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!
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.
For todays post I want to talk about something that I think it pretty important but for the first 200 days of this blog, didn’t really think too much about, I’m talking about framing and lighting. When I used to take a photo I would always think about the content and then used to take content over framing and lighting, which can work for street photography or those once in a 100 year photo opportunities, but a lot of the time Framing / lighting is just as important to not only make sure its a good photo but also to make sure you are getting the most from your camera.
To make this an even test I decided that there was only one place to go and that was to the coffee shop next door, where they don’t only take pride in supporting the local community but their knowledge of coffee and how to make the perfect cuppa is impeccable. I went for the usual a flat white, and what makes Second shot coffee shop perfect for this demo is that its not the biggest coffee shop in the world and it’s quite small. I want to show that it doesn’t really matter about the area its self, you just have to get creative with your framing.
I decided that I would take the photos on a small shelf, next to a plant near the door. The only problem was the shop was pretty packed with customers and there was also this big cardboard box underneath which meant i couldn’t get the shot I wanted too and it would have been way to embarrassing to have started moving the box around, so I had to frame it out and use the not so healthy looking plant sitting on the shelf as something to help fill for the foreground but also add colour and depth to otherwise a pretty standard shot of a coffee against a white wall.
One thing that you always need todo is think about how you can cheat a shot to make it look the best you possibly can, frame out something, shoot at a different angle or move slightly to either side. you can see from this shot of the shelf that not only did it have a plant and cardboard box below, I also had writing on the wall behind and a bunch of flyers to the right. It’s important to look at what you have around you and figure out if its helping the photo or taking something away from it and then make your chosen objects or object compliment the surroundings.
When you think about lighting, first thing I think of is shadows and reflections, when I shot this coffee cup the light was pouring in from the strong sun through the glass front of the shop, meaning that on one side of the photo theres long shadows and if you shoot with the sun behind you, theres reflections on the coffee cup, making it like a mine field of possible issue’s, so what I did here is shoot at like a 45 degree angle from the cup, meaning you lose some of the strong shadows and you also just out of the reflection zone but can still catch a lot of the light.
For this mini photoshoot I thought I was only fair that I went full automatic on my canon 5dii with the best lens money can buy the Canon 50mm f1.8 (which you can pick up for literally £100) and because I shoot in RAW mode which saves loads of information regarding each photo, so if I don’t like the exposure or lighting you can also change it in post and not worry to much about losing quality and thats also what i think a lot of instgrammers or bloggers probably do, it great for saving time but also means that you do have a lot more security especially if you have a good lens and shoot quick street style photos. but I don’t recommend shooting in manual mode with this 50mm lens and its not as smart as the better more expensive kind and does tend to get information or settings wrong. I do also normally I like to shoot in full manual mode and adjust my settings to the relevant environment but I wanted this test to be less about camera settings and what settings to use and more about framing and using your immediate environment to make your photos that little bit better and give them a bit more flare. my top tip is always shoot in RAW and then concentrate on your composition and lighting are better.
Please let me know it the comments what you think about this post and if you think any of my techniques might actually work for all. Also if you think its complete horse crap then that is also good to know. Hope your all have a good Sunday and get kick those St Patricks day hangovers, I’m currently driving up to Birmingham for a few busy days of filming.
My plan for the future is today more photography based tips and hints, so if there is anything you think I should cover let me know and Ill do my best.
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.
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.
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.
Saturday in norfolk are mostly about chilling out and just sleeping whenever possible and thats kind of what I’ve done. Yesterday we did the usual dog walk in the morning and then sat around watching films / rugby before heading out with Amy’s friend’s for a meal and stuff. its been the first time in like 6 months since amy has seen some of her friends so its was kind of like a mini reunion.
What I love about coming to norfolk is the kind of sea side town vibes you get, when we took amys dog dexter on the walk we took this path that takes you through a proper english caravan site, with all those static caravans, which this time of year look completely abandoned expect for those few dedicated caravan people, you then head into the sea side town of Sheringham which has some how survived this fate of so many other sea side towns around the country and is still booming, with local butchers and of course the arcade’s with those amazing basketball games and 2p machines but most of all you have to love the local pubs which feel like they have been there since the beginning of time. my favourite is the Welly and now they even have WIFI. who would have thought it.
