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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More cards…..

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Guess what? I have printed more cards for sale, this time I wanted to share the story behind each photo.

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This first card/photo was taken in 2016 outside the Royal Free hospital. The hospital has done so much for my family over the years. The combination of lavender and craspedia is just so vibrant.

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This second photo was taken in 2016 in Hastings on a trip to the seaside. These lovely red flowers kept attracting my eye as we walked to the seafront. Thank you Lesley and Jo for letting me know these flowers are called rudbekia. Both photos were shot with a Canon 1300D DSLR.

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This photo is the oldest shot I have had printed. It was taken at the London 2012 Olympics when I went to watch synchronised swimming. The Olympic park was beautifully landscaped without being too regimented. I was using a Fuji S4400 bridge camera.

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The acorn was shot in 2017 whilst in France using a Canon 1300D DSLR. I am rubbish at remembering quotes or proverbs. But ‘From little acorns mighty oaks grow.’

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Once a upon a time I used to go for a walk at lunchtime with a friend, we would talk about many things and we will continue do so. It will just be at other points of the day and week.

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You might of noticed in these last two photos there are water droplets. They were taken at least 9 months apart and both on a lunchtime walk. I used my Samsung S7 edge mobile phone to take both photos.

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In the centre of Birmingham there is fountain affectionately called the “Floozie in the jacuzzi”. It’s real title is the River created by Dhruva Mistry. Due to expensive leaks the fountain was turned off in 2013. A few years later the council planted the fountain. One early Sunday morning I went for a walk and captured the bee and butterfly in the fountain, using my Canon 1300D DSLR.

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I love orchids and have had up to six at any one time. I have printed this photo before but it sold out straight away. I was unwell and leave the house so I took my Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II and this is what happened.

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A high number of photographers I know all flock to shoot the blossom in Oozells Square each year. I went again this year and caught up with with lovely people and taking this shot with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II.

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Leucojum aestivum, summer snowflake were captured with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II at Winterbourne Gardens. I think I will have more visits to the gardens over the coming months.

All of these cards are A6 in size, with a matt finish. They are supplied with a white envelope.

Thank you for your support.

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.

Thank you – Greeting Cards

I just wanted to thank everyone who has purchased cards from me. I had 50 cards printed using 10 of my photos and have sold 49. I did use one myself.

I am looking into building a simple website and selling from there. I looked at Etsy, Ebay and Folksy. The fees were quite high and would mean putting my costs up more than I wanted.

I am also looking into doing some craft fairs, sets and cards for occasions. My cards all incorporate photos taken by myself.

Thank you again for your kind words and custom. I am just planning some more cards to be printed. When they are ready I will post on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I am looking at possibly setting up a mailing list for exclusive access to new products, let me know what you think.

Photography backgrounds 

Sometime ago an amazing creative friend had started using photography backgrounds. Her photos and products were and are still amazing.

I had been using wallpaper samples, floor tiles and blank paper as backgrounds

Then I bit the bullet and bought my first photo board from Photoboardshq. After much deliberating I chose coast. It was a light colour and have been loving it.

Then a few weeks ago I went to the photography show Photoboardshq were exhibiting. So I bought another two boards. It was really helpful to see the boards in person. I settled for Cabin and Firewood.

I have really enjoyed experimenting with different backgrounds and would like the opportunity to capture more items. Watch this space.

Please note, this is not a sponsored post and I will still use different backgrounds.

The Photography Show 2018

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Best Nine and Make Nine

In 2015 I came across the best nine app.  I entered my Instagram account name and it picked the most liked nine photos from my feed.  When I look back at my Instagram feed, it has really developed.  Here are those first nine photos. 

These nine shots all relate to knitting and food.  I have set up a separate Instagram feed for my food called poppybeadfood.  The sock yarn blanket hasn’t grown much in two years and I love knitting colourwork. 

 Fast forward to 2016 and I had really embraced photography.   

