Showing posts with label Photograpy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photograpy. Show all posts

Sunday, 17 February 2013

On the Buses

I am most definitely a cloud spotter, one of my favourite things to do in the summer is to wander up to the park, sprawl out on the grass and just lay there for hours watching the clouds drift by.
Today we went along to Selfridges to listen to Gavin Pretor-Pinney who is the founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society
The hour long talk was both entertaining and enlightening but I would have loved for it to have lasted longer. I think Mr Pretor-Pinney would be the perfect dinner party guest cause he is funny and engaging in equal measures.
The talk was free and if you could guess the different cloud types featured in the presentation, you were given a little badge.
After the talk we browsed the book section of Selfridges but perhaps needless to say we didn't buy anything.
Years of car boot sale buying has made it quite impossible for me to pay more than a fiver for a book, unless I'm buying it straight from the authors website or amazon.
Selfridges' prices are simply not compatible with my thrifty nature but it's nice to have a wee look.
As we were making our way back home we came across two old buses and a whole heap of bus enthusiasts taking pictures of them.
Such a retrotastic backdrop seemed too good to miss out on, so we joined the throng of "bus spotters" and quickly snapped a few pics ourselves :)
H&M tiger stripe coat, vintage 60s Chinese sign print dress, vintage 50s booties, layered tights, self-made necklace, velvet gloves and my Stockholm syndrom wiggy-woo.
I do have a black and white setting on my camera but these pics had the effect added on PicMonkey.
I think B&W is the perfect tool for enhancing the whole retro vibe.
We had to be super quick when taking these photos cause the "bus spotters" weren't really that interested in having a dolly bird in their pics ;)
Hope you have all had a wonderful weekend.
Lot's of love,

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Sweet dreams are made of cheese

Today I've been busy taking product pics for the shop.
It's been absolutely freezing in the flat, so in a fair few of the pics I look decidedly peeved.
Today was also the first time I used my new camera remote control.
Before I had to go back and forth to the camera to press the button in-between every photo, which was a complete pain in the backside plus quite often the camera wouldn't be in focus when I got to my place in front of it, which needless to say was also a huge big pain in the booty region.
Now I can simply press the remote and hey, click, click!
I'm loving the fact that it's sparing me a whole heap of faffing about but there is one small problem, the concealment of the remote.
It is nigh-on impossible to strike the 'hold your waist' pose, cause you have to use your fingers to press the button.
It does have a timer function, so I suppose I could slip it on the floor after I've pressed and then strike a pose.
So many things to worry about, world poverty, corruption, deforestation and how to look natural when using a bleeding camera remote control.
I can just feel my life spinning into a vacuous abyss of triviality here, och!
Anyway, I'm sure I'll get the hang of it :) 
I messed around with PicMonkey when I was having my hour off in the afternoon and here's the result... 
The three frocks and the tie-dye top are all destined for the shop.
Not sure when cause I've got a fairly jam-packed schedule this week already.
Because it was all work and no play for me today, I just wore a comfy outfit in a style I'd describe as 'tatterdemalian'...
"Tatterdemalion: A person wearing ragged or tattered clothing"...that'll be me then ;)
When I wasn't taking product pics, I changed into my comfy slippers because... 
 - I tend not to wear outdoors footwear indoors.
 - I'd probably fall down and break my neck if I was to race up and down the stairs in these bad boys.
...but perhaps most importantly,  I'm getting to that stage in my life when I'm really starting to appreciate sensible footwear, in particular slippers ;)

I've had two very odd & inexplicable cravings today; at one point I was gagging for a cheese and onion pasty (I'm vegan) & then I was struck by an insane craving for real ale (I knocked the booze on the head over four years ago).
I'm not sure what is going on, maybe it's the cold weather making me want to pig out on cheese and get drunk (sounds like heaven right now).
Watch this space, there may be a "pickled post" in the near future if my craving have their wicked way with me ;)
Thanks for all the lovely comments you've been leaving, you ROCK my little world!
Lot's of love,

