Straight out of the phone

A few weeks ago I posted this photo on my Instagram feed and I didn’t edit it all. It was taken with my mobile phone. I currently use a Samsung S7 edge, please note this post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way.

My reason for writing this post was to share more of my mobile phone photography and to say you can capture some great views and moments with your phone.

This shot was taken at a IgersBirmingham instameet at the museum of the jewellery quarter.

This was taken in inner city Birmingham, sprouting up from an apartment block.

I was waiting for the bus and was captivated the drama in the sky. I did have my camera in my bag but just reached for my phone.

A week after taking the first photo I took the same shot again and the sky wasn’t playing ball, but still a good shot.

I love how detail of the wood makes a great background to a fallen flower.

This shot was taken along the canals in Birmingham. Also the next two photos.

I tend to use a 2 second timer on most of my shots and try to stand really still. I do usually post edit but none of the photos in this post have been edited, hence being straight out of the phone.

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My week in photos – April 2018

It’s been a very busy week in my life. But I got to incorporate photography into it.

I really need to learn how to be more efficient and effective with editing. But here are 9 photos from my week.

Last Saturday I went and captured the blossom in Oozells Square, It’s a beautiful scene and I will probably go back next year.

Monday was the anniversary of a friend’s death, red wine was one of his favourite tipples.

Here is my equipment, I am still looking to sell my Canon DSLR but not just yet.  They both got a lot of use this week.

Tuesday, I got the opportunity to see a different view of Birmingham.

I love taking photos of flowers & this was taken with my mobile phone, with no editing.

I never get tired of this skeleton at the Lapworth Museum.

I hope to capture more sunsets this year.

Tulips are one of my favourite flowers, I might plant some for next year.

Sunshine on a stick!  Daffodils always cheer me up and now give me lots to photograph. Enjoy what’s left of the weekend.

The Photography Show 2018

Poppybead Creative Blog

Poppybead Creative Blog

Today I headed off to The Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham.  This is the second time I have been to the show and I had a better idea of what to expect.  So before I went to the show I made a loose plan of what stands I wanted to visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olympus had been advertising on their social media feeds that you could get a free clean and check on your camera.  This was my first port of call and the staff on the stand were really friendly.

I went to the show with some friends and we moved on just looking at the deals on Fuji kit.

The Fuji stand had models you could shoot, so I moved forward with my mobile phone and took the first shot.  Last year I didn’t feel as confidence to take photos and took the second shot from further away.  Both photos were taken with the same phone.

 

We then  went to a talk at the video stage about taking your photography into videography.  It was interesting but my little video montages are a long way away from where the speaker’s content.  There was some good points about the use of music and permits to shoot in different areas of the country.

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We meandered around for a bit longer and then I went to visit a friend’s daughter working on the Hasselblad stand.  If I didn’t eat or pay any bills for the next six months or so I could possibly afford a Hasselblad at the show price of £6,388.

 

Back to reality and we visited a lighting stand who had some affordable kit and some interesting displays.  The ‘baby’ looked realistic, it was quite scary & then I saw Yoda.

 

Before going to another talk I went to Photo Boards to have a look at their photo boards.  I have one already and was looking to get another one, being able to see all of the boards in person made it easier to choose.  I wasn’t convinced at first about backgrounds but with the right background, a product can be lifted.

 

The other talk I went to was by Jo Bradford and was titled “Pixel to print; a workflow for pro-quality outdoor smartphone photography”.  There was some good tips & it was nice to see a photo taken whislt the talk was taking place printed off with high quality paper.  She also made available signed copies of her new book to purchase before it’s international publishing date in April.  The book is called “Smart Phone Smart Photography – Simple techniques for taking incredible pictures with iPhone and Android”.  Some of the apps she mentioned require a purchase but sometimes you need to invest to improve your photos.

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In summary, I really enjoyed my day at the show.  The company was great and it is always helpful to try equipment before buying.  Also getting information and tips to inspire improvement from the different talks was paramount.

 

 

 

 

 

Be Brave – Birmingham Fabric Shopping Meet-up

Back in January I was scrolling through Instagram as I do most days, and I came across this post.

I follow quite a few sewers and haven’t been able to make some of the previous meet-ups. So when this came up and I was available, I thought I would go along.

