Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Lomography pics

I finally got my lomography pics developed this week by Lomography UK. I was really nervous to see what they turned out like as you never know. A few were over exposed so I'll remember not to hold down for too long next time but most came out pretty good.

I love the different effects and having authentic instagrams! Here are some of my faves:

At first I didn't like this but after some reassurance I actually think it's pretty cool. The cropped off heads are so typical of old family photos so I'm going to claim it was on purpose!

 This was taken without winding on and actually was on purpose. I love the orange berries on the trees from the first shot being overlaid on the second more distant photo.

 I love how feint and spooky looking this one of the bridge came out as it reflects the environment. My sister came with me to this creepy place and was scaring the crap out of me the whole time so this ghostly image is perfect!

 I love this one of Cameron as he closes his eyes for the flash! So cute!

 This is my favourite one of all. I can't remember if I delibrately captured the deckchairs to the right or not as this was one of the first pics I took but I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

 I used the pink filter on the flash for this one. It's made Lola's dreams of being a pink dog come true!

This is Kieran celebrating the unexpected Villa win over Man City a few weeks ago. The dogs have their own Villa outfits on!
All photos were taken on Diana F+ with 120 colour negative film ISO 400

Sunday, 26 August 2012


This weekend I was invited to the outdoor wedding of two of my friends. They may have been unlucky with the weather but everything else worked out perfectly with their festival themed wedding. Here are some of my favourite photos from the day...

Friday, 10 August 2012

Old, new, newer.

This week, Kieran and I took the dogs for a walk down to the old railway and quarry. I brought my camera along in the hope of getting some good photos. It was really strange seeing the old railway all overgrown and I enjoyed capturing the mix of nature and industry.

The sun was just about setting and so the light was really nice. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite capture the sunset as the new railway blocked it out and I was too short to get a picture over the top of it.

There was a lot of graffiti and I thought this added an extra layer to the scene; from nature, to industry to modernisation to destruction.

Here are some of the photos I got on the Nikon and I am also hoping a couple I took on my Diana F+ will turn out well too.

I think what I realised through these photos is I like capturing run down places and making them look nicer – a bit like with the iron bridge photos from Manchester. I like to try and see the beauty in things that aren’t conventionally beautiful. It might look like a decaying railway or a dirty old tunnel but it’s a part of history and people would have worked hard to create those things.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


As you know, I have been looking forward to going to Brighton to try out my camera in a more exciting setting. I was really lucky as it was a sunny day and I managed to get lots of photos with a bright blue sky in the background.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Practising with the Nikon D3200.

I have had an early birthday present of a Nikon D3200. I read lots of reviews on entry level DSLRs and found that this one had a consistently good write up - good image quality combined with ease of use. I am a complete novice to photography other than compact digital camera snap shots and the odd instagram so was pleased to find this camera comes with on screen guides to advise you on aperture, focal length and such things.

I was hoping to get a few good practice shots in before taking it to Brighton tomorrow but with the bad weather I have been constricted to my own house and garden. The good thing about digital cameras (as opposed to analogue) is that you can take several photos and then just get rid of the rubbish shots.

Here are a couple of what I think are my best from today...

This is a shot of little Beau. I've been trying to experiment with depth of field and get the blurred background with the sharp focussed foreground. It came out pretty good in this photo but I'm still very hit and miss with it.

This picture of Lola was just taken on the Auto setting. I have played with the editing by upping the contrast and trying to make the green more vibrant. I only have free basic photo software at the moment so should probably invest in something more specialist.

Here I was just experimenting with black and white in the editing process. I've used quite a high contrast which I think works well with black and white, especially as the subject here was so light against a dark background anyway.

One of the reasons I wanted to get into photography was to take pictures of my family. I love how my nephew covered up his face which makes the picture seem less forced and much more like a natural moment (which it was!)

So, there are a few for now. I still have loads to learn and lots more settings to explore and get used to. I'm looking forward to getting out and about and taking some photos of some more exciting things.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Places where I want to go and take photos.

After our amazing honeymoon where we were lucky enough to visit San Francisco, Hawaii (Oahu) and Vegas, I thought I was pretty much done with travelling. I'm not really that into visiting places as I don't like the hassle of airports and would rather spend my money on buying stuff.

I've visited some cool places like Rome, Prague, New York and New Orleans and didn't really have anything else on my list. But now I find I want to go back to all the places I've already seen with my new cameras and take a load of cool photos! Plus, visit a whole load of new places!

1. Cuba

I imagine Cuba in a 60's timewarp with old fashioned cars and light coloured buildings in soft sunlight with old men sitting around laughing and smoking cigars. This may not be wholly accurate but I should at least visit to find out. I would love to take photos with my Diana as I feel Cuba would lend itself nicely to some dreamy analogue shots.

2. Amsterdam

I have always been put off holidays to Amsterdam as I thought the only people who visited there were students and stags. After seeing a cool photo of a bicycle (the kind Audrey Hepburn would ride) with tulips in the basket, I realised I wanted to go there and take photos of bikes and tulips, as well as windmills, mice and cheese.

3. Tokyo

I have always wanted to go to Japan (mainly to visit the Hello Kitty theme park with Kitty boats and all of Kitty's friends) but I also think it would be just a generally cool place. I see it as somewhere with so much tradition yet it seems super modern and I think there would be so many contrasting images to capture. I am imagining Harajuku girls overlayed with tradition temples.

4. Sydney

It seems unlikely I will visit Australia as I don't think I can be bothered going that far but I am very tempted for a couple of reasons - koalas, Home and Away and the Sydney Opera House. I love Koalas and I really want to cuddle one. Home and Away was my fave ever soap (lost track since Alf and Sally left) and I really want to go to the Home and Away beach. I love the design of the opera house and think it would be great to get a cool night time picture on my new Nikon with the bridge and stuff.

