Sunday, 10 February 2019

Getting Back into Photography

2017 was the year I really got into photography. Since then, I have still had a love for taking photos, but my 'Triptych a week' project came to an abrupt end only a few weeks into 2018- life took over. 

I thought I'd pause from work and ask: what is it about photography and recording images that appeals to us as human beings? We all consume image after beautifully edited image on a daily, if not hourly basis, gorging our eyeballs on printed and online media. Yes, even I have succumbed to Instagram, despite not being a social media type- but I can't help but wonder whether this is partly to blame for the lack of 'proper' photography I have undertaken in the last year or so. Sure, taking a pretty or quirky photo on a phone and slapping on a filter looks nice and gets a couple of likes, but were these images a labour of love? No. Were minutes taken to compose said images, adjusting and balancing until they captured just the right tone? Because that's what I was doing when I took 'real' photos back in 2017.

Recently, I've thought about the nature of photography quite a bit. For Christmas, 2018, I received an Instax Mini 9, something I had my eye on for a while and was really thankful to be bought. If the constructing of a 'perfect', meaningful image is the joyful part of taking photos then Instamatic cameras or classic film photography is surely the ultimate? At around £1 a shot, the Instax photos are the antithesis to snapping away on a digital camera. Despite the attempt to construct aesthetic photos, to be blatantly honest, although sentimentally beautiful, the photos I have taken so far on my Instax camera have been pretty vile! It's going to be a case of experimentation for sure. The balancing of light and dark is something I am not yet skilled at, and the results have mostly been images of my huge, moon-face in the foreground of shots with family and friends, absorbing all light! Not attractive, but somewhat amusing and most definitely part of the fun! 

The main point of this random and sudden post after blog-silence for many months is to show a few photos I took today. I took out my latest (and embarrassingly unused) telephoto zoom lens (55-210mm F4.5-6.3). The results gave me the photography buzz again and I think it's interesting to note that the first place I am posting these photos are here, on my personal, quiet and under-the-radar blog; not on Twitter or Instagram, where I might get the odd few likes, but images are soon swallowed up in an endless feed of glossier, editorial images. The reality of the digital age is that nearly everything is consumed quickly and then disposed of and forgotten. Once upon a time photographs were cherished after we had them developed at Super Snaps; they were housed in albums, immortalised forever, passed on through generations: history. 

In whatever form we take our photos, photography- the true joy of photography- is about moments and memories; composing and crafting; narrative and nostalgia. 

That's my take on it anyway.

What do you think? What is the purpose of photography in your life?
Denial
Patrol









Gulls
Gerry
Beautiful Gerry
Bobbins
Timothy
  

Sunday, 2 September 2018

How to Maintain Ash Blonde Hair

I'm a brunette who started to go blonde last Summer and haven't looked back yet. I love my natural brown hair, but I wanted to try something new and have found being an ashy shade of blonde suits my colouring quite well after admiring it on others with similar a similar skin tone to me.

My original salon experience to add highlights was a disaster. Despite having gone lighter before with no issues, the bayalage I had done was not the greatest and the warm tones in my natural, un-dyed hair just didn't lift, even with a cool toner applied. I appreciate that going blonde is a process, but I was surprised how far from my goal colour I was due to my previous experience with bleaching.

Not one to give up, about eight weeks later I tried another salon and was really happy with the results. I used Olaplex as part of both my colours which stops the bleach damaging your hair as much. With fine hair like mine, I didn't want to take any risks of my hair breaking off which it no doubt would without the Olaplex. My new colour had some lowlights with an ashy blonde to create some texture to the colour. 

I've been getting highlights every three to four months since last Autumn and I'm really pleased with my current colour- most recently done by the lovely Emma at Kate Preston salon in Fareham. 

See my blonde evolution below and read on for how I try to maintain my colour at home.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Post-Summer/ Autumn Skincare Favourites

As the hot weather dwindles and there is the suggestion of colder spells ahead, I felt inspired to share some of my favourite Autumn/ Fall skincare products. I'm a strong believer in learning to 'read' your skin when choosing products or routines. Many of us are left with areas of pigmentation post-sun and perhaps drier skin types need a bit of nurturing as the temperature changes. These products help to brighten and nourish my drier, freckly complexion and make me feel ready to face those beautiful, chilly September days.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Triptych of the Week #10

Snowcat


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As a follow on from last week, here are some high contrast black and white shots of our cat, Maisie, in the snow. 

At two years old, she has never seen anything like this before and although she bravely explored, she didn't really like the freezing cold on her paws for very long.

