This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “helmet

Experimenting with Exposure

Yesterday I went to a good skate spot with Ash and our friend Milan.

I took both my board and camera along, hoping to make some good progress with both. The board, unfortunately, was not my friend as the last time I had skated it was lovely and wet where as now it was dry and a lot more grippy. The fact that I (again) hadn’t skated in a long time meant i was more or less starting from scratch.

It did seem to come back to me quickly though, but my bum saw the pavement far too many times. I tore a hole in my bottoms, the sign of a true skater, and then proceeded to tear through my skin leaving a nice graze on my rear. It was a wonderfully painful drive home once we’d finished.

After I had wracked my bum cheek (and before we went home) I decided it was time to get my camera out before I did any more damage, I knew I was getting tired and would only hurt myself more if I carried on despite wanting to.

As it was dark I wanted to experiment with long shutter speeds and my flash, i think the results were very interesting.

One of my favourites as it’s just soooo creepy. I love how the board is in good focus and you can see Ash doing the trick and looking back at where he just was.

I set up my camera on a tripod and set it so that I controlled when the shutter closed and opened so that I could get my timings spot on (theoretically).

I pressed the shutter button early and held my external flash separate so that I could operate it exactly when I wanted. I quickly flashed light at the subjects before releasing the shutter button on the camera. I was hoping that this would mean there would be long trails from the skaters finished with a clear image of them.

One of the clearer images I captured. I like how it almost looks like flames coming from behind. 

To some extent it did work and definitely gave me some very eerie photographs, but I know there’s room for a lot more improvement!

Of course I will keep experimenting. I plan to try different times of day/lighting, different shutter speeds and different apertures as well as new techniques in photoshop to really bring my photographs to life!

As you can tell, we take safety very seriously all wearing helmets and the boys (who travelled a lot further and faster than myself) in high vis jackets. Milan even had a head torch!

I love challenging myself like this as it really helps me to learn new techniques and understand my camera even better. I really do want to try more nighttime photography now that I have a tripod again and aim to have a few wanderings once the sun has gone down.

Claire x

A hill parallel to the one we skated. This one has an amazing view of the city.

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A New Start to An Old Adventure

I have recently been thinking a lot about my old love of photography. I have a big, old DSLR and I’m always taking far too many photographs, but yet I do nothing with them.

So I’ve decided now is time to get back into photography, start seriously editing again and maybe even adding a few to my shop. Of course I will still be sewing (although i am finding it hard to stay motivated with it right now) but I also want to start selling prints.

If anyone knows of anywhere I could get prints done cheaply and easily that would be amazing (for the uk), I have a few places in mind but any help from photographers out there would be greatly appreciated.

I absolutely love messing around on photoshop with an image, it is definitely one of my favourite things to do, and so last night I decided to experiment with a few images I took of Ash longboarding. You can click on the images to see them a bit bigger.

I started off with a more simple edit, just adding texture, adjusting the colours slightly and playing with the levels.

I like how I made this feel slightly grungy but with Ash really popping out of the centre with his bright colours.  I’m glad I managed to catch him as his arms made such a nice line and his board had started to slide. I also really love the concentrated look on his face with his tongue sticking out (although he hates it), it really makes me chuckle. 🙂

The next photograph I decided to be a little more adventurous and play with the background by taking out all the colour. I wanted to really make him stand out as the background is quite busy with all the leaves. I also cropped it slightly to create a better line and draw your eye to him even more.

Again I’m really happy with how this one turned out, I think the contrast between the background and Ash works really well.  The only thing is I still find the background very busy and so I think I might need to play around with it even more, maybe by adjusting the contrast or blurring it slightly. But Ash really likes this one too and has set it too his facebook cover photo. 🙂

The last one I edited I decided to do something a little crazier and this is probably one of my most elaborate photoshops to date! I decided to add this bright orange texture to make ash look as though he was on fire in a way. I wanted to create a really dramatic image that would convey the power and energy used to do the slides Ash was trying.

Again I do really like the image even though its a lot different to my usual photography. I think the meaning I’m trying to convey really does come out and it is definitely not subtle.  I still can’t decide if maybe it’s a little too much though and I think the lighter section in the middle could be more focussed on Ash.

What do you think about my photographs and edits? I would love to hear some constructive criticism!


Hog Hill

Every sunday our Longboarding group has a ‘Hog Roast’.

Walking up the hill.

If only it was a real hog roast! They’re so tasty!

No, the hog roast is a day of skating in a place we call Hog Hill. It takes place in Redbridge Cycle Centre in Essex. It’s only £4 for the whole  track, for the whole day (bargain!) and it’s most definitely worth it. The road is lovely  and smooth, with some very big hills, you can certainly pick up a lot of speed from just a little distance, plus the views over london are amazing!

There are no cars allowed and so no fear of a collision with one in the london traffic (only bikes and people to watch out for). It is a great place to practice skating at high speeds.

Pushing off at the Top

At first I was very nervous, i’m not all that good at stopping and my board is a little too bouncy for really high speeds, but i gained confidence throughout the day, gradually starting higher and higher on the hill. I estimate that I got up to speeds of around 15mph. One of the skaters had a speedometer on his wrist and managed over 30mph!

I also took a video of the day which is available to watch here

I’m actually really proud of this video and am really looking forward to taking more! Although I think I will be taking my tripod next time. 😛

Tucking

Next time I will be borrowing other, more stable, boards (ash has said I can use his) so that I might feel more comfortable going at faster speeds. You never know, I might be going from the top!

I’m also hoping to learn a few slides so that I know how to slow myself down incase I become uncomfortable with the speed I’m travelling at, plus they’re always useful.

‘Till next time!


