This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “camden

Clicking with the Subject

“the most important thing is not clicking the shutter, it is clicking with the subject”

                                                                                                               -Alfred Eisenstaedt

This quote has really struck a cord with me recently and made me analyse the way I take photographs. I noticed that a lot of the time I tend to hold my finger down on the multi-shot feature and just take continuous photographs, especially when shooting fast moving people or objects, but this is most definitely not the best practice.

Alfred Eisenstaedt is thought by many to be the father of photojournalism and one of the greatest photographers of all time. He was the master of candid photography and usually only carried around one camera.

This image of children imitating a drum major really shows his skill in really capturing the moment, perfectly showing it to it’s full potential.

Drum Major, Ann Arbor by Eisenstaedt.

I decided that I need to step up my game and really start working with the subject I see through my lens, as Eisenstaedt suggests, and I got the perfect chance to try this out a few weeks ago at Cantelowes skatepark in Camden.

Ashley and a few friends chose a wonderfully sunny day to go there and skate, i’m not comfortable with bowls and know that it gets busy there so  I decided to try out my camera instead.

At the beginning I was only taking simple shot like this one successfully.

To begin with I followed the skaters around the bowl with my camera but, although my pictures weren’t bad, couldn’t seem to get any impressive shots. The sunshine wasn’t helping as the stark contrast between the over exposed sunlight and dark shadows in the bowl made it really hard to find the right exposure levels.

After a while I started to watch the skaters more closely and understand their movements and where I could get the best shots of each individual skater. Luckily I’ve skated with and watched Ash and Milan a lot and found it really easy to predict their movements making for plenty of good photographs but, as much as I love to shoot them both, I really wanted pictures of everyone there.

Milan with some sweet moves

Ashley received some good lessons from Newtons Shred. This was the first time he dropped in successfully!

I even managed to capture the celebrations afterwards and a rare smile! Well done Ash!

I noticed there were certain areas of the bowl where every skater would get high or try something interesting and so decided these would be the best areas to train my camera on. I also noticed that certain skaters, particularly the more experienced ones, were practicing certain moves over and over so that they could perfect them. This was exactly the information I needed to really improve my photographs!

I trained my camera on these sections, depending on the skater, which meant I could set my shutter speed and focus ready for the subject to make their appearance into frame.

It took a bit of practice to really get the timings but eventually I managed to get some shots that I’m really proud of, not only that but all the shots I was taking started being useable rather than having a lot that i would never use.

I’m really proud of myself for the improvements i’ve made from just one day, and not just me, Ash learnt to drop in too with help from a good friend from Newtons Shred. A very successful day!

I am trying to be a lot more aware of my surroundings from now on, and not just when I have my camera on me. I really think that learning to recognise memorable moments will help improve my photography immensely.

I think there is a lot to learn from other photographers, both old and current, and so plan to do lots of research into others, particularly other nature photographers. I’ll be sharing my research with you all in future blog posts, probably once a month, and use their influences in my own photoshoots. I think it could make for some very interesting results!

You can see the rest of the photographs for this shoot right here on my facebook!

Claire x


365 Project : 3rd March – 9th March

I’ve decided to start updating these posts on Mondays instead of Sundays. It makes a lot more sense as if i’m busy on Sunday (like I was yesterday) I don’t get a chance to edit and upload the photo from that day. But I shall still be posting photo’s from the first monday to the sunday. Hopefully this will make it easier to stay up to date with this project.

On the 3rd I made some delicious brownies! I really must do a recipe for these as they’re divine!

The 4th was shrove tuesday and of course meant that we ate lots and lots of pancakes! Yum!

On the 5th I met up with my sister for the first time in ages. We had some burritos and then went out for a couple of cocktails.

On the 6th we went skating late at night. I took some awesome creepy photo’s with long exposures. You can see more of these here.

On the 7th I took a few pictures of a new item, the gorgeous blue tie in the middle, and then spent the rest of the day editing.

You can find my tie section of my Etsy shop by clicking the image!

