This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “help

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

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The Dos and Don’ts of Festivals – Fashion

Fashion is always a big thing at festivals, I’m never quite sure why as it usually gets very cold, wet and muddy (at least in the uk) and, with lack of showers, it is hard to keep yourself looking presentable. But if you really must make sure you look your best at all times, here a few tips for you to really get into the festival spirit fashionably.

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DO wear flowers in your hair. Festivals are notoriously ‘hippie’ themed and everyone loves a flower headband.

DON’T forget a big hat. Keep the sun out of your eyes whilst still looking stylish (or maybe a bit silly).

Toms

DO wear sensible shoes. Sandals, Vans, Toms or Converse at the dryer festivals, an awesome pair of wellies at the wetter ones. Also bring a pair of flip flops for those quick, late night toilet runs.

DON’T wear a floor length skirt. Even if the ground is dry, the portaloos get disgusting. Do you really want it dragging through god knows what on those floors? The answer is no.

hippiepants

DO bring some uber cool, hippie shorts. Not only are these really really comfy, but they look pretty awesome too. Perfect for relaxing at a festival.

DON’T be afraid to go ridiculous on your outfit choice. There’s always someone in fancy dress bringing a smile to everyones face, if you don’t mind the attention than why shouldn’t it be you?

DO wear lace. It’s always extremely popular, and that’s because it’s just plain pretty! Plus it’s a good way to keep cool at the hotter festivals.

wedges

DONT wear high shoes. Your feet will be in agony by the end of the day, and if it rains then you have no chance.  Even if you think they’d be fine, even the slightest heel will feel like torture by the end of the day.

DO plait your hair. You wont have anywhere to really shower and dry shampoo is only so good, plaits are a great way to keep your hair looking nice and tidy whilst still pretty.

badger

DON’T wear ridiculously short shorts. This picture was probably the most unpleasant i’ve seen, but no matter how skinny you are I really do not want to see your bum, or your frilly knickers. I don’t even understand how this is a fashion at the moment.

DO wear the merch you buy. I mean, why not? You probably spent a lot on that t-shirt or bagtanned, you may as well show your support.

tandots

DON’T wear body paint unless you don’t mind the suntan lines. I personally wouldn’t want pale dots up my legs for the next few weeks.

DO make sure you’re comfortable and happy in what ever you wear!

More festival Do’s and Don’ts coming up soon!


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!


Pick A Penguin – Competition!

After months of promising a competition finally I have gotten round to it.

Namepenguincomp2

Up for grabs is this cute, summery tote bag, a great addition to any summer wardrobe! Perfect for adults and children alike. 🙂 Even The Penguin Theory’s Penguin wants it!

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The Competition:

Myself and The Penguin Theory Mascot realised that he doesn’t have a name, this upset us both greatly. We racked our brains for a suitable name but just couldn’t decide on one so we want YOU to help!

So how can you help? It’s SIMPLE!

Just comment on this blog and/or this image on facebook with the name you think would be perfect for him and that’s it, done!

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Of course don’t forget to follow and like so you know if you’ve won or not! 😉

Each person can enter twice (once on facebook and once on here) and I will put all the names into a hat (or most likely a bag) to be drawn in a weeks time.

Good luck!

Claire

The Penguin Theory


Screenprinting – Yey or Nay?

I’ve been looking into possibly expanding to screenprinting. 

I really want to look into it as I have a few designs that would take too long appliqueing to be viable, however I know the materials can be a little costly. I’d also prefer to make my minecraft ties printed rather than appliqued because, again, i’m losing money (and after all this is trying to be a business) taking the time to sew everything on. I will probably still do the odd applique work, but I really feel this would be the next step in my business for the plans I have in my head.  

I found some good looking starter kits for around £70-100 and am tempted to spend some of my christmas money on them but don’t want to invest too much into something that would end up being a failure as I really can’t afford that at the moment. 

Do any crafters out there know much about screen printing, more specifically if it is worth while?


