B362 – THE ANNUAL SPEAR FAMILY TRADITION

First off let me start by saying Happy Easter I hope everyone is doing exactly what they want this weekend, I plan on catching up with the family and eating chocolate, lots of chocolate. Right now though I have ended up waking up at like 5am and decided that this is probably the best time to sit down and write a half decent post, in about 30 minutes I’m expecting the kids to wake up and a massive game of hide and seek or tag to kick off and I want to be in the best possible position for what ever game we end up playing and not have worry about getting this post done.

Today is the day of the Spear family Easter egg hunt and for those of you that have been reading this post of the past year will know from last year’s egg hunt, its not something that can be done lightly. It’s a full blown Egg hunt by which everyone (the kids) has their own bag and run around the garden collecting eggs, there aren’t any winners or losers just the person with the most eggs is what the adults tell the young ones Flo (age 4) and Phoebe (age 10) but that’s not the way I see it, right now its war and when chocolates on the line it’s every man or toddler for themselves. Watch this space people.

One thing that does feel weird when I think about it, is the fact that I was doing this blogging malarkey and this is now my second Easter post, its crazy to think how much my writing and photography skills have improved. I’ve gone from being that drop out dyslexic kid who struggles with all things grammar and can’t really write, to someone who’s now confident in the content I put out there and actually enjoying the process of writing and getting my ideas from my head. Don’t get me wrong there are still many mistake that make it through but when you think about the first posts I wrote, they were literally 2 sentences long and full of mistakes, to now writing mini essays about topics that I find genuinely interesting. It’s a massive change. I’ve gone from having a writing age of about 7 years old to now probably a solid 16/17 years old and that’s something I’m pretty proud of and I have a whole website where I can show the improvement. I just know that its something I need to keep up and try to push to new levels and see just how far I can take this whole blog thing, I’ve got some really interesting plans / ideas for when this 3 a day is over and I hope that I can continue to interest you guys into reading my posts.

I was going to leave those “cringy” reflection posts for the last day but to be honest I couldn’t think of anything else to write so I just thought I would give you guys an insight into what I think of my writing. Moving on from that, its time for my second cup of coffee and to get prepped for the Easter Egg hunt, they maybe family but its time to get my head in the game and find those eggs, may the best person win, good luck Flo and Phoebe, you’re going to need it.

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– Stopping off on the way to Michelles for a quick beer –
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– And relax –
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– I cant believe ive been doing these post of a whole year and havent taken a picture of Kings Cross or maybe I have and just forgotten –

 

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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 –

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 –

 

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.

 

 

 

 

B346 – THE BIGGEST BRAIN FART

today I lost, just completely lost and when you lose like that, it better to just face the fact that today you didnt win, theres only one thing you can do and thats head to the pub and drink until you forget about it. Normally I would just power through and try and gain the day back but for some reason today I just didnt have anything left in the tank and just decided to call the day quits and head out for a drink with amy and that why my photos are just of three drinks that I had throughout the night. nothing else, no attempt to take great shots of even take my camera out with me, just a photos taken on my iPhone.

Now I know what your thinking, something terrible must of happened and thats not the case, it was just a day where everything would just go wrong. from me following the shooting schedule and getting all in a muddle to me trying to catch a piece of fruit that was thrown at me and just completely missed, there wasn’t any major fails or problems just hundreds of little ones which only got more annoying as the day went on. Nothing seemed to slot into place and that really annoys me, but today is a new day and Im going to make this Friday a good day. my plan is to get up and get dressed head into work early and make sure that there aren’t any mistakes again and that all the issues I had with yesterday don’t happen again. and screw it, do you know what? Im also going to take some amazing photos and really pull this week back from the dead and then tonight I’m not going out for a drink or anything Im going to sit on my sofa and get some decent sleep because I think thats what the issue is here, for the last few weeks its been crazy and yesterday I just had a 4 hour brain fart.