The 8th saw me relaxing at home, still doing lots of computer work but taking breaks staring out to the sunshine.

Yesterday I went to Cantelowes Skatepark in Camden with Ash and some friends. I didn’t skate (I don’t have a suitable pool deck) but a good friend from Newtons Shred taught Ash to drop in and I managed to take some great pictures which I will be sharing with you all soon. We finished the day with cider and stew. Perfect!

Back at work next week and so not as much time to frolic, but I will still be making sure I take lots of photographs!

Claire x

A Wild 24th

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and to celebrate I decided what better way than with Zoo Lates at London Zoo!

I am obsessed with animals (especially Lions and Penguins) and felt that I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

The zoo was filled with exciting things to see and do, we started with the animals, in particular the Africa area. We spent probably far too long laughing at an Okapi’s tongue, watched a graceful giraffe, braved the nocturnal section, searched for the illusive sumatran tiger, partied with the penguins, longed after lions and much more!

Penguin Pose!

My favourites, of course, were the Lions and Penguins. The Lions we’re so close to the glass I could’ve touched them! The penguins unfortunately stayed towards the back of their enclosure, but then again it was right before they closed so maybe they were all tired. I pulled a penguin pose for the camera and then tried to steal one of the cardboard cut outs…Or at least thought about stealing it…

Sleeping Lions

They also had lots of bars, all with a different theme such as the playroom where you could have a wrestling match, hula hoop, play jenga and even twister! There was a silent disco where everyone wears headphones which the music is played through, hilarious to listen too when you take them off and hear everyone singing out of tune. There was also a big international food market with lots of tasty delights to sample.

So excited, even though it was just cardboard…

I wore a bright, high waisted, tribal skirt to to give off an African feel and matched it with a bright orange crop top and sandals. I felt quite…naked. I’m not used to going out in such little clothing, but it was really warm and so i didn’t regret it.

I even painted my nails to match with the animal theme!

The whole event was very well run. There were loads of things to do, not just seeing the animals, the staff were extremely helpful and the atmosphere was electric! The animals started going to bed (or so we were told) at 8:30 and gradually the enclosures were closed off until everyone was in the ‘entertainments’ area for the last half hour.

Afterwards we carried on the party in Camden, always a fun place to go.

Sisters and their boyfriends 🙂

The day after was my actual birthday. I decided what better way to celebrate and recover from the night before than by having a bbq! We borrowed a friends garden and bbq and then had a nice, relaxed afternoon chilling in the sun (if you ignore the random downpour that stopped as suddenly as it started!)

Brii (south african bbq) master Ashley flipping some burgers!

For the bbq I decided to dress up a bit still and wore one of my favourite dresses. I bought it at a festival and have always loved the way it poofs out in the skirt. The fabric is also really pretty, I fell in love with it at first sight!

Red accents

Dress with a view!Belt and pattern

I kept myself warm with a cute, batwing cardigan from warehouse.

Super comfy!


I made these earrings ages ago and found they matched perfectly! I really like the little red and blue beads and was experimenting with using suade, i think they turned out really nice.

Handmade Earrings

The bag is from Zatchels and was a suprise birthday gift from my sister! Zatchels are all handmade and just exquisite. I absolutely love it and it even has a little space for one of my business cards to be on display! They come in a wide range of colours and patterns too.

ZatchelBusiness card

It was a really great birthday! Hopefully next years will be just as good!

Funny face

Penguin Wardrobe

Even though Lions have always been my favourite animal my wardrobe seems to be being overtaken by penguins!!

Two of my favourite pyjamas decided to rip and so I knew I needed new ones. In all fairness they were both very old so they have done me well, but i’m still sad to have to chuck them out.

So off we toddled to good ol’ Primarnie in search of some cheap pyjamas. I found a cute plaid short and top set with an adorable little bow and then the most amazing penguin pyjama bottoms ever.

