Last week Kelly was checking out twitter to see what all our Photographer friends and all the other cool people that are associated with twitter were up too. One of our friends on twitter is Alex Beadon, she is one cool lady and her work is flippin’ awesome, she had posted to her blog that she would like to give herself a challenge every week (I think she thinks she’s a 21st century Challenge Anneka lol) but wanted to get others involved so asked her blog readers to join in and send their images from the same challenge to her and then she would feature them all on her blog,
The challenge was to post an inspirational note to a tree. It could say anything you wanted it too and the aim was to make someone else look at it and smile.
Kelly got straight in there with her ideas deliberating what she was going to say on the note and where she was going to take the picture, eventually she decided that seen as the tree had to wear the note she might as well let the tree get the love so wrote “HUG ME” she then decided to pin it to a tree outside her work. She liked her image sooo much she decided to also use it as her 365 image for that day. Here is her final image…
I on the other hand don’t normally get into this sort of thing but something inside me just said why the hell not, I had a spare 5 minutes and the camera at hand so I got out an old brown envelope, a green pen, and some ribbon ready to assemble my note. Whilst thinking what to write I was listening to Itunes, I am currently loving Kate Rusby and I had made a playlist of similar songs to her genre, and in that list was a song called Everybody Knows by The Divine Comedy and one of the lyrics of the song is ‘Everybody knows I live for you” I thought it was a beautiful sentence so I adapted it and went for “Every Day I live for you” which I find even more poignant seen as a tree does live every day day for us providing us with the very air we breathe.
I then scribled down the words hurredly and dashed outside the house to the nearest tree and tied the note to the tree with the ribbon. 6 shots later and I was back inside, imported the images to Lightroom and made a few tweaks here and there and came up with my final image. Here it is for you…
We would love your thoughts and opinions on both photographs, so please comment below.
Alex will be doing more challenges over the coming weeks, Kelly will probably take them up, I may do on occassion if Im really inspired by it but be sure to keep your eyes peeled for us posting our results.
I cant recommend enough that you head on over to Alex’s blog at http://www.alexbeadonphotography.com/blog/ and check out her catalog of blog posts, I guarantee that you will love what you see and may even bookmark it as one of your favourites to visit.
Happy Mothers Day x
A couple of Sunday’s back was the last day of our two week holiday as a family so rather than spend it around the house we decided to go out for an afternoon on the Steam train and wonder around Haworth for an our or so.
We are really priveleged to have the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway a 10 minute walk from our house, for those that don’t know this is the railway line that was used in the filming of the iconic film ‘The Railway Children’, it also holds a special place in our hearts as our late friend Richard was a volunteer for them.
So with Fearne in her 3 wheeler buggy, Daisy harnessed up, Kel and I in the compulsory Gore-tex’d footwear and the Canon in the rucksack we headed up to Ingrow station to jump on the train.
It’s so good to get out as a family once in a while. We can relax, enjoy the day and take some pictures of each other and the things we see without feeling under any pressure to get amazing shots time after time.
When we got to Haworth we took a strole up Main St, had a fish buttie, checked a few of the dainty little shops out then walked back through Haworth park and back onto the train down to Ingrow. In that time we only really used the camera on the train and around the platform.
Kel got some great images on the train of Fearne and me and managed to get her 365 image of the day too. I took detail shots of the Locomotive itself and things around the platform, I got what I feel was a nice portrait shot of the train driver, and even got an off the cuff, camera to the floor and click shot of Daisy, ok its not focused on her eyes but I still love the stance she has in it.
In post processing I have given it a mixture of Black and white images and some old style colour images, both styles have an added grain and a bit of vignetting.
Hope you enjoy the images as much as we enjoyed the day.
And lastly, as Kel went with a different Post processing style to the rest of the images for her day 030 of her 365 project I have added it below. To view the rest of her 365 project here.
I have just taken day 31 of my 365 project and I am feeling rather proud of myself. Not only because I have actually stuck with it for a full month but because I am really, really enjoying doing it too. I have had so much fun taking some of the pictures and I can’t wait to learn more and really try start to show off what I can do.
In January I wanted to concentrate on discovering how the camera works. Paul has sat with me loads explaining more about ISO, aperture, Lightroom, lenses and general photography. It has been so mind boggling at times. I have started to understand a little more about what I need to do to get that perfect picture.
I have been quite lucky that this month both Paul and I have had 2 weeks off work to be able to really get stuck into trying to make our business work. It’s been a really hard 2 weeks but I feel that we have achieved so much. We have lots of ideas to work on and have started the marketing side of the business. All in all it’s been a fantastic start to 2011.