Its kind of amazing what when you think about what has happened to sea side towns around the country in the past 15 years, a lot of them I feel like are making a come back and a pretty fast one at that, when you look at places like cromer, it must have lived on a knifes edge for a few years while its locals made the decision to move on or stay put and fight it out and try to keep cromer alive and to say that while walking round Cromer briefly yesterday new cafes are opening and smart restaurants are starting to appear. If I had some cash I would quickly buy some old flats overlooking the sea and in a few years I guarantee that those places will be worth a small fortune, especially in the holiday season. So everyone come to Norfolk and have a mini break, you wont regret it and probably wont break the bank doing it either.
Yesterday after work it was all abit go go, I had to get from the studio back to my flat and pack ready for a weekend in Norfolk. I did manage to sit on my sofa if a bit while I’ll took my shoes off but was then back up and out the door heading for Liverpool Street station.
But now we have made it here and really enjoying our Saturday sat surrounded by baby twins and a girlfriend who can’t leave them alone.
My idea of the photos today was to just have some fun with my iPhone and camera on the way up to Norfolk, however the photos you see below are only from my iPhone as I want to show you my other camera photos later on this week. And I know I’ve said it before but I love the iPhone camera, it is so handy for just capturing moments on the fly. And yes the Samsung camera is amazing but for me the iPhone just does the job perfectly, I suppose in a way it’s like comparing a canon to a Nikon camera.
In other news, I think the plan for today is just to relax and chill out before heading out later to Cromer and going to my favourite pub, the Welly. I’m even taking a day off from using my Laptop normally I would set up in a corner of the room somewhere and edit / write these posts on my laptop but today I’m just doing this from my phone and not thinking about life too much. My plan each day is always to write at least 300 words and I’m not even sure if this is 300 words but to be honest I’m not even going to check. I think it’s best if you just enjoy my photos and briefly read this.
Anyway, hope everyone is having a good weekend. And enjoy these photos.
When you have days like I did on Sunday where you go out and photograph a few different locations, its really easy to only show off your favourite selection of photos but I really think that its important for me to really go through my photos and concentrate on getting the most out of every single shot. I know that might sounds a bit like im thinking too much about what it is I have shot but for me to get better as a photographer I feel like if you dont go back through all your photos, look at the everything from settings, lighting, composition, focal point and even the location then I probably wont get better at photography. Its like Sunday, I went out and before I got to speakers corner I was literally just walking around being a tourist snapping away and not really thinking too much into it, just enjoying pressing the shutter and actually some of those photos I took Im really happy with.
If you look at the one of the pathway that has those LED lights on the ceiling, I really like the way if bouncing off the wet pavement and creating a really cool and funky atmosphere and that was just me noticing the lighting and deciding to take a picture just for the hell of it. I suppose thats all photography is really, just someone having an idea or seeing something other people would normally just walk past but instead of walking they stop to take a photo and just freeze that moment in time for no other reason that “they thought it looked good” and thats all Ive done really.
And as you can also probably tell I might have a bit of a weird love for london underground tube stair cases, they all seem to help create this really cool vibe that I dont seem to be able to find anywhere else. What i think makes them so cool, is when they have the copper banister running down the middle. I takes your eye to the back of the photo but at the same time you have these grubby side walls, that look like they could tell a story or too.
Anyway I hope you like my photos and please let me know what you think. I am really bad at replying to message but I do read them and when I get a second I will reply!
So its now like 10:30pm on monday night and im just laying in bed writing this post, since sunday Ive had the photos lined up that I wanted to post today but Im not sure on the words that should of with them.
Tonight Ive been out for some drinks with some friends, I should really say it was a company I do a bit of work for lates christmas party but I suppose their more just freinds, who sometimes give me money to pay my bills and stuff. but anyway it was nice to see each and every single one of them and it was annoying that I couldnt stay later but I need to get a decent nights sleep for an early start tomorrow, so im sorry I didnt see the night out till the end.
Anyway back to the photos, the other day while walking around hyde park I cam across this guy who was making some massive bubbles with some weird looking device and washing up liquid, and well because of my rekindled love for the 50mm 1.8f lens it was only right I put that focal length tot he test and see if I could capture a reflection within a bubble and to be honest I kind of think I managed todo that and one of the photos Im really happy with, I also wasn’t sure with what todo with the colours, you all know I love black and white photography and would love to only ever take black and white photos but I thought this time I would mix things up a bit and chuck some bright colours in there just to see what you think. Thats the whole reason this blog is here in the first place, to see what i like and what I don’t like. and you’ve kind of got to thank the city of London for being full of creative people who just think on a different scale!
Ill let you guys do the judging, do you prefer my black and white portrait shots or these kind of crazy colour shots (its ok to say both by the way).