Ok so that may be a bit over dramatic, but they really are awesome. I was debating for a while as just the bottoms cost the same price as the whole set of shorts and top i’d already picked up, but I decided that  I still had tops from my ripped pyjamas which would match nicely.

These pyjamas are so cosy it’s ridiculous. I think I’m going to end up living in them!

I have also been wearing my Penguin hat a lot recently. It’s just too adorable and goes well with my new winter tights (also primarnie)!

This was me on the tube on the way to a juggling group in Camden. Ash said he went years ago (he’s pretty good at juggling to my untrained eye ) and he’s always wanted to go again. Now that we live so close there’s no reason not to go!

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures whilst there (I was too busy having fun!) but here’s an old video of Ash juggling!

It was actually a really fun evening, lots of people with various manipulative arts to show off. I really want to try working with Poi as they look so pretty!

By the end of the evening even I could very nearly juggle 3 balls! Just a little more practice I might be able to do more than 4 throws. 🙂

Anyone else who is interested in manipulative arts should definitely come along!

‘Till next time!

1920’s Prohibition Era Ball

My boyfriend has finally started University! Unfortunately his loan hasn’t come through yet, but hopefully it wont be long.

His Freshers Ball was in the Theme of the Prohibition Era. Luckily I had the night of work because I was so excited to dress up in tassels and big feathery head pieces!

Unfortunately I ended up working a lot before going (4 people have just left my work including one of the managers meaning we’re pretty low on staff) so I didn’t have time to buy the amazing outfit I had envisioned.

Instead we had a quick run to Camden on the day to of the ball as we figured it would be the best place to find some vintage looking outfits. I did see some lovely and perfect outfits but unfortunately my budget would not allow for them. I also saw some cheaper outfits which again would have been perfect but I just couldn’t justify spending £20 on them when I knew I wouldn’t wear them again.

In the end I settled for a cheap cream lace number. It didn’t quite fit the style (it had too much shape to it really) but I figured I could make it more 1920’s with some accessories and make-up. I knew I had some shoes somewhere that we’re very 1920’s, but unfortunately I seem to have left them in the north so I settled with some matching lace heels.

I ended up tying a ribbon round my waist, not all that 1920’s but it looked pretty and gave me a big bow on the back (I love big bows!). I also wore a few long, beaded necklaces to try and make up for the lack of tassels. For the headpiece I used an old sparkly headband I wore when I danced the charleston with my old dance school (how appropriate!) and attached a big flower to it as I didn’t have any feathers.

For my make-up I made it quite simple just adding some eyeliner and then bright red lipstick. I wasn’t about to cut all my hair off into a 1920’s bob, so I just left it as it was, straight and long.

Considering my lack of time and money I think I actually looked pretty good!

It turned out to be a really good night. Just him and I dancing like idiots whilst getting a little merry.

It’s a shame the journey back wasn’t quite so fun. Our flat is really hard to get to with the night buses. This meant we had to take 2 buses and then walk for 40 minutes, which wouldn’t be too bad if it wasn’t freezing and absolutely pouring it down with rain.

Hopefully there’ll be many more good nights out soon, if I’m not working too much that is.

‘Till next time!!

I’ve been neglecting the penguin theory for the past week, I’m actually writing this on my break at the day job!

It was Ash’s birthday so I treated him to a meal (ok so out was only in Weatherspoons, but it was yummy!) And then we went out
partying in Camden. We had loads of fun and it was a really good night out, there were one or two hitches but in the end we all got nicely drunk and enjoyed the night.


his birthday its actually today, Sunday, and I’d planned on spoiling him all day. Unfortunately my shift was changed at work and now I’m working for 12 hours. I guess I’ll have to pamper him another day.

This is one of the reasons why I’ve decided to look for a new job. The hours are too long and irregular and I just find I don’t have any time for sewing our time to myself. So I think I will look for a job I’m more interested in, maybe even
something to do with sewing like an alterations shop.

I’ll just have to see what there is for me out there.

Till next time!

