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 –

 

 

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B348 – MY IMPORTANT PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS.

For todays post I want to talk about something that I think it pretty important but for the first 200 days of this blog, didn’t really think too much about, I’m talking about framing and lighting. When I used to take a photo I would always think about the content and then used to take content over framing and lighting, which can work for street photography or those once in a 100 year photo opportunities, but a lot of the time Framing / lighting is just as important to not only make sure its a good photo but also to make sure you are getting the most from your camera.

To make this an even test I decided that there was only one place to go and that was to the coffee shop next door, where they don’t only take pride in supporting the local community but their knowledge of coffee and how to make the perfect cuppa is impeccable. I went for the usual a flat white, and what makes Second shot coffee shop perfect for this demo is that its not the biggest coffee shop in the world and it’s quite small. I want to show that it doesn’t really matter about the area its self, you just have to get creative with your framing.

I decided that I would take the photos on a small shelf, next to a plant near the door. The only problem was the shop was pretty packed with customers and there was also this big cardboard box underneath which meant i couldn’t get the shot I wanted too and it would have been way to embarrassing to have started moving the box around, so I had to frame it out and use the not so healthy looking plant sitting on the shelf as something to help fill for the foreground but also add colour and depth to otherwise a pretty standard shot of a coffee against a white wall.

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– this was the area I had to work with, as you can see theres pretty much everything you can imagine to make this shot impossible, and yes it is slightly out of focus because I had to run back and take this shot but forgot I was in auto so it was pretty much just a really rushed shot – 
One thing that you always need todo is think about how you can cheat a shot to make it look the best you possibly can, frame out something, shoot at a different angle or move slightly to either side. you can see from this shot of the shelf that not only did it have a plant and cardboard box below, I also had writing on the wall behind and a bunch of flyers to the right. It’s important to look at what you have around you and figure out if its helping the photo or taking something away from it and then make your chosen objects or object compliment the surroundings.

When you think about lighting, first thing I think of is shadows and reflections, when I shot this coffee cup the light was pouring in from the strong sun through the glass front of the shop, meaning that on one side of the photo theres long shadows and if you shoot with the sun behind you, theres reflections on the coffee cup, making it like a mine field of possible issue’s, so what I did here is shoot at like a 45 degree angle from the cup, meaning you lose some of the strong shadows and you  also just out of the reflection zone but can still catch a lot of the light.

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– I know you can see some reflections but thats just from the shop and doesn’t show any of me, also you do have some long shadows but theres nothing you can do about those without a reflector or even a flash gun or other photography lights – 

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– see if I shot from this side with the sun behind my back you can see my legs on the cup, if I was to shoot this properly, I would have brought with some some extra lighting and a reflector. also look at the strong shadow on top of the froth! that is something you really want to avoid! – 
For this mini photoshoot I thought I was only fair that I went full automatic on my canon 5dii with the best lens money can buy the Canon 50mm f1.8 (which you can pick up for literally £100)  and because I shoot in RAW mode which saves loads of information regarding each photo, so if I don’t like the exposure or lighting you can also change it in post and not worry to much about losing quality and thats also what i think a lot of instgrammers or bloggers probably do, it great for saving time but also means that you do have a lot more security especially if you have a good lens and shoot quick street style photos. but I don’t recommend shooting in manual mode with this 50mm lens and its not as smart as the better more expensive kind and does tend to get information or settings wrong. I do also normally I like to shoot in full manual mode and adjust my settings to the relevant environment but I wanted this test to be less about camera settings and what settings to use and more about framing and using your immediate environment to make your photos that little bit better and give them a bit more flare. my top tip is always shoot in RAW and then concentrate on your composition and lighting are better.

Please let me know it the comments what you think about this post and if you think any of my techniques might actually work for all. Also if you think its complete horse crap then that is also good to know. Hope your all have a good Sunday and get kick those St Patricks day hangovers, I’m currently driving up to Birmingham for a few busy days of filming.

My plan for the future is today more photography based tips and hints, so if there is anything you think I should cover let me know and Ill do my best.

 

 

 

 

B345 – ANY TIME IN THE PAST 100 YEARS

Thursday morning and last day of shooting for the week, I literally couldn’t be happier. For some reason this week just seems to have taken it out of me and now I’m ready to get a decent sleep and hide away from the terrible weather than seems to be on its way again.

