Monday, 30 May 2016

Ruffled Up

Ruffled Blouse: Asos // Dungarees: Asos // Shoes: Primark // Watch: Olivia Burton

It has been so long since I've posted an 'outfit of the day'! With work, college, home and social life, it's got a little bit harder to balance it all! But finally, here we are again, and today I am wearing the ultimate ruffle shirt from Asos. I haven't worn the colour lilac in about 15 years, but this shirt called out to me. The dreamy ruffles and pastel colour make it perfect for spring/summer and it can be easily dressed up or down. 

I wanted to go for a smart cashj sort of look, so paired the ruffles with my Asos 90s dungarees. These dunagrees have been making more of an appearance lately; they're such an easy go-to piece! 

I threw on these lovely heeled sandals from Primark as I thought a delicate shoe would work well with the feminine shirt. These babies are going to be a staple through summer, I can just tell. Oh, and not forgetting my gorgeous new Olivia Burton watch! I'm still a little obsessed with this brand - such blimmin' gorgeous watches and I want them all!

Just a quick 'ootd' post today. I've got a few more new outfits that I have in mind, so hopefully there won't be as much of a delay until the next one!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Night School: A is for Aperture

OH MY GOD I LOVE NIGHT SCHOOL. I'm learning so much and have never enjoyed a lesson as much as I do these!

So, onto lesson two; this was all about focus and perspective, changing focal length and aperture depending on the subject and what you want the photo to say. I'd already had a little bit of experience in adjusting aperture before starting the course; as an amateur blogger, aperture was that word in chasing the coveted bokeh background. Learning more practically has helped no end, and I feel like I'm finally getting my head around the mechanics of an SLR.

In very basic terms (and trust me, I am a basic bae when it comes to reading/taking instructions), a wider aperture (appears as a smaller f-number on a camera) allows more light into the lens which decreases what's in focus, so you'll begin to see the background of the focal point of an image blur more as the number gets smaller. A smaller aperture (a bigger f-number) lets less light through, meaning more of an image will be seen in focus. The difference in light being allowed in due to the change in aperture can be balanced by adjusting the shutter speed. As we shot on aperture priority, I won't attempt to try and explain this as handily, the camera decides how best to balance it on this mode.

If you want to read more about DSLR functions (explained a whole lot better than I can!), Media Marmalade has some amazing photography articles.

I took inspiration from Sally Mann for my first couple of shots (first one above). She takes pretty hard hitting photos, all in black and white and demonstrates the use of a wider aperture in a lot of her work. Ben was still content with being my model - well, I suppose after months of him taking my photos, it's only fair he gets in front of the camera now and again! I used my 35mm lens which allows a really wide aperture (f 1.8), so you can really focus in on the subject and get that lovely blurry background.

Still shooting with my 35mm lens, I changed the aperture up a little for this next shot, making it a bit smaller this time (around f 5) to allow a bit more of the image to be in focus. I really loved the juxtaposition of the chained gate and the pretty field.

My final image looked at playing with perspective. I used my kit lens and set it to 18mm for a wider angled shot which I think works in terms of the eye being taken along the tree trunk. Not a fancy image, just a fun experiment!

I hope you liked my little round up of my second lesson. I had the third lesson this week and I can't wait to take some more shots with my newly learned techniques! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Back to (Night) School

Well, hey there!

This little post is of a slightly different kind. No outfits, no exhibitions or trips, but what I actually want to talk about is the new photography class I'm taking! It's an evening course that's being held once a week and is so handy to fit around a full time career.

I have always loved photography. My favourite part of my A-Level art coursework was always taking the photographs ready to paint/sculpt/draw from. I seriously considered taking my passion into university, but after whispers of 'it's too competitive' and fear of not being good enough, all mixed with an all-out exhaustion post my first year of the demanding sixth form art course, I decided I would go down another route. I loved the course I chose, but still had that drive to get creative and photography was my way of doing that. I only ever shot on my phone or basic digital camera, but I still so enjoyed composing images and always loved to flick through editorial fashion magazines.

