B249 – AN UPSIDE DOWN TEMPLE TO A COIN LAUNDRY

From North Carolina to Shanghai, every build is different, foundations change, tactics differ and people’s ideas get thrown around. If you stand on the street in North Carolina, not in the city of Raighley, but on the outskirts in the suburbs. Things you take for granted like shops and restaurants are built quick and for maximum capacity’s. They are basically practical places to get done what you need to get done, they do what they say on the title. No messing about. 
If you travel to some where like Kensington in London, that little part of the UK where a flat will set you back £1M or will all of a sudden be standing in a building that’s meant to not only stand the test of time but built to look like something from Mary poppins. Red brick the works. 
Then you travel 12,000 miles to China and end up in Shanghai and all of a sudden you starring up at an upside town temple that looks like it’s been carefully put together out of 100 meter look match sticks. It’s literally like something that a baddest budist has dreamt up.  

What I like about that all these buildings is that they all serve the same purpose really and that’s for people to use to eat a task done. It doesn’t matter if that task is to pray, live in or some where to wash there clothes. A lot of the time, I’ll just get from city to city and not really look up, even in London a place I’ve lived my whole life, I just walk around and don’t really take it all in. but if you actually just stop for a second and look around, everything is actually pretty cool in its own weird way. 

Here are some photos that I’ve taken from the places I’m talking about. It’s a bit of a rushed post today, but we all have days like this right?

– the Mary poppins buildings around Kensington, London –
– the upside down temple in Shanghai –
– a coin laundry by the side of a road somewhere in North Carolina –

B247 – STRANGE HELLOS

As my christmas break has started and if I dont find some sort of project todo then I will spent probably the next 2 months sat on a sofa eating Pringles and watching Netflix. no seriously that is genuinely a possibility.  Then im going to try and get myself down to as many gigs as possible and just try to photograph music and be around music for the next 2 months.

So last night I ended up going to a gig at the Seabright Arms on Hackney Road (Someone lied to me and said this place had shut down, its not. this place is open and ready for business!) the band playing were some guys called Strange Hellos, relatively new Nordic band they have just realised their first single, its kind of a mix between XX and something like Circa Waves. Nordic Review said this about the bands new single:

“We Are Trouble’ is a blistering 3 minute fusion of power pop and shoegaze, and they’re the second Norwegian band (the other being Pyke) to recently remind me in their sound of UK band Lush. This is just such a catchy track, with a real energy –  great melodies, vocals, guitars and pretty much everything…..”

Heres a link to the band on youtube, have a peep:

 

This is one of my first posts about a band Ive just seen so maybe I need to actually sit down with this one and think about what I need to write about, I don’t want to be “fake news”. At the moment Im just turning up taking photos and not thinking about what im going to write about, maybe its time I upp’d my game. but for now Im just going to listen to Strange Hellos Sound cloud and see where I end up.

Ive now downloaded an App called Dice, which tells me about all the gigs going on in my local area, the plan is to get down to at least 2 gigs a week, while Ive got no work on.

Here’s my photos, I hope you like them.

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– lead singer Birgitta Alida Hole –
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-Guitarist Odd Martin Skålnes –
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– close up guitar shot, worth the trip to the Seabright Arm –

 

B242 – I NEED TO UP MY GAME!

very weird post today, last night I was working a night shift and was expecting to walk home along this really cool canal at like 7am and I could take some cool photos early morning of the river and the canal boats, sounds pretty cool doesn’t it?

well that kind of changed, I did work till late last night but instead of walking along the canal, I jumped in a taxi. it was still pitch black when I left and I wouldn’t of been able to take any photos with out a flash and thats something I didn’t have on me.

its all good finishing work early, but this had really put a massive hole in my plan for todays post, panic had now started to set in and my idea for todays post had completely gone out the window, and my photos are terrible.

What I ended up doing was taking some quick photos before and after my Taxi ride home, but this also went wrong when I only took two photos, now I’m completely screwed. so now I’m running around my flat trying to think of something to take a photo of, before I can to go out buy a christmas tree and then cook some food for my family to come round. So its a pretty busy day, but its started on completely the wrong foot, Ive just got to hope I can pull it back.

first stop is to try and find a tree and also really this is our last day to get an advent calendar, if we don’t get it today when we will be too late to the party and have to wait till next year. Ive missed it for the past few years and I will not miss it this year. any way Ive got about a million things todo before everyone arrives, so wish me luck and please don’t judge my photos, I will do a better job of photos today!