Five of the nine photos above were taken when I attended a long exposure workshop with Ross Jukes.  I had no clue about long exposure and learnt so much.  All of the photos were taken with my Canon 1300D camera, it was a real year of learning and discovery. 

2017 has absolutely flown by.  This year’s nine show a different development.  I am still taking lots of photos but you get to see a little more of me, I had stopped hiding as much behind the camera as much.  I have been sewing a fair bit more this year, catching up with old friends and returned to officiating top level able bodied basketball. 

I have continued to look into puddles for a beautiful photo and get outside for night time photos.  One big difference this year was the camera I used to take the long exposure photos.  I bought an Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II, it’s a lot smaller and lighter than my Canon.  It also has image stabilisation built into the camera body.  I am struggling with it but every once in a while I capture some stunning photos.

Now on to my makes.  On Christmas eve I came across the hashtag #2018makenine, a gentle challenge on making nine things throughout the year hosted by Home Row Fiber Co and a blog gives you more information.  I noticed some people had posted sewing or knitting specific grids of nine, I did both.  I attached three aspects to them, make some new things, finish projects that have been hanging around for a while and re-make some things I enjoyed making before. 

From left to right, top to bottom. 

  1. The lonely tree shawl by Sylvia McFadden.  I made it for a dear friend and enjoyed it, so will make another at some point. 
  2. Santa’s Laundry Line by Eleonore von Castelmur.  I started this decoration a few years ago and picked all of the easy items to complete first.  I have nearly finished the socks, just leaving the mittens and longjohns.
  3. The Secret Garden Shawl by Sarah Rose is not far from being finished and I am due to start the lace section. 
  4. Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart.  This pattern is one of the easiest patterns to follow, it gave lots of interest and tracked how far you had got through the pattern.
  5. Stories From Snoqualmie Valley by Annie Rowden will be a lovely cosy shawl when I finish this project.
  6. Baa ble Hat by Donna Smith has been a popular pattern amongst knitters and I knitted mine in two shades of grey.
  7. Andes Cardigan by Jenny Watson was one of the first patterns I started knitting seven years ago.  Yes I know seven years is a long time but I got bored.  Again, there isn’t much more to do.
  8. Bluebird of Happiness by Sara Elizabeth Kellner, is a small make that I intend to make again.
  9. Hopscotch by Wieke van Keulen is a crochet project that needs to be finished. 

As for sewing with I don’t think I am particularly good but I keep trying and some of the things I make are wearable. 

      Pictures 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9 are from simplicity NewLook.  Picture 8 was a prize in an Instagram competition with The Crafty Pinup.  Picture 3 is the Molly dress is My Capsule Wardrobe from Sew over It. Pictures 5 and 7 are dresses from Tilly and the Buttons, I have heard good things about her patterns and so I have treated myself to Love at First Stitch and the Bettine pattern.

      I will also be learning how to use an overlocker and hope that will help with my sewing.  As for my photography I am still hopeful. 

      Enjoy your creativity. 

        #mycosywinter Photo Contest. 

        Recently, I purchased a photo board photoboards.org after Jane Kent who had recommended them.  When my board arrived I was impressed with the quality and how my earrings popped in my shots.

        Then I noticed a post on Photoboard’s Instagram feed that they were holding a contest with the hashtag #mycosywinter.  So I decided to enter and this is a big thing as I get really anxious about my photography and to sometimes get photographer’s envy.

        Below, is my entry called “Mince pies and knitting” The candle holders were a gift from a dear friend and ex work colleague.  The candles were from an endosister and yellow is the colour for Endometriosis.  The yarn is from Rico Design and was purchased from Sitting Knitting in the West Midlands, the pine cone was collected locally.  The baubles were purchased a few years ago from a major supermarket and the gluten free mince pie was from another major supermarket and finally fairy lights were from a discount store.

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        Well I would now like to ask for your help in order to get through to the next stage of the contest and I really need your votes.

        You can vote here and the closing date is Monday 18th December 2017 at 09.00 GMT.

        Thank you for reading this post and hopefully voting for me.

         

        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.