After graduating, I started blogging as a way to harness my creative urges. I completely adore fashion and love social media, photography and a little writing too, so it was the perfect outlet. Not long after I started this blog, I decided to purchase my first DSLR as wanted those perfect blogger shots. I read all I could find on photography, and it gave me a good grounding; however, I knew I needed just that extra bit of guidance to help me reach my camera's full potential.

A friend of mine, who's equally passionate about photography, attended the same course at a local college last year and she couldn't recommend it enough. So, with one of my new years' resolutions this year being to 'proppah learn photography', I took the plunge.

I've had two lessons so far and above all the technical stuff I'm learning (which, already  I'm impressed with), it's completely inspiring and has reignited my passion for picking up a camera.

Considering I'm talking about a photography course, there's an awful lot of writing here, huh? So, enough of my declaration of love, I just wanted to show you a couple of shots I took following the first lesson, which was all about movement. We were tasked with taking three or four images, demonstrating the techniques we'd been shown. Again, as much as I had read on shutter speed, and even tried playing around with it now and again, the lesson really honed in on adjusting shutter speed and the different dimension it can add to a photo.

I'll start with my favourite image, and probably the one I'm most proud of. Light painting is hardly a new or innovative technique and I definitely didn't nail it. But actually giving it a go (simply by using my iPhone torch and waving it madly around Ben's head!), adjusting the shutter speed (eventually I got down to 4 seconds and that seemed to be the best timing) and getting something that worked was a mini achievement.

My next movement image, was the attempt at catching something in the moment and blurring the motion to get that sense of life in the image. I didn't quite have the balls to take photos of random commuters, so my pal Victoria was happy to be my model, to pretend to look back at St Paul's as she strutted down the road. Again, a work in progress, but I was happy that I managed to keep the background fairly focused with the low shutter speed, even when hand holding! I think this was about 1/8 of a second.

My third and final image was a frozen in time shot (around 1/1000 shutter speed). I asked Ben to jump around in the back garden, and as you can see, he definitely went for it! Such personality in this image and even though it's a completely still image, the movement in it is clear. The series of shots has really got me thinking even more deeply about the art of photography and how amazing that can be!

When my class displayed their images for us all to see, there was a real sense of pride and I loved seeing how everyone else interpreted movement and how they put the techniques into practice. It is such a rewarding hobby! I look forward to keeping you updated with the next few classes and the images I produce from them!

For anyone thinking of taking that night-school plunge - GO FOR IT! It's always a good idea to learn something new :)

See more about the course here!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016


Bomber Jacket: Zara // Top: Zara (similar) // Mom Jeans: Topshop // Trainer: Topshop (similar) // Rucksack: Primark // Sunglasses: H&M

When I wore this bomber jacket out last weekend, I couldn't help but notice that every third person I walked past was also wearing a bomber jacket. This trend seems to have EXPLODED this year, and I can completely see why.

I bought this quilted Zara bomber a couple of weeks ago for £39.99 and for the quality and style, I thought that was a pretty fair price. It's such a good jacket for spring; it takes the chill off when it's a little colder, but is light enough to wear with a spring ensemble. I must invest in a couple more styles as they're so handy in this weather! The khaki colour of this Zara bomber also means it'll go with alotta other stuff too.

I teamed the jacket with a stripe top, black mom jeans (only now do I notice an oil splatter on the leg, dammit!) and white sneakers to create the ultimate slothy outfit for a day of shopping (told you I'd be back to mom jeans in a flash, can't stay out of 'em!). Another new purchase of mine are these super cool mirrored H&M sunglasses. I'm so excited to wear these more now the sun is peeking through.

Now this weather is shaping up to be slightly more spring-like, I'll be basking in this bomber's in-between weather appropriateness as I strut down the street. Now, excuse me while I hunt for a few more styles to buy immediately...