Thursday, 27 November 2014

Taking blog photos in winter low light

It's something every blogger hates. The fact you have just charged your camera, got dressed for outfit photos, prepare products to photograph. Then it rains, it gets dark quick or just life gets in the way of the fact when you get home it's too dark to take photos. 
Over the few years that I've blogged, I've found a few handy ways of cheating that pesky weather of stopping me getting photo's taken!

I made a post 2 years ago now (wow) of a handy little tool that I think every blogger would find incredibly handy, post link here. But when I sat and thought about it on one of those commuting mornings on the train, I realised there's quite a few ways round that I try to take photographs for this little blog, therefore here is this post! 

1. Bulk photograph
Pretty standard for people to say, but one that I used to do a lot. Last year when I knew I would be distracted with college work, I collected up products I intended to write a post about and took all of the photos on a day the sunshine was perfect for taking photos. It meant I can then just transfer them all to my laptop and edit when I had a few minutes spare. This is also great for when winter hits, with it getting dark earlier and earlier, it's handy to bulk photograph when the mid-day sun is providing you with good light.

2. Tip the light
I 100% despise using flash, at a l l. That is unless I bounce it off of something such as a neutral coloured ceiling or wall. You can also place a piece of paper behind the flash to bounce it also, or instead I also use this tool (the same thing as the 'Lightscoop') Bouncing the flash is quite effective when it works and can be un-detected in the final photograph. 

This little tool (link here) saved my booty many times a few years ago, I don't use it as much as I used to, as I now have my light boxes and find those a lot more reliable with neutralising the colours. This is due to the bulb. But anyway, all about that in a second! But before the good old lighting, I used to use this. When I bought mine it only cost around £4, £4 well spent in my eyes as I was able to still take my photographs when I was up in my insomniac state or when I got in late from class. It gives you the ability to take photos in a pitch black room without having your photos affected. I go in to it more in depth of how it works and why I like this little tool within the post here if you want to read more about it. 

3. Settings 
This is for those who can edit their camera settings manually. Auto is great if you're not that clued up, but you'll be surprised what a big effect manually changing your settings to the preference of what you're shooting will leave you with. 
Many cameras come with instructions on manually setting it up. I find increasing the ISO helps, as this lets in more light to the sensor, using a wider aperture and changing the shutter speed.

Show me the light
I invested in softboxes last year for various reasons and love them! They are so bright but just perfect for getting a professional light photograph. They're so bright in-fact my room glows when I'm using them, goodness knows what the neighbours think. 
Do note the different type of bulb you choose to use, if you don't wish to use a softbox can effect the colour and warmth of the image. 

Catch the golden hour 
This tends to be when it's been a sunny day, rare in these dark, gloomy winter days, but something I wanted to add in. I've previously taken beautiful images of other people at golden hour as the sun is setting, it's even nicer of an effect if you get extra bokeh and blur of the sun. 
Against usual "photography rules" it looks lovely with the sun behind the thing you are photographing, it can often look like a silhouette if you catch it at the wrong time however, play about and see what you like! 

Of course, you can tweak the images after you've taken them using an editing programme. I tend to not do too much to mine photo's, unless they need a little more brightness/contrast etc. 
I also like to use curves, you can edit the amount of red, blue, yellow etc in the image. I sometimes find if I shoot infront of the fence above, it can make images come out slightly red tinted so I neutralise it with a hint of blue. Of course you can edit as much as you want depending on preference, but sometimes there's only so much editing can do.

Just thought I would do a basic outline of how I approach my photography, I may go more in-depth with equipment, lenses etc as they make a huge difference!

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Monday, 3 November 2014

Asos applique triangle bra

I'm actually a huge lover of lingerie and underwear, although it's never found itself on my blog before now. I thought I'd share my favourite set I recently picked up (well, I got it 2 months ago and forgot to blog, but never mind). I'm pretty fussy with bras usually, so when I find ones I genuinely like, it's a shocker. 

Sometimes it can feel a bit of a chore to have to wear a bra, but I've found the perfect 'lazy bra' in this Asos applique bra. I saw it online and fell in love so decided to order it. 
I had a promo code, so this set only came to £19! I personally think that's quite a bargain for a set that looks like it costs a lot more. I've been known to spent triple that before, ugh. 
I also love and have my eye on thisthis and this one!

I loved the 'triangle' bra trend, but never really thought my 'in the middle sized' boobs would suit it. 

