Happy Easter!!

I’m back in England now for a little while, just got back a few hours ago. This is the last picture I took before I left Spain – just a quickie with the phone this time!

Easter bun buns

For those “in the know” you can probably tell by the caption on the photo that this is a Snapchat photo.  I am normally pretty slow to pick up on new fads or ideas. I like to think of myself as bucking the trends and not following the crowd whenever a new sensation is out there. For example, I shunned all the Lord of The Rings films for about five years after they were released, pretty sure that I would not like them even if the rest of the world did. Then, one day I watched the first one. And got hooked. Loved them. So much so that I even read the book as well. So to get back to the point. I keep hearing about Snapchat and again had shunned it, wasn’t interested in downloading it. You get the idea. Until today. I gave in. I downloaded it and have my own life story on it already! I have to say though, although it’s quick and easy, it’s just a bit of fun and I don’t like the fact that you don’t get to look back on the photos that you take. For those that don’t know, you take a picture or short video and send it to one or more of your contacts. Once they have viewed it (for up to ten seconds, you can choose the time it is viewable for) they cannot view it again. It’s gone. No memories are created. Which, in all honesty, if it’s being used by kids and drunk teenagers in bars and clubs, could very well be the best thing. But me, I like to create memories and look back at them whenever I want to, so while I may use Snapchat now and then I certainly won’t be giving up my Nikon and trusty memory card anytime soon.

This post was going to be about Easter and now it’s turned out to be all about ten second photos. Well let me tell you that I have consumed all the bunnies that you can see in the above photo, and I am going to be starting my new healthy eating regime tomorrow. I’m going to order that juicer as well and cannot wait to get my hands on that!

Well, I hope you all had a great Easter or if you do not celebrate Easter then I hope you had a great weekend!

Anna x

Mmmm, Oreo Cheesecake!

I was recently asked to do some product photography for a local baker / cook who has been making awesome cheesecakes in any flavour you can imagine. I was lucky enough to get to sample a couple and I tried the Oreo cheesecake and the Malteser one. Although Oreo cookies are my all time favourite cookie, the Malteser cheesecake was the best, full of scrummy malty chocolately goodness.  Here are just a couple of pics from the shoot (of the Oreo cheesecake), the rest are still to be edited.

cheesecake

cheesecake2

Do they look good to you?! Scoffing the cheesecakes reminded me how unhealthy I have been recently. I have been away from home for almost two months and when I am away I eat out a lot or snack on convenience food, anything I can pick up as I go along. I’ve noticed that I have started to feel lethargic and not as spritely as I used to. Getting out of bed in the morning is more of a chore than it has ever been. I think part of the problem is sitting at the computer for so long editing photos. Last night in the hotel, in between editing pics of cheesecakes (!) I decided to try and find ways I can start to be more healthy and look after myself better than I have been. I looked at some juicer reviews and have decided that when I get home I will treat myself to a juicer. I’ve read a lot about juicing before and it really appeals to me as a way to get a quick and pretty much instant hit of fruit and veg without actually having to cook it. When I am at home, if I am not at the computer then I am normally way too tired to think about cooking. So yeah, juicing appeals in more ways than one. Looking at some recipes for juicing too made me realise that I can include things I wouldn’t normally eat – such as beetroot. A lot of the recipes have ginger in – good for digestion I think? – but I am not keen on ginger so will just experiment with different combos. Do any of you juice? Can you recommend a juicer or a recipe? I read that juices don’t last that long so have to be drunk pretty much straight away  – I figured you could freeze them though, right?

I am in Spain for a little while longer then will be heading back to England for a bit and if I embark on my new healthy eating plan I’ll try and keep you up to date! Any suggestions about how to keep healthy while travelling would be readily received as well. I guess it is back to the editing for a while now so I will sign off for now. Over the next few days I am joining a “photo walk” so hope to have some new photos to show you. I was meant to be on way today, in a town called Calpe but the sea mist was unbelievable – you could not even see the sea! Hoping that will clear for tomorrow. See you all soon.

Anna x

Valencia Fallas

I had the fortune of being invited along to the annual “fallas” in Valencia with some friends last year. Amazing photo opportunities at every corner. Here is just a very small selection of some of them. These paper maché figures or “fallas” are lovingly hand crafted, often taking a whole year to make – hand painted and everything, and then burned! Yes, burned. It’s a Spanish thing. And rather wonderful it was too. I would highly recommend you pay a visit to this annual festival, the atmosphere is electric and the Spanish really know how to throw a party! Just go prepared for a late night, and watch out for pickpockets in the huge crowds – my friend had her phone taken :( But apart from that, it was an incredible experience.

