Creative writing

Burger and Veg

 

As a child I was always given meat. I had no control of what I would eat. My father would always have his steak on a Saturday, Mother would cook it in the frying pan for him and fill up the house with the smell. Years went by meat, meat, meat. Now in my second year of college I met a girl. She was a Vegan; she hadn’t ever eaten meat or anything that had come from a animal. She loved all creatures, even bugs. What surprised me most was she was a fan of wasps. No one is a fan of wasps. This should have been the first sign that she was odd. She would tell me as we studied how meat was murder and how the smell of cooked meat made her sick to the stomach. Meat had never bothered me. I loved the smell of cooked bacon. The joys of getting a kebab from the take away after a night out from college was the best way to end the night.

I never thought much about about meat, it was just what we had for dinner. Sometimes I wouldn’t have meat, I mean I’d get chips or a salad, depends on the day and how much money I had left. Chips were only £1.50 where a burger was £4. I need to save as much as I could. I was living the life of a college student, away from home, meeting new people going out most nights and trying not to miss classes.

One evening she showed me a documentary film about how I got my chicken burger. It was rancid. I couldn’t finish it; I couldn’t look at it. How can we allow this to happen? She explained how the government have just passed a bill that says animals don’t feel pain and how they are bringing back fox hunting. She went into real details about how I pretty much caused all the suffering to all the animals. She was very convincing. Every burger, every kebab, every bucket of fried chicken. It had been me that killed them, skinned them, made those poor animals suffer. If I hadn’t wanted to eat meat they would still be alive, living their life. I felt disgusting.

I always had pets growing up, mostly dogs, some cats and a rabbit. I never thought about eating them, actually the thought of eating a dog made me feel sick. Now I couldn’t even look at a burger, a sausage, a roasted lamb. I had decided to go vegetarian.

That evening I asked her over, I explained I wanted to go vegetarian and if she could help me. She didn’t seem too pleased.

“Vegetarian” she said looking at me as if I was still a meat eater “You might as well open up a fish and chip shop and fry up some fish in your deep fat fryer”

“What’s wrong with vegetarians?” I questioned worrying how’d she react.

She took a long hard look at me as we stood in my kitchen.

“Vegetarians are so fake” she said

“Fake?” I questioned, slightly relieved she hadn’t gone crazy.

A few nights back I’d seen her go crazy, it wasn’t a pretty sight. She was a small girl, about 4ft 7 but, she had completely lost it at the bar. It took three of us to pull her away. I don’t know what was said to her but something had definitely made her snap and she wanted to hurt this girl. I’m sure it was drunken behaver, we’ve all done silly things when drunk and being a student nighty percent of the time is drunken stupid behaviour.

“A vegetarian will eat fish, they aren’t helping anyone, they are just fake” She explained

“I know vegetarians that don’t eat fish”

“But they drink milk in their coffee and tea’s?”

“Milk?” I replied surprised

“They are still causing pain and suffering to the animals even if they don’t eat them they drink them” she continued

I hadn’t thought about that; she did have a point. Cows have their calf’s taken away and the cow would actually cry and search for there young. When you see a cow crying out of heart break and people in the world actually say animals don’t have feelings it’s rather upsetting if you have any type of conscience.

I had decided to become vegan. I didn’t know much about how to be one but she said she’d help. She first recommends a blender. So with my student loan that I wasn’t going to spend on junk food I hop-tailed it to the shop and got a blender.

Over the next few weeks she would come over and we’d study and then make dinner. The more time I spent with her the more I grew to like her. She wasn’t my normal type but I was spending a lot of time with her and she was teaching me how to cook some really good vegan food. Some was a bit iffy but that was probably my taste buds getting use to it.  I was shocked at how good it was. Did you know there are so many different ways to cook a potato? Over 10 apparently.

It was Friday night and we had arranged for her to come over and hang out, like most nights. I had thought about it for most of the week I was going to ask her out on a date.

She arrived right on time as normal, she seemed overly happy this evening. I thought this would be a good time to ask her.

“I was thinking instead of staying in and cooking” I said squeamishly “maybe we’d go out for dinner, on me of course?”

“Are you asking me out on a date” she replied half smiling

“Nah, No, of course not, well maybe, what do you think?” I replied holding my breath

“That would be lovely” She replied

A giant smile came across my face; I couldn’t control it. They do say you normally meet your wife/husband at college maybe. Lets not get too far ahead of ourselves now. It’s just dinner.

I let her pick the restaurant just to be safe. The food was good, the service was nice, they knew her by her first name when we entered. I wondered how many dates she’d been here on. It was a nice, small Romanian restaurant, I kept the chat normal trying not to make it too weird. First dates are tricky especially when you’ve been good friends for a while. I didn’t want to lose a friend. If there’s no spark, there’s no spark, not the end of the world.

After dinner I actually gulped when the bill came. I never knew dinner could be so expensive. I paid not letting on that it had pretty much cleaned me out till my next loan came in, which was in about three weeks. I can live on blended veg for a few weeks, that’s not a problem. I once saw a documentary about a guy that lived on it for 50 days and he got healthier so that’s not a problem.

She suggested we walk back to the halls along the canal as it was a nice warm evening and clear sky. It was dark but it wasn’t that dark with the moon light, rather romantic actually.

We walked along, I brushed my hand against hers trying to see if she’d take it and quickly thought better of it. Along the path I could see a few tents lined up next to some Narrow boats and a BBQ set, we walked pasted a group who seamed to be having a nice evening. The smell of the BBQ food really took me back; I didn’t think I’d miss the smell of cooked meat but it was delightful. I didn’t let on, in fact I made a face of disgust and hoped she saw. We carried on walking till suddenly she took my hand and stopped. She turned to me and spoke

“Why haven’t you tried to kiss me?”

“I, I, I wasn’t sure if that’s what you wanted” I replied surprised

She went on her tip toes and kissed me on the lips, I didn’t know what to do. It was nice, I had a feeling of joy come over me. Then a sharp pain in my lip. Really hard.

“Jesus” I called out pushing her off me and grabbing my bottom lip. I looked down at my hand to see she had actually bitten my lip till I bled.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it” she replied

“You bit me” I claimed

“It was only a little nip, lets go back the other way” she said

I held my lip stopping the bleeding and walked back along the path. I had let go of her hand as she walked a tad faster than before.

“What’s the hurry?” I called to her as she was now a few yards a head of me.

“Come on, keep up. We need to get back and sort that lip out, I am sorry, you know that right?”