Triangle bras are generally aimed at smaller chested girls because of the shape, the tend to just cover over. For anyone thinking about this bra or similar from Asos, I feel like I just about get away with wearing it, I wouldn't class myself as small chested but I'm no where near big chested either, I'm rather in the middle. It isn't a 'supportive' bra in the slightest, due to the band and the fact the fabric is super sheer, which is why I think bigger boobed ladies may find this bra slightly annoying. 

Applique vine bra here - £16 & £8

It's actually nice because you can wear it as a 'lazy day' instead of your usual boned bra but still look rather hot, if you do get run over by a bus and show your underwear. The added thong bottoms adds to the hot factor of this set. Yes I did say 'hot factor'. I love the double band addition of it, when it's on it really gives it that extra kick with the extra band. You can see the effect better on the Asos model.

Of course the point of this bra is to look like you're wearing nothing but the applique flowers across your rather personal areas. I love this, I'm super pale so you can still see the fabric slightly, but in the dark from afar it does look really effective. It reminds me of something you would see in a higher end lingerie retailer. It's rare high street underwear has that 'double band' sexy addition, it's generally just the standard band, I think that would be my favourite part of this set, along with the applique details.

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Life lately #002

Bonjour all. I start this with 'bonjour' as I would much rather find myself in Paris like this time last year, sigh. Instead I am currently dosed up on tablets, snuggled in bed and suffering from tonsillitis.  

I realised I done this type of post this time last month, and with my schedule being hectic recently I thought I would update and try to get some posts up.
If you want to stay updated, I still tweet (a lot) and Instagram here and here as @sjmwell 

Lucky old me got the 'sore mouth' on my birthday and being as busy as I am, just took some paracetamol, thought nothing of it and drove down to Norwich. Yep, bad idea- waking up un-able to breathe miles from home was scary. 

I attended a university open day like the mad person I am. With no voice and my throat swelling up, I rushed home for an emergency doctors appointment which confirmed it. Super bad timing, as my boyfriend was also travelling down to celebrate my birthday with me the same day. Not sure me being in my pj's in bed with barely a voice, was what we had planned to celebrate, but I'm actually so happy he was there. Update. He then traveled back to Cambridge, went to Hospital. I have now given him my tonsillitis. Oh my guy's. 

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As I mentioned in my last update post, I've attended a couple more open days. My poor little car is doing some miles up and down the motorway. This week is when I took the leap and confirmed my choices and applied through UCAS, Monday morning I sent off my choices and it's done! aaah! (blog post here) With their decision possibly changing my life, pretty scary and nerve wracking stuff. I actually intend to post some university based posts up here as I go along the journey, to also help anyone else out.

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After being stuck in bed sleeping for most of the last few days, I finally have my voice back and starting to feel a bit better, well... A lot compared to last week! Luckily and un-luckily, it's my half term off college, so I've spent it sick in bed, at-least I can rest and not waste days off! 

Hope you are all well and will try to have some posts up soon!

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Monday, 27 October 2014

UCAS // My first step to University

University has been at the forefront of pretty much my life recently. Open days, portfolio ideas, coursework, all of it! 

Today, I sent off my UCAS application.  I was intuitively awake at 5.30 and watching the news, waiting until UCAS re-opened the site up at 8am. 

I am now on tender hooks awaiting a response. Then again, until I'm moved in somewhere i.e my first choice I shall be.  One which I will not be hearing about for a while yet. I am now £23 lighter for the privilege and utterly anxious at the thought of my life being in the hands of the Universities. 

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To be honest, I feel like 15 year old me would be both shocked and incredibly proud at even applying. To think a few years ago my illness prevented me from attending college, stressing myself out thinking about my future educational path, to where I am now baffles me. I didn't even think as far to University until of late! 

 "If you had to drop out of a class you are not a failure,
if you had to take time off school you are not a failure, if you had to leave school for good you are not a failure, your worth is not determined by academia and this goes doubly so for disabled people and others for whom school is set against them"

I'm both excited, nervous and absolutely anxious at the thought of it all. I just hope, hope, hope I have the opportunity to attend an interview and prove myself, who knows! 

I feel like since last year, I've had a complete 180' thought process change about how I view education. I was very negative about the effect it had on me as a mid teen and couldn't wait to leave and run from it asap. But, now it actually excites me and I'm aiming for all my top grades. Amusingly and handily, the amount of stress has yet to effect my motivation to get my work done well, so here goes guy's. Lets do this. 

I guess I should mention what I intend to study, for anyone wondering. I intend to study Graphic Design. 

As mentioned, I will highly likely be documenting this turbulent journey to University and some posts that may help fellow freshers to be! 
For everyone else in the same boat as me, I wish you so much luck and I'm so excited for everyone to get their choices they wish! 


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Please email me before using my image's anywhere else and link back to my blog.