Some photos of the Fallas, March 2013.

 

fallas_fb22 fallas_fb23fallas_fb43 fallas_fb24 fallas_fb29 fallas_fb30fallas_fb21

Moving On to the D7000

Ok, so after the D5000 had served me well for a couple of years I decided I was ready to take the next step and invest some money into a newer model.

This is what I got!

d7000

The Nikon (yes I was, and still am a Nikon fan) D7000. Slightly bigger, and slightly better (of course!) than the D5000 as you can see clearly in this side by side pic:

 

compare

The D7000 is a 16.2 megapixel camera, whereas the D5000 is 12.3 megapixel. Don’t get me wrong, you can still get awesome photos out of the D5000, it’s superb but I felt I needed a push to keep going so well, I treated myself. I had some of my images picked up by Getty Images and they were all taken with the D5000. Can you tell I feel loyal towards it? To be honest since getting the D7000 I had a bit of a flourish and then I have not used it so much…..anyway, I digress.

The D7000 has amazing focusing capabilities and it can shoot HD video, which I wasn’t so fussed about as I just do not do video.

One of the other reasons I went for the D7000 is because it is capable of taking AF lenses, and not just AF-S like the D5000. You can pick up older 50mm AF lenses pretty cheap if you are lucky and I had my eye on one for ages.  Never did get it.

The D7000 has a huge ISO range on it, going right up to 25,600 – this basically means you can shoot in lower light conditions than you would normally be able to do.

Honestly, for most people the advantages of the D7000 over the D5000 are not enough to make that jump, you would be better off going to something like the D700 – but that is a full frame camera and I was not ready for that big a step just yet. The biggest thing you could do, if you have the D5000, is to invest your money into a good lens. When I got the D7000 I also got a new lens – well, I was really trying to cheer myself up and get back in the game!

I got…..the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8!!   I was SO excited about this lens. This is like my car, it’s like my pride and joy. And it cost me more than the camera did. Yes, it is a high end Nikon lens and it cost me into four figures. It’s a zoom lens, obviously with the range 24-70mm. The large aperture on this lens means again that shooting in low light conditions is made easier. I just absolutely love this lens and the bokeh you can get on it is great – although, NOT as great as some of the prime lenses I have to say. I’m not sure you can beat those for that dreamy bokeh. I’ll go into bokeh as well as f-stops and ISO and more in my next post.

Thanks for taking the time to read!

Anna x

Getting Started With Photography

So as I said in my about me page, I really prefer to be behind the camera and not in front of it. To call it a phobia isn’t really too strong a word either! I hate it, I really really do. If you came to my house – hey, or even my parents – you would be hard pushed to find a photo of me over the age of about 13, when I started to assert my ability to say the word “No!”.

I don’t know what started this inane “fear” – I never really like any photos of me, perhaps it’s because I have such high standards and therefore can always see room for improvement!

I started taking photos back when APS cameras were all the rage . They were the next step up from the traditional rolls of film and were introduced in 1996 and are not in use anymore, showing my age now! I still have rather a large amount of APS boxes of developed photos in my garage. I had a Fuji Finepix camera, I forget the exact model now but I loved it. It was silver and compact and took great photos. Those were the days before I knew anything about RAW shooting and developing the photos yourself.

The next camera I got was a little compact Kodak with a zoom – it was like a little D-SLR only you could not change the lens. Now I thought I loved the Fuji, but I really loved the Kodak. It was about then that I really started to think about pursuing photography as more than just a hobby. Again, spending most of the time at the business end of the camera, I started to get a lot of compliments on my photos and thought maybe, just maybe I have an eye for it as well as the enthusiasm. I had been the least artiest person at school that I knew, and could not draw a bowl of apples to save my life, but with a camera in my hand I could see what made good photos – the composure – and my trusty camera made it easy for me. I had that Kodak for years and it was well loved but a little battered and bruised when it came to part company – I actually sold it, and looking back maybe I should have kept it for prosperity’s sake.

Anyway, I moved on to bigger, and better, and heavier things. My next camera was a proper D-SLR. I treated myself to a Nikon D5000.

nikon-d5000

It came with the 18-54mm kit lens and BOY! It made my trusty Kodak look SO small! And light. The D5000 was a beast next to the K. I loved the D5000, I actually read the manual, and that is something I hardly ever do! It became time for me to take my photography up a step and learn about such things like ISO, f-stops and shutter speeds – I will go into this in my next post if you are not sure what they are or how to use them.

But the D5000 isn’t my current camera! Oh no, that has also been replaced. I’ll tell you about my current kit another time. See you soon!

Anna x