B287 – TESTING SHOOTING A BRILLITANT IDEA

Yesterday I came up with a little idea to incorporate fairy lights into some photos, im still not really too sure what how I plan on using them exactly or what sort of topic im going to go for but the plan was just to experiment with them a bit and see what I could come up with. so when Amy was back from work it was time for us to give it a go and see if we could kind of replicate what I had pictured in my head. We kind of did what I imagined but I definitely think we need to use a lot of more lights maybe some longer and smaller lights and then shoot from a bit further way maybe.

I really liked the colour that we ended up capturing in these shots and definitely like the way it looks, I’ve woken up this morning with a few ideas on how I can improve these photos so maybe its just a case of me going out and getting what it is that I need and just start shooting.

My biggest problem in life is that I think up so many ideas that I try and do a small bit of each idea and not concentrate 100 percent on an idea till its done, I try and do like 5 other ideas all at once. which just means I end up in complete chaos. I might spend this morning writing down like my top three ideas for the next month and then spend time soley working on those and figure out a kind of time table of when I can work on certain projects, then its just about me sticking to that timing and making sure I get what I need to done by a certain time. Then I basically have no excuses.

Heres some of the test shots from yesterday, Bon appetit!

and obviously thank you amy for letting me take photos again!!

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– I hope you can see what we were trying todo –
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– does it just look like amys got a bit tangled up in the christmas lights? –
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– we used this alley way near the flat and I kind of like the colours that it give off –

 

B285 – THE BIG GUYS BIRTHDAY

Yesterday was the big man’s aka my dads 60th birthday party / gathering thing at their house. which was a really good day, the whole side of his family were showed up including his mum, brother and sister, so it was kind of a Spear party. but as I’m doing dry January I was sticking to the cups of tea and occasional orange juice, but even still it was good to see the family that I haven’t really seen in a few years.

I idea behind yesterday was that because he’s reached the grand old age of 60 that for his birthday he should get 60 presents to open, yep thats 60 presents. so the everyone chipped in and had to bring either 15 or 13 presents each, im not sure what the exact number of presents need to each person but I just knew I need to get 13. what was really good is that everyone got  loads of different stuff from bonsi tree seeds to my brilliant gift of 13 bottles of his favourite water. It goes without saying that the best part of the day hands down has to go to the cake, and that was all thanks to my sister who pulled it out of the bag and amazingly got someone else to make it. but nether the less, the cake was like 6 layers of pure chocolate heaven, I kind of wish that I brought some back with me last night, it would of been perfect for breakfast this morning.

This morning Amy and me are back at the flat and up kind of early, im off to take some photos for someone, and Amy’s got a pretty busy day too. but as long as we manage to fit a roast dinner in there at some point ill be happy.

Heres my photos from today, I hope you like them!

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– now thats what you call a cake –
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– the big guy aka Ganrad –
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– Nanny B and the kids –
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– 60 presents, look how good those bottle of waters look –
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-Nanny B and Richard and lynne + Mathew –
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– Nanny B again, Mathew and the little monster that we all call Florence –

B278 – NEARLY 100 YEARS OLD AND PERFECT

Sorry this post is a bit late, I had a plan in place to wake up early and go over to greenwich for the sun rise but that soon changed as soon as I heard my alarm, my excuse is that because amy works 5 days week if unfair to drag her out of bed at 6:30am on a sunday. I’m not too sure that excuse has worked. but any way we are now up and ready to go only a few hours later the only problem is that I still need to edit and write about my photos from yesterday. its really weird writing the past and the future but I’m going to do my best and make this as simple as possible. 

After selling the spare bed yesterday we decided that it was time to grab a chest of drawers to tackle the crazy amount of clothes that are now accumulating in the flat, even though Amy still hasn’t completely moved in yet, it kind of makes sense of her to leave some clothes her. if any one has been shopping for a chest of drawers before you will know how extremely stressful the whole process can be, not only do you have to go round shops but you also have to deal with the over priced wooden boxes which places like Habbit, St Elm, made and loaf seem to charge and non of them really had what we were looking for. then I had the genius idea of looking on Gumtree and boom we were on our way to an antiques store in Crystal Palace and firstly there are hundreds of antique stores in crystal palace and all of them have a amazing stuff. The chest of drawers we had seem on gumtree was really right for what we wanted it for but next door was this 1920’s Oak chest of drawers which was perfect, the guy was selling it for £140 but after some of my negotiation skills kick in we managed to get it for £120, he also chucked in two packets for sour sweets for good measure. 

Oh and we also made some home made burgers for dinner yesterday, I tried to make a home made posh fast food, not sure that worked out, maybe ill just leave that to the professionals. We took a normal home made burger and added some of our own stuff to it, like some chillies, onions and garlic, we also used Selma to help hold it all together, the trick is to cool it on a slow heat of long time, so it doesn’t fall apart.