She kept getting further away, it was like she was running. I thought about it for a second and stopped. What is she doing? As she followed the canal around a corner she had gone out of sight. She must be so embarrassed I thought. Biting someone on your first date, I guess it means she likes me. Suddenly in the distance I heard a cry and a splash of water. She’d fallen in, I thought. I started to run to catch up, just a head I could see her lent over a deck chair by the group having the BBQ. I couldn’t see anyone in the water. I called out to her but no reply. I could hear a gurgling sound as I got closer. I called again and she stepped aside. She was covered in blood.

“What the hell are you doing?” I called out as I ran up

I looked down at the man in the deck chair, his shoulder and face both ripped apart, blood pouring out he was unconscious by this point.  She looked at me as she chewed on something, I could only guess it was this poor chaps face.

“I told you I was Vegan” she called out as she grabbed the guys face and bit into again ripping his nose from his face. Blood squirted out everywhere. I stood there frozen and in shock.

“This isn’t vegan; this is….” I couldn’t finish my sentence, I started to throw up as I bent down watching her take another bite and watching the man slowly pass away. She pushed his body into the canal.

I could see in the distance another couple walking along the path towards us. As they got closer I called out

“RUN! CALL THE POLICE, HELP US”

Suddenly she had grabbed me, her face was next to mine. The blood dripping off her lips, she grabbed my face and I prepared for her to bite. She kissed me on the cheek and looked into my eyes and said

“Just because I’m vegan doesn’t mean I don’t’ love meat”

She grabbed my hand and bit hard down on it, I let out a roar of pain and kicked her too the floor and ran up the path pulling out my phone as I did. I called the police as I ran. I could see her standing there covered in blood licking her hands.

That was the last time I ever saw her. The police questioned me for a few weeks until I was charged with the double murder and sentenced to 20 years, I’m waiting for a re-trial now but there’s no evidence of her ever existing. No college records, no nothing. The only hope I had was the two witnesses but they only saw me attacking a man. They didn’t see her apparently. I tried to explain I never attacked them, but having his blood on my face was good enough for the jury to find me guilty.

I still don’t eat meat but it’s hard not to while in here. I will never say I’m vegan though. I spend sometime in the prison library researching news papers about vegans. Once I found a magazine about gardening and growing your own vegetables and on the front cover stood the two witnesses from my trial. The headline read ‘Vegan couple, breeds new life into veg’ my only hope of freedom vanished.

                                              

Creative writing

Here's a short horror story I've written for my creative writing class. 

 

Nibble

Summer is great but when it gets too hot it can go straight in the bin.

Shorts and t-shirt weather again. I head out with the dog for a morning walk to start the day. We head into the park as normal, the sun burning down on us that even at this hour it’s too hot for a long one. We finish our walk and I’m dripping with sweat. I’m English this isn’t what I'm used to.  I can feel the sweat running down my back. Disgusting.

As we head out the park I notice a lorry has pulled up. It’s not hard to miss. It’s a moving lorry, one of the really big ones that block the road.

Around here it’s mainly families, sometimes young couples looking to start their family, not often though. The dog starts to growl towards them as we pass, he even gives out a bark, very strange for him.

The day goes by and it gets hotter and hotter. I start to complain to the people that I’d normally whinge to, the internet, family, girlfriend.

Finally dusk, it’s still warm, it’s about 9 pm as the sun sets it gets to a nice temperature. You can sit outside listen to your music and have a drink, the type of thing you would do in the summer.

There’s a knock at the front door and am greeted by a young couple.

“Hi,” says the woman.

“We just moved in across the street and wanted to introduce ourselves” she continued

 “No thank you,” I say and begin to close the door.

The older gentleman, who lives in my house, heads over and starts to talk to them stopping me from closing the door. I walk away.

I’m not sure what happened. I opened the door and just felt this evil feeling come over me. I did not want to be near them. The two, a young man and a young woman maybe mid 30’s. They finish their conversation and leave.

“What did they want?” I call down

“Just to say hello, they seem very nice. I invited them to the barbecue tomorrow” he replies. I’d obviously forgotten they were having people around.

 

I’m sat in bed watching TV, the windows are open, then I hear an odd sound like a handle being turned. Real squeaking type of sound. I mute the TV, grab my phone and look at the time. 2.29am. What was that noise? I sit up a little bit more and look through the gaps in my blinds at anything outside. Soon as I do I see the new neighbours’ lights are on. Their garage door is open and the light from there is filling up the whole street. I watch as they carry something out. It looks like a large wooden box, it looks heavy. Wait! Is that what I think it is? Is that a coffin? A coffin what are they doing with a coffin? They suddenly stop and look in my direction. I duck down quickly and pull the covers over my head. They can’t have seen me. The blinds would have blocked their view of me definitely. I slowly sit up and pull the covers down and look back out through the small gap in the blinds. They’re gone. I reach under my blind and grab the window and close it very quietly. My heart beat starts to slow and I lie back on my bed, switch off the TV and try to get some sleep.

 

I awake with a jolt. There’s a tapping sound on my window, now scratching. I pull the covers up and over my head. The tapping gets louder; it is definitely coming from my window. That’s it. I grab the blind handle and in one movement pull the handle down and the blind goes up. I scream and let go and run out of the room as fast as I can. Lights in the house start to come on. One person appears from their room with a baseball bat.

“What the hell is going on?” he calls out

 I'm shaking with fear.

“The neighbours, the neighbours,” I say trying to get the words out.

“What do you mean the neighbours?” he says

“I swear they are flying by my window” I reply

He goes straight in, no fear. He doesn’t even stop to think what if. He doesn’t believe what I’ve said. He looks out the window, Nothing. The street is nearly completely dark only slightly lit up by our lights.

“Nothing, you’ve got some real issues,” he says to me as he leaves my room closing the door behind himself.

Everything has calmed down and everyone has gone back to their own rooms.

I sit, phone in hand checking the internet for any information on ‘people who can fly’.

No results anywhere. I put my phone on its charger and lie down. As I’m turning over to get comfortable I hear a voice say “Sleep well”

I jump out of bed again, turn the light on. Nothing, just an empty room. I sit at the end of my bed with a makeshift weapon a monopod I use for cameras from time to time. The hours go by and the sun starts to rise about 5.00am. 

I haven’t slept. When I hear the birds start singing a massive wave of relief came over me. What a night, did I just make it up? I’m so tired though. Maybe it was just all in my head. Lack of sleep would do that to you. I finally try and get some sleep lucky, it’s a Saturday. It's another boiling day and the world goes on around me. The next-door neighbour’s gardeners are working. Music blaring, lawnmowers, chainsaws. All the sounds you want to hear when you need some rest.

I slept for maybe 10 hours on and off. I spent a few hours on my laptop looking up people who could fly only to find airline pilots and drug users who believe they can fly due to the drugs they are on.

