Seven Days of Self

If you look through my Flickr stream, you will see that since 2009 only a handful of the photos I’ve taken have been self portraits. Generally I avoid being in front of the camera (unless it’s Instagram, but those filters seemingly make anything forgiving). I find self portraits too finicky, and they usually result in me hating my face or body. Basically, self portraits are not my favourite form of photography to explore.

Occasionally, though, Rick and I talk about the need for a project that coerces us to pick up our cameras. Enter Seven Days of Self, a mini project that involved us taking a self portrait for 7 days. Simple. But this time we had people vote on themes, which were decided on the day. This generally left little time to plan and get the shot out there. By the way, I never have worked well under pressure.

Here are some facts:

  • One photo shot with the 45mm
  • Two photos shot with the 28mm
  • Four photos shot with the 50mm (my favourite lens)
  • ‘Apocalypse’ was my least favourite shot, despite how much the theme excited me
  • ‘Trust’ was my most well received photo
  • This is how Trust was shot
  • I got a cold after shooting ‘Wet’, so shut the fuck up when you say I wasn’t wet enough
  • Only two of my preferred themes were chosen out of the entire seven days
  • I got to learn some new Photoshop stuff
  • Photos were shot in the city centre, Merchant City, west end and the south side of Glasgow
  • Three pretty dresses were worn; one red, one green and one floral, and this was probably my favourite part of the whole project (getting to wear dresses)
  • The gun in the Apocalypse shot was for the original PlayStation
  • I did conceptual photography for the first time ever, and I’ll probably do it again
  • This has put me off doing a Project 50

Rick and I didn’t discuss the concepts in any detail, so we didn’t have much of an idea what each other were shooting. This made the big reveal quite interesting, and they always turned out so differently.

Here are the themes from all seven days. If you click on them it will take you to my Flickr, where there is a more in-depth description of each photo.

  1. My Other Life
  2. Apocalypse
  3. Trust
  4. Wet
  5. Illusion
  6. Desire
  7. Motion

Thank you to everyone who voted! Despite not loving some of my shots, I think the project was a success based on the reactions of other people and how involved some of you got, not to mention that it encouraged me to attempt something a little different.

I’ve also included Rick’s photos from the project here. It is pretty obvious which ones are his ‘cos he has a beard.

 
 

Wednesday Mojitos

How did this happen? It’s Wednesday. I shouldn’t be drinking. Or eating crisps. My friend is a bad influence. I’m going to the cinema in 30 minutes. How am I ever going to concentrate on American Pie?

 
 

Floppy Hats and Horse Feeding

Summer came over the weekend. In true Scottish style it has now gone, but I still got to play in it with Kaitlin. I’ve known this girl since the day she was born and she’s now a grown up 17 year old. This makes me feel old.

We headed to my old neck of the woods, Inverkip, and shot around the pontoons and on the beach. The sun was too harsh, meaning I’ve discarded a lot of the photos. Everyone kept saying “It’s a great day to take photos”, but I prefer when it’s a bit shady.

I photographed Kaitlin over a year ago for my sister’s make-up palette. Time flies!

 
 

Lindsay Connolly

Tomorrow I am photographing Lindsay’s sister, Kaitlin. I photographed Kaitlin – who is an aspiring model – a year ago for my sister’s make-up palette, Little Black Book. My mind hasn’t been on photography at all this week, so it will be nice to step away from my computer and hopefully get the creative juices flowing.

 
 

Kelvingrove Museum

This week has been heavy and intense and busy and at 4.30pm today I looked up from my computer and thought “Shit, I need some social interaction”. Two other friends had blown me off, which set my craving for some company into overdrive. It was “taps aff” in Glasgow, so Lindsay and I grabbed a coffee or two at Kelvingrove and enjoyed the sun and some random banter with the locals. Love Glasgow.

 
 

Nectarine Cheesecake

Shona is like my own personal Rachel Khoo, except she bakes in my big Glasgow kitchen as opposed to a little Paris kitchen. This time Shona made a nectarine cheesecake, which suited me as nectarines are one of my favourite fruits. She also topped it off with almonds, but worry not, I’ve included the full recipe below.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 3 large nectarines
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Approximately 200g of caster sugar
  • 225g cream cheese
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • Approximately half a pack of crushed digestive biscuits (leaving the other half for Ashley to eat)
  • Approximately 100g melted butter
  • Flaked almonds

And here’s the recipe:

  • Melt the butter on low heat on the hob
  • Meanwhile crush the buscuits (a hammer is overkill, maybe, but it feels good) and place in a round baking tin
  • Pour the melted butter onto the biscuits and mix until combined, then pat down until the mixture covers the bottom of the tin
  • Place tin in the fridge to allow the cheesecake base to firm up
  • Chop the nectarines into rough chunks and place in a pot with half of the sugar and the water on medium heat
  • Cook until the nectarines are soft, remove from the heat then blend to a puree and set aside
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and remaining sugar. When combined, add the whipping cream and whisk until thickened
  • Remove the tin from the fridge and spread the cheese mixture onto the biscuit base. Fold in the cooled nectarine mix (swirl to get a marbled effect) and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top
  • Return to the fridge until cooled and firm, then serve and enjoy a sugar coma
 
 

A Glasgow Tradition

I guarantee you that every time you pass the Duke of Wellington statue at Royal Exchange Square, there will be a traffic cone atop its head. It has become a Glasgow landmark. As Wikipedia puts it: “Capping the statue with a traffic cone has become a traditional practice in the city, claimed to represent the humour of the local population and believed to date back to the first half of the 1980s if not before.”

 
 

A Quick Look At My Workflow

I’ve started taking photography questions on Formspring, and one of the questions was what my workflow looks like “from camera to Aperture”. I uploaded a quick screencast on my workflow to Vimeo if anyone is interested in checking it out.

 
 

Kay Slater on Newark Street

I first met Kay in February when I was shooting for Parma Vintage on Asos Marketplace. We swapped details so we could do a proper shoot at a later date, and that time came yesterday. I headed to Newark Street in Greenock where the Cherry Blossom trees are in full bloom and the properties are old, Victorian buildings. Basically, it’s a pretty sweet location to shoot with a lot of surroundings to utilise.

Yesterday was a pleasant reminder why I love photography.

 
 

Murray and Aly’s Engagement

I’m super excited to be shooting Murray and Alyson’s wedding this summer. Murray and I first crossed paths in 2009, back when I picked up my first dSLR and started seriously playing with it. We’ve kept in touch over Facebook, Flickr and the like, and I’m chuffed he thinks my photography has developed enough to have me shoot his wedding. I don’t need to tell him this, although I already did, but Alyson is an absolute keeper. Best of luck guys, see you in June (and no farting at the wedding, Murray).

 
 
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