What’s In My Bag

MacBook Pro, Kindle (and case my sister made), passport, Prague travel book (because I’ll be there on Thursday!), Moleskine diary so I can keep my life relatively organised, Pacman Moleskine where all my ideas and thoughts and lists go, Caffè Nero loyalty card for those Chai Lattes I drink, Zombrex pen from the special edition of Dead Rising 2, Bose headphones because I listen to a lot of music. What’s in your bag?

 
 

Kilmacolm

Ryan and I headed towards Inverclyde for some photo ops and randomly stopped off at Kilmacolm. I had never been before, but there were a few good spots for photos. Some of the shops were quite quaint and a few walls had nice textures / colour, but other than that there really wasn’t much going on.

I’ve had a bit of criticism lately with how much I’ve been using my tilt shift lens, so I tried keeping that to a minimum, but it’s a lens I want to get a lot of practice with before wedding season begins (it’s manual focus only, and generally a tricky beast to nail the shot you want). I did use its shift function, though, to take three landscape shots and stitch them together. I’ll be doing more of that.

 
 

My 25th Birthday

I have to admit, I wasn’t overly excited about turning 25. Quite the opposite, in fact. For as long as I can remember – because somebody told me so – 25 is the age I’ve associated with slowing metabolism and ageing skin. It’s all very dramatic. In the end, though, my friend Gary said “What’s so bad about turning 25? You’ve got good friends, you don’t have a broken heart, and you’re in good shape”, and he was absolutely right.

I thought long and hard about how I wanted to celebrate my birthday; go-karting? Ice cream? My favourite meal of mashed potatos with mashed potatos and mashed potatos? In the end I settled on a road trip, because I love nothing more than exploring with my camera. So we filled the tank with petrol, put The Beatles on repeat, bought a ton of sugary foods and headed to Fort Augustus in the Scottish Highlands. Magic.

 
 

Lyle Hill

On my way to the dentist this morning, I purposely took my camera so I could stop off at Lyle Hill and take some photos. Lyle Hill overlooks Gourock and is – whatever the weather – undoubtedly a beautiful place. One thing I’ve realised about myself is that I enjoy being up high. I like being high. It makes me feel at peace, and any issues with my business or crazy ex-boyfriends feels far away, almost non-existent. I’m going to spend more of my life being up high, okay?

Also, I enquired about straightening out my vampire teeth at the dentist. The guy said you can get adult braces that are barely visible and only need worn for 6 months. This made me very excited until he mentioned they are £2500. Suddenly I am okay with my vampire teeth.

 
 

Naconf

Gathering interesting people who are great at what they do and speak passionately about something they love is a recipe for inspiration. That is what keeps me, the insurance broker, coming back to these conferences. I wasn’t as snap happy this time, and I didn’t see as much of Nottingham as I had wanted. When Friday arrived, which was when I was hoping to explore, it was overcast and I had a groggy head and depressed feet.

The conference itself did exactly what I had hoped it would do – made me excited about work. Recently I have felt in a difficult place with work, something I can attribute to almost 7 years working from home on my own, which only recently has driven me insane. Attending New Adventures reinforced that this is something I need to change, so if anyone knows of a nice, shared office space in central Glasgow, please do let me know! I’m open to suggestions.

Anyway, back to Nottingham. Rick and I visited Hooters on the first night and gorged on stodgy food. I thought about getting a boob job. Nottingham people think I’m Irish. This city still has the best Japanese restaurant I’ve been to (I will drive the 5 and a half hours just to eat here. Maybe). I talked about how I want to get into yoga while drinking a pint of cider. Good coffee is hard to find in Nottingham. Frank Chimero intrigues me. My hotel room had a see through bathroom door. And lots of other stuff, too.

 
 

FNUK – Funk Nation

I spent my Sunday afternoon in the recording studio with Fnuk, mainly snapping candid shots of them laying down some tracks, but I also dragged them outdoors for some of the natural light I love so much. I would definitely recommend catching Fnuk live if you can, and they just so happen to be playing at Renfrew Ferry on February 10th. Sadly I’ll be in Prague (well, not sadly, but I am gutted to miss them).

 
 
Q

“When I photograph into the sun, my photos look so pale. How did you manage to get it this way?” – labradoodledoo

A

This question was provoked by my latest shot of Indie for my 52 weeks of Indie project, but I generally shoot into the sun whenever I can. My shots also turn out pale because the sun naturally washes everything out, but you can easily bring back the detail and add contrast by using curves with your editing software of choice (mine is Aperture). Bring the curve down to beef up those midtones, then play around with it until you get the look you desire.

 
 

Saturday Night Coldstone

I know it’s winter and all, but you can’t pass up the opportunity for ice cream on a Saturday night. We went to Three Steps To Heaven, and what you see below is turkish delight and macaroon ice cream, mashed with white buttons and an Oreo, and topped with chocolate sauce. Beautiful.

 
 
 
 

Scott Carruthers

Meet the gentleman who is moulding me into a machine. Actually, Scott used to work in the gym I go to and help me train, but now he’s moved elsewhere so I hardly see him. Recently, though, he had me in his gym doing plyometrics and boxing, and nearly killed me in the process. Because he’s helped me out so much, I offered to take his photo – though it was probably more so for my benefit than his. I totally went on a black and white binge here, and it felt GOOD!

 
 
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