It’s around 7 pm now and the doorbell goes. Oh yeah the party, I get up jump in the shower and get dressed. There are a few more people here I say my hellos, grab some food and head inside. The doorbell rings again. I place my plate on the side and open the door. The new neighbours are standing there smiling. I freeze.

“Hi” the lady says.

I hear a yell from behind me as I’m pushed aside by the older gentleman.

“Come in, come in, welcome, sorry about him” I move aside and watch them enter. I get a terrible chill all over my body as they pass. The guy winks at me.

“We bought some red and white, we weren’t sure which you preferred,” he says as they head out to the garden.

I race upstairs to my room and shut the door. I go straight to the computer and start typing. Flying people, coffins into the search engines. All I get back is information on holiday trips to Transylvania. What have flying people got to do with Transylvania? I search more while I listen out to the party below, conversation, music the normal party sounds. I guess I should head down, I get up and head to the door. As I open it, standing right in front of me at the top of the stairs, is the neighbour

“Hello,” he says.

 My heart starts beating faster and faster I can feel it thumping away.

“Hi” I reply as calmly as I can.

“You saw us last night, didn’t you?”

“Saw you?” I question as I calmly push past him and head down the stairs.

“How was your sleep?” he calls down too me

 I head to the back garden where I see the lady standing behind one of the guests. I call over to them and Suddenly I’m grabbed from behind and a cold hand covers my mouth. I try and fight back but I’m not strong enough and I watch while being pulled back the women bites into guest’s neck. Bloody splatters everywhere, there’s screaming from the others. Chairs and the table are knocked over, glasses smash on the floor, screams of horror. With a bright white flash and a loud thud, six more people appear out of nowhere. They grab the guests and bite into them. I’m watching in terror and struggling as much as I can.

“WATCH!” the man says to me.

I close my eyes in the hope its all a dream. I bite down on his hand as hard as I can and kick him off me. He just stares at me and begins to laugh.  I grab a letter opener from the side and drive it straight into his skull. He stands, he’s stopped laughing now but a slight smile comes across his face as he pulls it slowly out.

“Don’t you know anything boy?” He says

 I shove past him and run up the stairs to the bathroom. The bathroom door won't hold off anyone wanting to get in let alone a Vampire. I check my pockets for my phone to call the police or someone, anyone. My pockets are empty, must have left it on the side. I’m so dead unless I can hold out until morning. I can hear them at the top of the stairs. It’s calm. A gentle knock on the door

“You should never invite a Vampire into your house,” he says

“I never invited you” I call back hoping that would help but knowing full well the older gentleman invited him in.

 Blood suddenly starts pouring up from the plugs both sink and bath spraying the room litres and litres. I’ve never seen so much blood. Suddenly it stops and there’s silence. I slump down against the door just in case they are still out there.

All the lights go out. I stand up, still holding the door tightly and with a flash the lights come back on. The bathroom is back to normal, there nothing, no blood, nothing. I open the window and look outside. Nothing, no guests or what’s left of guests, no vampires. Everything is normal just like before the party started.

I leave the bathroom, very cautiously, and enter my room closing the door behind me and lie on my bed and close my eyes.

“GET UP!” is screamed at me from some distance

“We’ve got guests arriving any time now, you’ve got to move your car!” says a familiar voice

I sit up rubbing my head and eyes, it must have been all a dream. I get up and head downstairs. Reaching the bottom step I see the old gentleman pouring himself a drink of red wine from a bottle as he walks past.

He stops, looks towards me and says “Fear makes them taste better”

I give a confused look then suddenly I feel a horrific pain in my neck as I’m lifted off the steps into the air, blood pours out of my neck covering the hall, the stairs, everywhere. It wasn’t a dream. I scream as loud as I can but nothing comes out then I’m dropped to the floor. I try and get up but I’m weak.  I hold my neck to try and stop the bleeding and fall against a wall. The two neighbours stand in front of me. They pass me the bottle the old gentleman had.

“Drink up, you’ll like the taste”

I broke my camera

I haven't really but it has happened. 

So, what if you did, what do you do? Firstly obviously have a little cry and say "why does this always happen to you" once you've gotten over that rubbish you have a few options. First, take it to your local camera store. They normally will be working with a camera repair company that will charge a set rate and they will fix your camera for you after a few weeks. In theory, you can pay twice by doing it this way once to the camera shop and once to the repairers, so the price could add up. You could always go straight to the manufacturer, that's what I did. 

 With any product, you get a warranty. Sadly if the problem is accidental the warranty doesn't normally cover it,  some times they do might as well ask first. That's the same when taking the camera to your local store, if it's in warranty it could be covered. 

Taking it to the manufacturer you are guaranteed the work is done properly and it's not someone who learnt to repair the equipment by watching Youtube videos. I always recommend going to the source. They made it they should repair it. 

Best thing to do is keep your camera safe this way you won't need to go through the repair process. Keep a strap on your camera, always have a bag. it may be weatherproof but keep it out of the water. Safety first. 

What camera should I buy

When you first start in photography it can be a little tricky to know what to buy. Well here are my tips that hopefully make it less stressful for you. Firstly the make does not matter, get that out of your head. If you like Canon you're going to get a Canon if you like Sony you're going to get a Sony. What matters is, does it have a manual mode. Thats it. If it has manual mode great. Firstly if you don't know about photography and modes best thing to do is, put your camera in Shutter priority mode or Program mode and see what the camera's light meter is telling you. Normally the flashing lines will give you the information, then switch it back to manual mode and mess around with the settings. Thats the beauty of digital photography you can change all the setting and keep snapping until you're happy. Photography is a form of art so a really under exposed photo could look great compared to the "correct" exposure. 

 There are lots of things in photography you might need to know at some point but at the start as long as you get a correctly exposed image thats all that matter. It sound be fun not stressful. 

The thing I'd buy if I was starting fresh with photography 

  1. Camera with a standard zoom lens say 24-105mm or 70-300mm 
  2. Tripod
  3. Spare battery 
  4. Memory card
  5. Bag

That's about it really, you can pick up good starter kits from most camera manufactures, they will give you camera and a lens and I'm sure whatever shop you buy them from they will do you a good deal on spare battery and memory. 

Try SRS Microsystems in Watford,UK. Not only will they help you  on what camera to buy but they will help you set up your camera so you'll have no problems starting out. 

 

Be Creative

You can be very creative with photography, either in camera or in post. Long exposures, double exposures, light painting. They are the kind of things you can do in camera. in post you can do all that in theory and then some. 