I do get rather anxious in some social settings. But I still put myself into those situations as deep down I know it will be fine. I got to John Lewis as Bianca and Victoria arrived so there was no awkward sitting around. We recognised each other from our Instagram feeds.

Others arrived and I recognised some others from Instagram and their YouTube videos.

We started off by heading to the haberdashery in John Lewis, who still had fabric on sale. I bought some bias binding a stretch twin needle.

Then we headed off to the markets. This was my first purchase jersey fabric and it was calling for me to buy it. Going fabric shopping with other sewers means you are surrounded by enablers, including myself.

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Throughout the morning the sewing conversations were flowing and I asked washing fabric and everyone washed their fabric before sewing with it.

As a novice sewer and being a newbie to overlockers, sewing with jersey fabric and putting in sleeves. I also asked what others did. Lesley mentioned she did French seams instead and also put sleeves in flat.

Here are the other fabric I got from the market.

Poppybead Creative blog

Poppybead Creative blog

As the day went on my knee started to hurt and so I cut my day short, made a flying visit to Barry’s Fabrics and stopped off for lunch.

Once I got home all of my purchases were washed and ready to sew with. Thank you for a lovely experience and Lesley thank for the advice to be brave.

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Photo credit @dibsmaxwell

Stepping out of my comfort zone

Some of you might know when I am not working, sewing, knitting and taking photos I officiate basketball games. I have blogged about my experiences with wheelchair basketball and those can be found in my archives.

Yesterday was cup final day for the WBBL & BBL leagues. It’s the first silverware of season.

These games took place at the Arena Birmingham, not a small venue by any means!

I was asked to do the Swiss timing. Swiss timing, what’s that? I asked the same question and still wasn’t sure until I spoke to the floor manager! At this point my anxiety levels went sky high. But I was taken through the equipment by Alfie, when I looked at the equipment it was the same equipment I used at Paralympics 2012. This scoring equipment is made by Omega and would be shown on the BBC coverage.

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I made notes of what I was shown and got on with it. I felt more comfortable in the 2nd game but my legs shook. It was far from perfect but I survived & hopefully didn’t mess up too badly.

I am always looking to step out of my comfort zone and improve my confidence. This brings me onto my new crafting idea.

I take a lot of photos and keep meaning to print them, well I have placed my first order for some cards. There will be five designs and here are two of them.

These cards will be for sale and supplied with a kraft envelope.

Back to Basics – Pinhole photography 

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Poppybead Creative BlogNot long ago I received an email from a colleague at my day job.  This woman was also a colleague at my previous day job and remembered my love of photography.  She let me know about an exhibition and a workshop on pinhole photography.  It was only a few days before someone was talking about the Beyond the Battlefields exhibition at a photography meet up.

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The exhibition is free and being held in Aston Webb’s Rotunda Gallery at the University of Birmingham.  I didn’t realise the Great Hall was used as a hospital in WW1.

After being taken around the exhibition we started the workshop.  I always have a fear that I can never keep up in workshops, but this was different.  Jo Gane who took the workshop was lovely.  She explained everything really well and didn’t go too fast.

We went on to prepare a drinks can ready to take our photos.  The cans were then loaded with photographic paper and off we went.

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My first attempt didn’t require much exposure time, two seconds.  I am so happy with the result.  We used a smartphone app to invert the photos.

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This was the corner of my 2nd attempt, the rest of the shot didn’t expose for long enough.

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My last attempt blended the old and the new.  I really wanted to take a photo of a new camera.

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I am so glad I attended this workshop, it was out of my comfort zone and I survived.

An Inspired Morning

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Here we are again, the week has flown by and Saturday is done and dusted.  So is Sunday for that matter.

Yesterday morning I was awake and out of the house to meet up with another photographer who has had an idea.  When they put their idea to me I wasn’t entirely sure but then started thinking about it I thought this could be rather exciting.

We sat and talked about photography and other things.

It also made me think about the format of my blog & the direction of it.  So over the next few months I am going to try and be more consistent with posting content and will look at the format of the blog.

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Keep checking back for the changes and follow me on

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My week in photos 

For some time I have been choosing 9 photos I took in the previous week.  Then I post the collage on social media and wish everyone a lovely weekend.

Today I thought I would share the meaning behind the photos.