Birthday and Olympic Celebrations

The 27th was my birthday and also happened to be the date of the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Obviously this meant a party was needed. I invited a few friends around, gathered some snacks and alcohol and made sure the tele was on the right channel. We played some fun olympic drinking games whilst watching the ceremony.

The ceremony itself actually surprised me, in a good way. I don’t know quite what I was expecting, but that wasn’t it. It far exceeded my expectations. At first I wasn’t so sure, the whole arena looked like a field and, although the performance was good, I couldn’t see how much they could do with the set as it was. But then the towers majestically rose out of the ground and the whole stage was transformed seamlessly.

Then later James Bond goes to see the Queen. At this point everyone in the room were arguing as to whether or not it was really the queen. Then she turned around. We were very impressed. Thinking this couldn’t get any better, we all stared in disbelief queen jumped out of the helicopter! We we’re all in fits of laughter. I’m just sad that they didn’t get a stunt double to actually parachute down.

Then it got even better with Rowan Atkinson appearing as Mr Bean. I was obsessed with Mr Bean when I was younger and I made sure no one spoke whilst he was on screen. I always find it amazing that he can create so much laughter without even speaking. He is truly a talented man.

Eventually we went out and about in Camden and had a good boogie.

Partying in Camden with the extremely attractive boyfriend.

If you read my last post you will have seen that I mentioned that my family had put a lot into the penguin theory. That is certainly very true, they’ve always been very supportive. It was my sister who first got me involved in making jewellery by taking me to a bead shop in Leeds. There were so many pretty shiny things I immediately wanted to make something pretty and bought lots.

When I first mentioned that I wanted to start sewing it was my mum who bought me my first machine last year. Just a small, cheap (for a sewing machine) john lewis model, but perfect for a beginner. I’m usually not the best at keeping up a hobby (I seem to get bored rather quickly and give up once i find something that’s hard) so I definitely didn’t expect anything more. But for my birthday this year my mum and her boyfriend completely stunned me. They bought me a brand new, full sized, 39 stitch, electrical sewing machine. For them to get together and buy me something it must have cost a lot and I can tell this is quite a good sewing machine. I’m so excited to use it!

Love at first sight!

It’s made me feel really motivated. The amount of money they must have spent on my hobby and has made me realise that I have to keep at it and do well, or more that I can. My aunt also bought me lots of books about selling online and at craft fairs which are proving to be very useful. In fact I think I will do book reviews of them all in the near future for anyone else thinking of buying them.

My family have always supported my sewing, buying things off me (my sister recently bought some bunting, my aunt bought some bibs), complimenting my products, telling all their friends to look at my facebook page. My boyfriend is even helping out, forcing me to do the admin and even helping when i’m stuck drawing a pattern, he really has been a life saver at times. I really am grateful for the support they give me and probably would have given up long ago if it wasn’t for them.

Flowers from my boyfriend 🙂

Yesterday I also got involved with the Olympics! My sister and her housemate had a spare ticket for volleyball so I of course decided to join. We saw the mens Swiss vs Russia and USA vs Poland followed by the Womens Australian vs Austria. Unfortunately we had to leave then as the others needed to get up early and so missed the last match, but it was an amazing experience! The atmosphere was electric and the players were brilliant. Lots of dancers came on during the breaks and got the whole crowd moving. Definitely was an exciting experience and I’m delighted that I had a chance to go.

Spectacular view

On the way home we actually saw the swiss team going back to their hotel. We congratulated them on their win and managed to get a photo with them! They were super nice guys (and extremely tall!), definitely backing them for a medal.

For now though, I have books to read and a sewing machine to learn how to use! (I haven’t tried it yet as I’m reading everything in the manual before I touch it)

So until next time!

Womens Volleyball

A Year Together

Yesterday it was mine and Ashley’s year anniversary together. We decided to celebrate by going into london together and having a nice day out.

We started in McDonalds at Waterloo station as this was where we first met and had some nice healthy food(!) Obviously it was a very classy start to the day.