Back when i had a life, my week day plan was always to wake up like 45 minutes earlier, grab a coffee, sit on my sofa and open up my laptop and just start that days blog post but over the past 3 months that has really changed and now its just about getting the posts done at anytime I could. Well today I have decided to do my best and sit on the sofa with a coffee and spent some time just writing these posts, its probably my favourite way of doing it, and I maybe running out of time pretty quickly but you can never rush and artist (unless you have a floor manager and production team that would kick your arse if your not at work for your call time).

to lighten the mood a bit, I want to show you guys this morning are from… Yes you guessed it the other day at the beach in Norfolk, I promise its my last day of showing photos for that walk, but taking Landscape photos of the sea one on side and these really colourful muddy cliffs on the other with overcast clouds, I think really sets the mood and almost gives them a timeless feel. like those people on the beach in the first picture could almost of been there at anytime in the past 100 years, theres nothing in shot that I can see which would give away that its 2018.

I hope everyone is having a good week, here some the last of the photos from the weekend.

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– this photo to me, could of been taken at anytime in the past 100 years –
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– I should really take more photos with things in the foreground, I think its a cool style of photography –
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– just a crow sitting on a pile of sand. I tried to sneak up on it to get a better shot but it saw me and flew away –

 

 

B265 – WHAT A YEAR

Merry Christmas everyone and a happy new year! its literally the perfect day, as well as it being christmas its also my last 100 days of posting. I’ve made it to the final stretch. as its also the end of the year and also my last 100 days I thought I would show you some photos that Ive taken these past 265 days.

Its probably been one of the best years Ive had, not only have I been working pretty much non stop but Ive also been to some places that I never thought I would go to, I’ve spent 2 months in America and now have a working visa of the states, which i’ve wanted for ages, Ive also been to Canada, china and a few places in Europe. so its been pretty exciting. Amy also asked me out at the beginning of the year, and next year she should be moving into my flat, well thats the plan anyway. who would have thought I would been living with a girlfriend. its crazy and I suppose when you do that your kind of becoming an adult and having responsibilities, which in away is quite cool.

this blog has to be one of the best things Ive done, its literally taught me how to write and in given me confidence to try new things and just work harder to get what I want, and also when I write emails now theres a lot less spelling mistakes, its never good when you write emails and its grammatically incorrect or just doesn’t make any sense but because of the sheer amount of writing I do now I learnt a lot of new words and can spell so much better, I think anyway.

I think this blog has been good because a lot of the time its easy to think up ideas and then even easier to think up excuses why you cant do them and this has really made me just forget the excuses and just go with my gut and try to get the job done. thats why next year ive got a few plans lined up for this blog and also things that I want to try and do work wise. im planning on getting a second job i think just to help pay for all the things I need todo and the adventures / holidays im going on. Its time to up my game and smash 2018 out of the park!

Thank you 2017 its been a pleasure!

oh and sorry my blog didn’t have any photos on it yesterday, i literally have no idea how that happened. WordPress was just having a bad day I think.

 

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– amy and me exploring the town of Ratio on the Amalfi coast –
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– I also went to my first american high school football game right, this was like 10 minutes away from Harvard University –
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– Flying out of Newark Airport in New York. That is definitly a place Ill be going back to soon! I love New York –
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– a picture of Soho in London, I quite like this photo. Might have to get it made into a print –
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– the shot from the Barbican last week, im just happy with this photo and really like the way the man is –
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– this guy was definitely a highlight –

B249 – AN UPSIDE DOWN TEMPLE TO A COIN LAUNDRY

From North Carolina to Shanghai, every build is different, foundations change, tactics differ and people’s ideas get thrown around. If you stand on the street in North Carolina, not in the city of Raighley, but on the outskirts in the suburbs. Things you take for granted like shops and restaurants are built quick and for maximum capacity’s. They are basically practical places to get done what you need to get done, they do what they say on the title. No messing about. 
If you travel to some where like Kensington in London, that little part of the UK where a flat will set you back £1M or will all of a sudden be standing in a building that’s meant to not only stand the test of time but built to look like something from Mary poppins. Red brick the works. 
Then you travel 12,000 miles to China and end up in Shanghai and all of a sudden you starring up at an upside town temple that looks like it’s been carefully put together out of 100 meter look match sticks. It’s literally like something that a baddest budist has dreamt up.  

What I like about that all these buildings is that they all serve the same purpose really and that’s for people to use to eat a task done. It doesn’t matter if that task is to pray, live in or some where to wash there clothes. A lot of the time, I’ll just get from city to city and not really look up, even in London a place I’ve lived my whole life, I just walk around and don’t really take it all in. but if you actually just stop for a second and look around, everything is actually pretty cool in its own weird way. 

Here are some photos that I’ve taken from the places I’m talking about. It’s a bit of a rushed post today, but we all have days like this right?

– the Mary poppins buildings around Kensington, London –
– the upside down temple in Shanghai –
– a coin laundry by the side of a road somewhere in North Carolina –

B214 – IM GOING HOME!!

