WP01 – WELCOME TO WOODEN PEWS @WOODENPEWS

YOOO, hows life been since the end of the 3-a-day challenge? Boring? Nothing to read about more apart from the Metro or Evening Standard and let’s be honest we can all do with a little less serious news in our life’s, well please read below.

After a few weeks break and a lot of time spent watching Netflix and junk TV in the evenings, and instead of sitting down at my computer to edit photos and write these posts, Ive sat on the sofa just looking at my camera, Its now official I’m bored. Not bored of chilling out, just kind of board of not having something other than work to keep my brain ticking over, that’s why after a few brainstorming ideas, I’ve now set out on my next kind of photography adventure. The idea is simple take photos and try to connect with as many photographers as possible, plan and simple. The plans to now focus on black and white photography, seeing if I can take on my favourite form of photos and capture moments that most people would just walk past, helping to give you guys an insight to what happens over in the depths of East London. Its not all acid attacks and knife crime, we do really good food too.

I’m by no means a pro photographer looking to shoot the next cover of vogue magazine, I’m just that guy you see out walking the streets with a camera round his neck looking like he’s on a trip for the day, yea I’m that guy. My new means of connecting with people is going to be through Instagram, probably the most used photo sharing platform out there, the thought process was should I keep with my account or should I set up a completely new account and see where it takes me. I decided to set up a new account where its just photos I’m proud of and somewhere to constantly try to push my boundaries not interfere with pictures of the previous weekend.

Now comes the part where I spend ages finding a name, loving it and then finding out its taken and im not having a name like Love_Photography_1234. No. I want a name that is completely random but still has a pretty cool meaning and as I live in East London it was time to pull out the Cockney Rhyming slang dictionary and see what pops up, Apple and Pairs? Nope, Ruby Murray? Nope, all that obvious slang was too easy. Then I thought about what I wanted my account to stand for, I kind of what to inform people about London and especially East, kind of like the news, so I looked up “the News” in Cockney Rhyming Slang, and BOOOOM Wooden Pews, that’s the name. the logo you see below is kind of the first draft and I’m kind of happy with it for now but kind of imagine that it will probably get changed in the near future, I’m just all out of ideas and wanted to get something done so I could start this idea before I throw myself into work for the next three months. So If anyone is any good at design logos, I’m open to suggestions.

Wooden Pews, has kind of got a ring too it hasn’t it? and the best part is no one on Instagram has that name. My vision for the page is that I want it to be minimalistic and at the same time full of great content that I can do what ever I like with, no rules, no restrictions, just me and my ideas, not sure how dangerous that is, but I kind of like it that way. I also don’t really know how long I’m going to do it for but I imagine it will be a year, another 365 days posting, but this time how ever many times I want just not so much writing and don’t worry if you still follow me on here, I will be checking in probably every Sunday, and will probably share photos that I post that week on Instagram, kind of do like a weekly round up. But if I do start to go awol please don’t be afraid to tell me, mum / Dad. I’m kind of looking at you there, my number one fans.

So give me a follow so I don’t look like a complete loner @woodenpews. Ive also included below some photos that you can also see on my new Instagram. Its kind of exciting, I love this feeling of not knowing what will happen and seeing something hopefully grow.

Oh and yea if it does completely fail and turn out really cringy there’s a pub called the Sun tavern on Bethnal Green road, you’ll be able to find me there.

Heres some photos enjoy!

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– the new logo, what do you think? any good?
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– the future is here people! –
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– victoria park, one of the best places in london –
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– and some of the best chicken wings in london, if youve ever in shoreditch check them out! –
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– this is the kind of shop window I like –
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– im back guys and it feels good!

B365 – I CANT BELIEVE I MADE IT!

Well, its finally here, blog post 365 and it feels a bit weird. For the 90% of my facebook friends that have had to put up with these posts each day and who are just not interested, don’t worry its over. But for those that have read these and showed a small amount of interest, this is for you.

Its over, Ive managed to post 3 photos a day for 365 days and now Im thinking back at the days all those times where I’d given up precious sleep or I’ve been rushing around writing from my phone and its all built up to this moment trying to get these post done. Now, 150,000 words later, 2TB’s of photos and countless hours walking around trying to make each day interesting and worthy are over.

It all started from a conversation with Amy on a weekend away, that turned into me basically going full steam ahead everyday for the past year and in turn has been one of the craziest years or my life, I’ve worked all around the world, including two months in America and China, completely ruined my leg and had to basically learn to walk again, now living with Amy (my girlfriend), completely done up our flat and now working on some really cool projects and productions that I’m pretty proud of.

For todays post I was trying to think of a cool way to end it, like set off loads of fireworks or fly to some amazing beach and finish with a cocktail and some sun burn, but to be honest looking back at the year, the only way to end is to really show 25 of my favourite photos from the 1200 that I’ve posted. Photos that might over wise be forgotten about and disappear into the depths of my hard drive. I’m now sat on my Lunch break at work scrolling through photos and laughing at all the stuff that’s gone on, from coming home after 18 hours a work with nothing to photograph so running down stairs and buying some fruit to cut open and photograph to seeing someone sunbath on Shoreditch high-street drinking beer in just a pair of hot pants or even that time I flew back from Victoria, Canada on a dodgy plane that had no in flight entertainment so for 15 hours I taped my iPhone to the seat in front of me and watched weird low budget films the whole way, just after I had been in the path of Hurrican Irma and witnessed what state of emergency meant in North Carolina.

This blog has been one of the best things I’ve ever done and if it wasn’t for Amy saying “you should start a photo blog” then we wouldn’t be here today and I probably wouldn’t have the confidence or even writing ability and photography skills I have today. Im by no means an expert but I like to think from where I was last year, I’m much better. So thank you Amy for putting up with the words “I gotta do my photos” to helping me figure out tough posts and just generally putting up with the daily stress of being with me.  Your alright you are and I owe you big time.

