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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B363 – THE SERIOUS BUSINESS OF EASTER EGG HUNTING

So as Easter is now kind of officially over and this is kind of the last day where eating chocolate for breakfast is acceptable, I think its now also acceptable that this post is a few hours late. The normal plan is to get this posted for 10am every morning apart from the odd Sunday where they go up at 2pm, I know this isn’t exactly a Sunday but it is a bank holiday Monday so in my eyes its fine.

Yesterday was Easter egg hunt day and even though the weather was pretty much terrible I would have to say that overall it was a success, I didn’t find any eggs but Flo and Phoebe managed to track down every egg and then they hide a few more for their selves to find again, so I think they enjoyed it.  Apart for the Easter egg hunt, it was pretty much just a normal family Sunday, with loads of food, beer and watching some children’s movie that no one wanted to watch apart from Phoebe, but I suppose that’s what this day is all about. I did manage to get some pay back for making us watch Fireman Sam the movie, when we went on the dog walk by letting her ride though a big puddle and getting her feet wet. So I suppose it was a win win for everyone.

Right now we are about to head back to London and get ready for work tomorrow, and after four days off, Im kind of looking forward to getting back to filming again and seeing out the rest of this series. Don’t get me wrong I like having four days off, it gives me time to spend with the family and then start thinking about ideas I have and want to start, this weekend has helped to put like a mini restart on my brain and help me kick it back into gear.

Heres some photos from yesterday, hope everyone had a good Easter and enjoyed the long weekend!

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– dog walk yesterday, as you can tell Mooney was really up for having her photo taken –
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– Easter egg hat making yesterday, Flo and me make a great team –
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– counting out easter eggs post hunt, not sure who the winner was but I definitely know it wasn’t me –

 

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 –

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 –

 

B354 – SODO PIZZA, UP THERE WITH THE BEST.

So yesterday evening Amy and me were sitting in a pub in Bethnal Green thinking of something to get for dinner, the idea was simple, writing in google “pizza near me” and see what pops up, thats when we saw it. Sodo Pizza, its location was down a back street off of Cambridge Heath road, the location was set and we finished our drinks and headed over, to our surprise this was a new pizza place right near our flat that we had only just heard of, this evening just got interesting.

As we sat down in the corner of the restaurant, you cant help but acknowledge the amount of green plants they have dotted around and to be honest I had never really thought about plants in a restaurant before but it really works, they had used some big “green leaf” plants in a line to help break up the space and has worked perfectly. a solid 8/10 for vibes.

As with any time eating out, first you order your drinks, Amy went for a house white wine and said  it was pretty good. We arent too clued up on our wines but its always a good start when the house wine is good. My drink of choice was a Shoreditch Blonde, which is actually only brewed about 400 meters from where we are sitting, at the Redchurch Brewery up the road.

Once the drinks had arrived it was time to order some food, we decided to go half and half on the pizzas, Amy ordered the Feta and Butternut Squash Pizza, I went for the Meat Cured pizzas with pepperoni and Ham, which don’t get me wrong was amazing and had the perfect tomato puree to toppings ratio but the clear winner for us was the Feta and Butternut Squash. That pizza was perfect, not too greasy but at the same time not so dry that you need a litre of water with each mouth full. then you get these little spontaneous  hints of Rosemary, which have completely changed the game of pizza, I know its probably been done before but this is the first time Ive noticed it and now I think I want it on every pizza I have. The other thing that shocked us, was for the fact that after eating this pizza and then demolishing a Tiramisu, we didn’t feel like we need to either roll home or get an uber, we were like the perfect amount of full.

I would also say that it doesn’t fall into that hipster category for new pizza shops in London, you know the ones where they have naked pizza where its basically just a pizza but without tomato sauce, now that should be illegal. I cant recommend Sodo Pizza enough, they are the new kids on the block around Bethnal Green and fit in perfectly.

heres a link to their website: https://www.sodopizza.co.uk/

Oh and sorry for the first time in 354 days I went out without a memory card in my camera so had to use a mixture of Amy’s iphone and my iphone cameras.