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– this photo was taken out side of work, while waiting for a taxi –
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– this was taken once I had got out my taxi. Welcome home Josh –
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– this was taken about 2 minutes ago, once I realised I hadnt taken three photos yesterday –

 

B241 – WHY DO IT?!

Today Ive spent my time involved in some manual labour, Ive basically been scraping wall paper off my hall way and then painting it white, this has taught me two really important lessons, that I will definitely carry with me for the rest of my life.

Lesson one, if I ever need to scrap wall paper off a wall again, pay someone else do it, there nothing nice, easy or rewarding about scraping that stuff off. Ive been there and Ive got the medal now its time for me to sit back and in the future let someone professional do it properly.

Lesson two, painting a white wall white again, its properly just as fun as taking the wall paper off. I also managed to literally blow up a light bulb socket with my head so I’m not really sure if my paint job was even and will have to wait till day light or a new light gets fixed to actually see if my job is even. by the way it wasn’t on purpose, I stood on a chair and moved really quick and my head just made contact with the light bulb thing.

apart from those two extremely good life lessons its also been a good day, the hall way has been on my list of things to get done for a while and today I knocked it off my todo list. I’m now completely nackered but need to power on till 3/4am as Im working on an over night job Friday and need to try and get used to being up at night and asleep during the day, my thinking is 3/4am is a good time go to sleep.

When I was in the mist of completing the painting I was thinking of things to photograph, it was way to cold outside to venture out for some street photography so my idea was to show how a photo looks before its edit and also how it looks after a few changes. I wanted to use a boring photo as it makes it easier to see the difference as theres no “WOW factor”.

the photo you see below was shot in .RAW which basically means you can do a lot more editing and manipulation. how that happens is by the camera sensor remembering all the information collected when you press the capture button, meaning you can change the white balance, the thing that makes either white, white or makes white that weird egg shell colour you some times see.

If  a photo is really dark, say you shot inside a house at night and were trying to take a photo of your family and when you looked at it back you noticed the only thing you could see was the light on the fridge door, well because you shot .RAW you would be able to bring the exposure up in Lightroom or photoshop and be able to see what is going on. The files are slightly bigger than .jpegs but if you camera can shoot .RAW. do it! you really wont regret it.  just buy  a bigger memory card, and back your photos up regularly.

have a look at these photos below and see the difference, they were shot in .RAW. look at the different shades of white on the paint pot and see if you can tell the different.  If it was .JPEG they would near enough be the same colour depth and not looks as good.

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– this is the original photo –
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– I have changed the white balance to 28k and done a few other things with the contrast / exposure / highlights and cropped in a bit –
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– this has a 55k white balance and is obviously back and white –

 

B239 – MY FIRST HOMEWORK CLUB

Welcome to the fun life of Josh, today I left the flat for no more than about 15 minutes, and the highlight of the day was posting a letter to HMRC. Wow, I really have lived today like its my last, Im now sat at the table with amy while we power through “Homework club” that was we call sitting at the table pretending to do work and complaining at Capital FM’s constant replaying of Rita Oras song or some advert that gets played every 10 minutes. Please capital FM stop replaying the same music and adverts. Also can we all just appreciate the fact that amy is using a 2009 Macbook, Im surprised this thing still turns on.

Anyway Homework club is going well we only have like another 10 minutes maybe and then we can sit  down and watch a film. To day has been pretty productive which is a good thing, Ive managed to get done everything I needed too, the only problem is I haven’t taken any photos, so im going to use a few snaps from a recent trip to Spitalfeilds late at night. if your not too sure where that is, its this market in between Liverpool street and Brick lane, its this kind of quirky / cool or as my mum would say “hip” place where you can buy anything from an antique vase all the way too a vegan beef burger. well at night this market all of a sudden becomes empty apart from the odd drunk city worker trying to find the tube station or a market stall clearing up for the day. What Spitelfeilds market have done is install these massive spot lights in the roof, so every few meters you get this cool circle pattern on the floor, which when people walk past create these cool shadows and the light bounces off in different directions and make a normal pedestrian look like some rock n roll star about to walk on stage.

