Photography News

So it’s been a hot minute since I blogged about ANYTHING, and so thought I’d share some news on the photography front. I recently got a few old rolls of film developed and I love the results! I often leave film in my camera for way too long, I have a habit of using the camera non stop for a while and then pop it down and forget about it for  few months oops!

Anyway I had two rolls developed, one from a disposable camera, which I love buying and taking anywhere with me. I think taking a picture on it and then not seeing it for months really brings back memories and can transport you back to when it was taken. Ever since reading ‘Camera Lucida’ by Roland Barthes  (shall talk about him A LOT more below) I’ve always felt a much stronger connection with individual photographs. Although it takes a second to capture an image, and could even be a mistake, the image will continue to exist through time. (sometimes thats not a good thing!) Something so fleeting like a picture of your friends on a night out, could spark memories and above all, happiness i guess. Isn’t photography just magic.

What was wonderful about getting my 35mm developed was that they were taken on old rolls of film i had laying around which were out of date so you never really know what tones and contrasts you’ll get from them! I always worry taking film photographs as I (sometimes) guess what aperture and ISO etc to have my camera on, but somewhere stored in my brain I must know what to work with as luckily my whole roll came out!

Some of my images were from my trip to the States last year and they instantly brought back fond summer memories and the eagerness to get back out there (if D.Trump hasn’t destroyed it by then)

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I love pairing up images too, theres something romantic in a way of two images sitting perfectly next to one another, not intruding in each others space, but complimenting each others beauty. The top image here was taken from Bryan Park on one of the most beautiful evenings in New York, next to an image from Maine where I guarantee you, you will get porch envy of every. single. house.

 

In other news I was chosen by #Photography magazine, who I occasionally write articles for to be selected as a Spotlighted Graduate over at Photograd. This was super generous of them and I’m so thankful that my work as chosen. I’ve spent a lot of time working with and admiring these two platforms so to be selected as a response to that is so nice!

My project ‘Clocks for Seeing’ was featured previously over on Photograds platform and it’s what’s been spoken about here. I made the project while at University in response to my love of, was I said before, Roland Barthes book Camera Lucida. That book taught me more about photography than I had learnt before. It taught me that photographs aren’t jut pictures, they are memories, they are feelings and time all encased in one single frame. It made me stop and think about photography, not just as something I do, but something I make. For my book I thought about every image I was taking and I wrote a response to Barthes about my feelings towards each picture and my methods behind it. I shot it on 120 film, so that I knew each frame was important, I couldn’t just delete away, it had to mean something, and in the end, it did.

I wrote a book that for me, explained what photography meant to me, what it felt like to take a photograph and why I did it. Most of all, I was proud of it, and I think that’s what makes you do what you love.

 

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Avengers: A No Spoiler Review

As promised:

tom holland avengers GIF by Twitter

So as an avid Marvel fan I was obviously eagerly awaiting this new avengers film and I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED, Ten years in the making, this film gives us all we’ve ever wanted. With cameos from nearly every marvel superhero, the film takes us on an personal adventure of every character leading them to face the baddest baddie of them all, Thanos. (Played by Josh Brolin, who is also currently playing the bad guy in the new Deadpool movie.)

With the old characters mingling with the new characters, there are plenty of laughs alongside the trauma that all marvel fans go through in every movie. Notably the introduction of the Guardians of the Galaxy to the team gives a lot of comic relief to scenes. Similarly including the new Black Panther crew into the movie gives us a whole other world of possibilities for future films.
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With a longer than normal run time than most films, it does not feel too long at all. If anything, i could’ve sat there for 5 more hours. Even though I am a dedicated fan and would sit there and watch all 18 films in a row, it isn’t too long for the average viewer who just wants to see the new hit movie.

Because of that feeling I actually went back for a second time to watch it as I was so blown away the first time, and it was even better. With so many twists and turns the first time round I found myself cemented to my seat barely breathing and so knowing the storyline of the film the second time round I was a lot more calm. During the second screening I focused WAAAY more on the dialogue between characters and after reading up on a number of theories, was able to slot them into the film where I thought possible.

There was not one dull moment in this film. every character was on top form and I actually don’t know how I will wait for the next one.

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Aesthetics wise:

Thor, you’re haircut is really working for you and Captain America, that beard sits rather well on your face too. Scarlet witch is rocking the ginger locks and all the new suits are outstanding.

