the saturation and vibrance dials are –
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– this is just a black and white photo –
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– not a big fan of high contrast street photos but thought I would show you want it looks like –
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– I tried to keep the tone settings basically the same as the saturated photo and then just change the presences settings –