Anyway here are some photo I took the other day, I hope you like them.

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– my first ever home work club, nice laptop Amy   – 
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– this guy should have this photo has his profile picture –  
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– this was a shop window on Brick lane, kind of has a cool feel to it –

B237 – SPINACH AND CHICKPEA CURRY – WELL WORTH IT.

Sunday. The plan was to have a proper chilled Sunday and do nothing, just watch TV and eat food. and thats exactly what we did, only this time I decided to test my cooking skills and see what I could make. After searching the app Yummly we came across a spinach and chick pea curry. It has turned out to be one of my favourite dishes, Ive even got left overs for today and trust me I will be eating them!

I really want to learn how to cook more dishes, its something I actually really enjoy and as some one who lives in London, cooking at home saves you a ton of money, we brought all the ingredients but now we have them if we want to make this dish again, we literally only need to buy chick peas and some potatoes, thats literally dinner for under £2 and trust me it is so worth it.

Heres a list of the ingredients I used and the instructions, trust me give this one a cook and let me know what you think.

Oh my top tip is give the potatoes a little boil before you put them in the pan.

1 tablespoon ghee (or sunflower oil)
1 onions (large, finely chopped)
3 large garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 piece fresh ginger (peeled and finely chopped)
3 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
380 grams chickpeas (drained)
390 grams chopped tomatoes
4 potatoes (medium sized, 300g, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes)
500 milliliters vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 grams fresh spinach
Directions
  1. Heat the ghee/oil in a large pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until softened.
  2. Add all the spices and cook for a further 1 minute.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, potatoes, salt and about half of the vegetable stock. Stir well and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked adding more stock as needed.
  4. Add the spinach and cook for a further couple of minutes or until the spinach has wilted.

It literally took about 30 minutes to make. easy.

I got all this information from the Yummly App, it linked me to a different website called http://www.mygoldenpair.com check out that place for even more recipes.

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– it looked a bit bland till you put the spinach in, but trust me this was worth it –
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– got to get the food shot at the end –
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– this dish has really made me want to cook more –

 

 

B234 – WE SELL LIBERATION!

Todays post is a bit late and thats just because i’m attacking the two months worth of washing I have in my wash bin, i’m quickly running out of clothes and today is solely dedicated to getting the washing done and hunting down some clean socks. Welcome to adult life josh…

Yesterday day time was spent on the sofa getting through emails and doing all that accounts stuff, but in the evening Amy and me met up for some chicken wings and a drink, it was just nice to get out and have a bit of fun. even though after my first beer I was nearly falling asleep, Sorry about that Amy.

While I was waiting for Amy I decided to spend sometime taking photos of shop windows and the people inside them, so much effort goes into how a shop looks from the outside which basically means that each shop is kind of perfect for taking photos. the windows are kind of pieces of art that are made to draw people into them, if that makes any sense. people are employed to make a shop window stand out, thats literally a job and those people who design shop windows probably also do set design for video or fashion shoots, so they all have the same guidelines. make something individual and to that company / artist style. well that was my kind of thinking to taking photos through the windows last night and I kind of think it worked.

I really wanted to focus on the typography or lighting of each shop and use those two things to take the photo and explain the photo I took. each photo that has typography explains whats happening or what they stand for.

The tattoo photo shows a man laying topless on a bench, the neon lighting above the window show that he is getting a tattoo, otherwise it might just look like he was drunk or something.

the “we sell liberation” basically speaks for its self. theres a guy wearing make up and someone with crazy hair. what more is there to say about that photo.

the reason behind the third photo is all todo with “eat beautiful” and also the lighting, which is pretty cool and the mirrors in the background create this funky look.

I’m back in the swing of things now and cant wait for the next 131 days of the photography project, lets grab some fireworks add some crazy ideas and take some cool photos!!!!!!!

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” we sell LIBERATION “
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” tattoo”
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” eat beautiful “

 

 

B222 – DO YOU THINK I DID THE RIGHT THING?