And if you need a viewing order of the films to have a binge watch marathon, look no further:

Iron Man – The original starting point of the avengers

The Incredible Hulk – Technically you should watch this BUUUUT if you know this storyline I would give this a miss (sorry Ed Norton)

Iron Man 2

Thor

Captain America 

The Avengers – Our first taste of the team together and boy is it good.

Iron Man 3 

Thor- The dark world 

Captain America  – The Winter Soldier 

Guardians of the Galaxy – I.E the film with the best soundtrack

Avengers – Age of Ultron

Ant Man – Paul Rudd does make a charmingly good superhero I’ll give you that

Captain America – Civil War – Giving us a taste of everyone coming back together

Doctor Strange – I am still on the fence about this film

Guardians of the galaxy – VOL 2 – I keep forgetting Bradley Cooper plays Rocket

Spider Man – Homecoming – Did we reeaaaaly need another Spiderman? The answer is yes.

Thor – Ragnarok – This is potentially one of the best films in the marvel universe. THERE I SAID IT

Black Panther – Wakanda Forever indeed

Avengers – INFINITY WAR

 

 

HOW I FELT ABOUT LADYBIRD, IN GIFS

SPOILER ALERT : I FELT AMAZING

yell lady bird GIF by A24

Now in all honesty I was meant to write this as soon as I came back from the cinema watching it but y’know, life happens. But I assume there are still so many people who meant to see it but didn’t get round to it but you SHOULD.

I honestly wish this film had been around when I was a few years younger. What a brilliant story of a young woman growing up in a small town and having to decide her future. Having the cravings to discover the world but no idea how!

*Saoirse Ronan you are a brilliant actress*

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Ladybird is an emotionally charged coming of age story about finding a balance between love, school and life. Where friendships hang in the balance because of affection for boys (we’ve all been there). How parents seem like super protective control freaks but really just have your best interests at heart and when everything feels like the end of the world.

The film focuses on a mother daughter bond so strong that it is strained but it was actually lovely to see a father daughter connection shown a lot of screen time amongst that. What a hero that guy was.

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The love from ‘ladybirds’ mother is so protective where she sees ladybird living a life like hers, a safe, ‘normal’ life  as the only one and yet has to accept her daughter is destined for more.

escaping saoirse ronan GIF by A24

Set in 2002 you can only imagine how it must have been for teens back then. I was only around 9 or 10 at this age and I’m thankful my  teenage years did not revolve around phones and knowing where everyone is every minute of the day. The world was still so foreign to small towns and you get such an intimate vibe from the film because of this.

*Timothee Chalamet plays the boy we all know so well. The one trying to not give a damn when not giving a dam really makes you seem like you know, you give a damn.*

timothee chalamet smoking GIF by A24

This film has come from a place I feel the Great Gerwig knows. That she was once a teen struggling through adolescence but making sense of it along the way, learning lessons one step at a time

beanie feldstein girls GIF by A24

THERE ARE TOO MANY GIFS TO USE

FIVE STARS FOREVER

 lady bird first one to cry wins GIF by A24

 

My journey into Hand Lettering

AKA: An encouraging letter to myself

Around this time last year I found the art of hand lettering and I’m so grateful I did. I studied an art foundation course when I was 18 and then moved on to do a Photography degree for 3 years and until now didn’t really realise how much of the art world I had missed while focusing on photography and a LOT of technology. I used to do the odd doodle here and there and make my sketchbooks look relatively nice but there was no real love going into it so when I found hand lettering I couldn’t believe I found something I’ve been longing to do for so long with so much accessible information.

At the start of 2017 I was going through a pretty tough time after losing my grandmother and I was starting a new internship with a small creative business. I wanted to put my all into it but I wasn’t a whole person at that time. So I started small, I occasionally picked up my water colours and did a bit of painting, which led to some lettering and then I watched Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes quote the late great Carrie Fisher.

“‘Take your broken heart, turn it into art’”

It was my first piece of lettering, and the quote couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

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My parents now have this hung proudly on their wall lol

I did so many versions of it, because I started to realise as I was doing it that I could do maybe that word better or that letter should look different. Looking at it now of course there are a lot of things I would change, but it took me on this journey, so its staying as it is!

For once in my life I’ve actually been able to see the idea that practice does make perfect. Don’t get me wrong I’ve got a long way to go to develop these skills I’ve learnt, but if I look back at how far I’ve come in less than a year its pretty crazy.