Trouble with Weather

We’ve been planning to go on  date G for a while now but unfortunately what I have in mind is outdoors and the weather hasn’t been kind. We thought we might be able to go today, as well as practicing some long boarding, but as we got to the station the heavens seemed to open and we ran for cover in a local sandwich shop.

We were tempted to go home, but after we finished our lunch the sun was shining once again. Instead of going on our date we decided to visit a nearby park and practice long boarding so that we could easily get home if it rained again.

There’s a lovely little park by a river we know of and so we decided to go there as it had some nice pavements and slopes to practice on. Ash decided to practice sliding, a move that’s commonly used to slow down as well as looking pretty cool. There were a few puddles still left over, although the sun was drying them up pretty quickly, and so he decided to use the water to help his sliding.

Unfortunately he didn’t quite get the hang of it, but he definitely made progress!

I on the other hand was practicing my stance, so as to feel more comfortable. Putting my weight more forwards on the board really did make a big difference and I’ve gained a lot more confidence and was able to go fast with no speed wobbles!

As I was skating around I noticed there was an old burnt out motorbike. I decided it would be great to take pictures of and immediately grabbed my camera.

Mirror

Exposed wires

In the middle of happily snapping away i suddenly felt a cold drop on my cheek. It was raining again. I ran to Ashley, covering my camera under my jacket, and we sat under a tree until the rain stopped.

Water Droplets

The pavement was too wet and so we decided it was home time, we had washing up and food shopping to do after all, plus it was about time i did some sewing!

On the fashion side, I had decided to wear some burgundy, high waisted trousers, a denim jacket, and my t-shirt from H&Ms conscious collection.

Burgundy

Visit me on lookbook by clicking the image!

I knew as soon as I saw this t-shirt that I had to have it! It even has my first initial on it! I really do love H&Ms conscious collection, everything is just so pretty!

IMG_1896

Maybe next time I will actually have some pictures of me skating, you have the rain to blame for that one.

‘Till next time!

IMG_1898


Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Sorry I haven’t been around for a while, life seems to have got in the way as well as some frustrations with my screen printer.But i’ve already had a busy day practising (although I seem to have most of the paint on myself) and now I have a few bags just about ready to be sewn together! So i think it’s finally time to announce the winner of the second competition of May!

It seems like there’s more on my hands than on the fabric…

Congrats to Jennie Evans! I have already sent an email and hope to post the bag to you soon. 🙂

And don’t forget there’ll be more competitions to come!

For now though I have some more screen printing to do (and some new designs to try) before going and practicing some long boarding with Ash.

We both have snazzy new helmets from Octane sports to keep us safe now so there’s no excuse! 🙂

Photo on 2013-05-20 at 16.45

Slightly silly, very safe.


Pain-Balling

Ashley wanted to go Paintballing for his birthday, unfortunately at the time rent had just come out and so we couldn’t really afford it. However, we found a really good deal for and so decided we should do it afterwards. So we booked in for saturday 20th in Upminster with the International Paintball Group.

After we’d bought the tickets we found lots of reviews of people not seeming very impressed with the sales tactics of this group. I became a little bit dubious but even with a few points not properly explained (which is definitely the independent salesman’s fault and not IPG) it was still a good deal as far as we could tell.

They sent out an email confirming my booking and containing lots of useful hints and tips, forms, maps etc. They even texted me the day before to remind me of my booking.

Unfortunately one of our friends was going to meet us at Upminster but ended up stuck in Barking as some trains were cancelled. This meant we had to take a detour which made us pretty late.

Luckily they still let us in, we just missed the first round, but there were many more still to come.

We were given a full body suit, body armour, full helmets (which in my opinion looked like MasterChiefs helmet from Halo) and 100 balls each. We were then marked as Gold team with a band of gold tape stuck around our arms. Simple but effective.

We were taken to get our guns and went on to our first game.

The first game took place in a ‘churchyard’. There were wooden huts, ‘grave stones’ and a big church-like building in the centre. There was a suitcase in the church and the winners were the team that managed to grab the suitcase and take it to their side of the game zone.

Other game zones included an egyptian themed area with lots of pyramids and sand, 4 double decker buses, A 2 story castle, A Watchtower, a jet plane and more! It was very exciting. All game zones had a different objective (one was to protect one person on your team, there was a good old fashioned shoot out, and capture a flag etc..) which made it very varied and fun!

However, we kept noticing that we seemed to be getting shot from behind and we soon realised why.

There was an annoying bunch of lads on our team. They didn’t listen to the marshals, constantly talking over them, and were getting more and more rowdy as time went on. They then started shooting us whilst we were waiting for the next game to start. They actually shot me in the face and in the arm. The marshalls dealt with the situation really well. They had already brought in one of the more senior members of staff to marshall our games as well as the original marshall we had. When they started shooting us in between games the marshalls acted very quickly indeed. We lost out on playing that game but the group of lads were quickly expelled and all stormed off in a huff after being instructed to take off their gear and leave the premises.

All in all I was extremely impressed with how things were run, the game zones were awesome, the marshalls were fair and acted very quickly when there were problems. The gear was good, everything well maintained. There was a nice variety of scenarios which made you feel like you were in Call of Duty.

It really was an awesome day and very well run, and pretty cheap compared to other paintball days i’ve seen. We hope to go again soon. I would recommend it to anyone!

After we got home we were both very tired and decided that we really couldn’t bring our selves to cook. Instead we went and got a nice yummy chinese.

The night turned into quite a girly couple bonding night as we decided to also put on face masks and watch some Monk. It may be an old TV show but we both love it.

All in all it was a brilliant day and really nice night in, i’m just waiting for all those paint ball bruises to come up now…