Then we thought we’d take a stroll on the south bank to see the performers, another thing we did on the first day we met. We found mr bean, some crazy bendy jamaicans and a man drumming on lots of buckets. I always enjoy seeing what’s going on there, the atmosphere always feels so alive.

We then wandered over to Camden Market, one of the first places we had a date. We wandered around the markets for a bit and I bought a lovely pocket watch where you can see all the inner workings. I’ve always wanted one but could never find one i liked until now! Ash bought a batman jumper and pulp fiction tshirt.

Found on the southbank

We then went to have a coffee in starbucks by the river before moving onto my little surprise for him. He’s a massive nerd so I thought I’d take him to Forbidden Planet, a big comic book and nerdy memorabilia shop. He was pretty excited! I ended up buying him ‘The One Ring’ from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy which he’s not taken off since. I’m surprised he made a decision so easily as there were so many items for him to choose from, and the book section could easily cause you to lose a few hours.

The one ring excitement

He then surprised me by taking me to a restaurant. But this wasn’t any old restaurant. This restaurant only sold puddings! Needless to say i was in heaven. In fact i was so overwhelmed that I panicked when the waitress came over and ordered probably the most boring thing on the menu.

A vanilla cake.

At least it was a very nice vanilla cake…The frosting was so light and sweet. Delicious!

I did buy myself an icecream on the way out though…

Looking tired after a long day.

However, he said he’d take me back again another time so I can order something a bit more exciting. 🙂

We then went home and decided to cuddle up and watch the first Lord of the Rings with some wine and malibu. All together a very chilled out and cosy night.

Definitely a successful anniversary. 

Exciting Times Leave no Time to Blog

So I haven’t blogged in far too long, but things have been, well, hectic.

I’ve been searching for flats in London for the boyfriend and I to move into. I managed to find one gorgeous (yet small) flat in the north and have put a deposit down on it. We’re hoping to move very soon, just having to sort out the paper work (which has been very stressful).

Should be living here very soon!

I’ve also been working with a sales and marketing company temporarily. It’s taught me a lot about how to sell my own projects and hopefully will help me gain a few sales. Unfortunately I’ve had to leave after my mother refused to be a guarantor for the flat unless one of us had a regular paid job (we were both earning by commission so i understand her worries). I went for a few interviews around and finally managed to get a job in a Weatherspoons, just a 10minute bus ride away from our new flat! I’ve always wanted to be a barmaid at least for a little bit! The only problem is that now I will probably be earning less money, definitely not enough to cover expenses, and so we are, unwillingly, looking into receiving some housing benefits to help us along for the time being. I am also  considering keeping up the sales job on my days off as well, but this is depending on another exciting development in the form of a stall for my crafts!

My sisters-boyfriends-mother also does crafty things (making some amazing aprons like this one: and was thinking of opening a stall in camden market. However she lives in the north and so would need someone to run it for her. That is where i come in, she’s asked if I can run it for her and in return i will be able to place some of my items along side hers. Obviously i jumped at the chance to say yes but it could be a while before all the logistics are figured out and I know if it’s really going to go ahead.

In other news, i’ve been celebrating my sisters birthday. We went to watch Les Miserables, then had a nice posh meal before going out for some drinks. I would have loved to stay out longer but the last train back to Essex was 12:40 and I really didn’t want to sleep on the floor. I also made her present, my first ever clothing item! It didn’t exactly go to plan and wasn’t really the best thing ever, I definitely feel I should buy her something to make up for it. At least i’ve learnt for next time, a bit more practice and it should be fine i’m sure.

Today i have been making things again for the first time in weeks! I had a brainwave with an old brcelet i never wear and started making some earrings. However i’m a little unsure of how to finish them off…I know what i want, just not how to do it.

I also started my first tiara which isn’t turning out too badly, but could be better. I think it needs more of the pretty stones on it.

Not the best photo’s i know, but my camera is re-charging.

Hopefully my next blog will be sooner, but, as we’re expecting being able to move any day now that might not be the case.

Until next time!

Stay happy!

Claire x