I have stumbled across so many lovely people through photography. I have not met hardly any of them yet I still feel like I know them so well. The internet is a fantastic tool. Twitter, Facebook and Flickr have become the places that both Paul and I are finding the most amazing people and have organised to meet up with a few of them in the future.
There are three young ladies that I have been following and messaging through Facebook, Twitter and Flickr called Alex Beadon, Fanni Williams and Saadia Mechel. All 3 of them are doing the 365 project and their work is awesome and so very different. My work is no where near to their standard but following them on their journey only makes me more determined to be as good and try to be a little more imaginative with what my subject is.
In February I would like to continue with learning about how the camera works and try to master Photoshop and Lightroom a little more. I don’t want to try and set myself a crazy target for the month as I am only a beginner.
Over the years Paul has collected 100’s of photography magazines and CD tutorials. My aim this month is to try and watch at least 2 a week. I want to try and learn how to use layers and masks and maybe experiment a little more with light. At the end of February I want to be able to feel at total comfort using the camera so I can then try to start working with the magic of Photoshop and Lightroom.
The thing that has amazed me most is that I have taken over 800 hundred shots this month! I don’t think I took that many for the whole of last year. I probably took that many on the point and shoot but not the SLR.
We have a very busy month in February with photography which is going to be so much fun but at the same time very challenging.
I also have a couple of projects in mind which I am going to try and complete in March and one in May. The one in May that I have in mind is going to take a lot of time and organisation but will be awesome if it comes together (fingers and toes crossed!).
So that’s my January 31/365 complete. Roll on February!!!
- A couple of weeks ago, We did a shoot with a local company called Boutique Cupcake, The company is run by a lovely girl called Alice. Boutique Cupcake was originally started in Devon by Alice but she moved up to Yorkshire after falling in Love and Marrying a top bloke in Shaun, So now Alice is trying to re-establish her business in a new area.We first made contact with Alice through her Facebook fan page, Kel had been looking around on there, asking local companies if we could get involved with them and shoot some of their latest products and services. This helps in numerous ways for us, Mainly it gets us doing the thing we Love SHOOTING, but also it builds relationships and for us we see that as paramount to make our business grow. It also gives whoever we’re shooting for a chance to get great shots of the products they are so awesome at providing, and if someone asks them who to go to for photography then they just might recommend us.
Alice was more than willing to get involved with us, and got together some themes for what she wanted to shoot on the day, The two themes were Summer Weddings and Valentines Day (I know this is a little early but remember to get your other half a card guys, You know you will never here the end of it!). So we organised with Alice a couple of weeks before to do the shoot at a local pub as we were doing the shoot in the morning and it wouldn’t be open until dinner.
Now the couple of Days before the shoot we were probably chilling out around our house as Alice was working her heart out at home in her kitchen Baking and preparing, because when she walked through the door with the boxes of Cupcakes we were simply blown away at the quality and effort she had put into them, And I have to say it proved rather difficult to stop myself from sampling the little goodies before we got down to shooting.
Onto the shooting and here is where the fun started, It was dark and wet outside and the pub had minimal and I mean minimal natural light, I think on the outside I showed I was fine but inside I wasn’t happy. But we had to make the best of what we had, I just bumped the ISO up a little to compensate and started shooting. We started on the Wedding Cupcakes first they were simply gorgeous, Lilac and Cream Butter cream on top and Butterfly decorations and a beautiful cake for the top tier of a mirrored stand that Alice had brought along.
When we had finished with the table arrangement we got out a three step spiral stand that Kel and I had borrowed from a local Accessory shop run by a family friend. And we lined the steps with the Cupcakes. These shots I feel came out beautiful, they really went well together, a real Vintage theme…
We then moved onto the Valentines Day Collection which had a couple of different styles, A polka dot bun case with Creamy yellow butter cream on top with a love heart sweet on top, then we had some chocolate cupcakes with chocolate butter cream and Red and White heart shapes on top. We re-used the Spiral stand for a few shots and then I moved on to another prop I brought along which was 8 inch high brushed aluminium ceramic letters spelling the Word L O V E, Probably bought from next and used as a house ornament.
By now the light was getting much better and we were working as closely to the window without physically being outside, and I was now in the flow alot more, I got a moment of inspiration and decided to put one of the cupcakes inside the middle of the letter O, took a shot and was immediately impressed! We shot various adaptations of the layout just to see what worked but overall these shots just Worked!!!
The last collection of cupcakes we laid out some red chiffon on top of some cream table cloth and made an arrangement up with cupcakes and another beautiful cake in the middle and I got on with taking the shots again.
By now it was coming up to pub opening time so we quickly packed up our things, Alice gave us some cupcakes to eat at home, left a load on the bar for the punters and also kept some for herself, A really nice thing to do I say.
So Thank You Alice they were delicious.
