B364 – THREE STONE HEAVIER

ahh Tuesday morning and the end of the four day weekend, its kind of weird because I kind of feel like the four day weekend is kind of like the End and beginning of a new year, I’m not sure if its because of the end of the tax year or if its because the blog ends tomorrow. but for some reason its starting to feel like a new chapter. but before a “new chapter” starts I think its probably best if I just drag out some more easter photos just one last time.

After waking up slowly yesterday and chilling out in the morning, it was time to jump on a train back to London and sort ourselves out for work. I think its fair to say that we all left yesterday weighing at least 2 stone more. Ive had an easter egg for breakfast two days in a row and now I’m not really sure what todo with myself, I kind of feel like its acceptable to have a chocolate bar before 9am today but then again that might not be the best idea. I think I can speak for both Amy and me when I say thank you Auntie Michelle for a really really good easter break and an even better spread of food. We didn’t have the best weather but in a way thats kind of better because then everyone just goes into sleepy mode and we all just sit around chilling out, instead of trying to think of a way to make the most of the weather. kind of what easters all about, even though I wouldn’t of minded some sun and maybe just maybe temperatures above 20. today is a short and sweet post as I really need to get dressed for work, so hope thats ok with you guys.

Anyway, heres some photos from the weekend. I hope everyone had a good Easter and did exactly what they wanted too with the four day weekend.

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– Heading back to london –
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– I wish this was desert every day –
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– weather wasnt on ourside but sometime that makes weekends like this every better –
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– My dad wanted me to post this photo the other day but I forgot, Release the Chimps Beer it made him chuckle –
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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 –

 

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 –

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 –

 

B344 – PREMIER INN HATFEILD – 8/10 – “worth the stay and good food”

So tonights Premier Inn is somewhere near a motorway around a town called Hatfeild, thats as much as I know about where Im staying to be honest and out of all the Premier Inns Ive stayed in, this one could be the best for customer service. The food was a bit slow but you cant judge a hotel off of one slight mistake, the rooms are clean and the food was actually pretty enjoyable. Today I decided to try something that has been a bit controversial and go for the fire noddles with chicken ( for an extra £2), and it was actually a pretty good choice and right now I know all those Wagamammas fans out there will be saying ” but it doesn’t have a thing on wagamammas” but thats not true.

With a place like wagamammas your standards are a lot higher but with some where like Premier inn its just about getting some sort of food inside you and today thats exactly what i got, good, kind of fresh food at a decent price. what more could you want.

I know this is going to sound like a first world problem and to be honest its not something thats a deal breaker but one thing I dont like about Premier Inn, is the length of their corridors and numbering systems. I know that they need to fit a certain number of room in but please guys add a few short cuts or something because when someone like me who travels with 10 bags and 15 peli cases needs a room we also need it to be easily accessible from the reception which 9 out of 10 times is not that case.

But for all its worth I would have to give this Premier Inn a 8/10 and a 4.5 star travel rating, its a place that does everything it says on the tin and also has a really good sized car park, which is perfect for long wheel base vans.

Hatfeild premier Inn on the M25 you have served me well.

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– these corridors are just a bit too long for someone with so many bags –

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– the best sight someone can see after a long days work, the famous premier inn bed –

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– my dinner the fire cracker noddles with chicken – pretty decent and quite healthy –

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?

 

 

 

B326 – HOW HAS THIS DAY DISAPPEARED

First of all, sorry if you’ve all been sitting there refreshing my website waiting for my post to go up but today I just haven’t had time to sit down and get it done. I’ve spent the day fighting with an Ikea Wardrobe and I can now proudly say that I won the battle and the war, at one point it was a close war when I realised that I had put the main panel in wrong and as a result couldnt finish putting it together and had to slowly start taking it apart to fix my teething problem. but its not done and Im sat on the sofa enjoying a beer and writing this.

I must also apologise for not taking any fresh photos yesterday, Ive had to reuse some from a few weeks back when I went and explored the cannel near work. they are still probably some of my favourite photos from the past month or so and every time I look at them I really wish I had a Leica because these kind of shots are where the Leica really shows its strength,  I think its time I went into super saving mode to make sure that I can get one as soon as possible.

The plan now for the rest of today is to get dressed probably and then head over to Clapham and meet some of my mates for a good old drink up, it feels like ages since ive seen most of them so we are definitely due a good night out, Im also going to back to my parents house tonight so I’m sure you’ll get some see some good photos of the country side tomorrow.

Sorry again for the late and post, I just really don’t have a lot of time today, some how its already 5pm and Ive not even touched half the things Ive needed too.

Heres my photos enjoy!

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– I really love black and white photos, I think there going to make a come back –
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under a bridge and along a cannel –
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– Shoreditch during rush hour –

B322 – YOU HAVE FOOLED THE NATION. GRANDE BIG MAC.

Since the whole Brexit thing began and whether your pro Brexit or against the whole situation or maybe your confused, theres one question we can all ask. Is the Grande Big Mac actually worth it? Ive heard a lot of people complain about bread to meat ratio and size and now I’m confused but rather than make a irrational decision, i thought I would investigate.

Ive decided that I would take this into my own hands and find out if its something I would buy or avoid. My plan is judge the  whole process. And first off theres the counter, you arrive and your met by this massive picture of a grand burger and your eyes that you down to the boxes sitting in the heat self, the boxes are pretty much the same size as a size 11 shoe box. No joke they are gigantic. Excitement has started to kick in and now all I want todo is sit down and enjoy this box of pure joy.