As we haven't had proper snow in this part of the country for years, I was holding out for a time when I would get to photograph Maisie in it. She looked majestic contrasted against the white and I brought this out as much as possible in the bookend photos of the triptych using the black and white shoot mode on my camera.
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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Review: Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Nectar

I have a confession to make. After years of loving to wear the original Flowerbomb and rating it up 
there with the most glorious fragrances I've come across (even owning the body lotion), I've fallen out of the love with it somewhat... It's still a comforting, sensual, beautiful scent, but it's so popular that I seem to be smelling it everywhere. 

When the flanker, Bloom came out last year, I purchased it with my Boots Advantage points. This sweet, airy rendition of Flowerbomb is, I have to say, very lovely. I reviewed it against the original here, but needless to say, it is an enchanting Spring/ Summer scent which is not just a poor imitation of the original masterpiece. Nectar is equally as well done and I had to have it after I sprayed it on myself in a department store and was left with the ghost of it for many, many hours afterwards. As I had sprayed quite a few different things on myself that day, I was charmed to find that the distinctive Flowerbomb jasmine sambac and patchouli marriage at its heart shined through. It was a comforting, warm blend which made me realise that despite the original being frustratingly overplayed, I still absolutely love the blend of heart notes.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Cold Weather Skincare for Sensitive, Dry and Irritated Faces




My skin has been really feeling sorry for itself of late. Just before the snowy weather hit the UK, I started to suffer a backlash from the chemical exfoliating I had been doing. Usually, I'm quite in tune with how much my skin can take, but I didn't factor in the cold weather which had sensitised my face. When I started having flushed red cheeks and dry, flaky patches, I knew it was time to whip out my old faithful: La Roche Posay's Cicaplast cream. 

Triptych of the Week #9

Snowday 2


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Its now all gone, but in the South of the UK we had the most amazing couple of days of snow on Thursday and Friday. Fancy it being Spring and having snow! It caused havoc nationwide on the roads and many businesses struggled to open. We just aren't prepared for snow in this country; it's such a rare occurrence, particularly in Hampshire. Every time there's been snow over the last few years, we've failed to see any lay where I live, so this was very exciting.

We got two days off work as the schools can't open when the site is unsafe. We frolicked in the snow, went walking about and even made a roast dinner! It has been the most amazing gift. It made me feel so thankful for life- and particularly grateful for the privileges I have. Some are not so lucky.

Black and white mode was used a lot in my snow photography. As you may know, we have a gorgeous black cat, so she looked amazing in contrast with the white. I used 'pop colour' mode for the roast- and doesn't it look like the most delicious dinner you've ever seen. It was hot and delicious and we felt like kings being off work and eating the type of meal we usually reserve for special occasions.

What did you do in the snow?
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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Triptych of the Week #8

Twosomes
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As a follow on from last week, here are some more photos from a trip to Lulworth Cove in Dorset a week ago. 

The hill pictured in the first shot felt like a mountain! It's a steep incline and a great workout. You can walk down to Durdle Door, which is what we did. The ducks in the second photo are shot in 'colour pop' mode on the Sony A5000. I love ducks in general and I often photograph them; this image is particularly pleasing in terms of composition and colours- I say this because sometimes the camera doesn't do these beautiful animals justice.

The final picture of Lulworth Cove was taken whilst waiting for cheeseburgers at the mobile van nearby. We'd done our walking and were about to get on the road. This father and son were a lovely subject matter against the backdrop. I wish I'd got more skyline in.
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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Triptych of the Week #7

Coastal Trip
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We had a lovely day trip Lulworth Cove in Dorset this half term break. Here are some coastal-themed offerings from the day.

It was a surprisingly sunny February day, but still with a chilly edge. I composed this triptych of colourful offerings and some texture shots. Shooting with my wider angle zoom lens was probably not the best for the middle photo which would have been a bit crisper with a wider aperture. Nevertheless, the overall triptych is pleasing enough.

I'd highly recommend a trip to this area, whether you're a family or with friends. It was the 'pick me up' we needed at this time of year and the walks offered some much-needed exercise and challenge (expect to be climbing steep hills for the most beautiful views). Tourists are well catered for and it was very busy even at this time of year. There are some also quaint cottages leading to the beach which are fantastic photo opportunities; a fish and chip cafe; a nice gift shop and other little places to buy souvenirs. I took some more shots of the views and Durdle Door, so more to follow next week...
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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Triptych of the Week #6


Riversides

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I took these photos on Christmas Eve 2017 on a walk around the park. They are all shots of the River Medway in Tonbridge, Kent. 

I brought out the colours by shooting in 'Colour Pop' mode and managed to capture some reflections in the water.

These images capture a stillness and silence, revealing something about the secret lives of those who live by the river.
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