We also cooked some Sweet potato fries as well, and the recipe of that is just below this the burger instructions.

The basic ingredients you’ll need are:

1 small onion peeled and diced
500g good-quality beef mince
1 egg
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 burger buns
All or any of the following to serve: sliced tomato, beetroot, horseradish sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, handful iceberg lettuce, rocket, watercress
  1. Tip the beef into a bowl with the onion and egg, then mix. (and anything else you want to add to the burgers, trust me add what you want)

  2. Divide the mixture into four. Lightly wet your hands. Carefully roll the mixture into balls, each about the size of a tennis ball.

  3. Set in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze down to flatten into patties about 3cm thick. Make sure all the burgers are the same thickness so that they will cook evenly. Put on a plate, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 mins.

  4. Heat the barbecue / frying pan to medium hot (there will be white ash over the red hot coals – about 40 mins after lighting). Lightly brush 1 side of each burger with oil.

  5. Place the burgers, oil-side down, on the barbecue. Cook for 5 mins until the meat is lightly charred. Don’t move them around or they may stick. Oil the other side, then turn over using tongs. Don’t press down on the meat, as that will squeeze out the juices.

  6. Cook for 5 mins more for medium. If you like your burgers pink in the middle, cook 1 min less each side. For well done, cook 1 min more.

     

Sweet potato fries

Ingredients
500 grams sweet potatoes (peeled and cut in to long strips)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. You may need to adjust the temperature slightly dependant on your oven.
  2. In a large bowl add the sweet potato and pour over the olive oil and give them a good coating.
  3. Sprinkle over the salt and paprika and also give them a good coating. Lay evenly over a non-stick baking tray.
  4. Cook in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until crispy.
  5. Serve on their own as a snack or a side to your favourite meal.

This is a pretty long blog and sorry the photos arent the best, yesterday was just about getting through the day without punching one of those  “I love the January sales” people.

Heres my photos, enjoy.

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– it was love at first sign –
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– it was literally what we were looking for, antique shops are the way forward –
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– my attempt at posh fast food –

 

B269 – AMY HAS REPLACED ME FOR A PUPPY

Yesterday was a jammed pack day of Dog walking, car cleaning and more dog stuff. nothings better than having a productive day of doing things that aren’t really work related. but right now I’m trying to get this post done in 10 minutes before a hurricane walks through the door in the shape of my little cousin.

but back to yesterday, it all started when we ended up going on a bit of a group dog walk around Biggin hill, my dog Mooney isn’t really that keen on other dogs at the moment, she recently got bitten on the her my an bigger dog so she’s a bit scared of anything with four legs at the moment. it was good to get outside and do a bit of walking though I haven’t walked mooney in ages so that was fun and its also good to get her used to other dogs again.

After the dog walk it was time to clean some cars, my mums car was unacceptable dirty so now it was time to attack that with everything I had but before that I offered to clean my mums hairdressers car, its nice todo nice things right? Clean cars is actually pretty rewarding, you can see something that was dirty and once your finished it looks totally different in a way.

Last night we also had our mate Jocobs annual Christmas Party where people sing songs and play beer pong, but the highlight of the evening was by are my Beer pong skills and also the fact Jacob has recently got to new puppies which amy refused to put down the whole night

Sorry todays post is a bit rushed but Amy and me thought we were waking up early but we are going to have family to entertain before we then have to jump in a taxi and head over to a friends and drive down to Bristol where 20 of us have hired a house of New Years eve.

anyway I hope everyone is enjoy the christmas break and looking forward to 2018, heres my photos from yesterday! I hope you like them!

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– starting the day with a dog walk is always a good idea –
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– me trying to take a photo walk cleaning the car –
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– Amy has now replaced me with a puppy –

 

B268 – RUNNING AROUND LIKE A CHRISTMAS CRACK HEAD!

Its that weird time of year between christmas and new years where you still have to run around like some sort of christmas crack head trying to get your fix of family and chocolate and that exactly what amy and me have been doing, yesterday after waking up at Anders house I was on the move back to my flat for a 10 minute pit stop to meet amy and grab some clothes before heading back to see Flo so Amy can give her, her christmas presents. so naturally we stayed for a bit and played hide and seek and all those other games that a 3 year old likes to play. Flo was typically took control of my camera and decided to take a photo of us, so as you can expect I have included that photo below.

its now 10:37 on the 28th of December and we are sitting on my parents sofa getting ready to have a productive day of dog walking, car cleaning and hairdressing. a lot of activities but Im ready to rock n roll and get this show on the move.

theres something I want to write about on this blog today to make it final and then I have no excuse if I fail and that is a bet that I have put together my a good chum anders, we are going to be doing Dry January, No drinking alcohol for the whole of January and if we do then we have to give the other person £30. Im determined to fail and get back to track with my running, this time last year I was training for an ultra marathon and now I want to put those running shoes back on and start training of another race, my leg is in a good place and I’m sure with a bit of swimming and my a gym session or two I can get back to a good place and start running fast times.

