Getting Lost Up Ben Lomond

Continuing on from our coffee adventure, Laura turned 25 and wanted to get lost up a mountain. That we did. I’m not an experienced outdoorsy person, which I proved by getting lost before we’d even stepped foot outside of my car. Within an hour of our walk, we had accidentally veered off the beaten path, yet continued to ascend Ben Lomond through the rockiest, roughest terrain. It was a workout!

Laura took a keen interest in her surroundings, interacting with nature, investigating mushrooms and making friends with hairy caterpillars. I, on the other hand, was more interested in taking photos. Of course, none of them really could do the wonderful views justice.

 
 

Glasgow Coffee Tour

It’s Laura‘s first visit to Glasgow, and with our combined interest in coffee and cameras, I had to take her on a tour of the independent espresso bars we have on offer. What followed was an afternoon of sampling coffee, photographing coffee, eating cake with our coffee, and tasting yet more coffee… I can’t think of anything more perfect, can you?

The photos are in chronological order.

Riverhill Coffee Bar

Riverhill is new on my radar. I’m disappointed it’s taken me this long to sample their delicious coffee, and equally delicious food. I had a tuna and fennel sandwich alongside a cappuccino, both of which got our tour off to a perfect start. Free WIFI, gourmet sandwiches and great coffee, the only downside is the sheer busyness of the place. Because it’s so small, I felt pressured to leave before I was ready, simply to free my seat for somebody else. It’s definitely not the kind of place you could sit in all day with a laptop and crank out some work, but—with its central location—it’s perfect for a quick caffeine boost and bite to eat.

Laboratorio Espresso

This is my go-to haunt for city centre coffee. I love the industrial, minimalist decor. Laboratorio Espresso is definitely quieter and slower paced than Riverhill, which might initially mean it feels lacking in ambience. However, a coffee shop without a mad rush is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon sampling different blends. Oh, and the floor-to-ceiling windows letting in an abundance of natural light makes for great photographs of your lunch. The staff also generously gave us recommendations, not only of what different blends we should try, but what other coffee shops are worth a visit.

Pena

After three cups of coffee in quick succession, we were fed up of caffeine and feeling twitchy. Recommended to us by the staff at Laboratorio Espresso, we decided we had one more coffee in us and headed to Pena. Tucked down a lane in the West End is an understated coffee shop coated in artificial grass. Inside is equally… unique, with the cheap, colourful chairs and tables reminiscent of a primary school cafeteria. I like my luxuries, so I wasn’t overly impressed with this set-up—it felt more like a pop-up shop than an espresso bar, but it seems to be a hit with the locals. We sat outside in the Autumn air and ordered a vegetarian toastie to share (very tasty) and a Bulletproof coffee (made with coconut oil and grass-fed cows milk butter). Personally, I won’t be rushing back to Pena. With Artisan Roast just a few steps from here, I’ll save my West End hit for that.

P.S. Only 24 hours left to support Whosit & Whatsit!

 
 

York

On Sunday, I drove the 200+ miles to York for a photography job. I spent most of the day in Bytemark‘s office, meaning I got to see very little of the city for myself, but from what I did see, York is absolutely stunning in the autumn time.

I stocked up on an unusual array of beers (ones we can’t get in Glasgow, which is surprising given we’re known for our drinking), took a morning stroll along the canal, and generally marvelled at the beautiful buildings and quaint streets.

The following day I travelled to Manchester to visit Bytemark’s Mancunian office, but was met with horrendous weather. It’s only the second time I’ve visited Manchester, but both times I’ve …

 
 

My Two Loves

A deli board and red wine. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Monday afternoon. This was taken a few months back, when my friend (Lindsay, pictured) and I visited Manchester for one day. We were on the hunt for a deli board and came across Wood, a deli and wine bar in The Northern Quarter. It was perfection. These were the only two frames I shot in Manchester. As much as I loved the food and drink, the city didn’t excite my eyeballs enough.

 
 

Photography Workshop With Girl With A Camera

I have some exciting news! I’ll be hosting two photography workshops in Whosit & Whatsit‘s new space in Newcastle in the first quarter of 2015 (wow, feels odd to say that). If you own a dSLR but still shoot on auto, this workshop is for you. I used to be one of those people, too!

You can select which date you want from the Indiegogo campaign (7th of February or 14th of March).

I’ll be covering photography basics (the technical stuff ), my personal approach to taking photos (things I’ve learned), recommended tools (what I use every day),  and post-processing.

It also includes a photo walk around Newcastle, so get on it!

 
 

Ethiopia Tchembe

A couple of years back, I invested in a Nespresso machine. I was struggling to get out of bed (bed is good), and wanted a coffee machine that produced such excellent coffee, I’d be excited about getting out of bed in the morning. Now I’ve come to think Nespresso tastes like glorified instant. The real deal is my AeroPress, which cost a measly 20 bucks. I’ve been going to my local espresso bar, who roast their own beans, for a top-up. Today they recommended Ethiopia Tchembe based on the fact I drink my coffee black. It tastes just as good as it smells.

 
 

Referendum Day

I missed all of the fun in George Square yesterday, but—while visiting Mark for what will be the last time ever (he’s moving to Amsterdam next week!)—I equipped my street photography kit and tried to capture some action. There wasn’t much. I think everybody’s exhausted.

Honestly, it’s difficult to describe how it’s felt living in the heart of Glasgow the past few weeks in the build-up to the referendum. It’s been full of passion, excitement, division and tension. It’s been a mixture of things, from one extreme to the other.

I’m sick of talking about it now, so here are a couple of pictures of people in kilts with Yes stickers.

 
 

AeroPress and Doughnuts

After Paddy recommended I buy an AeroPress, I went to my local espresso bar and bought one (alongside some of their freshly ground beans). I also happen to have a few Krispy Kreme doughnuts kicking about after a visit to Edinburgh yesterday to check out wedding venues with my sister (she’s getting married, not me). Man, there is nothing better than the smell of a fresh batch of coffee.

 
 

PlayMaker

These past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of photographing up and coming singer / songwriter, James Hopkins (aka PlayMaker). His tune, One More Night, has been stuck in my head since I first heard it. I’m going to try and catch his big launch gig at O2′s ABC in Glasgow this winter, ‘cos I think this boy is onto something.

 
 

Sheryl In The Abandonded Biscuit Factory

I’ve been busy. I only have two weddings left to shoot this year, and I’ve picked up some other work along the way, as well as continuing to photograph my friends—including Sheryl. I’ve been using Pixieset to deliver client photos lately, switching over from Dropbox. I just upgraded my account today, in fact. I’ve been banging on about it for a fair bit on Twitter, so it’d be safe to assume I’m on the engineering team or something, but nope, I just really like it.

My next update I’ll be sharing images from a recent shoot with an up and coming singer / songwriter. He’s only 17, but I’ve had a lot of fun photographing him over the past …

 
 
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