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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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 –

B304 – 7 MINUTE WORK OUT

Yesterday evening Amy and me watched The Truth About Getting Fit, it was this show that showed you how to get fit, what exercises todo when your injured and also how to do different workouts each day that don’t take up a lot of time or even really cost any money. They talked about a type of training called HIT (High Intensity Training) which is basically just working out hard for a short amount of time. This is something that has grabbed our attention, we don’t really have a lot of time to get down to the gym and to be honest I don’t really like them.

So after watching that show I downloaded this app called 7 minutes, what it basically does is run a timer and tell you what workouts you need todo, like push up for 30 seconds then a 10 seconds rest and the squats for 30 seconds. all this is done in 7 minutes and you come away from it feeling so much better.

That takes us to yesterday morning, we decided to get up at 6:30am and head out to this really cool spot in Victoria Park right next to the lake and by this cool oriental looking building. this was the location for our first 7 minute workout and to be honest it was a really cool spot and was the perfect way to start the morning. I forgot how good it feels to workout early in the morning, and is something I want todo more of, last year I was running pretty much every day until my injury. Now Im I still have a problem with my leg I use it as an excuse, I need to stop that. I can still work out, I just need todo it differently. Swim, cycle and daily 7 minute workouts. thats the way forward.

Sorry I didn’t do it this morning Amy, but I had to many beers last night I think. I promise Ill do it tonight.

Heres my photos from yesterday. Oh yea and Amy cooked some amazing chicken last night, I have no idea what you call it but it had all the good stuff in it! broccoli, spring onions, chilli’s and fried chicken!!! Ill try and get the recipe off her today and Ill post it at some point.

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– Yesterdays work out spot, could almost be somewhere in the countryside –
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– see that building in the background, thats we the workout took place –
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– Amys dinner, perfect for post workout food (i think) –

B232 – GOOD BYE SHANG HAI!

Today I leave shang hai and head back to london, im looking forward to getting home and looking back at all these photos Ive taken and getting the posts online, I hope you all are still reading these and wont abandon me.

this place is pretty cool and completely different to anywhere Ive been before, its a completely new culture that ive kind of seen, I wish I had more time to see this city. im now on the coach to the airport and looking out the window at the Bullet train tracks. the bullet train is chinas answer to high speed rail way travel. this thing goes like like 200 mph and travels along these futuristic train tracks which use like 1 mile long bends. its literally a thing of the future, I love the idea of the future and people creating inventions to make life easier and more exciting. the next few years I genuinely think china will over take the west and lead the technology race, if you have over 6 billion people in one country how can they not.

this country is a place I still cant work out if I would like to come back and visit on holiday or if I would only come here for work, I just cant decide. china is a massive place and I like to think ill be back to explore but truthfully Im just not sure.  I think ill only know a few weeks down the line when I think back to what its been like and what Ive experienced. right now im pretty hungover from an amazing wrap party 87 stories up at the top of the hotel and all I want todo is eat a mcdonalds and fall asleep on the plane home.

for now heres some photos from my past week in this amazing city!

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– This guy was just happy to be a live –
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– the bullet train tracks, I wish I went on this –
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– as im posting this in the future, hes a photo from the plane –

B231 – JUST A DOG WEARING SHOES

It’s weird not posting these each day, I’m not really enjoying it. I love following the stats and getting to see what people think of my photos, it’s one of those things if I post each day I really try and set my self a brief for each day, ie something to concentrate on, but at the moment I’m just snapping shots when I can.

Not really sure if that’s a good idea, but at the moment it’s the best I can do.

Today is show day and I can now say that I’m working on Victoria Secrets Fashion show in Shanghai!!!! The rule of posting photos still stands, so if your expecting to see Back stage photos of Super modes wearing underwear and wings. This is the wrong place, instead I can offer a shot of a dog wearing shoes.

One thing has really surprised me is that amount of bikes that are in the city and the comparison to London. A few months back someone introduced this public bike scheme where you can pick up these yellow bikes via an App and then drop it off where ever you want, two days later the bikes had been destroyed, seats stollen and wheels buckled. Not in China, they literally have exactly the same bikes but times a thousand, there are hundreds on every street and not a buckled wheel in sight. China is this country where people stick to rules and one of the coolest things is everyone has a job (apparently). From what I saw which to be fair is very little, the streets are cleanish and there’s this proper hustle and bustle about this place, it feels like a super power city and I suppose that’s exactly what this place is. 10 years time and Shanghai will be this place with hovercrafts and jet packs, I promise you!