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Some pages from my first sketchbook

 

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Some of my new sketches, around a year later

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My issue, and always has been, that when I start getting ‘good’ (whats the scale of good and bad anyway) I tend to become intimidated by those i once admired.

I have the awful habit of comparing my work to others. Which I guess isn’t a really bad thing as you must have some comparison in life so you can work on your strengths and weaknesses. But for me, even with photography I have always been very happy with something I’ve done, looked over and seen someone else’s and instantly felt that pang of ‘why isn’t mine that good.’

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NOTE TO SELF

Now thankfully I’m finally starting to realise that this attitude is getting me NOWHERE anytime fast and so have started focusing on my work. And I think that’s where hand lettering came in. Now there are thousands of people practising this, all over Instagram you see these perfect videos of their quotes etc but guess what, they had to start somewhere too, and I give huge credit to those who post their progress pictures! But what I’ve learnt is that with lettering, there is no guide to how it should look. The same with photography I guess really. Do what you want, after all its your hand writing. Its your hand holding the pen of course its going to have a spark of you in it!

From when I was at school I always tried to copy my friends who had nicer handwriting than mine, I would spend each lesson curling my a’s to be like there’s or looping my y’s and then realised I had no personal style. So that’s what I’ve learnt on this short journey I’m undertaking. That time is your saving grace, practice DOES actually make perfect, or something pretty close to it and that you can only do or be who you want to be. Stop trying to fit into the perfect moulds we see plastered everywhere and just do it because you love it.

I hope to look back in another years time and see even more progress, and at least hopefully to have listened to myself just little!

xoxo

L

Also I CANNOT WAIT to do a workshop with The Lovely Drawer next month so I can learn how to digitise my prints properly and hopefully have them up for sale soon!

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Iceland in a stop-over

Untitled-5.jpgIf you’ve never been to Iceland, go and check it off your bucket list now! Iceland has become very popular in recent years with tourists and you can see why. With it’s vast landscapes and changing seasons it is like stepping onto another planet.

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If you’re heading to or from the USA, check with your airline as many offer a free stop over in Iceland for up to a week! With such a vast amount of land, make sure you decide which area of the country to go before you travel!The South is often the most visited, with the Airline around 40 minutes away from Reykjavik and some of the main tourist hotspots located around the area, including the Blue Lagoon! If you’re planning on visiting the Blue Lagoon, one of Icelands most popular places, make sure to book your tickets well in advance as they can get filled up very quickly and begin to get expensive! The Blue Lagoon is a fascinating thermal spa which, as its name suggests, has a blue hue to the water and creates stunning images so don’t forget your waterproof case! There are other thermal hotspots all over Iceland so if you go adventuring, don’t forget to take your swimming costume!

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Being the capital, Reykjavik is a small city with a rich culture but still the largest city of the country. If you have a few days in the capital, one or two days is plenty to look around and search the streets for souvenirs! Make sure you head up and see the Hallgrimskirkja church, with rigid concrete shapes it stands out amongst the smaller buildings. 

If you’re planning to head outside of Reykjavik, a good idea would be to rent a car as excursions can be quite pricey and time constrained! Renting a car will allow you to travel in your own time and to your own destinations, even spotting some extra waterfalls and some Icelandic horses along the way.

MUST SEE’S:

Blue Lagoon

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall – Walk behind a waterfall!

Thingvellir National Park – You can stand between two Tectonic Plates above ground!

The Golden Circle Tour

Reykjavik

 

P.S

If you LOVE coffee, head over to ‘Tea and Coffee’ in Rek. for a great brew! Also go and find Reykjavik Chips – Amazing chips with a great choice of dips! There are plenty of great food and drink options, make sure you have some fresh fish while you are there too!

48 Hours in Paris

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If there is any one place where I find myself constantly magnetised to, its Paris, France. With deep architectural history and a mix of modern contemporary art, Paris truly is one of the most beautiful cities of the world to visit, but if you’re short on time, heres a handy guide!

With so much ground to cover make sure you make use of their handy metro system! With the ability to buy 10 tickets for a cheaper price you can have your travel for the whole trip sorted! My favourite spot to stay is the 18th arrondissement of Montmartre, home of the traditional painting quarters and once of the most romantic places in Paris, it is the perfect place to explore if you are more of the historical type. There are many ‘Air BnB’s’ to stay in right next to the famous Sacré-Coeur – meaning sacred heart so you can feel right at home. Mine was on the 7th floor with no lift so you will get used to the traditions of Parisian architecture and get some exercise at the same time! Don’t forget, if you climb up to the Sacré-Coeur, make sure you try and find the slanted houses of Montmartre, remember though, its all in the angle!