This is both light painting and long exposure. Very simple really, just make sure your camera is on a tripod the room is dark. With a touch while the shutter is open light paint. Going over areas you want to stand out more. 

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Shot with flash and low ambient light to bring out the subject. I then moved the image into photoshop and edited in the sparkle effect. You can do sparkles in camera but that would mean doing a long exposure and over exposing the subject, not the look I was going for. 

In photoshop you can create actions and even purchased action from website. This image was created by using an image from Unslash.com and the Energy action by Seven Style. You can see and buy more actions by Seven style by clicking here. With all actions you can tweak them to your own style, add things and so on. 

Photoshop has change photography for the better. Be it removing spots to doing extreme things like above. The best photographers now days must be good at photoshop. 

Music videos

Any good photographer needs to offer more than just photos luckily most DSLR's and Mirrorless cameras do video and film in 1080p. High definition or HD for short. The newer models are filming in 4k, or UHD.  The more you spend on a camera the better the results. High-end, full frame, 4k cameras can cost a lot. If you're not looking to spend a lot you can get a low budget camera that will give you good results, not the best but way better than the miniDV cameras they use to produce.  I've had the chance to film a few music videos for some musical acts. Most of my video I go for the comedy angle. Stupid and silly, with good music as the key. I've seen far too many videos of bands playing on top of cliffs or in the woods. If you want people to view your videos you have to keep them entertained. That's my opinion and yes there are many good music videos with woods and cliff but I'd mainly stay for the music. I find laughter the way forward. 

Here are some of the videos I've filmed and edited 

If you're looking for a cheap, simple, funny and fun video for your musical group let me know. 

Watch photography

Now-a-days if you want to tell the time you'd look at your phone. The smart phone has changed everything from taking photos, filming videos, browsing the internet and telling the time and so on. Well, people still wear watches, and people still pay crazy sums of money for them. As a person who doesn't wear a watch but is still fascinated by the repair process, Jewellery and Watch photography are on the same line. They are both small products that need good eye catching images to sell. The more detail in a photo of a watch can definitely increase the potential of selling the item. 

The best way to shoot a watch is on a photography table, having a main light and then a few other lights to pull out the detail. Always find out what background the client wants first. In each shot you need to highlight the brand, making sure it is visible and if you need an extra bit of light and don't have any more lights, then you can use a reflector and if you don't have reflectors a white card will work nearly just as well. All product photographers have white card. It's something you'll use for the first time and think why wasn't I using this all the time. Like all products you photograph you should always focus stack the images. You can use Helicon focus or photoshop. I recommend Helicon Focus. 

I took some shots of a watch repairer, or horologist, to use the proper term. 

A guide to editing Jewellery

So you've been asked to photograph some Jewellery. Firstly you need to know what background the client wants the item on. White, Black and so on. You'd then need to shoot the item making it look the best you can. The diamonds need to sparkle, you don't want a reflection of your camera and tripod in the item, so make sure you shoot the item correctly. I'll go into shooting jewellery in more depth in the future. 

Now the item is shot but the background isn't pure white. What do you do? Firstly take the image into photoshop. Create a new copy of the image in a new layer, on mack thats cmd and J. Once on you have your new layer make sure that the correct layer is selected. 

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With this image above, I wanted one part of the necklace, so with the pen tool you cut out your item. The pen tool is very tricky to use if you don't know how, I'm still trying to figure it out now. If you can't get to grips with it you can use the quick selection tool by pressing W on a mac keyboard. The quick selection tool is great but not a precise as the pen tool so make sure you check the area you want to cut out is selected correctly before the next step. 

Once the item is selected again create a new layer via copy so cmd J on the keyboard. This will cut your selected item out and put it on a new layer. 

This image is an example and not cut out correctly 

This image is an example and not cut out correctly 

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Then, make sure the layer below is selected and create a new blank layer. Once that is open and selected press shift and F5 giving you the Fill box. Make sure the fill content is White and mode is normal and the opacity is 100% then click ok. 

Once that is done turn on your above layer. The cut out image, if you've cut it out correctly, should end up with your item on a pure white background. 

You'll know its pure white by picking the eyedropper tool and selecting any part that is white and if the # is #ffffff then its pure white 

Layer mask 

Layer mask 

Once that's done, you can create a reflection. This is achieved by copying the original cut out and going to EDIT in the menu bar and clicking transform. In the transform section, selecting Flip Vertical. You would then, whilst holding the shift key drag the second image below allowing the two bass parts to just about meet. Once they meet you would go back to the layers panel and create a layer mask.

You would then choose the gradient tool, and from there pick the Foreground to Transparent mode. Whilst on your new layer you would drag up. This will softly blend away, giving the impression of a reflection. 

Once this is all done you can perform the normal editing changing levels and brightness of your item and maybe some colour correction. Though if you have shot the image correctly you wouldn't have much to do.

I hope this helps anyone trying to reach these types of results. 

Equipment update

As a photographer, you always here gear isn't everything. It's true you can use your phone and get an amazing photo nowadays. Though when you have the right equipment you can get that amazing shot nearly every time. I recently sold my Canon 70-200 f2.8 mkii lens, for a Canon 100mm f2.8 macro as I wanted to concentrate on shooting jewellery and products. I do miss the 70-200mm yes, but I wasnt using it as much as I would have liked. 

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The 70-200 is the best portrait lens I've ever used. If you're shooting a wedding its great due to the focal length and the wide aperture. You can be some distance away and get a great portrait. A lot of photojournalist have them to get them celebrity shots. If you're shooting portraits it's definitely the lens you'd want to invest in. Saying that I don't mean only if you shoot with Canon. The new mirrorless systems are taking photography to the next stage. The new Sony A9 which is being focused mainly as a sports camera, would also be great as a wedding camera and with the 70-200 on an adapter you wouldn't miss a shot.  

The canon 100mm f2.8 lens in theory is an  upgrade. Upgraded is a odd word when the cost is nearly half the 70-200mm but this lens does what I want it to do. I'm actually looking to get a wide angle macro as well in the future so I can cover all the products I wish to photograph. You can get such detail with this lens, its 1:1 macro so the whole sensor will be covered. If shooting small objects its something you'd want to invest in. 

 

Moving forward, an upgrade of my camera body is needed. Having the Canon 5d Mkiii for nearly 5 years now, I feel it is being left behind. Not only by Canon themselves with the MKIV being released earlier this year but also the mirrorless systems. I had looked at the Canon 5DS for more megapixels due to product work but Sony had the A7Rii which has a larger number of megapixels than I'm using now, not as many as the 5DS but it was smaller and had a lot more gadgets built in. I kept hearing bad things about Sony and there battery life and single memory card slot. So I've held off, and mainly because they cost a lot. I don't mean a few hundred, a few thousand. Even with selling all my gear I could maybe afford the body, so no lenses, and a camera with out a lens is pointless and stupid.