Hope non of you are having a brain fart like me at the moment, heres my drinks from last night.

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– Beer one –
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– Beer two –
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– moving to Gin and tonic that was probably the best choice I made today –

 

B343 – THINKING ABOUT THE NEXT BIG CHALLENGE…

Ahh Monday, the one day of the week where those extra 5 minutes of snoozing the alarm make all the difference, especially when you have a 7:20am call time but the good thing about a call time that early is that you get to see London empty and not full of people. this morning I got to walk through the famous Brough market and it was completely empty, not even someone selling fruit or veg, it was just me. I wish I had more time to explore and that I could of pulled out my camera and spent 5 minutes just taking photos but as I said earlier, those extra 5 minutes of snoozing that alarm aren’t something that can be given up lightly.

For my photos today, I really wanted to show you some more snaps from the beach the yesterday but as im expecting a very busy week, so Ill drip feed you guys photos over the next 5 days, I hope thats ok.

After work today the plan was to go to the gym and spend an hour working out instead of an extra hour on the sofa watching tv, I know that might sound like some kind of terrible idea but my reason behind this is simple, if I want to carry on working 12 to 15 hour days (thats including my time writing these blog posts) then I really should start looking after my body by staying in shape. One thing that has made that decision the right one was the fact that in my second week of gym Ive just managed to run 5km without having a pain in my leg from ligament tear 9 months ago. That 5km run was something I had been thinking about in the back of my head for the past two days and then today I got on that running machine and made it happen, I couldn’t be happier and now Ive done the hardest part, which is basically me telling my brain that I can do this and that I just need to take it slowly. when you have an injury like that, you kind of get these weird thoughts that you shouldnt do it and that your injury has come back. All I can say is learn to actually listen to your body and not just that part of your head that is kind of scared something will happen again.

Straight after the run which by the way took me 34 minutes to run 5km, I was thinking about that goal of running an ultra marathon and I know this is something that probably maybe shouldn’t happen for a good two years, it is something I’m going to start thinking about again. my plan is to go on Saturday and get a sports massage and then speak to the running coach about how I might be able to reach the goal of a 100 mile race. I suppose if nothing else, its something for me to work towards.

Sorry in advance both Amy and my parents.

Heres some snaps, I hope you like them.

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– norfolk beach, it literally goes on for miles –
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– bank tube station this morning before rush hour had started –
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– borough market, the best place for food in london, also where they filmed bridget jones and lock stock and two smoking barrels –

 

B339 – PEOPLE DEEP IN CONVERSATION

Firstly I just need to say that I have no idea how I’m going to get through the last 25 days of this photo blog challenge, about 100 days ago I was trying to think of a cool way to finish this, one idea I had was flying to somewhere like Mexico for the day or doing a big finale, but not my goal is just to complete 365 days. Days like today make that challenge harder than thats been for the past 339 days. I dont mean to go on about it but today has been especially hard because the whole day has been spent somewhere I cant photograph and then by the time I get home its 9:30pm. but I suppose thats there winners win right?

the past couple of days Ive been thinking of a new game plan, and ways that I can keep the photos creative and at a high standard, one idea Ive got is to make sure I take loads of photos on the weekend and then ration them out throughout the week. I know, thats not techincally three photos each day, but it still counts right? I think thats going to be my only way of getting through this without having to post terrible Iphone photos that lets be honest no one really wants to see.

If Ive learnt anything so far, it would have to be that I absolutely love photographing people and capturing moments between people mid conversation or if I can, while they day dream. So I think what ill do for todays photos is show you some other shots from Speakers corner, a place where people are deep in conversation with strangers about literally any topic.

I think this whole thing has become a group effort, if you keep reading the post and enjoying my photos. then maybe, just maybe we will come out the other side of this blog. right now Im scared that one day Ill just sleep for 60 hours non stop and miss few days. but until that day heres some cool photos of people deep in conversation.