Right now its 14:44 on Friday, Im sat a Bradley international airport in Massachusetts about to board a plane to Boston, Ive got an hour till we take off and from Boston I have a flight that will take me to London Heathrow. its now the complete end of my time in America and after two months on the road going from Hotel to Hotel its time to head home and finally do some washing and get on my DIY skills on, I’ve got a hall way to paint and some more blinds to put up! so get ready for some DIY posts, they will be coming thick and fast.

right now though Im scrolling through the photos Ive taken on my phone and think its only right to post some photos that I have taken on my phone before they disappear into the hard drive of my computer forever.

If I had to choose one city that has left a mark on me it has to be New York, that place is probably one of my favourite cities Ive visited in a long time, it just doesn’t sleep and every corner has something happening and thats what I like. Nothing stops in New York, its just on the move constantly. I will 100 percent be coming back to New York in the near future.

On the other hand, the state that surprised me the most and rank up there of cool places is New England. thats the area Im in now, apparently its were the english first landed when they discovered America, thats where it gets its name from. If I could get hold of a mountain bike and had a few days off I would loved to of just cycle round the forests and explored this area, it just looks like a cool place to have an adventure. that sounds like a pretty cool idea now Ive just said that. Amy? Can you cycle?

Ive really enjoyed this trip and feel like Ive managed to see a fair bit of america is a short period of time. but now I just need to come back and really get to know it when Im working. Heres list of the places Ive been in the last few months. New York, New Jersey, Massachussets, Flordia, Illinois, North Carolina, St.louis, Toronto and Vancover. Looking at that im really suprised that I haven’t missed a day of this blog yet and not really sure where Ive found the hour or so it takes to write these each day.

Tomorrow I land back in the UK and have to  rush home for a hair cut, pack a bag and get ready for a few days get away in Paris. Amy and Me are going there because theres some fashion show that she wants to check out and I owe her a birthday present. so get ready for me to put my best Zoolander outfit on and explore the city of Paris!

Heres  some of  the photos from my phone of these past few months.

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– New York at 6am –
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– Ive never seen an exhaust like this, is it legal in the UK? –
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– a view from New England –

 

B174 – AIR CANADA LOST OUR CAMERA GEAR

I’m sat on the plane from Chicago to Vancouver, the TV’s don’t work and that’s something I hadn’t planed for, so now I’m trying to think of cool ideas instead of just looking at the head in front of me and listening to the only album I have on my phone.
One idea I came up with for today post, is to create an instagram story @joshfspear of some cool photos of my journey from Chicago airport to my hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. As today is literally just a travel day and nothing else, its hard to find cool stories and develop a meaning or idea behind the post, so I thought I would take you on the travel day with me and show you some of the cool things Ive seen along the way.

– Vancover to Victoria –

Air Canada have also lost some of our camera gear so its now looking like im going to be staying awake until it arrives sometime tonight. Apart from that, today has been a pretty good day and ended with us taking a small plane across the sailors sea from Vancouver to Sidney at golden hour which was unbelievable. I was speaking to a guy on the plane and he was talking about the food and wild life in this part of town so now im pretty excited to see what this place has to offer. that plane journey was one of those where I will look back in 10 years time and think how cool it was, from see where salt water meets fresh water to the barges pulling logs along the rivers to paper factories. it was all just like another world.

– the best flight I’ve been on in a long time –

We are only here for a few days but I will make those few days worth it. But we are now off to a flying start with a beer and pancakes from Dennys.

– I like this part of Canada already –

If you’ve got some time go and check out @joshfspear on instagram and have a look at my story of the trip, its got some pretty cool photos. I think I’m going to do more stuff like this and now I’ve done one the ideas are coming to me.

Im not sure if any of this makes any sense, Ive been awake for way to long and all over the place, but I hope you get the gist. I’ve been writing this as the days gone on.

B173 – YOU DON’T NEED A HELMET

I’m writing this a day before I actually need too, the next 48 hours are going to be a bit stressfull, so I thought I would do this post way before I need to just to make sure that its decent and not completely rubbish.

Today I wanted to post more pictures of the junk yard I went too a few days ago, just because it was something that I think is worth posting. The whole idea of taking photos at a place where you would think to take photos is what I like about this and its made me want to go to more junk yards and take photos.

The first photo I want to talk about is the guy riding the motorbike, in Illinois is legal to ride a motorbike without a helmet. Now for someone from London its completely weird to see people riding motorbikes around without a helmet on, it just doesn’t look normal. But it definitely adds to the cool factor, it makes motorbike riders look more like Nomads than part of a society. Like this guy, he’s just cruising around looking like he’s going nowhere but everywhere at the same time. the guys probably just on his way to get some milk for his family at home, but that’s not the impression he gives. I’m not sure if I agree with the helmet laws over here, but who I am to judge.