ZPR-SONY-A9-TOPFRONT.JPG

Sony then come along and bring out the A9 which is only a few more megapixels than I'm using now, the extras 20 fps, when would I use that? Probably never, unless shooting a wedding or sports event. How often does that happen, not very. Which is sad actually. I like shooting weddings. 693 focus point, my Mkiii has 60ish thats a massive jump. Total silent shooting mode, perfect for golf shots or even weddings. This camera does it all it seems. Dual SD card slots and a battery upgrade and ability to add a grip. Oh, and also no black out. No black out?  On normal cameras the shutter opens and the viewfinder or screen goes black well, with the A9 this doesn't happen, you just keep shooting. The focus tracking is working all that time too. So you're never not in focus. Again why would I need this if Im only shooting products? It's better to have and not use than to not have and need. BUT, a big but there, the cost. £4,499. no lenses. This camera is to compete with the Canon 1Dx and the Nikon D5 both professional sports cameras costing around the £5,000 to £6,500. So the Sony is cheaper. Does a product photographer need one. No. I don't believe they do.  Do I want one, 100% yes, if money wasn't a problem, yep I'd think I'd fully change from Canon to Sony. 

Till then I'm still using my Canon 5D mkiii, with the 100mm attached and when doing some landscapes I have the 24-105 f4.5 and for portraits I use the 50mm F1.8 and the 85 f1.4, though I still miss the 70-200 f2.8 it's still the best lens for portraits. 

Product photography

Having a Jewellery/Watchmaker father I've seen a lot of Jewellery and watches in my time. I use to look at the photographs on websites and think who took them? God that must be an easy job. You place the object on white paper take photo and that's that. Oh how wrong I was. For someone who has shot gigs, wedding, babies, family portraits and model portraits. Product photography is the hardest. Lighting is key, bad lighting the object looks poor, the client won't sell their items and you won't get work again, There are many different ways to lighting objects  from a home made light box, to a light tent or a LED light box.

home made light box

home made light box

light tent 

light tent 

LED light box 

LED light box 

Having used all three types I can say the best way to light an object is full control. You'll need a lighting table and a good few flashes. This allows you to control where each part of the light will go. Control comes with modifiers mainly. Snoots and soft boxes are the way forward. You don't need to use all the power the flash will give you but with a snoot on your flash you can send a direct beam of light to the point you want to enhance, say a label on a beer or wine bottle. The best way is to try it out. 

As I said at the start, I have a Jeweller for a farther so I started shooting some of his items. I noticed I was getting the best quality even with an LED light box or a table set up. What I needed was a macro lens. When it comes to Jewellery, you want to see all the details and you can't reach that without a macro lens. I said goodbye to my 70-200 f2.8 mkii, there was a tear or two and got the canon 100mm f2.8 macro and the canon 85mm f1.8 as I'm still wanting to do portraits. 

The 100mm is incredible, the detail is amazing. I take a shot and think, why the hell is it not all in focus? Thats when I discovered focus stacking. Focus stacking is taking an object and photographing it many times, each time changing the focus point and then with photoshop stitching it all together. So I gave that a try and what do you know, they all looked rubbish. Photoshop wasn't doing what I wanted it to. So I searched the web spent many a time on youtube seeing what am I doing wrong. The images are all correctly lit the lighting hasn't changed why am I getting a blurry mess of a photo. Thats when I found Helicon focus. This software stitched every image together giving me super sharp images. That any jeweller would want on their site. Helicon Focus also came with Helicon remote, an extra bit of software that allows you to tether your camera to your computer and control how many shots you want to take, what the aperture and exposure will be on on your camera and it shows you the DOF and what's in focus. You can set it up to shoot from 1 image to 999 images, but I don't know why you would shoot that many. Most jewellery items are between 8 and 30 shots depending on the detail you require. Once the images are shot it will then take you to Helicon Focus and stack the images together. 

For any photographer looking at Jewellery photography or macro photography focus stacking is the key and everything is so sharp.

The Space between

In photography standing out from the millions of photographers is near impossible now days. Everyone and their mum is a photographer.  You have to do something different. 

I then searched the web and was seeing great photos but mainly night time landscapes. Though they were taken up very tall building and well that's not for me. The photos produced look amazing but the portraits were all the same. I get it if you're selling a object and you have a model you don't want some crazy colours distracting from the product. 

I thought I'd try some effects on my portraits and see what happens. The response has been good, I've gotten about 100 new Instagram followers, which I know isn't a lot now days but its a start. 

I think the new style stands out more and is something that I'll keep doing. 

So models, companies, bands or who ever wants a new photo in this style get in contact

info@lawrencewalters.co.uk 

Top Ten Comedy films

Everything has gotten so serious, it's crazy. The world has gone and lost the plot. Like a crap movie on the "Movies for men" channel. Thankfully there's comedy films that can take away the rubbish for a few hours. The good thing about comedies they aren't to long that you get bored. Well here's a few comedy films you need to see before you move to the country and buy a goat.

First on the list is "Step Brothers". Staring Will Ferrell and John C. Reily. The story is set around two middle-aged men living with their parents at the ripe old age of 39-and 40. The two characters are very much alike by both having the mental age of about 14/15. It's like they never grew up for whatever reason, bad parents maybe? 

This is a film you need to see if you just want to escape and watch two idiots. It has so memorable moments, I would go into each one but that would take far too long. The boats and hoe's scene is hilarious.

Next up "Superbad" the story of three friends trying to make it to a party with booze. Written by Seth Rogen and Even Goldberg who actually wrote the first script when they were 13 years old. The main characters are named Seth and Even after the writers them selves. The dialogue is extremely rude and with some great casting of double oscar nominee Jonah Hill and odd bod Michael Cera, who act it in such away you believe they are teenagers looking to get the booze and the girls. the sub plot of Fogell fake ID with the one name of McLovin really steals the movie. Seth Rogen and Bill Hader play the two police officers sent to investigate an incident in a Liquor store where Fogell has used his fake ID and from there it just gets better and better. A laugh a minute.  

When a TV show makes it to the big screen it's normally just a money making scheme. Maybe Trey Parker was just making "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" to make more money, maybe he wanted that Jet Ski I'll never know. Though this film is definitely an upgrade. The swear words aren't bleeped out for TV and in what world can you have Saddam Hussein being the devils lover? Only in South Park. When I saw this in the cinema I laughed so much it hurt. I'm not a fan of musicals and didn't know this was one. The songs are well placed and have a lot to do with the plot and they will stick with you for years. I was surprised when I found out it had an oscar nomination for best original song "Blame Canada", an 15 rated animated film about 4 friends seeing a movie that makes them swear in front of their parents resulting in a crazy over protective mother blaming the country that the film comes from and then talking the government into going to war with them. It's also a Guinness world record holder, as the most swear words in an animated film. 399 swear words, now thats a lot. 