 

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– Victoria Secretes fashion show 2017 –
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– one of the weirdest buildings Ive ever seen –
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– just a dog wearing shoes –

 

B230 – A CHINESE BREAKFAST

I never seen Chinese buffet for breakfast and don’t think its something I have much of an appetite for, but you cant knock it till you tried it right. so this morning was all about me digging in for a proper orientatal breakfast with chop sticks the lot.  I decided to go for the cold noodles, rice and some other things which im not too sure what they were, my mistake involved soy sauce, I over did it a bit meaning it was all a bit too salty. but I dont think that was my main mistake, if I played it safe and stuck with rice, rolls and weird green thing I would have been ok. it was all the other stuff that put me over the edge.

A few hours later and its lunch time, thats when I really regretted my breakfast, it was more rice, noodles and other Chinese food. I definitely think a ham and cheese croissant for breakfast goes down a lot better with a coffee. rice and coffee isn’t really a good mix. I was a bit suprised at the cold chow main noddles as well, I thought that it was a global tradition to eat noddles hot, cold noddles are bit to weird.

most of the time when i’m eating Chinese its at 3am and I’m in the middle of London somewhere trying to book at taxi home and struggling to remember my address, so eating one from breakfast felt unnatural, but who am I to judge. it they like it then thats there choice, i just hope one day they try and full english breakfast and understand what makes a great breakfast.

I know this is a bit of a weird breakfast review, but I hope it makes sense and doesn’t make me look naive.

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– dont ask me what was on my plate, I have no idea –
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– the pastery section i think –
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– sorry for the bad photo, it was taken on an iphone –

B229 – THIS FEELS WEIRD!

i don’t like the fact I cant post everyday, feels weird not sitting down in the evening or morning and posting a blog,  or even having a coffee and thinking about what i can post each day, its a good reason it get up each morning and not just do what everyone else does. its kind of my reason for doing something extra. 

Im kind of looking forward to my plane journey home and being able to sit on the plane for 12 hours with no distractions and just getting these posts up today and posted. today is when the work really ramps up and Im looking forward to getting that feeling of a live event. I think everyone who works in TV gets that feeling when a live event is about to start.

Its so fun being out here and just experiencing Shang hai, the people are really nice and if you don’t laugh at the Language barrier then it could be a problem, got a taxi to a bar last night bit of a problem the taxi driver just drove us around the block for 45 minutes before just dropping us back at the hotel reception. 

One thing that is on my list of things to buy is a portable power pack to charge my phone, I need to have a look into them and see what is the best one of buy. its so annoying when your phone dies and you have to plug it into a wall and leave it for 45 minutes. does this mean ive fallen todo the trap of being addicted to my phone?

The other thing that is worrying me is I don’t want to lose motivation to post these photos each day, I really don’t want to lose motivation and stop. Its hard not posting each day because then I fall further and further behind! Stick with it josh! only 130 something days to go!! Bust I suppose if I fly half way around the world to a location like this one below I shouldn’t be able to lose motivation!

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– THIS PLACE IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A CITY! THATS CRAZY –
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– THIS IS A COOL TREE HOUSE –
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– I CHINESSE SKY LIGHT, I WONT IF YOU CAN GET THIS IN BETHNAL GREEN –

B227 – UP IN THE CLOUDS

Im staying in the Grand Hyatt hotel which is pretty cool, the hotel reception is on the 54 floor and when you take the lift up your ears pop. my room is only on the 79th floor which gives you this cool view of Shang hi, the only time i have been this high up is when I went to the Shard for some drinks and even then I think I was only on the 60th floor or something. Waking up with a view of the city is insane, even when theres loads of fog and all you can see if the clouds moving slowly past your window it creates this cool effect. 

When you come out of the tower and look up all you can see if the building disappear into the clouds. our building is trumped completely by the Shang Hi tower which is right next to us, that tower is the second tallest building in the world and stands at 635 meters tall and has 128 floors! it literally feels like two times the size of out building.

for the next week, Im going to just be using my Iphone, I cant really carry my camera around with me, which is annoying but I hope you like these photos. I got this taxi the other day and cant work out if the driver had a fake iphone or what phone is was, does anyone know? Shang hai is pretty famous for all the fake designer markets I really want to make it over to one and see what I can get hold of but not sure if I will have time.

 first impressions of Shang Hi, it’s absolutely massive and China is actually a pretty cool place, but not as futuristic as I thought it would be, I was expecting to see loads of really modern things but its actually quite traditional. 

Heres my photos from today, I hope you like them.

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– looking up from below the hotel –
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– the view from breakfast –
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– is this a fake iphone?

B226 – THIS IS NOT THE END! I PROMISE!!!!