Here are my photos from yesterday. Enjoy.

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– just flo sorting out Amy’s hair –
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– my arty shot from a coffee shop in crystal palace –
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– flos photo of amy and me – 

 

 

B236 – PANIC ATTACKS AND COLOUR CLASHES

A few months ago amy brought some tickets to see the Kooks play in Brighton, they are a band Ive wanted to see for ages and something which I’ve been excited for since she told me we were going. but before we can go to an amazing gig we had to do something that turns girls like amy into monsters / dictators, I’m talking about is IKEA.  Yesterday we had to venture over to the warehouse of nightmares and shop till my credit card pops.

I saw a side to amy which scared me and it happened in the cushion department, we were trying to work out what colours go with what pattern and what fabric would work with the sofa. I never new that cushion shopping was a thing, I just thought they came with a sofa and that was it. who wrong I was. cushion shopping involves panic attacks and a lot of tongue bitting. Apparently my opinions will be taken into consideration but in the end they will be ignored, she even let me pick a cushion that she chose.

After cushion gate has finished it was time to hit the road and head down to Brighton and meet some good old chums and put the whole ikea experience behind us. the kooks smash it they were literally amazing the lead singer is a guy called Luke Pritchard and he knows a thing or two about performing and somehow have managed to hold down a top spot in British indie music since their album Inside in inside out was released in 2006. what was amazing about the show for me was when the blue curtain came down and he performed an acoustic set, for some reason when you bring the curtain down mid set it really makes the gig feel intimate. if you have the chance to see the Kooks definitely get down to a gig, tonight they are playing in Cardiff and if I could get down there I would.

As I spent the day running round doing a million and one things, all my photos were taken on my phone.

P.s Amy thanks for taking me around Ikea, you’ve given me the interior design bug and also for getting the Kooks tickets!!!!!

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– this part of the set made it worth it –
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– the literally havent aged as a band since 2006 –
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– amy mid panic attack because yellow doesn’t go with the orange of the wall… or does it?! –

B231 – JUST A DOG WEARING SHOES

It’s weird not posting these each day, I’m not really enjoying it. I love following the stats and getting to see what people think of my photos, it’s one of those things if I post each day I really try and set my self a brief for each day, ie something to concentrate on, but at the moment I’m just snapping shots when I can.

Not really sure if that’s a good idea, but at the moment it’s the best I can do.

Today is show day and I can now say that I’m working on Victoria Secrets Fashion show in Shanghai!!!! The rule of posting photos still stands, so if your expecting to see Back stage photos of Super modes wearing underwear and wings. This is the wrong place, instead I can offer a shot of a dog wearing shoes.

One thing has really surprised me is that amount of bikes that are in the city and the comparison to London. A few months back someone introduced this public bike scheme where you can pick up these yellow bikes via an App and then drop it off where ever you want, two days later the bikes had been destroyed, seats stollen and wheels buckled. Not in China, they literally have exactly the same bikes but times a thousand, there are hundreds on every street and not a buckled wheel in sight. China is this country where people stick to rules and one of the coolest things is everyone has a job (apparently). From what I saw which to be fair is very little, the streets are cleanish and there’s this proper hustle and bustle about this place, it feels like a super power city and I suppose that’s exactly what this place is. 10 years time and Shanghai will be this place with hovercrafts and jet packs, I promise you!

 

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– Victoria Secretes fashion show 2017 –
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– one of the weirdest buildings Ive ever seen –
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– just a dog wearing shoes –

 

B228 – THE HIGHEST BATH IVE EVER HAD

today a bit of an early start, got a lot happening today but looking forward to getting on with every. its the first day of shooting so need to rush over to location, its like 6am now leaving the hotel at 7 to get there for 8. 

Breakfast, Having Chinese food for breakfast is actually quite a good idea. nothing better than noodles and some fried rice for breakfast. takes a bit of time to get used to drinking a coffee at the same time but its quite good in a weird way. I will dedicate a whole post to the breakfast here, i think it desevers it. I have never seen noddles and seafood for breakfast before.

The jet lag is still real, its probably some of the worst jet lag I have experienced, I keep waking up at like 4am and cant get back to sleep, normally i do some running or maybe a swim but I can get past the hotel bar, which is proving to be a bit of an issue.   One thing to talk about is the fact that the time zone is really confusing and I cant work out what the time is in the UK. I know we are 8 hours ahead but I keep thinking the UK is in front. thats probably the jet lag talking but for some reason my head just cant figure it out. the only good thin about waking up at 4am is the fact that I can have a bath with this view, it is literally the best bath in the world. I don’t think anything will ever compare to it!