 

Last Saturday I met up with my friend Imogen and went to the seasonal markets at the Bond Company.

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I took this photo as I love routemaster buses.  Growing up in London they were everywhere and they remind me of being a child.

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Being gluten free going food events does make me anxious.  So when I saw The English Indian stall and it was clearly marked gluten free I squealed.  I went for half and half which was a piece of fish, a piece of halloumi, chips and spiced mushy peas.  Oh my goodness, it tasted great and I would definitely recommend it.

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Also at the seasonal markets was Pip and her hot sauces.  She makes great sauces if you want to add some spice to your food.  Check her out.
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Wheelchair basketball and basketball have played a major part of my life and my officiating season started last week.  So there will be many weekends spent in sport halls around the country between now and May.

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A friend asked if I would take some profile photos for her.  The location was beautiful and autumnal, hopefully she was happy with photos.

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I have been sewing a fair bit and I didn’t have any Tilly and the buttons patterns so to cheer myself up I treated myself to the Bettine dress pattern.  Unlike commercial patterns there is only a dress pattern with 2 options and generally it’s a summery dress, I am looking forward to cutting this out.

I love drinking tea and a few years ago I was introduced to Yogi tea.  Each tea bag label has something meaningful on it.  There can be a lot of hate and that can take up a lot of energy so I posted this on my Instagram feed.

I caught a cold during the week and all I wanted was soup.  So I made some chicken and vegetable soup from scratch, it was just what the doctor ordered.

I love knitting it’s like my zen and I don’t knit to sell.  So taking myself out of my knitting comfort zone, I have joined a knit along organised by Sitting Knitting in the West Midlands.  As a dyslexic I find reading patterns really challenging but I managed to crack this one.
This was the meaning behind my collage of photos.  I hope you had a good weekend and have a good week ahead.

International Women’s Day 2017

Today is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is Be Bold for Change I am going to revisit some photos taken for a project I created last year for IWD.  I had all bold ideas to do another photography project based around this year’s theme and  my health has not allowed.  Then one of my  comrades said it not about one day but making a difference everyday.

I put together a photo montage and it included about 25 portraits and I couldn’t of done it without the help of Thomas, Tim and Ian.  I added some music called Self Reflect Jared C Balogh.  I will be revisiting a number of projects and shots taken and reflecting on how far I have come as a photographer.

My pledge for this year is:

#BeBoldForChange and …

  • raise women’s visibility as spokespeople in the media

How better than taking photos of women and telling their stories.

Street Workshop with Kris Askey & IGersBirmingham

When I start writing my blog posts I always struggle and this is the same with my photography.  So when I found IGersBirmingham on Instagram and started going to some of their meetups I started to move out of my comfort zone and challenge the type of photos I shot.

Today was no different.  I kept thinking what if I don’t like any of my shots, I hope no one takes my camera.  Will I have the confidence to give street photography the justice it deserves.   Oh well lets go and see what a Street workshop is all about and listen as well as learn.

Kris Askey kindly gave up some of his time to talk us about how he got started, what fuels him to take the shots he has.  Kris captures some amazing moments and people, last year he shot an exhibition for Birmingham Children’s Hospital which could be viewed in the streets of Birmingham.  After some advice on taking shots on the street, we went out to take our own shots.Poppybead Creative, #igb_meet_street

Here’s one of my first shots, I like the whole view of taxi versus bicycle.  I could of been closer , but I like this shot.

 

 

 

 

These shots were some distance away  or blurred to have any real impact in my view.  But I am happy to share them.

 

 

Version 2

 

Version 2

 

Version 2

I liked these last  three shots when I took them, but I could of had better angles.  Enough of the critiquing, the shots below I am happy with, so enjoy.

Version 2

Version 2

Version 2

Version 2

Version 2

 

 

 

 

 

Version 2
Once we had been out shooting for an hour, we met again and Kris edited some shots.

The opportunity to see Kris edit shots taken by fellow IGers was really useful.  This workshop has given me a kick up the bum to keep challenging myself, try something new & consider printing some of my shots.  So yet again IGersBirmingham and Kris thank you so much.

Kris has an exhibition starting on the 18th February at Park View Gallery in Kings Heath for a month.  So if you want to see and buy prints from Kris go along and support.