Day one of China, is off to a great start after landing Wednesday morning completely jet lagged) I did that thing where you don’t sleep on the plane and it just completely throws you off, always try and sleep on long flights). I went out on a little adventure the some of the crews and explored Shang Hi a little, this place is pretty cool and naturally one thing turned into another and we ended up in this weird secret tunnel which runs under the Bund river. its kind of like something out of a low budget James Bond film, with loads of LED’s on the walls and theres weird sounds like Joshua in War Games.  Im trying to compare everything to films I know as Shang Hi just feels like everything is out of some classic film. Naturally after spending 40 minutes explores it quickly turned into a hunt of classic Shang Hi bar which then turned into us in a local Irish bar down the road. why would we go any where else? it was a great afternoon / evening bar crawl and I wish I had more stamina to make it to the club but my bed was calling.

Im now laying in bed and have been awake since 3am its now 6am and I thought I would spent sometime and get this post done. before I jump in my bath and watch the sunrise over Shang Hi, how cool does that sound. I just hope the smog doesn’t ruin my view.

Tomorrow is the first day of production and Im looking forward to seeing everyone and getting stuck in with work so this next bit isn’t easy to write, but I am now going to have to stop posting my daily photos till I get back to the UK. I need to respect the production company I am working for and if they say no photos, that has to mean no photos. I am still going to write these posts and find something to photograph outside of work, but I wont be posting until I get back to the UK and get the green light. its the one thing I really didn’t want todo, I am determined to keep this up for 365 days but the next six days are going to have to be posted next week. I will still take at least three photos a day I promise!

If you cant take not reading my posts on a daily basis, then why don’t you just start reading from B001 again. I will buy the first person to tell me how many photos I have posted up to this date a christmas gift.

Heres my photos from today see you guys in a week when I promise I will post all the days that Ive missed!!!!!! Ill post 5 pictures today so its not all doom and gloom.

Also dont forget I have my first print for sale, heres the link.

https://joshfspear.com/about/prints/

GET INVOLVED!

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– the view from my room, cant complain about this one –
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– the view from my bath, definitely cant complain about this –
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– taking the secret tunnel to the otherside of the river yesterday, one of the weirdest experiences of my life –
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– just your average street, I cant get over how big the traffic lights are –
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– this place is open 25 hours a day –

 

B225 – IT HAD TO BE ME THAT SAT THERE!

Im writing his mid flight and have just flew over the border between Belarus and Russia, its about 7 hour 45 minutes till we reach shanghi. I could go on to talk about what I did this morning but my travel buddy bean thinks we should do a review of the plane and to be honest I could agree more.

Today we are travelling on an Airbus A380 with Virgin Atlantic travelling in Premium Economy, which is actually a good flight for a number of reasons.

  • The space. As someone who is 6ft 1 AND A half inches tall, I have a problem when it comes to travelling and that is my arms and legs they basically make me langkey and mean that I’m either squashed with the person next to me or have my legs spread out half my down the asile. It means long journey’s can feel even longer. It also mean that’s you can have your laptop out and not take up the seats on either side of you, perfect for trying to get a blog post done by the time I land. I’m determined to keep these post scheduled for 10am each day.
  • The service is really good, long flights can be a pain but nothing is better than some good service and some good food. The Air hostess is really good and that cant bring food and drinks around enough, after dinner they even brought round brandy and some amertotto liquor, what more could you want.
  • I don’t want to go on about it but when you get on the plane they even give you this little Hershals pouch thing with all your tooth brushes and stuff inside. It’s a small thing, but compared to last month flying on Air Canada Rouge where you need a tentnus shot before you get on the plane. so this little pouch is a big deal.

 

My only problem with the flight is that I kept on backing the chair, I accidently sat on the side arm and now it plastic cover keeps on falling off and now its fallen off completely, and my table now bounces around when I try to eat of use my laptop, the air stewardess did they and help me but I think it’s a lost cause.  Its kind of my fault anyway but could probably do with a little redesign. Not biggy Richard, I know you have a lot on at the moment.

Im looking forward to seeing this part of the world and exicted to start taking pictures of the completely new place. Im also exicted to crack on and get to work, its so hard for me not to say what it is im doing here, but I promise as soon as I get the green light you guys will know.

UPDATE: Im at the hotel and we may have a problem, google doesnt work and thats where I look up words I dont know how to spell or words im not too sure on. Im now officially in trouble, my spelling could get a lot worst over the course of this week. So sorry for that, and please just ignore them

Heres my photos from the plane.

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– this is bean taking her pre flight instagram shot –
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– B&W photo of a plane window –
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– always working, and enough space so she doesnt hit me with her elbows –
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– dont mind if I do –
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– I broke the chair, not sure its completely my fault, more wrong place wrong time I think –