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The soundtrack of my life

Back in the autumn of ‘92 something happened that would change my music taste forever.
 Up until then I'd pretty much been a pop chart follower & my record collection played host to some of the most dire music ever made.
One afternoon I was on my way to a local café where a little cluster of my classmates used to hang out after school, when I spotted a new record store.
It looked really groovy from the outside and the scent of burning incense drew me in.
I wasn't going to buy anything but I left with two albums, which were 
'Nirvana – Nevermind' & 'Pearl Jam –Ten'.
I wasn't even into that kind of music then but the owner of the shop was so convinced that I’d fall in love with them that he even told me that I could bring them back for a full refund if I didn't.
I brought them home & listened to them all weekend, then I went back into the shop on the following Monday & shook the dude’s hand.
After that pop was dead to me, I weeded out all the inane crap to make room for proper music.
I was an alternative rock convert, hallelujah ;)
The record store became a regular haunt for me and my mates.
The owner had an uncanny ability to unite people with music that they never thought they'd like; he also had a really infectious love of rock music & an almost encyclopedic knowledge of bands.
It was an exciting time of my life and one that deserved a more kick-ass soundtrack than the ten a penny pop I'd previously favoured and a kick-ass soundtrack is just what I got.
Later that year I bought the first album by 'Rage Against The Machine' and my life was never the same again ;)
The last record that I bought from the store, before I moved away from Sweden in ’93 was ‘The The – Dusk’ which is still one of my favourite albums.
I love all the songs on this album and I think they've kept fresh.
What 90s albums do you have that you can still listen to and enjoy all the way through?

I’ll leave you with another wonderful song by 'The The', enjoy…
Have a fabulous weekend!
Lot's of love,

Friday, 1 February 2013

Easy peasy lemon squeezy layering

After waxing lyrical about the overlay function on PicMonkey earlier, I decided to go one further and do a basic tutorial.
It really is easy peasy lemon squeezy ;)
I chose a photo of my mum from her modelling days in the late 50s & a photo that I took in Eastbourne last year.
As they both have a neutral & uncluttered background they are easier to blend together.
I also used a plain white base image to layer the pics on but you don't have to, I just like doing it this way cause it offers more scope of movement.
So here's my little tutorial...
Find two images that you want to merge together and a plain white base image  if  you want. 
Go on to PicMonkey and click the 'Edit a Photo' option. I chose to work on a white base image but you can just open one of your photos instead.
Now I have opened my base image and I want to add my two pics onto it. I do that by going to the 'Overlays'  tool, fifth icon from the top on the left hand side of your screen and click the 'Your Own' option at the top.
Here I've added my two pics to my base image and now I can start  having some fun with them. 
In order to really blend the two images together, the best course of action is to  tweak around with the  fade slider and the blend modes. There is also a handy eraser tool.
Lined up and blended to my liking. With some images it is quite difficult to completely get rid of the seams where the two images overlap.
Now I want to crop the layered image , so I click the top icon, then simply adjust & apply.
If you want to add more effects to the image, you can do so by clicking on the second icon from the top to access some awesome  stuff. Not all of the effects will be suitable for your new image cause they make the overlap seams show up around with it :)
You can also add a frame to your image by clicking the sixth icon from the top to access frames. 
As a final touch you can also add some text by clicking the 'P' icon to access loads of cool fonts. 
When you are happy, save your masterpiece by clicking the 'Save ' button above your image and save photo.
All done, now you can make someones day by posting your good work onto their FB page or sending it to them in an e-mail ;)
Lot's of love,

Praise PicMonkey

I'm sure most you clever cookies already know about PicMonkey but just in case there is still someone out there unaware of its awesomeness, I thought I'd better do a quick blog about it.
I've been using the same antiquated photo editing software that came with our very first scanner for years; I'm actually too embarrassed to tell you how many, it's that long.
I just got used to it (read:LAZY) and thought that learning anything new would be a complete hassle, so I didn't.
I was always admiring photos on other peoples blogs, convinced that they had all been edited by Photoshop wizards using mega expensive software.
Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon PicMonkey which is a partly free photo editing website.
The service is a so-called 'freemium' with a whole bunch of ad-supported features that you can use to your hearts content at no cost and some premium features that you can only access though paying a monthly membership.
So far I have only used the free stuff but I have to say that I am very impressed with how the pictures are coming out and needless to say my old editing software has finally been retired....and there was much rejoicing!
I have been playing around with it for the past few days and my favourite feature is the 'Overlay' cause you can add your own.
So now I can finally create those dreamy layered pics that I've been hankering over.
It's pretty straightforward, even I (a complete cave dweller when it comes to stuff like this) was able to get a handle on it after a few hours.
So if you haven't used it before, pop over and have a play around, I'm sure you won't regret it.
Just in case you are wondering, PicMonkey did not give me a bagful of cash to sing their praises (if only), I genuinely want to spread the word about this service cause it ROCKS & a lot of it is FREE which in my book makes it even better!
Are you using PicMonkey already, if so for how long have you been using it and would you recommend paying the monthly $4.99 for the Royale membership?
One of my layered images ;)
HAPPY FRIDAY everybody, I can almost smell the weekend ;)
Lot's of love,