5. Cornwall

I went to Cornwall a few times as a child and remember the sea being so clean and clear (clean and clear enough to see little fish which freaked me out a bit). I would really like to find an old seaside town with pastel painted buildings and fishermen to take photos of.

So, they're my top 5 for now but I would also like to go back to San Francisco as it's one of the coolest places ever. I'm also looking forward to taking photos in Brighton this weekend and Vegas in November. In the meantime, I shall be practicing with the 'sights' of my hometown.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Lomography Love.

I had first heard about Lomography through a feature on Rock My Wedding. I really loved the vintage, dreamy look of the photos and the fact that the imperfections made the photos so much more interesting. My favourite ones were the overlayed photos where one image appeared over another, or the ones with the black edging creeping in (vignetting).

With the wedding all over and suddenly finding myself with so much spare time, I decided I needed a hobby. I wanted to keep up something creative as that's what I enjoyed most about planning the wedding and it's totally different from my day job. Photography was always something I was interested in but through the wedding planning, I learnt so much more about it as I researched various photographers.

At the weekend, I was lucky enough to visit a store dedicated to Lomography in Manchester. Whilst there, I purchased the Diana F+ in pink (Mr. Pink).

I've never had a real film camera (I don't think disposables count) but I remember my Dad having one when I was younger.

The Diana F+ comes with a really easy to follow instruction manual which takes you through everything from how to load the film to getting different effects from your camera. You can add various filters to the flash (seen here with pink of course) and choose whether you have 16 smaller photos or 12 larger ones. It's up to you when you wind it on so I'm looking forward to seeing how some of the overlay effect pictures I've taken turn out.

The great thing about this type of camera is you really don't know what you're going to get. I'm really hoping not all of my photos are rubbish but even if there are just a couple of gems on there I will be pleased. I think there is something so romantic about film cameras that you can't achieve simply by Instagramming a photo (although I do love Instgram).

We're off to Brighton at the weekend and I can't think of a place better suited to the 1960's, vintage, unique photos that I hope to achieve with my new camera.

I'll be sure to share the results when the film is developed.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Who put the 'M' in Manchester?

This weekend, Kieran and I went up to Manchester to watch Morrissey in his only UK appearance this year. It was my 9th time seeing Moz and the second time I would see him in his hometown of Manchester - as Morrissey himself said, "There's no place like Hulme".

Fans of Morrissey and The Smiths will be aware that Manchester has become a place of pilgrimage for the more dedicated fans who travel there to visit the places referenced in Morrissey's lyrics or see the sites captured on the album artwork. 'Official' tours are available but with a bit of Googling and a handy SatNav you can find your way around and create your own tour. I like to refer to our tour as The Smiths Official Unofficial Smiths tour - catchy.

First stop was arguably one of the most recognisable destinations to any Smiths fan - Salford Lads Club. The club feratures in the sleeve for The Queen Is Dead and has been seen in videos for There Is a Light and Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before.

The Smiths outside Salford Lads (originally photographed by Stephen Wright)

To reach Salford Lads, we used the postcode 'M5 3RX'. It leads you to a dead on a housing estate but you can park at the end and then walk down a path to the club. There seems to be a way of driving right up outside the club but we couldn't figure this out!

We were lucky enough on this occasion to not just have our picture taken outside but be invited in to take a look at The Smiths room inside. A fantastic collection of memorabelia is proudly on display along with adoring messages from fans around the world.

Next up, it was off to the 'iron bridge' as featured in the lyrics of 'Still Ill'. There is dispute over what bridge Morrissey would have been referring to when he sang, "Under the iron bridge we kissed..." but the general consensus seems to be that it is the railway bridge off of King's Road where Morrissey once lived.

This was tricky to find as King's Road is really long. We used the postcode 'M32 8GW' which took us to Kings Road. We then drove up and down trying to find the bridge. There is a newsagent and takeaway at around 490 Kings Road. The bridge can be seen to the left of these as you look at them.

The bridge itself is a huge iron and green monstosity and has been graffitied with lyrics by fans from America, Europe and Australia. You can't actually get underneath the bridge but you can still kiss on it which is almost as good (plus I didn't end up with sore lips).

 Since we were on Kings Road, we made a quick stop off at number 384 - Morrissey's home from the age of 10-24.

Finally, we ended the tour by visiting the cemetery gates of Southern Cemetery. We didn't venture inside as it's important to remember this is still a cemetery and it's important to be respectful. I also doubt very much that we would have found the graves of Keats, Yates or Wilde - Morrissey was certainly using his artistic licence here.

 The day ended at Machester Arena where Morrissey was well and truly on form. His voice sounded great and he was as witty and cutting as ever with asides about the olympics and the Jubilee. The crowd were a typical Moz crowd with the stage invasions hitting their peak during the final song, Still Ill (which seems a fitting end for us since we had spent so much time on the bridge!)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


When my sister and I attended The Wedding Event with a Difference, we came across a photobooth and had great fun trying it out - turning on the wind machine and pulling faces.

It was a bit expensive and we didn't bother booking as it seemed like a 'nice to have' not a 'need to have'. My sister wouldn't stop going on about it and was really encouraging me to go for it. When I saw they had a sale and an extra hour was offered, I caved in and went for it!

I am really glad we booked it as the staff were great, the photos were great and everyone really enjoyed it. We have a book with all the photos in and you can slowly see everyone getting more and more drunk with every turn of the page!

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying everyone should do this as it is an additional extra (the videographer on the other hand I really recommend you consider) but if you do have a bit left over I think it's worth it! Or, you could even try making your own with a screen, some props from the £1 shop and a polaroid camera!

Anyway, our photos really made us laugh so I just thought I would share a selection...