The Farrelly brothers have brought you some classic comedies in the past and probably will do again. Though it is their first movie directing and writing together that still holds up as one of the funniest films. "Dumb and Dumber" Staring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, as the two friends that go on a road trip to Aspen, Colorado to return a briefcase. The little bits in the film add up to it being one of the films you can watch over and over. With the dead parrot being a slight play on Monty Pythons sketch you can't not laugh. The doggy stomach and broken toilet scene, brings more of the childish comedy into play and the way the little things, how Jim Carrey character can't read simple words and Jeff Daniels helping him, Yet Jeff Daniels character reading a map is quiet something, "According to the map, we've only gone 4 inches." A film that is on any comedy loving fans list.

Borat Sagdiyev, what a guy. A news reporter by day and ladies toilet photographer by night. Sacha Baron Cohen has created a character that offended a nation. He did it so well too, In "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" Borat travels to America to learn about and interview important American people for his job, but after seeing Pamela Anderson in "Baywatch" he sets out on a mission to travel across America to find her in California. Having the general public involved and not know they are being filmed is definitely why Borat is such a loved creation by Sacha Baron Cohen. The shock factor, of the stuff he does. Trying to buy a women on the street of New York, "very nice, how much?" This is not for everyone, I've tried to tell people to watch it but they hate Ali G and well its 2016 theres no talking to anyone, even if it is a completely different character.

A good comeback story, or underdog story, can really make a film. Look at Wales or Iceland in the football this summer, underdogs doing something people didn't expect, Ok neither team won but they did very well. In movies it's differnent the loser has to get the girl, score the goal, beat the bully. You don't want a sad ending, actually I don't think many films have sad ending. Well apart from "The Decent" that was a total holy crap ending, if you see it in America it's different. Happy, happy joy, joy ending. Anyhow "Dodgeball: A true underdog story" The story of a really nice guy, that owes loads of money to the banks. With the group of "losers" that use his gym they need to make $50,000 in a so many days or Ben Stiller the mean owner of the gym next door buys it and turns it into a parking lot. Ben Stiller plays a brilliant bad guy in this, normally he's the nice guy in films. It was good to see him going overboard as "White Goodman". His real life wife Christine Taylor is playing the love interest of Vince Vaughn's character "Peter La Fleur". When the three of them are together there are some memorable scenes. "Nobody makes me bleed my own blood - nobody!"

The supporting cast are great with some stupid one liners and some scene stealing parts. Patches O'Houlihan played by Rip Torn (cool name) will make you crack up, "Holy hell, son, you're about as useful as a cock-flavored lollipop"  It's nice feel good movie where you know what's going to happen but you still need to watch it. With each viewing little bits will pop out that you missed. The DVD commentary is just an add to the comedy genius of this film. The two main actors do nothing but fight and storm off about 40 minuets into it and is replaced by the commentary for "There's something about Mary" the actual comedy is hidden in the extras but I never found it. Also whats a DVD?

Will Ferrell again with director Adam Mckay this time Will Ferrell plays the instant legend Ron Burgundy in"Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" catchy title. This film is a laugh riot, from the first time you see Ron Burgundy till the end. The film is based around a man at the top of his game trying to and failing hard to deal with the loss of his job and to a women. That sort of stuff doesn't matter now days, but in the 70's it could really break a man. The add lib lines are what stand out the most when Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate are trying to say nasty things about each other at the end of the news report. Steve Carell plays the extremely dumb weather man Brick Tamland and pretty much steals every scene he's in. 

"I'm Brick Tamland. People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks. Years later, a doctor will tell me that I have an I.Q of 48 and what some people call mentally retarded." all this is being said as he puts mayonnaise into a toaster and turns it on. Brilliant. Paul Rudd or Phoebe from "Friends" husband or as some have come to know him now as, "Ant-man" does a really good job at playing the layed back cool one, well, he thinks he's cool. The sex panther part is again a great bit of writing from Will Ferrell and Adam Mckay. The lines the background actors say about the smell are on point. Another hit. shame the sequel was rubbish and so long. Ah well. 

Coming from a Saturday night live sketch Mike Myers and Dana Carvey made the jump to big screen in "Wayne's World" the story of Wayne Campbell and his friend Garth Algar as they sell there public access TV show to a local station. The producer of the show wants to change thing and steal Waynes girlfriend Cassandra. It's a classic with amazing moments. The Bohemian Rhapsody bit is pure brilliance and I believe because of this scene the song entered the American Billboard charts again 16 years after it's release reaching number 2. Not bad for a comedy film to get a band in the charts again. Ok it is up there with the greatest song of all time but the film made people remember and go out and buy it. Anyhow Mike Myers has a lot of characters under his belt from Austin Powers to Shrek I still think Wayne is his best, I'd love to see a third film, though not sure it would work they being older and that. The sequel is actually not that bad either. 

It's that time again, the Eddie Murphy time. So last time I spoke about him in John Landis's classic Christmas movie "Trading Places" well the two are together again this time in " Coming to America" abouta Prince that travels to Queens, New York to find a wife. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall both play multiple characters and with the amazing make up by Rick Baker (who had just recently won the first oscar for makeup on another John Landis film "American Werewolf in London")  you can't tell its them. The barber shop scenes are the best laugh out loud bits in the film but the story as a whole is one you can watch over and over and still not be happy he gets the girls in the end. It's an American film you think they won't let him get the girl? Look out for some cameos too, you have young Cuba Gooding jr in there and Samuel L Jackson. Not to mention Darth Vader as the king. James Earl Jones likes to play a King doesn't he? Classic 80's, they really don't make films like this anymore, just rubbish remakes. 

Last is Ghostbusters, you've seen it. You know what happens, you know it all, I have 3 copies of it on Blu-Ray, One copy is due to the brilliant art work done by Dan Mumford and the others I dunno, special edition steel books maybe. Anyhow brilliant film written by Dan Aykroyd and the late Harold Ramis. A lot of the lines and scenes are improvised, when you have Bill Murray as the main actor you know it's going to be funny. It's was a smash hit at the time and I'm lucky enough to have seen it on the big screen, no not when it first came out, I'm old, but not that old. Even with the remake/reboot this year it makes you see why this is such a great movie and how sad it is that we don't get films like this anymore. All films start with a story and this is simple yet works so well. Ghosts, lets catch them, stop the world from ending and then kiss the girl. It's a story told oh so many times, "Ghosts are real" ok that line is taken from the reboot as a joke at how bad the writing is. If you've not seen it, watch this one then the remake and ask yourself why did they do this? The answer is, money. 

