Tag Archives: Photography

Visual Diary: Pattern Hunting With Toshiba Encore

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A couple of weeks ago, when the weather was actually pleasant, no I am not lying I actually remember sunshine and everything, I went pattern hunting around East London with the guys over at Toshiba to test out their fab new Windows 8.1 tablet, Toshiba Encore.

It was a fun day, not only did I get to wander the streets snapping my patterns with my tablet, enjoy the company of my friends and discover the fab Maison Trois Garcons, I also got to learn all about pattern design from the gorgeous girlies of Patternity, Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham, who have just done an amazing collaboration with Clark’s. If you love patterns, prints, and design you should check out their website and Instagram – filled with lots of inspiration.

East London is home to so much inspiration, but it was a little daunting finding my very own pattern that could be made into a T-shirt produced by YrStore, but what surprised me the most was how the simplest of things could make the greatest pattern when it was transformed into black and white, flipped, rotated and generally manipulated.

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It was hard choosing which photo to go for, I was torn between the dotty railings, as polka dots are always chic, and the crumbling paintwork that I spotted on a window frame. In the end, the Patternity girlies convinced me that the paint chips would look amazing, so my one-off tee went from this photo above, snapped on my Toshiba Encore,  to this striking T-shirt that I can’t wait to wear. Now it has been flipped and rotated it kind of reminds me of a tree bark rather than a painted window frame.Toshiba-encore-1Toshibaencore-patternity-10

The Toshiba Encore did impress me for such a little thing, it is a similar size to the iPad mini, and it did shine taking pictures up close on the Patternity tour with its 8-megapixel camera. It is also a perfect handbag size, which I found handy using while shopping, it is great for doing to-do lists and keeping my recipes on for baking.

However, its size also makes it a little hard to use, for instance it comes installed with Windows Office, which is great, but I found the device a little too small to type Word documents or work on spreadsheets. I think this device is more about the social elements – it is great for Twitter, Facebook, browsing the Internet and playing games – I am addicted to the Microsoft Solitaire collection.

Overall, I found this tablet easy to use, the Windows platform is better bigger than when you use on a mobile, but I think to get the most out of this device you need to use alongside something like the Windows Surface 2 or a desktop computer and use the SkyDrive to store documents and pictures so you can easily switch between the two.

The Toshiba Encore costs £249.

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**All pics taking with the Toshiba Encore, which I have been testing for the past month, except the pics featuring the tablet of course!!!**

Visual Diary: Remember, Remember The 5th Of November

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“Remember, remember, the fifth of November. Gunpowder, treason and plot!”

It might be less about the assassinate plot, or even the lighting of bonfires, but fireworks night is a big draw in my house. I remember as a kid going to professional displays in Salford with my family, famously calling the Roman Candle firework a Roman Catholic – it has stuck and still makes everyone giggle, becoming obsessed with bonfire toffee lollies, and getting completely giddy making patterns in the air with my sparkler.

Now each year my boyfriend does a big display in the garden and the family come to stay, and each year it is bigger and better than the last, goes on for longer – this year was close to two hours and we had to do food in the interval.

Each year I attempt to take pictures, sometimes they’ve come off, but none have come out as well as these taken with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom smartphone/super-duper camera. Not only did I not miss out on the action messing with the settings on my SLR, but I came out with some incredible shots thanks to the fireworks setting in the camera’s pre-set Smart Modes.

I can’t believe how well the patterns of the sparklers came out or how vivid the mini explosions of colour are and I was so surprised that it managed to capture the red streams of one of the finale rockets. That 10x optical zoom and low-light sensor were working on overtime!!!

Are you a fan of fireworks?

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Editorial Loving: Fun To Be The Princess – Vogue Japan

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Whereas many magazine seem to be scaling back on their productions and storytelling for their fashion editorials except maybe the big September and March issues, I’m loving that Vogue Japan is keeping the elaborate fashion editorials alive, and the November issue features a gorgeous ‘Fun to be the Princess’ spread.

Swedish photographer Camilla Akrans captures the stunning Nadja Bender in an exquisitely styled shoot by Sissy Vian featuring regal looks by Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Valentino, Armani and Ralph Lauren and I just think it is stunning.

As well as loving the fashion and the setting of a grand old house with elegant high ceilings, intricate wooden flooring and gorgeous furniture, I was totally blown away by the star quality of model Nadja who has a poise and elegance about her that really works for this Princess editorial.

I have to agree – it really does look fun to be a Princess!!!

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HTC One: Gothic Couture Captured With HTC Zoe

HTC-One-Gothic-Couture-8I’ve had my HTC One since it came out, I adore it, and I love that I’m always mastering something new on it. The latest skill I’ve been learning about is the incredible HTC Zoe function, which brings pictures snapped on my mobile to life in a cool 30-second video.

Basically, instead of just taking a still image, HTC Zoe records 3 seconds of HD video while at the same time capturing 20 photos, plus like magic the video also starts recording before you actually press the shutter – so you will never miss that perfect shot.

Granted each ‘Zoe’ is only 3 seconds compared to 15 in an Instagram video – but you can group a whole host of ‘Zoe’ content to make a highlight reel. Plus once you are happy with the content there are 12 filters with accompanying music to apply to make your video complete.

To test out my new ‘Zoe’ skills the guys over at HTC put on an amazing fashion shoot, styled by Minna Attala and directed by photographer Miss Aniela in the incredible setting at MC Motors studios. So with only my HTC One handset I played photographer on an editorial-style shoot to capture the best shot – working with the light, taking in the setting, playing with angles and getting some detailed shots of that incredible Bibian Blue gown and Topshop jewellery.

Miss Aniela, who runs fashion shoot experience days, gave me some tips for capturing moving images during the shoot to help me get the best shots possible, which I will certainly be using this fashion week.

Photography Tips:

  • Light – Look for the light, but be creative with it – it’s not just about the sun, explore the effects of street-lamps or different colour lights too – also move your handset around to seek the best auto-exposure.
  • Detail – Look for detail and focus in on it – ruffles on fabric, the lines of buttons on a jacket, the incredible print. Capturing the movement of fashion accessories down the runway will make great contextual shots for your highlight reel.
  • Angles - Play with a variety of angles over the course of your video in order to show all the interesting views of the outfits, but also add a sense of drama – shooting from a low angle is great for adding the illusion of height.
  • Context – Think carefully about your backdrop and how it works with the looks you’re shooting – treat your environment as a feature of your shoot. For fashion week – why not capture the atmosphere inside the tent before the show, snap the fashion crowds queuing to get in, and the sight of the photographer’s pit.

Here is my Gothic Couture highlight reel using the Islandia filter and a few of my favourite snaps:

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[Pics: all pics/video taken on my HTC One]