This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “inspiration

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

Advertisements

Katy Jade Dobson Art

I was 3 hours away from my home, my legs we’re aching after running up a steep hill and I was all dolled up in a pretty party dress and heels frantically trying to get in touch with a friend.

It all started weeks ago when my friend, and artist, mentioned an evening event at a gallery her art was being shown at. In passing Ash suggested that we surprise her and turn up to the gallery without her knowing. I looked at my Rota and I finished work early enough on the day to be able to get there just in time, plus I had the day after completely off!

20130406_125949

So then it was a waiting game. I couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when we just randomly turned up, and I very nearly told her of our plans several times. I was just too excited!

On the day I finished work at 4, then I had to run some errands, post some packages, pack my bags. By the time we left it was 5:30 and we we’re definitely now in a rush. The drive was surprisingly easy, just the A1 for most of the way. We got there and it had seemed like the event had been cancelled, katy wasn’t replying to texts as she was other wise occupied so we decided to walk to the gallery anyway.

As expected it was closed, eventually I rang Katy and asked if she minded two people imposing themselves on her. She was very shocked but luckily seemed delighted that I had travelled to see her.

20130405_203832

The next day myself and Ash left Katy to go to and open up the gallery before joining her later in the day after a bit of breakfast and sightseeing.

Her gallery really looks amazing. I knew her paintings we’re gorgeous, but they look even better in person than in the photographs! The colours she uses range from natural earthy tones to bright dazzling rainbows. Every painting uses colour to great effect, really catching the eye. The subjects are superbly drawn in a messy but elegant way, really giving life and movement to the pieces. I know I may be biased, but I really do love her Art and I believe it speaks for itself.

Whilst I was there I decided to do a little interview with her:

CR : What did you want to be when you were younger?

KD : Well originally I wanted to be a horse, then a tooth fairy, and then an olympic gymnast, but I’ve always wanted to be an artist. Always, always.

 

Photo courtesy of Katy Jade Dobson Art

 

CR : That is adorable! So what was it about Art that interested you? 

KD : Well, I would say its whatever is suggested in art, the small things like a glance, or a certain positioning, or the way that not everything is recorded in a painting but it is suggested and you can fill in the blanks yourself in any way you want.

CR: What inspires you? 

KD : Sometimes, before I am inspired by the subject, I am more inspired by the want to paint something of a particular nature (powerful, strong or soft and calm) and then the decision the work on a particular subject and the research behind that is then the inspiration to actively get up and do the painting. I’m also inspired by artists like Odilon Redon who can work in dreamy and ethereal ways, thats why my work isnt always an accurate depiction of a scene, I like to add a dreamy quality to it.

 

Gorilla by Katy Jade Dobson Art

 

CR : When you’re not painting, what do you like to do? 

KD : Painting is quite a solitary process so I like to be around friends a lot. I like to go out for walks when it’s sunny, walking a dog,  going out for food and drinks or getting inspired by other artists.

CR : What have you found to be the most challenging with your art? 

KD : The process, the development and the actual physical act of the work seems to be very fluid and not exactly easy, but without its challenges. On the other hand, the part i struggle with is the side that I cant control as much, such as the material i am working on, if it takes a knock it effects the final piece. I am learning to see what materials work best to keep the longevity of my work to a high standard, i dont want that to compromise the work that is on it

Stag by Katy Jade Dobson Art

CR: What can we expect to see from you in the future?

KD : Oh gosh! Well I have lots of ideas for collections, some conflicting ideas but all seem to relate back to my own style. As I experiment with other materials to work on I might see a shift in technique and therefore, maybe, some new styles. But for now I am still figuring that out, I will have to see what happens in the future and how my work translates into prints and merchandise.

You can see Katy’s Elegant Mess Exhibition at the Sam Scorer Gallery in Lincoln until the 14th of April. Or if you don’t live close enough you can follow her wordpress here, find her facebook page here and her official site here!

Photo Courtesy of Katy Jade Dobson Art


A Shopping Trip and Business Discussions

On Saturday I went to see my sister in London. We went to Old Spitalfields market to have a gander of all the different products. There were some really amazing products and some great, quirky inspiration! It was actually a very good eye-opener for me who is having trouble with which direction to take my business next. I know I need a more cohesive theme but i’m struggling to find my niche. I recommend anyone having the same trouble to go and have a gander around other handmade shops, businesses and market places. Look at what they do, how they present their products and gain inspiration from their products (baring in mind that copying and inspiration are two completely different things of course).

I actually ended up buying this adorable Penguin Print from Katie Viggers and can’t wait to get it framed and up on my wall (although knowing me it will probably stay in it’s protective envelope for far too long)

We then wen’t for a bit of retail therapy around the corner in a shopping centre. I ended up spending far too much money in H&M but definitely don’t regret any of my purchases. I got an adorable dress with a christmas light print and mesh layer on top, a snazzy jacket and two pretty t-shirts (one bought for me by my generous sister who saw me pining after it). I also spent my Next christmas voucher on a snazzy pair of sunglasses!

20130316_135330 20130316_173512

A very successful shopping trip!

We then decided it was time for a bite to eat and had some business chat over a bowl of chips and a few drinks.

We brainstormed about my business and where i wanted it to go next. We talked about the items we had seen at the market and how I could make similar things with my own unique stamp on them. Most of all we talked about how I could make my shop cohesive and about how to market my products.

Dressed for different seasons, I promise it was sunny when I first put on my snazzy new glasses!

It was really useful to have a big chat about the shop and has really helped me to see what I want for it in the future.