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– I would love to know if this conversation was based around a Macdonalds coffee cup –
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– I dont think this man agrees with the statement made –
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– this guy was just happy with life –

B338 – HEATHROW 4 STARS – PREMIER INN

Tonight Im sleeping in the new premier inn at Heathrow Terminal 4, im not going to any amazing country or evening flying abroad, this was just the closest hotel to where I need to be at 6:45am tomorrow morning. I’ve definitely shared with you guys before my love for a Premier inn, they do excatly what they say on the advert and to be honest they are pretty clean which is always a bonus when your on location. Some times you end up in those hotels where its best to sleep fully dressed and wearing some kind of face protection, but honestly Ive never had a stay like that in a Premier inn.

Back to this new hotel at Heathrow, I would have to give this one a 7/10, its got everything need in a short 12 hour hotel stay, we have a bar, a nice sized bed and a room that can fit all my stuff in. The bed sheets are clean and they have that nice tumble dryer smell. If you ever end up planning a trip which involves staying at this Premier Inn, do be neverous or even apprehensive just got with it and your guaranteed a good nights sleep.

The one thing that does catch me out each time at these places is the shower gel that they give you attached to the wall, Im not sure if anyone has used this stuff more than once, I say once because Im pretty sure everyone tries it once but quickly realised that its probably doing more damage than good when it comes to skin care. I would love to say that premier inn use a good quality wall attached shower gel but unfortunately that would be a lie, why don’t they just give out small bottles of shower gel instead? that would solve their biggest problem. sorry if this sounds like a moan but I quite regularly forget my shower gel and its never good being met but wall soap.

anyway, this is a solid 7/10 and I give it a 4 star quick trip rating another strong reason for staying here would be todo with the 24 hour costa coffee shop at reception. Perfect if you’ve got an early start or late arrival. this is my hotel review, I hope you like it.

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– This would have been a good photo if I used the right lens, but unfortunatly Im in bed now and have to be up in like 5 hours, so think this will just have todo –
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– I did how ever really like the embroiled sleepy moon picture on the side of my pillow –
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– this soap on the wall, I really dont like this stuff. does anyone use it and like?

 

 

 

B337 – I TOOK IT BECAUSE IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA

When you have days like I did on Sunday where you go out and photograph a few different locations, its really easy to only show off your favourite selection of photos but I really think that its important for me to really go through my photos and concentrate on getting the most out of every single shot. I know that might sounds a bit like im thinking too much about what it is I have shot but for me to get better as a photographer I feel like if you dont go back through all your photos, look at the everything from settings, lighting, composition, focal point and even the location then I probably wont get better at photography. Its like Sunday, I went out and before I got to speakers corner I was literally just walking around being a tourist snapping away and not really thinking too much into it, just enjoying pressing the shutter and actually some of those photos I took Im really happy with.

If you look at the one of the pathway that has those LED lights on the ceiling, I really like the way if bouncing off the wet pavement and creating a really cool and funky atmosphere and that was just me noticing the lighting and deciding to take a picture just for the hell of it. I suppose thats all photography is really, just someone having an idea or seeing something other people would normally just walk past but instead of walking they stop to take a photo and just freeze that moment in time for no other reason that “they thought it looked good” and thats all Ive done really.

And as you can also probably tell I might have a bit of a weird love for london underground tube stair cases, they all seem to help create this really cool vibe that I dont seem to be able to find anywhere else. What i think makes them so cool, is when they have the copper banister running down the middle. I takes your eye to the back of the photo but at the same time you have these grubby side walls, that look like they could tell a story or too.

Anyway I hope you like my photos and please let me know what you think. I am really bad at replying to message but I do read them and when I get a second I will reply!

hope you all smash the pants off wednesday!

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– I wonder if they’re all looking at the same duck or fish? –
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– these lights, I think all tunnels like this should have their very own light show –
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– my love for tube station exits might be becoming a bit too weird  –