I have taken a different approach to Alice I am sure as to how I have developed the images to showcase here on my blog but I wanted to try a few new things in Lightroom So I have gone with some really Vintage style images, Some pinky dreamy images and also some Deep Red and Romantic images.
Yesterday Kelly was discussing with me over a cuppa that she wanted to go with a movement theme for her 365 project for the day, She wanted to do a self portrait but wasn’t sure on the location to go with.
So, I suggested we go to a local dual carriageway underpass that we regularly use to walk up into our town, I have a bit of an infatuation with the place as I can see myself using it in the future for various projects, it’s urban feel really gets me excited, either to use as a contrasting backdrop or to aid me with a theme a client might want to go with.
But rather than head to the location with a client and not get the images I am looking for I thought we could try it out together and see it’s usability.
Off we went with the camera and tripod in hand, if I am with Kelly and she’s doing a self portrait I always take a few shots first just to help her out and save her time, that way she can chimp at the screen and get her composition how she wants it.
The original plan was to get Kel blowing some love heart shaped petals with an urban backdrop but we got ourselves carried away with trying various compositions. From all those different compositions I was so pleased with how they were looking, we had great light in some areas and harsh light in other areas so I could mix the style up a bit.
In the meantime Kel decided to change her thinking and go with a movement shot of me instead so that made my images redundant, I couldn’t just waste such fantastic images so I had to blog them for you to see what we were up to.
In these images I seemed to really love Black and White but there are a couple of colour ones in there too that I adored.
And don’t you just think Kel is a great model for me? She isn’t even wearing any Make-up either as she wanted her Self Portrait to be totally natural looking, Great stuff Hun.
Then later in the day we were on our way out to a client in the car as the sun was setting, The sky just turned an amazing Red and Purple colour, We were already running late but I couldn’t miss taking a few shots, In the distance I could see St John’s Church at Ingrow so over we pulled in the car right next to an artic trailer and out came the camera and the tripod again. First off I went for a middle of the road aperture but found the shutter speed to be still quite fast for the time it was and it was freezing the car headlights which looked a bit naff, So I upped to f22 but the the meter was centering out at 0.5 second shutter speed, so I fitted the polarising filter and that let me get a 3.5 second shutter speed. Just great to get the light trail from a passing car. Between my first shot and this one the street lights went on too which added a little something to the image I think.
The image only received a touch more contrast and shartpening in post processing but no colour saturation increases at all.
I think moments like that make life so memorable and worthwhile.
Over the past 6 months I have obviously been following Paul’s work closely, helping and assisting as much as I can and I have enjoyed every minute. Along with following Paul’s photography I have also been viewing other photography for Paul and I to draw inspiration from. During my searches I found Rosie Hardy, some of her most well known work is from her 365 project. One word for her 365 project is BREATHTAKING. For any of you who may not know, a 365 project is where you take a photo every day for a year and showcase it for all to see. Rosie’s 365 project was based around self portraits and she wanted to do this project to improve her photography and post processing skills. Rosie’s talent improved so much and the results are out of this world. One of Rosie’s 365 pictures has even become the cover of Maroon 5’s latest album.
This has inspired me to start my own 365 project. I just feel that a project like this can help me with my camera skills and increase my knowledge of photoshop and Lightroom. This will be my project and I don’t want to just do self portraits. I want to take a step back and take pictures of anything that is close to my heart, stuff that’s happening in my life or anything that inspires me. Of course I will have to include some self portraits. I want it to be simple at times but then I also have plans to do many wacky things.
At times I think I must be crazy even thinking about taking up a project like this. I work full time, Paul works away from home most of the week and I have little Fearne who is only 18 months old. When on earth am I going to have time?
I do love a challenge!
I know I won’t be able to upload the pictures every night to begin with. I barely know how to use photoshop and I need Paul to sit with me all the time. This time a month or so ago I didn’t even know what ‘aperture or ISO’ were but I am slowly but surely learning.
I had all intentions of posting this blog on 01/01/2011 but that went to pot when Fearne, Paul and I got flu. Even after that I have still managed to take a picture every day and now we are on day 8. In the mean time I have managed to stumble across another photographer who is also taking up the 365 project. She has inspired me so much already. Alex Beadon is an upcoming London based photographer. This girl seriously does not need any practice. Her first week has already set a very high standard. I do not put my work on the same level as Alex but one day I would love to take a picture that people would class as equally as good as her work. I am determined to be as good as you Alex…Watch out!
I would love for people to comment on my pictures, even if you love or hate. This is going to be a massive learning curve and I would love for you all to share with me or even throw a few ideas my way…
Wish me good luck (I am going to need it!)
I am not feeling inspired today at all. I am ill and feeling sorry for myself so a picture of the things that I want to make me feel human again.