Looking back at my writing a year ago I have no idea how I even managed to send an email let alone put together an interesting paragraph, but this past year I’ve written around 150,000 words with a minimum daily count of 300 words, its not just given me confidence in my writing ability, its also helped me talk to people and just going with my gut instinct, then having the confidence to see a task through till the end. That’s something I didn’t realise I didn’t have till I’ve started thinking about my next steps and how confident I am about what I want todo next. In the words of my good friend Anders “I’m no Neurosurgeon, but Ill give it ago”.

This photo challenge might be over and the stress of posting everyday is now in the past but I promise this wont be my last post, I’ve sat down this past month and thought of ways to carry on and what direction I should move in and to be honest what I have in the pipe line is something that I’m even more excited about and can’t wait to share with you all. But right now, its time to get some sleep and just enjoy the fact that I’ve managed to see this all the way through to the end. Not even the Chinese government or countless timezones and flight delays were able to stop me.

So one last time.

Here’s my photos from today. Enjoy.

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– this is how i plan on spending the next 2 weeks, before I start putting work in on the next project. I will still blog but just not daily – 

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– doing my final walk around bethnal green taking photos for the blog this evening, it kind of felt a bit like a victory lap –

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– I will always take street photos and try to capture cool moments where ever I am –
Before you see my favourite 25, I just want to say thank you too the 13,500 readers from 119 countries that have read my daily blog, not all hero’s wear capes.

On to the next challenge and a new direction for joshfspear.com

Peace out and thank you for sticking with me through the terrible grammar and countless spelling mistakes!

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– it was at this post that the idea for the blog was created, Bleinheim Palace –

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– playing with the gopro after amy picked me up from the pub, thanks mush –

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– walking through hyde park early morning is something I wish I could do more often – 

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– london has been the perfect city for this photo challenge, thank you to all the grumpy people that dressed up as storm troopers or sun bath on highstreets, you have made this blog a million times better –

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– the day I found out my leg was ruined and I wouldnt be able to run the ultra marathon or walk for that matter –

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– moving in with this one, so happy we have done the most of our ikea shopping tick list, please no more –

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– explore italy, she has some how managed to put up with my constant photo taking –

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– its always good to see stuff like this on your way home –

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– this dog still is one of my favourite dogs ive come across –

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– in four years of living in Bethnal Green, this year I saw the most snow ive ever seen in london –

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– Norfolk sea side is one of my favourite places to photograph, the colours always come out perfect –

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– this image was the first one I had taken shooting in RAW, and my god it was worth the switch from JPEG even is the files are bigger

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– I am looking forward to the summer again and getting more colour in my photos

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– this is one of my favourite photos from the past year, right time, right place i suppose –

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-again, right place right time, the sea gull literally dived down and stole her fish and chips –

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– seeing people jamming on the guitars in St.Louis was pretty cool, hopefully Ill get to go back there soon –

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– seeing a deer walk down the street in Victoria, Canada. Luckily I had a 70-200mm lens on my camera at the time –

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– water planes on the river in Victoria, a place that I would love to explore when im not working –

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– 15 hour flight, using my phone at a TV. that was an experiance I wouldn’t do again in a hurry –

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– walking round New York, this photo was taken somewhere near the brooklyn bridge –

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– flying out of New York –

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– the view from my room in Shang hai, that place is like no where else ive been –

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– christmas on Bond street, these two were well into the christmas sprite –

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– flo doing what flo does best, cause havoc –

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– our drive to the flat in Italy, the Amalfi coast is somewhere I would love to go again –
Peace out everyone, its been fun.

Much love,

Joshfspear

 

 

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 –

B359 – THE CANON MACRO LENS, WORTH IT?

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

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

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

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

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

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

B358 – MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY AND MY SHORT ATTENTION SPAN

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

B357 – NOT JUST A HUGH GRANT FILM

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

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

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

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

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

 

B347 – FIRST TIME IVE EVER PHOTOGRAPHED THAT!

So after the bad Thursday I decided that Friday wouldn’t be the same and that the only thing I could do was to smash it pants off the last working day of the week and book in for an afternoon sports massage, my thinking behind that was I needed to sort my back and arm out after a busy 6 weeks of work and instead of me trying to sort it out, just give my body to a professional and get them to work on it and to be honest, it was the best decision, I came away from the massage feeling like I had given my body a full workout but without burning any energy and just laying face down on a bed, from now on im going to try and book at least one massage every month just to keep everything ticking over properly. the masseuses did say i needed one every two weeks but unless I take out a loan or start selling stuff on the black market I don’t think that is going to happen, but if you are in london and want to get you body fixed up and working to full capacity again or even just give your muscles some lovin then definitely check out Ten Health and Fitness, they are magicians. (they are the guys that also helped me with my leg) they are literally the perfect one stop shop.

Heres a link to their website: https://www.ten.co.uk/

After that my plan was to get off at Liverpool street and walk home taking photos on the way which turned out to be a great idea, because just after Brick Lane it started to rain quite heavily but at the same time the sun was shining so i managed to photograph my first every rainbow, and in such a cool place. It was literally right over an old Church inbetween the spire and the roof, making for some pretty cool photos. after all that it is safe to say that Ive properly managed to turn this week around. Now im spending my saturday doing fun things like bills and some DIY, what else are Saturdays for. I have to admit its just nice to be sat on my sofa not moving.

Heres my photos, hope you like them.

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– can you see the Rainbow? how cool is that?
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– I love it when the rain comes but its still sunny –
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– these guys are magicians –

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 –

 

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 –

 

 

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 –