I feel i have more direction with my business now. I just need to wait for a few more supplies to arrive for me to really get stuck in, but I promise there are exciting things for the future, i just need to make sure I stay motivated and don’t procrastinate too much.

‘Till next time!


Liebster Award

So I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award (ok so it was quite a while ago but I’ve only just decided to actually post about it) by CherryBlossomTears.

I wont lie, I usually don’t like these kinda things, they just remind me of the silly facebook things of ‘like if you agree if cancer is bad’ kinda spam posts. (I mean really, who doesn’t think cancer is bad? It’s just rediculous)

Obviously I know this isn’t exactly the same as that, definitely not as stupid, and when thinking about it I decided this is actually a good way to share facts about yourself for others and to maybe learn a little bit about the blogs your following. So here I am, answering my 5 questions and trying to think up some random questions to ask other blogs!

The Five Questions for Me

1.Where do you find inspiration?

In a variety of places. Sometimes I look at a fabric or bead and think ‘Oh, that would look amazing like this!’. I also love looking at nature and the shapes and feelings it creates (this is a theme I will be working on more in the future once my seamstress skills have improved, I already have designs drawn up!). The final inspiration, I guess, is my boyfriend. I can’t not include him as he was the inspiration behind my best selling item, the Minecraft Creeper tie!

2.How do you beat the blues?

Usually by either keeping myself busy or sitting down with some green tea and a big bar of chocolate! My boyfriend is also great at cheering me up with cuddles and spoiling me with treats.

3.If you could be a magical creature for a day, what would it be and why?

I’m tempted to say Unicorn just because they’re so pretty and prancy! But lets face it, being a dragon would be freakin’ amazing! I’d get to fly around shooting fire out of my nostrils all day!

4.What would be your ideal holiday?

Holidays where I get to explore, go on hikes, meet the people, find little unknown spots. I’ve been on several holidays with Explore and have absolutely loved them! I think the next big place I want to go is Africa, on Safari. Ash is originally from South Africa and still has family there he hasn’t seen in over 10 years and so we were thinking of starting to save up for a trip so we can visit them (although we need to be earning more money first!).

5.What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity is exploring your mind and letting it come up with something that is truly your own. I believe it can be found in all aspects of life and in everyone, it just manifests itself in different ways and isn’t always noticed.

So the five blogs I’m going to nominate are: 

CassieFairy

Pillows-a-la-Mode

Arabella

KatyJadeDobsonArt

Green Rabbit Designs

My Questions for You

1) What is the first thing you do in the Morning?

2) If there’s one craft you would like to try, what would it be?

3) What did you want to be when you were younger?

4) What do you tend to procrastinate over?

5) Where is one place you would like to visit?

For those with blogs chosen for the award– copy and paste the award in your blog. Tell who nominated you with a link to my blog. Share five random things about yourself and then answer my questions. When that is all done, nominate five bloggers that you follow and send them the rules, creating five new questions for them to answer along with their random things. 🙂


A Few Little Changes.

I have decided to make a few changes to my blog as it seems a little scatterbrained, I feel I keep forgetting it’s purpose. I’ll still have my everyday posts for items i’ve made and random things i’ve done, but I also want to add some more regular, and Penguin Theory themed posts.

I actually only realised this after one of my best friends started making her website. It’s not finished yet but she let me see a sneak preview and it looks so inspirational! Perfect for those of you who like the little things in life and want to enjoy them and yourself. You can find her Blog here. Hopefully she’ll have her website ready and raring to go soon!

Reading through the articles on her site, everything had a purpose and it all fitted together to give motivation and self belief. It inspired me and I knew I needed to up my game. So here I am with an all new battle plan and The Penguin Theory at the helm!

As you should (hopefully) know, The Penguin Theory is all about trying hard to become the kind of person you want to be and get to where you want to be in life. I think this is important and so feel this blog should also try to send this message across, which I don’t think it is doing to the best of it’s abilities for the moment.

I will be setting days for certain articles from now on. Articles to help you achieve your goals and to make your life a little easier. Articles about work, about relationships, about your home. Tutorials. Reviews. Everything you can imagine to help you make a decision on how to get where you want to be.

Of course I will still be posting updates for my Etsy shop and random little updates from my personal life, but most things will be sorted into certain categories to be released on their own day of the week.

MONDAY : BACK TO WORK

Tips for your work life including how to get a job, how to work with a team, how to progress and tips for running your own business.

WEDNESDAY : HOMELY HABITS

All you need for creating a happy home from the decor to cleaning and even some recipes!

FRIDAY : FRIDAY FABRICATIONS

Tutorials galore! From crafts to computing. Fridays will contain all you can make and do!

SATURDAY : SOCIABLE SATURDAYS

The social side of the spectrum, relationships with friends, family and boyfriends! How to make them work and fun things to do together.

I will probably do two of these a week, alternating each week, as I know my day job would get in the way other wise.

I will also be including a monthly (or sometimes a bi-monthly) “Etsy Finds” where I will make a treasury or showcase a particular Item from Etsy.

All in all I know it will be a lot of work, but i’m really looking forward to it and I hope you all are too.

If any one has any ideas for articles I could write, or have even written something you feel would fit into one of these categories,  then please don’t hesitate to let me know or send me link! I’d love to include other bloggers and crafters in this too!

I think I will start doing this next monday as for now I need to prepare for a craft fair on the 18th (more details to follow). I will be sewing and brainstorming until then. I hope you will all join me on my new(ish) venture with The Penguin Theory!

‘Till next time!