Feeling Supported

Although I’m not sure how much longer I want to work in the pub, I do really love the people there. Sure there is the odd annoying, rude customer but the friendly customers (and hilarious staff) are the ones that make it all worth while!

There are a lot of the regulars that are great to have a chat with but there is one gentleman in particular who is the jolliest man you will ever meet, he loves his ale and always exclaims ‘marvellous’ in his deep voice when you hand him his pint. He actually knows about ‘The Penguin Theory’ and follows my facebook page ‘liking’ most of my statuses on there.

He always asks how the sewing is going and has recently started telling me that ‘This is the year penguins will fly’.

I absolutely love this phrase and have now changed my blogs tag line to this because this IS the year the penguin theory will get off the ground and start flapping it’s wings! It’s just so perfectly fitting that I had to steal it (although he has stated that there’s ‘no need to steal for your blog, you have a gift’).

It’s people like this that really keep me motivated. The fact that so many seem to believe I can do it (and not just people from work, friends and family too and of course my boyfriend is a HUGE help) is really a big confidence booster. Without everyone’s support I would have probably given up by now, but the hard work is paying off and sales are being made. I am really starting to believe in myself now and, as long as I keep up the hard work, I know I can make something of myself.

So heres to you Michael! When I’m rich and the penguins are soaring, I will buy you a drink!


Giveaway help!

I’m going to be running a competition in the next week but am having trouble deciding on the prize to give away. 

The choices are a funky Tie or a cute Tote Bag but I can’t decide which! 

Maybe I should give the winner a choice of either one? (I will be making both eventually anyway)

Please help me decide which by either commenting on here or choosing an answer on this poll on my facebook! 

And of course don’t forget to follow my facebook, twitter and blog for the actual competition 😉 

Thank you!

‘Till next time!


Sisterly Memories

Festive Sisters

I personally believe it’s quite important to be close to your family, maybe not necessary, but important. I never thought I was all that close to my sister when we we’re growing up and was pretty certain that the knocking out of my two front teeth and releasing the car seat so that I smashed my face into the dashboard were definitely done on purpose, but recently I have realised I was wrong. We we’re in fact very close, it’s just neither of us realised it. She swore blind that she hated my guts and I would have been convinced I was adopted if I’d never seen a picture of my father. How ever, as we’ve grown and we’ve seemingly become closer, I’ve started thinking about my childhood memories and realised that we we’re actually close all along.

Here are a few of my favourite sisterly memories:

Sea Otter

My family were lucky enough to go on a lot of holidays. One particular holiday my sister and I were playing in the sea and I noticed she was floating in a way that made her look like a Sea Otter. She asked what kind of noise sea otters made and I replied with ‘I dunno…mip mip?’. This lead to a lot of laughter and we even found a song (Island in the Sun by Weezer) where we decided the beginning lyrics we’re actually ‘mip mip’. I love this song and sometimes listen to it just to remember this moment and giggle to myself.

Another classic holiday moment. My mother shouted ‘Pose!’ and this happened.

Miracle Cures

In primary school my sister caught chicken pox and then happened to give it to me. She felt bad about it and so baked a cake with smarties on top to resemble spots! I have my doubts as to whether she actually felt bad or just wanted cake but it still cheered me up immensely.

Another time she made me a tasty treat was again when I was ill. I had come back from an investigation at the hospital and the actual procedure somehow caused me to have really bad migraines for a few days after. One day my sister came home to find me in bed, curtains closed, duvet above my head, in the middle of the day. She obviously knew something was wrong, it was in fact probably one of the worst migraines i’ve ever had. She knows I just love pudding (i have a ridiculously sweet tooth) and she also knows I love bananas in custard and golden syrup. Because of this she decided to mix them together and made a glorious concoction of banana, custard AND golden syrup. It was so incredibly sickly and I felt so ill that it took me over an hour to eat. She kept checking on me and complaining about how little I’d eaten as I groaned from under the duvet, but eventually something in that bowl started to work it’s magic and the migraines I’d been having for several days suddenly disappeared completely. Ever since, when ever I’ve had a migraine I’ve made a bowl of banana and custard with golden syrup (at least when i’ve had the ingredients) and it has worked every time. Plus it really is deliciously sweet!