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For all these photos I used a Canon 20mm prime, shot in Black and White but also used RAW + JPEG format, but so I had the safety of using an Uncompressed image but was using Black and White as a reference. When you shoot in RGB but plan on changing the photo to B&W later on you shoot completely different and don’t think about the lighting as much as to when your only seeing B&W as an in camera reference.

My tip is to always shoot in the colour scale you plan to edit in and release you image as. I think it makes a huge different to the out come of your photo. Someone might say differently but by shooting RAW + JPG, you aren’t risking anything.

Here’s my other two photos. As your reading this, im currently on my way to an airport.

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– I like the rough paint on the side of this truck –
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– not for sale –

B171 – COOL UNKNOWN AMERICA – I THINK IVE LEARNT SOMETHING – PT.5

Today is the last day of me doing my first mini photo project, Cool Unknown American. Im not really sure how much is unknown or how much everyone knows, but my plan was just to show the inner workings on America on a whistle stop tour of America these past few days. Im about to have a really busy few days, so I think its probably best is I go for a five part project.

I’m currently sat in someone’s garage as the temperature hits 95 degrees, its pretty hot and there’s no air con but that will no break me.

With these posts its always tough to figure out what to write about and with photos, Ive always wanted to let my photos do the talking and just let people read each image and take away from it what they please. That’s not really the case, if you can take a good photo that seems to be about 60% of it, the other 40% is your writing. How well you can capture and write about that photo. That’s what I’ve learnt about this project, my photos are only doing a percentage of the work, I need to explain the reason behind the photos and what I think. Maybe its time for a new shake up of this blog, change the layout and my angle. I’m coming up to the 6 month mark in 11 days and the past 171 days have taught me a lot.

Two of the photos you see below are from previous days, one is of this incredible sunset we saw over the Illinois river on the drive from St.louis to Chicago. It was like a 6 hour drive, on the same straight road of like 200 miles, we got bored half way through and turned off on to the old route 66, this photo was taken just after we joined back on the highway across over the river and then were met by this crazy sunset. I love taking photos of sunsets, they never get boring. my favourite part about this photo is the reflection off the river in the back ground, it makes it feel like mid west america to me.

The other photo is from the VW car meet, this guy was standing up on the flat bed trying to sell things I think. I dont know why, I just thought it was a good photo opportunity so i took it. that car meet was one of those moments that will stand out for me on this trip. I just happened to look out of my hotel window and saw all this craziness happening across the road, so grabbed my camera and just started taking photos. nothing was planned, it just all seemed to fall into place.

anyway I’ve just eaten way to much Chicago deep pan pizza to keep me full or the next week, so heres my three photos.  enjoy.

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– this is my view of the amazing weather outside –
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– sunset on highway 55, Illinois river –
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– this guy knew how to sell –

 

B170 – UNKNOWN COOL AMERICA – A QUITE DAY MADE FUN- PT.4

Yep train tracks, thats what I took photos of today and I learnt something. I really dont like taking photos of train tracks, but where I am in Chicago, there is basically nothing apart from some massive car parks, and fast food joints. So train tracks will have todo.

Ive had one of those days where I just feel completely nackered and just looking forward to getting some good food inside me. my conclusion is that mid west america dont know how todo breakfast, they either have fruit loops or waffles and maybe some turkey sausages and some eggs. thats good every now and again, but not everyday. get some fresh fruit in and some yoghurt, trust me america it will change your life. or even try some fresh food, its a real game changer.

but enough of the moaning, At Lunch time today, i thought what should I do If I have nothing todo, so I decided to stop off at a gun shop to get that culture shock and wake my day up.  I ended up shooting my first ever gun a military grade AR-15 semi automatic machine gun. The nice guys in the gun shop gave me a little tour of the place first, I only I walked into the store to have a look at what guns they sell and maybe get my hands on the clint Eastwood smith and western gun that he has in those movies, but after speaking to Gunny Mike and this cool guy Marc, they ended up letting me shoot some rounds of the AR-15. It was a pretty sick time actually and scared the crap out of me. but after the first 10 rounds I was like a young rambo. They even gave me a cool T-shirt for me to remember the first time I shot an AR-15. I was like a 10 year old boy, who just discovered this whole new world. I dont think i would ever own a gun or something but it was definitely a good bit of fun. my shoulder is in a bit of pain now though, that guns got a bit of a kick to it.

After that I decided to go on a bit of a drive and take some pictures of something that has no baring on my day, but of something that is everywhere in the states and thats how I ended up taking photos of the exciting world of the American Railway tracks. enjoy these photos.

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– cheers Gunny Mike and Marc for setting this up. as you can see Im a natural, the hole closest to the red was Gunny Mike, I was going to claim it as mine but it was all him that one.  –
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– rail road crossing number one –
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– this was a rail road crossing, I just made it look like I was standing in between the tracks. I promise –