Tag Archive: Photography

Feb 12 2014

Visual Diary: Pattern Hunting With Toshiba Encore


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.


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!!!**

Nov 05 2013

Visual Diary: Remember, Remember The 5th Of November


“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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Oct 17 2013

Editorial Loving: Fun To Be The Princess – Vogue Japan


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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Sep 11 2013

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]

Aug 11 2013

In Pictures: My HTC Mini Break

HTC-mini-break-7HTC have brought out a tinier version of the HTC One, the HTC Mini, so to celebrate the launch of the new smartphone the technology giant took everyone on a mini break to the seaside, well not quite, more like a cool roof top in East London decorated out with stripes, beach huts, and deck chairs to play around with the handsets camera features.

The phone itself is very similar to my HTC One, the only real difference is the size of the handset, there are more differences obviously as it is a lower priced phone but nothing that is really  that noticeable. The HTC Mini still has all the great camera functionality of its big brother, you can still capture cool slow-motion videos, get Zoe to compile a highlight reel and it takes excellent pictures in low light, which was pretty much needed as the night of the event was less summery and more wintry, but thankfully it didn’t rain.

The event played with perspectives, with very over-sized deck chairs, giant sticks of rock, and ice cream cones set into the distance to capture as though you were picking it up, as well as tiny food served in mini deck chairs and beer served in tiny buckets. There were lots of photo ops around the rooftop, which were made even more entertaining with swing dancers, actors dressed as crazy American tourists and a giant bubble blowing artist, which was hilarious until I got soaked by a bubble exploding!!!

It was such a fun night, lounging in giant deck chairs, being mesmerised by the giant bubbles, launching hysterically at the so-called American tourists, and devouring the tiny food – I couldn’t get enough of the tiny jacket potatoes, and drinking gin from bone china tea cups.

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Want to see the bubble-blower in action? Check out this slow-motion video I captured on the HTC Mini:

[Pics/video: all taken on the HTC One Mini]


Jul 21 2013

Book Launch: Levi’s 501 Interpretations


The most iconic pair of jeans – Levi’s 501s turns 140 years old this year and to celebrate the denim brand has launched the Interpretations campaign, showing fans and celebs with their varied styles wearing the original blue jean in a limited edition book.

On sale from August 1, the Levi’s 501 Interpretations coffee table book celebrates the iconic jeans – featuring 501 images from the very cool Wiz Khalifia, fashion blogger Susie Lau, actresses Kate Bosworth and Anna Kendrick, as well as very fashionable greyhound and his owner, and keeping with the 501 theme there will only be 501 number copies produced and each will feature a unique cover so no two books will be the same.

Priced at only £40, this is one gorgeous book that I hopefully will be able to add to my fashion book collection, some of the photographs were just incredible and proceeds from the book will go to students at the California College of Art in San Francisco.

The gallery-style showcase to launch the book was the perfect way to show these incredible images – I just wish they had given away posters of some of the shots like at the Chanel Little Black Jacket exhibition as I would have loved to have displays some of these fashionable characters on my office wall.

The book will be available globally from August 1 for £40, however only a limited number will be sold at the Levi’s London Flagship store on Regent Street – so get in quick!!!

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Jun 18 2013

Canon PowerShot N Experience: Perfecting My Cupcake Decorating Skills


The past few weeks I have been reviewing the unconventional, fun, and very dinky Canon PowerShot N, and it has fast becoming my go-to camera on the move instead of my mobile, due to its Instagramable size, its creative shot function, and its WiFi connectivity.

When the guys at Canon asked me to try it out they didn’t just send me the camera and leave me to it, know the team organised for me to experience the camera doing something inspired by Instagram feed – baking – and sent me off to perfect my cupcake decorating skills at a class in Notting Hill, while capturing my results with the camera.

While I might be confident baking a cake, cookies and cupcakes, the decorating part has always terrified me a little so this class was perfect to boost my confidence and show me how easy it actually is. I am a huge fan of buttercream and cream cheese frosting and it was good to finally learn how to perfect the techniques – from simple swirls to the ice gem effect and even creating a pretty rose, and then having fun with the glitter, sprinkles, hearts and lip decorations to finish them off.

I have to be honest I was pretty impressed with my results, not just of my cupcake decorating but also of the quality of the camera pictures, and just looking through these piccies has made me not only want to bake and try and see if I can still frost to perfection, but also hungry!!!

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The ease at which you use the Canon PowerShot N is why it is such a great camera for on the go, you literally hold it any way up, you can tilt the screen to capture a unique shot, and then when you are all set up you touch the screen to snap – it really is that simple. Of course there is much more to this camera than just Auto mode, which I will show you in a full review of the camera in a later blog, but for capturing your baking, your DIY or even inspiration while out-and-about this camera is perfect – plus these shots were all taken without the flash and in a not so well-lit room and the quality is amazing.

One of the most innovative and fun functions has to be the ‘Creative Shot’, which simple takes one shot and generates it into five creative images – whether adding a filter effect such as black and white, cropping it in an unusual way, or making the image look over exposed, while keeping the original shot. I just like the fact it gives you options without having to technically do anything.

To demonstrate the feature I took some of my cupcakes and it generating some interesting results. The next three shots generated from the fairly boring shot off all four cupcakes at the very bottom – I really like the close up off the lip decorations, which went down well on my Instagram feed as it adds a different dimension to the cupcake.

canon-powershotn-cupcake-2 canon-powershotn-cupcake-4 canon-powershotn-cupcake-5canon-powershotn-cupcake-16So what do you think – do my cupcakes look good enough to eat? 

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**Thanks to Canon for sending me the camera to review and my cupcake class – all views on the camera are my own**
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