We couldn’t help but stop the car when we saw this hilariously rude sign.

Naughty Choir Girls

When we were younger we went to church a lot. I say a lot, I mean every sunday. I don’t think I really believe in religion now, and the sermons were reeeaaally boring, but I did love to sing in the choir and still do (although I only go to church occasionally when I go home). However for a child church really is the most boring place on earth and so we often found other ways to amuse ourselves, secretly so the other members of the congregation still thought we were the little angels we tried to pretend we were.  This often resulted in us pulling funny faces at each other and mouthing conversations, normally trying to make the other one laugh to get them into trouble. Normally my sister won as I idolised her and found almost every joke of hers hilarious. We also had a few hymns that still make me laugh out loud to this day, my favourite of these being 2 lines taken from George R. Woodward’s : This Joyful Eastertide.  In the last verse you will find these words:

‘Till trump from east to west,

Shall wake the dead in number’

Being young and silly we took this as a smelly fart that was so bad it even woke the dead. I don’t think either of us have ever managed to get the whole way through that song without laughing.

The old choir days. See if you can guess which one was me. Hint : I was a little chubbier

Of course there are many, many more moments which I just can’t think of right now. I am so glad I’m not an only child as I not only would have missed out on so much fun and laughter, and the occasional fight, but I also have missed out on having her as a best friend. I know she’ll always look out for me as she has done in the past, and she is also very supportive of my crafts. She always reads through my documents, most recently the CV, and helps me to improve. I really do appreciate her and hope I can be just as much help to her one day.

But that’s enough of this soppy post (although there might be one about my mother in the near future), it’s time to apply for jobs!

Have you got a sibling you’re extremely grateful for? Or do you have someone else who supports you in the same way? Or do you have any funny family stories or in jokes?


Writing your CV

backtoworkmonday

It’s obviously important to have a good CV. This is what your employer will be looking at before they meet you and you can win them over with your dazzling personality. In this CV you really have to sell yourself and don’t have a lot of words to do it in. I really struggle with writing about myself and I know a lot of other people do too.

When writing my own CV I used a guide I found on the University of Kent’s website (which can be found here) and found it extremely useful, I would highly recommend it for any one struggling to write their own. They have a very easy to follow guide to help you know exactly what to (and what not to) put in your CV, breaking the process down into easy to follow points.

I actually visited the university of Kent when writing my dissertation as well so they have definitely helped me a lot in life, despite never attending their university.  All the staff I dealt with were extremely friendly and useful, they have definitely earned my respect and gratitude.

‘Till next time!

Claire


100 Posts!

So apparently I have reached 100 posts on this blog (this is #101).

I’ve decided this means it’s time to do something drastic and so i’m thinking seriously about an Idea I’ve had for a while. 

Did you know that there are 18 species of penguin in the world. 13 have declining populations, and 5 of them are considered endangered.

I love animals, when I was younger I wanted to be the next David Attenborough (actually I still do!) and so when ever I’ve heard about an endangered species I’ve wanted to help in some way.  There are so many beautiful and amazing creatures out there and some of them are close to disappearing forever just like so many unfortunate, forgotten species before them. 

I’ve always wanted to Donate to charity and have always vowed to if I made enough money. This isn’t a reality right now as I can barely afford rent as it is, so I’ve been thinking of a way to use The Penguin Theory to help others.

I particularly want to help wildlife charities (as nature is a big big love of mine) and charities that help poorer communities or disabilities to hopefully help someone else realise their dream (after all that is what The Penguin Theory is about)

I still have a lot of planning to go with this idea as that is all it is at the moment, an idea. 

So stay tuned for the New Year when I will hopefully be telling you all about my plans and making them a reality!

‘Till next time!