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Montmartre is definitely the place to get one of the famous macarons or even sit down and watch the world pass by while munching on a crepe (sweet of course!)

If you’re wanting to also see some of the more famous landmarks make sure you find some of the more niche spots! A great view of the Eiffel Tower can be seen from the Arc de Triomphe located at the top of the Champs-Élysées and only costs €8 for an adult. A great spot in the day time to get an excellent view of how the streets of Paris were designed, but also a great place to see the hourly lights of the Eiffel tower.

If you want a closer view of the Eiffel tower make sure you make your way to the metro stop Trocadero which brings you to the Palais de Chaillot, a perfect view of the tower from across the river. During the evening the tower lights up and sparkles for around 5 minutes every hour. It is so magical, you can see why it is one of the most romantic cities.

If you want to see some more history, head to the Notre Dame Cathedral along the river Seine. Take a picnic and sit alongside the river before you head to the cathedral and bask in the sunlight while watching the river cruises float by. Once you’ve seen the incredible architecture of the Notre Dame, head into the gothic quarter for some amazing food. With lots of places to chose from you will definitely have the best onion soup of your life. Don’t forget the Louvre housing the Mona Lisa is just across the river! Make sure you go earlier in the day to avoid the queues!IMG_7795.jpg

If you’re more of the arty type don’t miss the Centre Du Pompidou, whose ranging exhibitions always have something on for all art types! The centre itself is very quirky amongst the traditional architecture so isn’t hard to find! Also another cool find is the ‘Cite de la Mode et Design’ which inhabits great rooftop bars!

If you don’t have long in Paris you can definitely fit in the main ‘tourist’ points within no time, remember to try and pack picnics as food can be quite pricey in peak tourist times and don’t forget to pick up a map!

Spring and the start of Summer are brilliant times to visit Paris as the streets come alive with people and plants, but it is such an accessible city when it comes to keeping busy, so even if you find yourself there in the winter months you can always stop off if you’re feeling chilly for a croissant and a chocolat-chaud!

New York Summer

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It really is the city that never sleeps and welcomes you with open arms. If you find yourself in New York City (especially in the summer) you’ll never be lost of things to do. If you’re planning to do the more tourist aspects of the city, make sure you prepare where you’re going and book in advance as places can get busy especially at peak seasonal months!

A few Must See’s :

Empire State

The Top of The Rock – Rockerfella Centre ( Also a great Ice ring in the winter months)

One World Trade Centre – The Twin Tower foundation waterfalls

Central Park

Times Square

Chelsea Market

Statue of Liberty

Grand Central Station

The High Line

New York is easy to walk but will be quite a distance so it would be best to grab a map and organise your days by district. If you’re around the Central Park area, don’t forget to go in and have a walk around. There’s plenty of green space to have a picnic and lots of street performers to watch! Head over to strawberry fields to pay tribute to John Lennon or when the snow falls head over and skate on the rink just like so many of your favourite movies (*Serendipity*). If you’re into your art, head over to the Metropolitan Museum of art for some inspiration, (or sit on the steps like B and S, xoxo gossip girl) or if you’re a TV and film fan, make your way to the Bethesda fountain, famously in the ‘Friends’ opening!

 

If you’re downtown, check out the famous flatiron building that sits outside ‘Eataly’ – a perfect little Italian market to purchase the best pasta and ice cream in town! If you’re still in the mood for Italian food, head further downtown and find Rubirose’s pizza! The perfect little pizza spot hidden on a side street, perfect for a date night in the city. If desert is calling, make sure you head to ‘Cookie Do’ and get a cone full of, well, cookie dough!

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If you’re in New York in the winter months, make sure you check off some food spots to get out of the bitter cold! Westway Diner is a perfect little pancake stop close enough to time square if you want to continue shopping! ‘By Chloe’ has a few locations over Manhattan and is perfect for healthy guilt free treats! If you missed a chance to see a Broadway show, head to the Stardust Diner and eat your dinner while listening to some AMAZING singers who also happen to be your waiters!

This is such a short little what to do in NYC but hopefully somewhat handy if you’re short on time!