Monday, 14 January 2013

Holiday Snaps

When we first arrived in Thailand just before Christmas we spent two days in busy Bangkok before heading on to beautiful and tranquil Koh Lanta. 
The capital pit stop was probably more for my teenage niece, so that she could do a bit of hardcore shopping in the insanely huge malls over there. 
Living in London for fifteen years has made me develop a severe dislike for big cities and I actually think I'm allergic to super malls or as I like to call them 'bastard bastions of capitalism' cause I can't spend more than ten minutes in one before starting to feel decidedly queasy.
Despite the fact that only 4% of the people in Thailand are Christians, you could have been forgiven for thinking otherwise, the sheer amount of  gaudy Christmas glitz on display and tiresome tacky tunes abusing your eardrums was quite astounding in some areas.
The upmarket super malls had obviously been taking style notes from Oxford Street et al, with more Christmas lights than you can shake a stick at.
My favourite was the bright red faced Santa with Bono sunnies...DUDE!
We went walkabouts and took in the amazing flower market and Chinatown...
Then we jumped on a boat to get a view of the city from its Chao Phraya river and ended up at the Wat Pho temple, home of  Thailand's biggest reclining Buddha statue...
There are so many amazing temples to see in Bangkok but on our second day there we decided to seek refuge in Chatuchak Park instead.
I was thrilled to escape the city the following day, a short flight took us to Krabi and then onward with taxi to Koh Lanta.
Twelve wonderful days of lolling around on stunning beaches, swimming in the sea, snorkelling, going for long walks on the island, popping off for a couple of days amazing scuba diving, visiting Lanta Animal Welfare, cuddling with cats and walking some adorable dogs, spending a precious Christmas with the people that I love and meeting some awesome new people too :)
Klong Khong Beach on Koh Lanta.
A beautiful sunset is like food for the soul.
Scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing boats on Koh Lanta.
More stunning sunsets and a pic from an early morning walk with the locals bringing in their nets.
Fresh fruit shakes and fabulous grub.
I was tempted to try the Geek Salad but sadly I didn't, I did have a delicious Veggie Spattie though ;)
New Years Eve celebrations on the beach on Koh Lanta were a hoot and a half, the entire islands population seeminlgy had made their way onto the beaches. Fire works galore and literally thousands of Chinese lanterns lit up the sky. There were an abundance of fire shows and a scattering of local bands performing for free.
On New Years Day we left Koh Lanta to head for Langkawi...
We visited three waterfalls, namely Telaga Tujuh (Seven Wells), Air Terjun Temurun & Durian Perangin. 
Hired a car and explored the island, hung out on the beaches, went snorkelling and eat with the locals. 
I ordered veggie fried rice and found little sprat heads in it, I did enjoy the gorgeous ice tea though.
Trust me to find a car boot sale half way around the world :)
We went jungle trekking, saw the sunset from the top of the Langkawi cable car and enjoyed some general mucking about on the hotel beach and in the grounds.
All holidays come to an end too soon I think and before you now it it is time to leave paradise behind.
We had a day and a half in KL before we flew back home.
More shopping for my niece who also turned eighteen that day and more culture & city impressions for us...
We went to the amazing Sri Mahamariamman Temple which is the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur.
Last time we were in KL we only managed to see it from the outside at night but this time we were able to delight in its interior. 
We also came across the Kuan Ti which is a Taoist temple but unfortunately it was closed.
The last thing we did before going to the airport was meeting up with our cousin who lives in KL.
He works on the 52nd floor of Petronas Tower 2 and was able to get us a couple of visitor passes to come and have a look...
The lift was amazing, you could hardly feel it moving, it was so smooth yet tremendously fast and you had to pop your ears ;)
Pretty amazing views and the building itself is pretty stunning too...
KL from above; they do seem to like their tall buildings...
...and that was that!
Then we jumped on a plane back to 'Ol Blighty.
I've just a few more holiday posts to do and then I'm back on normal Frocktasia duties again :)
Lot's of love,