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.

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Throwback Thursday: Moseley Road Swimming Baths 

Back in February Friends of Moseley Road baths invited IgersBirmingham to capture Moseley Road Baths.
The baths are due to close soon, leaving the area having to travel to Sparkhill baths when they reopen.

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If you haven’t been to Moseley Road Baths the Friends are having a community action day on Saturday 18th March and more details can be found here for more information.  It will be a shame to see this building close.

Thank you IgersBirmingham for the opportunity to capture this beautiful building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Inspired – Kizomba, Semba & Ginga Workshops 

About this time last year I contacted my friend James to ask if I could take photos at his “Be Inspired – Kizomba and Semba Workshops” It’s been one of the scariest photo opportunities I did last year.  How do I freeze movement, how do I make sure the images are clear. I was shooting with both a Fuji Finepix bridge camera and a Canon 400D.

Fast forward just over a year and I have the opportunity to capture another one of James’s workshops.  I prepare myself to shoot at the same venue as last year, anticipating the lighting and what shots I want to get and the venue changes.  Calmly I make sure I have my external flash and extra batteries.

I got to the venue, with time to take some test shots with my Canon 1300D and introduced myself to the teacher Maria.

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I really like these shots.  The guys were busy setting up the music for the party night Testa Com Testa that follows the workshops.

As people started to arrive I started to wonder around and so people would feel at ease with me taking photos.  I found out that people had travelled from London and Bristol to attend the workshops.

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I really enjoy challenging myself as a photographer and these workshops are a great opportunity to do that.  Everyone is so friendly.

 

 

Maria will be hosting a Kizomba festival in Germany at the end of March click here for more details.

James will be hosting his own festival in Sardinia more details can found here about Sardinia Afro Beach Festival – The Kizomba Festival of Friendship.

Thank you again James.

Throwback Thursday

Last weekend at the street workshop with Kris Askey, I remember listening to a conversation about revisiting your photos.

I started taking photos just before the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012, as I wanted record moments that would never happen again.  I am so proud to of been involved in the Paralympics as an official at the wheelchair basketball tournament.

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I printed this shot and love it.

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This was underneath the extra seating at the aquatics centre.
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I bought a Fuji Finepix bridge camera and all shots in this blog post were taken with it.  I had no real clue how to use it so kept using the auto settings.

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Opening ceremony at Paralympics 2012

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 Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if I knew what I know now about photography, wow. I hope to share some more shots from my archives.  You can find more of my shots on Flickr 

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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

 

It’s the end of January already!

This post was due to be published on Tuesday but the photos wouldn’t load.

Today was the last day of January and it’s always welcome.  Mainly because it’s the first payday after Christmas and my birthday.

I thought I would share some photos from this month.

Tracey Emin poster Poppybead Creative

This poster was designed by Tracey Emin for the 2012 Paralympics in London.  I find the words meaningful.

Igers Birmingham had their first meetup of the year in Deritend, the weather was poor but there was a great turnout of people.  I have been able to challenge my photography through these meetups and meet some lovely people.

I upgraded my phone and these last few photos were taken with my phone, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

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These two photos were taken on different days.

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I love reflections and I am sure there will be more over the year.  Enjoy February.

My Calendar – My year in photos

Since the beginning of 2016 I have seriously been taking photos with a DSLR camera.  Along this journey of discovery I have had some fantastic opportunities to take photos.

I wanted to get a desktop calendar and thought about using my own shots.  I did get some inspiration from Ross Jukes Photography, who has produced a fantastic calendar with great shots. 

 So I looked back through all of the photos I took this year and tried to choose a shot from each month.

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 This is the cover of my calendar, I took this shot at Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve on an igersbirmingham and West Midlands wildlife instameet.  

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 In January I went to Dublin for my birthday and spent time with some lovely people, thank you.

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 Before I carry on I took photos Canon 400D for the first 3 months.  I want to thank my dear friend for lending me the camera.

I love tulips and will treat myself to flowers every once in a while.

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 For my 40th birthday another dear friend gave me some plants and they re-flowered. I love how things can bloom again.

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 At the end of April I took my own DSLR out.  Rachel at Sitting Knitting let me take pictures in her lovely yarn shop.  This West Midlands yarn shop is full of beautiful things on top of all of the beautiful yarn.

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 I have been very blessed when a friend gave me some advice about lenses.  His advice about photography is invaluable and one Sunday morning I got up early to try it out.  The lens is for macro shots but I just wanted to try using it and ended up taking this shot of the Selfridges building in the West Midlands.

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 In June I met some photographers through Instagram and took this shot from the top of the Cube.  I am always chasing the sunset and sunrises.

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 This sunrise brings back memories of growing up.  I was rather pleased with the composition.

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 Whilst taking time off from the day job I went out to practice my photography and I went past the fountain in Victoria Square, which has been planted with flowers and I managed to capture a butterfly.

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 After all the years of living in the West Midlands I had the chance to go to Sarehole Mill with igersbirmingham on an instameet and take this shot. It was a lovely day and I got to meet more Instagrammers.

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 In October I signed up for another instameet with igersbirmingham at the new library at the University of Birmingham.  I wanted to challenge my photography and be nosey to be honest.  I was so shocked as this shot got chosen as photo of the day and featured in the igersbirmingham exhibition.  I am so proud of how the level of my photography has improved this year.

 As I said earlier I am always chasing a great sunrise and sunset.  So on the way to my day job I looked back saw this view and lucky enough I had my camera with me.

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 This photo wasn’t captured in December, it was a few days earlier. I got the opportunity to learn more about long exposure photography and I really enjoyed myself.  Yet another challenge for me, as I didn’t have a clue and struggle with cold temperatures.

I have enjoyed improving the quality of of my photos and can’t thank everyone who has helped me enough.  I have ordered 5 desk calendars in total and will make the other 4 available for sale if people are interested.  Do comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

My Current Crafting Project 

I am well known for starting and working on lots of projects at the same time. 

At the moment I’m working on a crochet baby blanket for some friends.  I have become a monogamous crafter and thought I would give flat lay photography a go.

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In this first photo I used a patterned fabric as the background.  It seems too busy so I tried again.  

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In this second photo I used a plainer background, what do you think?