20 months | 602 days | 14448 hours

So, I lied. I most definitely haven’t kept up to date. However, I have kept experimenting – so that’s one thing. I have been fairly busy though, so here’s the rundown of what I’ve been up to and where I am now:

I bought a new lens (more about that later)

I designed the second Sixth Form Magazine

I got a job in a library

I made some films

I went to Nice

I took headshots for a website

I photographed a service at Christchurch Cathedral

I went to Devon

I turned 18

I did work experience at a London creative consultancy

The London photo book got published

I went to Bologna

I did an experimental drawing course

I finished my A-levels

I went to Bologna again

I went to Corfu

I went to The Isles of Scilly

I went to Cornwall

I photographed content for the website of a local Solicitor firm

I designed an advert for the firm

I went to Devon

I turned 19

I designed a Christmas card for 750 copies

I found an old lens.

 

And that brings me up to date. It’s been almost 2 years, and I can’t believe how much has happened. I love to travel about, and I think that it’s so important to experience and see different places and cultures, and it’s this change of scene which keeps my photographic intrigue firing on all cylinders. Admittedly, the most exciting part of the last 602 days must have been splashing out on my new lens, the Tamron 24 – 70 mm f/2.8. What a corker. It’s no longer just my nifty fifty and I anymore, but I’m thrilled to be building a collection of lenses suitable for any occasion. I also found an old Hoya 135mm f/2.8 Minolta MC mount lens at home. After lots of research, I’m excitedly awaiting the delivery of an adapter for my Nikon F mount and can’t wait to use it. I am also keen to start some film photography. It’s nothing I’ve ever done before, but I love the process of analogue photography; the unpredictability, the idea that every frame is so much more precious than digital. I am currently looking between the Minolta XE7 (XE-11) and the Nikon F3 – any thoughts?

Now, I’m on a fantastic Art Foundation course here in Oxford and absolutely loving it. It has given me the chance to experiment with such a wide range of media, techniques and areas of art, and really helped me to make my choices for a degree course next year.

And here I am now. It is the run-up to Christmas and I feel more on track than ever before. It feels so great to have found my artistic direction, and I can’t wait to begin the next step in my adventure.

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long time, no blog

Three seasons, a new year and many adventures later, I’m ready for my next post.

It may have been a long time, but that’s not to say I haven’t been busy with my camera. In fact, I don’t think I’ve experimented quite so much! Despite my A-levels taking up so much time, studying art has inspired me to keep trying new techniques, practicing methods and exploring new ones, if not becoming obsessed with photographing water. So here goes, a brief update…

 

Autumn – crisp leaves, vivid skies.

I found myself designing and publishing my Sixth Form magazine in a fantastically creative team. This was a totally new experience for me and despite the hectic deadlines and stressful organisation I loved every second of it. There really is nothing like seeing your hard work coming hot off the press, and would love to be a part of it again. Autumn brought an abundance of stunning natural beauty, the natural softbox of the reddening skies highlighting beautifully the details of the landscape. There really is nothing like it, and the pattern of the evening clouds never fail to mesmerise me.

 

Winter – bitter chill, festive warmth.

If not the most depressing month, Winter does offer the chance to drape the house liberally in light, colour and scent. This was the perfect setting for some beautiful bokehlicious photos of decoration. It also enticed me towards the macro side of those frosted mornings. Yet, as Spring approaches, with frost turning to dew, we are relieved from the deep gloom of the endless darkness and step out to a spot of sunshine.

 

Spring – fresh start, new life.

The greenery blooms, longer days and a funny bright light appears in the sky. The white of the snowdrops is replaced by the pop of yellow offered by the daffodils, and soon after everything comes alive. Lighter, longer, warmer: I spend endless hours cycling and taking photos when the evenings begin stretch out.

 

Which brings my story up to date, with just enough time to let you know what my latest project has been.

 

I started with a deep, round glass container of water and an assortment of coloured inks. I then set up with a softbox backdrop and softboxes either side of the water: with my camera on a tripod I was ready.

I dropped the inks in the water and photographed the movement of the colours. It was very interesting to see the way the liquids moved and spread out in the water, and I continued to add different colours at different times for varied effects. It was hard because after each shoot the water would turn murky and opaque, so I had to set up fresh water each time. However, after a while I was starting to get some interesting shots with fantastic pattern.

 

I love experimenting with new methods and yes, I will keep more up to date next time…

 

it was a long shot

Yesterday it rained. Heavily. When stuck in the house like this whats better to do than a bit of a clear out…

When doing this I came across some things of interest: photos, a pair of binoculars and a large, heavy leather case. In this case I discovered what appeared to be an old telephoto lens. I took it out of it’s casing and found a hunk of black metal with a piece of glass on the front. Ok, not the most high tech but I was excited and keen to use it!

However, it wasn’t that straightforward. The lens was made in Russia and has CCCP stamped on the barrel. It had a thread mount, and was once the 2 kilogram counterpart to a Zenit film SLR. Obviously it wouldn’t fit on my Nikon, so I had to improvise.

I set up the monster on my tripod and aimed it cluelessly out my bedroom window. Then I took the lens off my D7000 and aligned the body up with the lens. As I wavered the body to align it I was genuinely surprised at what I saw. It worked! After fiddling with focus and manually setting my camera, I could snap away at pigeons and sparrows from my bedroom!

This was the first time I had used a telephoto lens and how fun it was! Of course, it would be completely impractical for frequent use because it doesn’t attach to my camera, the images aren’t sharp and its truly colossal. Bear in mind these pictures aren’t great, but it was fun and now I really want my own…