I need some help, basically today I gave this homeless man £20 so he could get two weeks in a hostel for the Homeless put together by the Crisis charity, Ive had a look online and trying to work out if I’ve been hustled or not? my biggest mistake was not getting his name or taking his picture, he seemed genuine but I just want to find out if he actually spent the money on a bed, im thinking was two weeks is a good amount of time to get your stuff in order, I just hope he didn’t spend it on crack or alcohol. does anyone know how I can find out if he did get shelter? Its nice to be nice right?

In other news, today amy and myself set out on a mission which involved going to this fabrics store and also picking up some paint. I’m talking about mission up cycle our dinning table, I can that is was a complete success and I will share a photo of the table once its completely finished but I have to say we are both really happy with how its turned out. at first it was a bit touch and go with the varnish but once we realised it got darker as it dried the problem was solved.  I think we have both got a bit of a bug for this kind of thing now and definitly think we should up cycle some more stuff, I, also now the proud owner of a proper staple gun and really want to see what this thing can do.

so its been a bit of a busy afternoon and its now pretty late, tomorrow I have an early start and need to be up and with my a game for a short film I’m working on tomorrow. its definitely time to get some sleep.

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– Amy having a look through the millions of fabric, im suprised that we still arent in there looking at different patterns –

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– the staple gun, me and her and going to get really close over the next few months –

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– Brick lane has it all, ive missed this place –
 

 

B221 – THIS IS BIG NEWS!

Firstly I just want to say sorry for this post being late, Ive done what everyone needs todo every now and again, have a proper lay in. Not a Jet lag weird sleep thing but a proper lay in, may be it had something todo with the hangover im experiencing at the moment or maybe its just my body enjoying a beautiful Saturday like it deserves.

The big news of today is that Ive done something that Ive wanted todo for a long time but haven’t had the focus to and that gets some prints made of one of my favourite photos. The reason its taken so long is because I didn’t just want to get the prints made straightway, the thing is I know nothing about paper or printing but understand that printing is a massive part of photography so I needed to go and speak with someone to understand more about the paper, geeky I know but who wouldn’t want to spend their lunch hour looking at different types of paper. In the end I went for the Hahnemuhle Pearl paper, which is 285gram per sheet of pure paper magic.

Im not expecting to sell loads of prints and its mainly to keep my parents of moaning at me that I need to get some made so they can put one up in their Living room. its quite exciting though and will be good to know if people actually like my photos I suppose. Ive got three already packaged up and ready to go and another two that might take a bit more time to get out the door, but I promise if you do order one I will get it to you as quick as possible and if you live in London I will personally deliver it to you! and I will also ship anywhere world wide but postage in the UK is free. World wide I’m going to have charge you extra, sorry thats just the way it is.

Heres the link to the print!

https://joshfspear.com/about/prints/

right, any way its now time for a Nandos and kick this hangover.

Get buying people!

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– so happy with how my prints have turned out –
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– me examining paper –
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– this was a good paper, heavy which is better –

 

B219 – “THE GUY CAUGHT UP IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THIS”

its here, that time I never thought would come. I put it to the back of my head and tried not to think about it, im talking about the time of year when it gets dark at 4 in the afternoon. today I spent the whole day in an office, I know I said I would try and get out of my lunch hour and some cool kind of project but I wasn’t expecting 6pm to come around so quick. and then I left work and it was  pitch dark and I hadnt taken a single photo. lucky I had a quick thought and decided to run with it so here I am.

Positive thoughts josh Positive thoughts.

This time of year is pretty good for taking photos late at night, for one reason everyone looks like a character from some 1940’s black and white film. its a mixuter between the winter clothing like a long jacket, hat or dark clothing together with the lighting or really lack of light which creates these cool silhouettes as people walk or cycle along the road. I think its because all of a sudden a random office communter on their way home to sit on the sofa and eat a packed of chocolate digestives now looks like some under cover detective casing out a suspect or they look like the suspect and move around in the dark to go unnoticed. taking all this in mind when walking home my goal was to try and get a photo of what I thought the detective, the suspect and then “the guy caught up in the middle of all this” would look like.

I have no idea if this makes sense to anyone readings this but it makes sense in my head and thats kind of all that matters right. I know it helps if I get my point across but as long as you like my photos thats all that really matters.

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– the detective –
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– the suspect –
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– the guy caught up in all this –