So thats my list, it's long I know, but actually only ten.

 This is my opinion, I can not be wrong as it's only an opinion before you start saying I missed this and that out. 

Here's the order I'd have them 

 

  1. Ghostbusters
  2. Superbad
  3. Coming to America
  4. Dumb and Dumber
  5. South Park
  6. Anchorman 
  7. Step Brothers
  8. Wayne's World
  9. Dodgeball
  10. Borat         

Top Ten Christmas films

Christmas is a special time isn't it. A time for family, giving, love, booze and all that jazz. It's actually about what films are going to be on the normal telly box, the first 5 Channels and maybe that freeview crap.

 Every year, I bet, when the TV/Radio times comes with the Christmas listings you're all "ooh whats on?" Every bloody year, ITV love to put "Hot Fuzz" on, not like its been on ITV2 10 times already this year along with "The Mummy". Anyhow, lets not get into how bad ITV are with their movie choices. 

Christmas films. Well you've got to have the main ones in your list and mines no different. I won't go into those ones you already know.

Lets start 

" It's a wonderful life",  "Home Alone" and "Jingle all the way 2", Ok I joke about "Jingle all the way 2", that one can go in the bin. Yes, the Christmas lists must consist of the main two "A wonderful Life" it's something for the older generation and "Home Alone" for the youngsters, or 30 somethings. They need to be on every Christmas list. 

Now the rest is the tricky part. Is 'Die Hard" the greatest Christmas film?  Sad to say, No. I'd love it to be, I love that film. It has a brilliant performance of a bad guy by the late, great, Alan Rickman and so much action it's silly. The only Christmasy bits, really, are the music and the Christmas tree that falls over near the end. We know it's Christmas Eve, but if this film was set at Easter or in July or whenever it wouldn't matter and would still be a great action movie. Thats why It's on the list. 

So we have 3 films already, what's next. More 80's?

Ok then, "Gremlins" This is a classic. A lovely American town, covered in snow, a child that dresses as a Christmas tree and tiny monsters going ape shit. What more do you want? Ah, I know, Santa falling off a roof. 

"Gremlins" is a story of a boy that doesn't listen to his Grandfather. Basically if that kid at the start didn't sell the Dad the Mogwai none of the troubles would have happened and people wouldn't have died. No one wants a death at Christmas. Even that mean old hag Mrs Deagle didn't deserve to die. It's a much darker film than you think. They tell you Santa Claus isn't real and in the original script by Chris Columbus the Gremlins eat Billy’s dog and roll his mother’s decapitated head down the steps of the family home. Merry Christmas. See, listen to you're elders when it comes to freaky little creatures.

Next on the list is "Elf", the modern classic, loved by all. It's so stupid it's fun. It brings a smile to your face. Some of the lines Will Ferrell says are genius "Good news, I saw a dog today"  are being used on a daily basis whatever time of year. I do have one bit of negativity on the film, well, more on Santa really. When they find Buddy in the bag, why don't they take him back? You stole a child! Ok it was from the orphanage but at least one of the Nuns are going to get into trouble, they lost a child. Thats the only problem I have. The film as a whole is spot on. More than enough for children to be entertained for a few hours and humour for adults to enjoy. 

Love is all around, well maybe not in "Love Actually" but it is a good British Christmas film. Eight different stories and in some way all connected. So many stars. Ah, Alan Rickman again. This time he's a bad guy. Hang on a second did he only play bad guys? I find Bill Nighy's character really interesting, some of his lines are really on form and well written by Richard Curtis"Yes I have, Ant or Dec. It's a - it's a personalised felt tip pen" "Hiya Kids, Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free"

The film shows so many different ways love can be all around. Setting it at Christmas really makes the film. I think without the Christmas backdrop it wouldn't be as good. 

3D is a thing that came and went didn't it, well, did you know the third Harold and Kumar film was called "A very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas" The 3D parts are a gimmick really but the film as a Christmas movie is something else.  A good buddy movie with the standard stupidness of Harold and Kumar you've come to expect in the past. It's a film not for the children if you were thinking about putting it on. The jokes are offensive and some of the scenes are in bad taste but you can't not laugh. As for Neil Patrick Harris doing a big musical number. He steals the movie again, just like he did in the other two. Worth a watch if you're over 18 and don't find drugs use and rude naughty words offensive. 

Muppets, no not that guy you know from the pub, the Jim Henson lot. "The Muppet Christmas carol" is one of the best film versions of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol". The muppet twist makes it funny and well worth a watch, the songs will stick with you for years. The buddy comedy between Rizo the rat and Gonzo the great as the narrators will have you in stitches. Some of the lines from the pair are spot on and good for adults and children. "Mother always taught me: Never eat singing food"  It also shows Michael Caine isn't just a "geezer" actor and has a soft side. Must be hard acting with The Muppets.

EDDIE MURPHY!!! The real hero of the 80's films, I don't think I can name a bad Eddie Murphy film from the 80's. Well, he starred along with another big name of the 80's Dan Aykroyd in "Trading Places" a film by John Landis who already had hits with "An American werewolf in London" and "Animal House". Based slightly around the story of "The Prince and Pauper". Being a dark comedy and very funny it still holds up as a classic Christmas story of revenge. The bad guys, played by film legends Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche really keep the film moving. Their bet between each other to see if Eddie Murphy's character can do the job that Dan Aykroyd's character is doing is to do with race and class. The story shows you can lose everything but if you have people around you at Christmas you can come together and get revenge, thats the true meaning of Christmas, right? Revenge! Classic film and definitely one of my favourites.

"Bad Santa" is a story of a drunken conman with the skill to crack safes that dresses up as Santa in big department store to rob it on Christmas Eve with his little helper. Billy Bob Thornton played the role of "Willie" drunk most of the time. That is commitment to the role. The film is stolen from Billy Bob by Brett Kelly playing the kid "Thurman Merman" His stupid questions to "Willie"  that annoy him constantly. He calls him Santa, knowing he's not . It's a story of friendship, where even if you are the bad guy you can still have a heart and how the Christmas season can make you know your life is a mess and it's not all about having money. Bad Santa is a very funny film and one you can watch year in year out. 

This is my list and here's the order i'd have them in.