Sodo pizza a solid 8.5/10!

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– hats off to this chef, he knew what he was doing –
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– me and both my Shoreditch blondes –
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– sourdough pizzas are possibly the way forward –
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– see! no memory card, I feel like an idiot –

 

 

 

B353 – A NEW VERSION OF FAST FOOD?

So yesterday night I decided that it could be a pretty fun thing if I just came home with a bunch of random vegetables and some chicken, then just see what Amy and I can come up with. The kind of veg that I had was like spring onion, leaks, ginger, aubergine, fennel, onion, Sweet potato. I did have other stuff but I cant really remember, i did have a few beers before so everything was a bit hazy. we ended up making something that was actually pretty good, we added some jerk chicken sauce, chucked everything in a pain and just gave it a good stir. We then decided to make some sweet potato fries and boom dinner is complete. Ive found that the trick with sweat potato fries is to add a little paprika to the mix and just give it that extra something, trust me it makes them so much better than if they are just plain. Give it a go. its like a new way version of fast food, I genuinely don’t think Deliveroo could of got the food to me quicker or made / found a healthier choice.

After all that I decided that instead of sitting on the sofa and writing this post, I would take the evening off and just chill out on the sofa instead, watch some tv and just not think about anything other than what to watch next. Some times its good to spend an evening off not taking photos, writing posts or going out and not getting home till like 10-11ish. so yesterday was the the perfect opportunity to get some good old sofa session time.

It then became an idea to wake up early today and head to the gym for an early morning work out, I know that a lot of people think that sounds crazy but I swear if you work out in the morning, then your instantly in a better mood for the day and as it is Friday, why wouldn’t you want to be in the best possible mood? So thats why my photos don’t really follow each other today, Ive got two photos from dinner last night and the other photo is of Amy hopping to the gym this morning.

Hope everyone has a good Friday and some good plans for the weekend!

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– Amy loves an early start and especially when its time for the gym… –
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– my choice of vegetables –
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– it was actually surprisingly good, maybe its good way to eat dinner from now on, it might not look amazing, but trust me we were both pleasantly surprised –

 

 

B349 – THIS IS PERFECT

When you stay in a hotel, the reason you stay there is for the bed, and nine out of ten times the bed is all wrong. You get given some rubbish pillows that feel like they’ve been folded in half one to many times and a duvet that is more of throw for your sofa than anything else. Well the Village Hotel in Dudley, Birmingham is not that kind of place, my room had at least a 14.5 tog duvet and the pillows to match, that is something that’s rare to find in a one nighter hotel.

If Premier Inn was a 4 star work trip hotel then this place is easy a 4.5 and its simple, this place has everything you need for a good nights sleep after a long day of work, from a gym and spa area that actually has a swimming pool deep enough to dive in (not that I went swimming), you could then head back to your rooms  and be pleasantly surprised that the showers they actually worked and for once didn’t give you third degree burns or worst frost bite, you are met with a constant supply of warm to hot water that actually does the job. One thing that has to be noted is the fact that they don’t have a luggage trolley, which makes my life 15 x harder. Most of the time when I stay in hotels its with a lot of camera equipment and instead of carrying 20 bags through receiption and into my room it’s nice to just put them on a trolley and push them around, even more so annoying in the morning. 

After some excersise and a great shower time to head down and get some food. That’s  when I found out about something that would put a smile on anyone’s face, I’m talking about game day chicken wings and beer all for something like £7. what more could you want, and what’s more suprising is the fact that this deal is in a hotel especially when they are showing all the football, so that being said I did enjoy the wings and also a few beers. So I will blame that on the bad grammer and poor spelling mistake into post.  but if you couldnt tell for the past 300 words, this hotel is really good and I would definitely recommend it if you need somewhere to stay in Dudley, Birmingham.

Heres my photos of the hotel, enjoy.

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– beer and wings all for £7 something, what could possibly go wrong with that –

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– look at that duvet, perfect. every one stop shop hotel around the country should take note –

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– I know its pretty stripy but I kind of like it. Amy can we do this with the bedroom –

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 –

 

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 –