My plan for these post while im away is to write some bullet points each day and then when I get back to the UK fill in all the gaps. I think thats probably the best thing for me todo, I will probably regret doing it that way, but I think while I’m here i need to get as much sleep as I can because my days are going to be filled with running around trying to get everything done.  

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– A Breakfast of champions? –
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– sorry for the bad light, I didnt want to turn the lights on at 5:30am, this was a bath to remember –
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– looking up inside the hotel –

B214 – IM GOING HOME!!

Right now its 14:44 on Friday, Im sat a Bradley international airport in Massachusetts about to board a plane to Boston, Ive got an hour till we take off and from Boston I have a flight that will take me to London Heathrow. its now the complete end of my time in America and after two months on the road going from Hotel to Hotel its time to head home and finally do some washing and get on my DIY skills on, I’ve got a hall way to paint and some more blinds to put up! so get ready for some DIY posts, they will be coming thick and fast.

right now though Im scrolling through the photos Ive taken on my phone and think its only right to post some photos that I have taken on my phone before they disappear into the hard drive of my computer forever.

If I had to choose one city that has left a mark on me it has to be New York, that place is probably one of my favourite cities Ive visited in a long time, it just doesn’t sleep and every corner has something happening and thats what I like. Nothing stops in New York, its just on the move constantly. I will 100 percent be coming back to New York in the near future.

On the other hand, the state that surprised me the most and rank up there of cool places is New England. thats the area Im in now, apparently its were the english first landed when they discovered America, thats where it gets its name from. If I could get hold of a mountain bike and had a few days off I would loved to of just cycle round the forests and explored this area, it just looks like a cool place to have an adventure. that sounds like a pretty cool idea now Ive just said that. Amy? Can you cycle?

Ive really enjoyed this trip and feel like Ive managed to see a fair bit of america is a short period of time. but now I just need to come back and really get to know it when Im working. Heres list of the places Ive been in the last few months. New York, New Jersey, Massachussets, Flordia, Illinois, North Carolina, St.louis, Toronto and Vancover. Looking at that im really suprised that I haven’t missed a day of this blog yet and not really sure where Ive found the hour or so it takes to write these each day.

Tomorrow I land back in the UK and have to  rush home for a hair cut, pack a bag and get ready for a few days get away in Paris. Amy and Me are going there because theres some fashion show that she wants to check out and I owe her a birthday present. so get ready for me to put my best Zoolander outfit on and explore the city of Paris!

Heres  some of  the photos from my phone of these past few months.

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– New York at 6am –
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– Ive never seen an exhaust like this, is it legal in the UK? –
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– a view from New England –

 

B195 – I DELETED EVERYTHING!!!!

It happened, my first major major cock up in 195 days.

Well today started as any other shoot day does, really early and straight on the move, nothing out of the normal, and as normal I had my camera with me and would take photos as the day goes on, some cool, some terrible photos but all of it is still useable content in some sort of way.

well after I had been hustled by a bunch of boy scouts, no joke they literally called me over to tell me about a great offer on the cup cakes, and said that we could barter for the cupcakes. I was up for it and asked for 6 for $10 something I felt was completely fair, then the head scout with all the badges basically said no deal and sold me them for the standard price of 4 for $10. I didn’t even want the cup cakes, but thought it would be good to teach these guys a lesson or two in business only for me to end up losing out and falling for their tricks.  the lesson I learnt here is don’t be fooled by the scouts, they know exactly how to get your money.

The other thing is I took photos of is the crazy size of houses in this area, we are currently in place called Bedminister, New Jersey and these houses are like something out of MTV cribs, its ridiculous. Im not sure if its because theres so much land out here or if these people have just figured out life, but these houses are impressive.

anyway I had some great examples, but ill just have to see what I can do tomorrow.

its now obviously tough post today, I did find one photo on my phone that I took this morning so that is below, the fog looked really cool in the trees and reminded me of that old TV show Man Tracker, about I guy who could track down anyone even in the harshest conditions. The other two photos I was saving up for later on but I suppose now is a good as any. they were two photos I took in New York city, and I think they sum that place up quite well. Im a big fan of black and white street photography, so I try and do as much of that as possible. I feel like black and white adds an extra element to the photos, that I think is thanks to the film photography ere that everyone is so used to seeing. it has helped to give B&W photos a timeless feel.

so here they are, enjoy the snaps and sorry of the mish mash post.

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– new york Subway after rush hour –
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– this person definitly doesn’t want to have their bike stollen –
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– my only picture that has survived from today –