  1.  Elf
  2.  Home Alone
  3.  Die Hard
  4.  Trading Places 
  5.  It's a wonderful life 
  6.  The Muppet Christmas Carol
  7.  Gremlins
  8.  Bad Santa 
  9.  Love actually 
  10.  A very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas 

It changes depending on the year. 

Other films you should see around the Christmas period are

A miracle on 34th street, Home Alone 2,  Krampus, Scrooged, Die Hard 2, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, The Holiday and The Grinch

 

 

Editing

First of all this isn't a lesson on how to use photo editing software or anything similar, it's just giving information about what I use when editing photos, designing a poster or editing a video.

 I shoot all my photographs in Raw. What is Raw I hear you say? Well, it's a file format that captures all the image data recorded by the sensor, not like Jpeg, which is compressed and you lose bits. Raw gives you the best quality and with the amazing software from Adobe you can take a photo you thought was rubbish and make it into something brilliant. Adobe has lots of different software for photo editing. I do a lot of mine in Lightroom

Before Lightroom

Before Lightroom

After Lightroom 

After Lightroom 

Everyone knows about Photoshop it's the one that can take your spots and bumps away right? Well, it does loads more than that. I do all my poster design in photoshop. It gives you a plane canvas which you can just draw on. 

Before Lightroom and Photoshop

Before Lightroom and Photoshop

After Lightroom and Photoshop 

After Lightroom and Photoshop 

When editing videos I use Premier Pro and After effects. Premier is simple and has everything you need to work on your video footage be it 1080p or 4K it works. After effects allows you to put in those extras and special effects. Fire balls, flying cars whatever you want to imagine.

Light

Everything in photography is about light. How much you let in is the key. The less your image is going to be darker and the more it will be brighter. Now over or under exposure of your sesor or film can work to make a great photograph. Just remember photography is a form of art. You don't have to follow the rules.  

image.jpg

Light can come from any place, be it the sun, a flash or a lighter and so on. Without the light you can't get that image 

From Sunglasses to camera straps

As my previous blog said I like Peak Design. So I thought I'd go into more detail about  The slide and how I found them. 

While on twitter, not doing much, a tweet from Tom Welsh (@getdeluxe) appears regarding new sunglasses made by people that are in the video and photography business. I thought "hey this could be interesting"  

I've ended up on Indiegogo and on the Tens sunglasses campaign, The video makes these glasses look incredible and at such a low price. I buy two. They are the best pair of glasses i've ever owned, strong and what you see when you have them on just makes everything look better. Even on a cloudy day.  

So I've just found this great site where you can fund products before they are made and get them at a much lower price than when they go on sale to the public. This was brilliant, why had no one told me about this. I googled crowdfunding sites and came across Kickstarter.

Click the glasses to find out more. 

 It was there where I thought what about camera accessories. The first one I come across was Peak Design and The Slide. Which had sadly ended already but I watched the video and wanted in. This strap is a thing of beauty. When owning a camera you want it to be safe and secure when not using it. This did it all! The anchor link quick correntors clips are a great idea, simple to connect and strong. The strap its self has a padding and a non-slip webbing like on a seatbelt. The adjustment part is something that makes changing the size super easy. Clip, then slide it to fit your body. It can be a shoulder strap, a neck strap or a sling style camera holder. If you're looking for a new strap this is the one. Peak Design at the top of there game, I wonder if they will ever move into making cameras?  5/5

 See their kickstarter video below 

Music photography

Ah, the type of photography I enjoy the most. When photographing music events it's best to know the music already. You can prepare by listening to the groups before hand, get to know the songs. Even better is to watch a live YouTube video that way you can get to know their set and know when they are going to play the hits or when they are going to do those jumps and go into the crowd. 

Bane - Camden Underworld London  

Bane - Camden Underworld London  

Message the band, always good to build up a relationship with them. Up and coming bands are always looking for photos. You will have to offer your service for a low rate or even free but with a band getting bigger they could use you again. Exposure is a good thing.  

The Hell - Black heart London  

The Hell - Black heart London  

Group shots are great, you get to meet the band, talk to them learn what type of style they want. No more in the woods photos thank you. You can learn different poses from looking at other images from magazines and on line. Do something different than what you've seen just make sure everyone's in the shot. Experiment with lighting too, anything that makes the image stand out. 

Brawlers -EP recording Watford 

Brawlers -EP recording Watford 

Walks

Yeah, this is a very simple one, when you go for walk take your camera with you. I'm not talking about your smart phone, you don't have the control which can make all the difference.  Manual control is what I think all cameras should come with, full control is the way forward. Automatic is only for my car. 

Click image for Walkit.com 

Click image for Walkit.com 

What's better than walking your dog? You both get the exercise you need and you can get some great shots. 

Peak Design

Coming from Kickstarter the crowdfunding website to pretty much global domination in the camera accessory department and doing it with such high quality is quite a feat and in such little time. I believe they raised over $4.6 million on there last campaign which is incredible. 

Peak Design have made your camera easy to grab, to hold and easy to pack away. 

The Capture Pro is a belt or strap clip on device. Which is strong enough to hold your DSLR with a large lens. Clip it's to your bag and attach the base plate to the bottom of your camer and away you go. Fully locked in place but with a click your camera is in your hand and ready to go. Well as long as the battery isn't dead and you have a card or film in your camera. 

The Capture Pro

The Capture Pro

They also and probably my favourite item is The Slide. A camera strap that is made to Peak Design's high quality standard and so easy to use. The simple latch part makes changing your camera strap length so easy your dog could do it. With the standard clip on attachments that all Peak Design stuff come with it is so easy to take the strap off and attach one of there other products like The Cuff, which would clip on and boom a wrist strap. 

The slide with base plate and clips 

The slide with base plate and clips 

Last year they released  The Everyday Messenger on Kickstarter making it one of the biggest campaigns for a camera accessory. A camera bag that has pretty much all of Peak Design's already great ideas built in and then some amazing new ones. Now I do not have the bag, have never actually seen it in the flesh but from what I can tell it's something I need. I have 3 bags a rucksack that carries nearly everything, a large Think Tank and a medium Think Tank A slingshot 20. I use the medium Think Tank the most as I like things to be small but still have what I need. It's great, tho it doesn't hold my camera grip, my flash and my 70-200mm lens with my standard kit. The Everyday Messenger will do this, it will also change size when you have less to carry. A magnet locking system which is another great idea. This bag could move me from 3 to just 1. The slight problem is the price from £179 to £230 in shops. Should have got in on the Kickstarter from the beginning. Time to start saving.  

The Everyday Messenger click image to see more 

The Everyday Messenger click image to see more 

 I have in no way been asked to talk about Peak Design and have not received anything from them tho they have liked some of my Instagram post.