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!

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 –

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 –

B360 – AND SO IT BEGINS

Thursday and the start of a four day weekend, what more could you want? Yesterday was a filming day so I didn’t get any chance to run off on my lunch break and take some cool photos, it was more about chasing Amy around Tesco’s trying to get some cool photos with a 28mm lens I’ve got this weekend.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the 28mm, it’s basically a wide lens that is really good to street photography and I would say nights out, it’s a f1.8 so that basically means it’s really good in low light.

But less about the lens I will probably dedicate a whole post too over the next few days. Yesterday I met Amy in Tesco’s for fish Tacos night, which was an experiment and something that definitely needs an improvement, not sure what happened but both of us weren’t happy with the result, luckily we had a big bag of Doritos and some cheese to make cheesy nachos while we watch a movie, only 10 minutes in and Amy’s fast sleep and that meant that was the end of movie night, time to hit the pillow. You know someone’s working hard when they fall asleep at 9:45 on the first night of a bank holiday weekend.

Today though we are up early before heading to a really really really cool place this afternoon, I’ve got all my camera batteries in charge so I can take some sick photos. I would say more but I quite like leaving it a surprise and trying my best to take some cool photos. but first I need a coffee and some breakfast. I’ve also just realised that this is my last weekend before I’ve finished this 3 a day blog challenge, so I really need to start thinking some of cool way of finishing! but dont worry, Ill have a little brainstorm and come up with something.

Here’s my photos from yesterday, enjoy.

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– sometime shop fronts give you really cool lighting, but shooting with red lights is never easy –
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– taking the lift down to meet amy for movie night food –
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– after this photograph the security guard came and told me off –

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 –

 

 

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 –

 

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 –

 

 

B351 – ALWASY TRYING TO CREATE OR CAPTURE MOMENTS.

This morning Ive been having a little look at my stats and all those things about my posts to see what it is that you actually read and what you guys think is terrible and after nearly 12 months of these posts it’s becoming pretty clear what kind of posts do well and what kind of ones just suck. so today my plan is to try and understand  how I can keep these posts up and think of interesting techniques and ideas to keep you guys engaged.

I know that some days aren’t going to be as interesting or education than others but thats just the way of the world, each day I am trying to take good photos and keep them interesting and when I started this how 3 photos a day challenge, I never realised how important the writing aspect would become, its now more important than the photos in a way, I need to keep the writing interesting, and use it to explain my photos and my reasons behind them.

Now I could of just post three photos on instagram each day for a whole year, but that would of been easy in my eyes and would probably been so I could build instagram followers. I wanted to push myself and give myself something to dedicate my life too each day for a whole year, no days off and that is what Im pushing myself todo, learning about media management, camera management, learning to think editorially and most of all finding a photo in anything and spotting a good bit of light and just taking the best possible photo. and if you think about it, at the end of the year Im going to having something that not that many people have, and something that did cost that much money to start.

so after than little ramble of mine, how was yesterday? well, I wasn’t out and about or even travelling anywhere, I was just in a studio and then the pub. So taking photos can become generic and I could of just posted three photos of a pint but while I am having some down time, I realised that in the back of my mind I was thinking about photos and ” if that shot will work” and that made me happy, because it was the first time I had realised that my brain is now automatically thinking about photography and lighting, how cool is that!

right I need to get dressed and leave for work any minute now, so sorry to end this post really quickly but I really need to get a move on. heres my photos from yesterday, I hope you like them.

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– leaving work and just caught the last bit of sun for the day –
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– this wall paper is really cool, I kind of what it in the spare room maybe –
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– I lost all four games of pool. –