So now I have the burger in my hands and its time to dig in, but first we need to put a story to bed, is the actual meat in the burger the same size as the other burgers or has Maccy Dees properly upped the game…

I can tell you with a heavy heart that the burger meat inside is no different, what Mcdonalds have done is just make a bigger bun and sell the country a lie. for me a burger cannot be judged on its size, but rather the contents and favour. If your going to sell me a “grand Big Mac” and call it your extra large burger then please give me the burger to match.

As far as a burger at Mcdonalds goes, a Large Big Mac meal is £5.09 and a Grand Big Mac is £5.49. Thats a hole extra 40p and for that you get more bread. Im not going to talk about health facts or calorie count, because you can eat what you want but in proportion in my eyes. I can tell you now that Im sat on the sofa and my stomach feels like its going to explode.

Congratulations Mcdonalds on a really smart publicity stunt to apparently celebrate 50 years of the Big Mac and that seems to have worked for the first few weeks but now your plan has been uncovered and the people aren’t being fooled. I think we should name your Grand Big Mac, MacBrexit. We understand that they never look like they do on the adverts but this is a step too far,  You may fool the people once, but you will not fool them again. (hopefully).

But on the other hand, Junior Big Mac. That is a great idea, people love your Big Mac Sauce and everyone loves a cheese burger, on that front you have given the people what they want and combined the two and for that Ronald Mcdonald, I thank you.

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– As we can see, this burger box is pretty much taller than the fries box
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– the area of bread is impressive, its basically a mini loaf –
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– I made this picture black and white to help you compare the size of the actual burgers. please, make your own decisions. the Grand is on the Left, Junior on the right  –

B319 – APPLE STOP BEING ANNOYING

The plan for todays post is to kind of do a recap of the week through photos that Ive taken on my iphone, post like these are actually pretty good todo because I seem to take loads of photos each day on my phone that I just completely forget about until I look back through the phone.

My normal workflow for posts is to dump all the photos on to my hard drive and then edit them in Lightroom before I even think about what Im going to write. From there I open up WordPress and start to think of a way of starting the post. Well today Ive ended up doing things a bit different, all because my phone needs to be updated, so now Im writing this without even decided what photos Ill use. Normally I would wait for my phone to update and then just go through the rhythm  of posting but as today Im spending my day off getting up early and running about to get a bunch of done, like get my hair cut and also put a fence up. Thats something I also only found out about last night and something Ive never done before, so that should be interesting.

This week has really been about early starts, I think Ive been up out and out the house before 6am more times this week than any other week of my life. people will probably call me lazy but I like to think of that as a lucky statistic and something that will probably change from now on, I got a feeling that I have a lot more early starts coming my way.

Something that is also really annoying me that the moment is Apples Airdrop, its like a spoilt child and only wants to work when it choices. Like todo for instant, Im not about to send photos via airdrop to my laptop, and now its making me late. Why does Apple make products that only they can fix, they should just make Airdrop so you can search of your  physical device. Not just wait for airdrop to find your device, Come on Tim Cook, what are you doing with you time at apple! stop making iphones every 6 months and start making your software better. give up on Apple Pages, no one like it, give up with Home pod, its just an overpriced speaker that you can only use with apples products. Apple you have really boiled my blood this morning and now made me late! Stop holding us all by the balls and creating amazing products, then just add some features which dont make it as good as it could be and then slowing us all done. Telsa just sent a car to in to space and you cant even create a piece of software that will allow my iphone to talk to my mac properly.

Sorry for the rant but Apple are in my bad books today. Here are some of my photos from the early mornings this week.

 

 

 

 

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– Walking across London bridge in the rain was actually quite fun –
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– this places makes me realise how old London actually is
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– coming out of Charring cross before everyone else is even up 

 

B316 – ITS A NATIONAL PRIDE

With the internet being somewhere I am posting about everyday of my life for a whole year its hard not to reveal things, but there is definitely one topic that is forbidden and will not be spoken about in public or private, in fact its probably my biggest secrete, its something which I feel needs to be left between maybe my closest friends and family.  Ive been doubted and belittled by many and mis understood by a few but one thing is for sure, they may take the piss but they will never take my pancake recipe!!

And then once a year we have a whole day dedicated to this amazing dish and then because tradition dictates, we then get to throw them round our kitchens till we’ve run out of lemon juice and sugar. Im not sure on a lot of things but one thing I know for a fact is that no matter what you go through as soon as you throw that little sizzling mixture of carbs and dairy in the air, nothing else matters, you know you just need to nail the landing, no half flips, no folds, just land the pancake the other way up and you have successfully achieved what probably half the country will fail todo.

its a human right to have a great pancake day and enjoy the fruits of our labour, everyone should have the right to a “flippin” good night and I hope that everyone got in the sprite and showed that shrove Tuesday is something which makes Britain Great. We are a country of culture and diversity and a love for Pancakes. that should be celebrated and enjoyed indulged. So please think of thy neighbour on this holiest of days and celebrate the wonderful thing of flipping pancakes in a kitchen, just don’t try and copy my recipe.

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– Amy doing a flippin good job –
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– I will never reveal my recipe –
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– the early morning call time yesterday, up and out the door by 6am –