At the beginning of the week my friends from work and I went on a trip to Whipsnade Zoo!
This was the first time i’d ever been to Whipsnade, despite living in Bedfordshire for 4 years whilst at University, and I was super excited to see all the animals!
We started by stopping by for some lemur breakfast. The Lemurs jumped about everywhere and walked along the barriers at the sides of the path, often hitting us with their tails, as they munched away at their food. I didn’t really know a lot about lemurs and so was very excited to learn new things, including the fact that the smallest lemur is the same size as your little finger! How crazy is that?!?
Afterwards we moved on to the chimps who also happened to be having breakfast! They were so cheeky and mischievous, especially one who kept stealing everyone else’s food. The dominant male got angry at the cheeky chimp for trying to steal food off him which led to a comical display from the cheeky chimp who threw himself on his back like he was playing dead. Sometimes the food would also fall into the moat next to their island and then the chimps showed off their intelligence by picking up sticks to hit the food towards them.
Then we wandered to see some white rhinos and I learnt why they’re actually called white rhinos! It’s all to do with a misunderstanding on the Africaans use of the word ‘wijde’ which was in reference to this species wide mouth, but it sounded rather like ‘White’ and so the White Rhino got it’s name. The Black Rhino was named to be opposite despite neither being particularly different colours.
We wandered about looking at the various animals and we’re extremely impressed with all the different enclosures, the paddocks were huge and decorated beautifully too, the illusive wolves had a gorgeous forest, the penguins had probably the best pool view i’ve seen and all the animals had lots of things to keep them busy throughout the day.
We saw a brown bear go swimming which was wonderful to see. It bumbled through the forest and I was running along side ready for the perfect shot, my friend was hoping it would go in the water and so we all waited with bated breath. The bear was snuffing the air and definitely took it’s time, but eventually went into the cool waters and I got some adorable photographs of it having a nice soak.
We also saw the sealion show, they were great at showing just how agile and amazing they are, they told us the difference between sealions and seals, how they train them for the vets and also how we can help them in the wild. It was really interesting as well as being pretty cool to watch.
We also saw the talk at the animal farm where they brought out many different cute, fluffy creatures for us all to stroke including baby rabbits, ferrets and pygmy goats! They even flew an owl around our heads which hovered right in front of our faces! It was so cool!
We even took a stream train ride through the park! This is feel was rather overpriced for how long the journey was, but it was really rather fun! We not only learnt about the animals we passed but also about the steam engine we were riding. It’s definitely a fun way to go around and see the animals, i’d recommend it at least once, but maybe not more than that.
We carried on walking around seeing all sorts of different animals, but our feet were getting weary and it was nearly closing time so we wandered over to the gift shop. However the gift shop was closed before we even got there! We were not very impressed by that fact, but decided it was probably for the best anyway as we all needed to save money.
I spent the rest of the afternoon at a friends house playing with her pet snake and eating far too much rubbish.
I had such a fun day, took so many lovely pictures and can’t wait to go again!
In my last few weeks (maybe a month) of being at the Zoo there were many new arrivals! Of course I just couldn’t resist in taking pictures of them and I’m even planning on going to Whipsnade tomorrow as I hear there’s loads of babies there too!
Last thursday I took a special trip to the rain forest exhibit to take pictures of some adorable baby Emperor Tamarins. These were only just over a week old and absolutely TINY! They’re a small enough species of monkey to fit in the palm of your hand anyway, but the babies really are miniscule.
There were two born as these tamarins usually do give birth to twins. When they are first born they do not have the distinctive white moustache that Emperor Tamarins are well known for, but that begins growing soon after.
After birth the mum gets a nice rest as it is usually the dad that does most of the carrying, just passing them back to mum when they start calling for food. In ZSL London Zoos Rainforest Exhibit the whole family help out with the babysitting duties, including some Golden Lion Headed Tamarins as well!
The two babies are already growing quickly and starting to be more aware of their surroundings, I will have to go back soon and document their progress!
I can’t wait to see the wonders of Whipsnade, nor can I wait to take many photographs!
On the 27th of last month it was my birthday and for the first time in roughly 3 years (since my trip to China) I wasn’t in the UK! This also happened to be my first real holiday without my mum. For Ashley it was the first time he’d been out of the UK for nearly 10 years! We went to Slovenia which is an absolutely GORGEOUS country! The scenery was just stunning and the people really friendly.
But it wasn’t all fun and games, there was a reason we went was because of a Longboarding event Ash and some of our friends were attending. KNK Bear guts is a downhill free ride which takes place near Olsinca at the very bottom of Slovenia.
In all honesty I was quite nervous about him riding, it is a very steep and long hill with terrifying drops at the sides of the roads, but Ash is a sensible person and stayed within his comfort zone only having a few falls.
On the first few days of the free ride it poured it down with rain. The skaters from Britain seemed to relish it though, probably because of all the practice they’ve had this winter! The track was super slidey and they had a great time trying to stay on their boards in the slippery conditions.
Luckily, for me and my camera, the conditions soon brightened up and we had some days of brilliantly hot sunshine. Now the skaters practiced more at keeping up their speed and some we’re really rather fast! I found myself in some very dubious positions in pursuit of the perfect shot and more than once had a longboard flying in my direction. If you are watching a high speed event then posts are your best friend! I was saved several times by standing behind something sturdy, and the riders were saved by the hay bails throughout the course!
On the last day Ashley decided he’d had enough of wearing leathers, much to my disapproval, but promised that he wouldn’t go fast, instead he wanted to have a day of fancy slides rather than speed. He did get one scrape on his hip but seemed to have so much more fun that I’m glad he did it.
The event as a whole was really well run and there were only a couple of serious injuries, all the skaters seemed to have a great time, and so did I!
I just wish I could have explored the country more, myself and Ashley are hoping to be able to afford to go next year as well but to go a week early so that we can do just that!
But all too soon it was time to come back to England and, quite honestly, i’m sort of wishing I could go back to Slovenia.
I had an interview at work the first day back as there were two permanent positions up for grabs, unfortunately I didn’t manage to get it but those who did definitely deserve it. Hopefully I can at least work there again next summer, now it’s just a matter of finding a job over winter. My car insurance also came out, taking with it the money I owed for the holiday but at least I could afford it (although only just) and then I had a very bad few days of lots of little things going wrong, such as dropping half a cheese cake on the floor!
But it’s ok as I got to open all of my birthday pressies and then to play with them! My mum got me a drawing tablet which I’m so excited about and have already practiced with! It’s going to improve my digital drawings so much!
I also have so many great ideas for new items to make, and even plan to be revisiting my passion for jewellery soon, plus there’s lots of photoshoots to go on and many more exciting things for The Penguin Theory.
I’ve always had real trouble with photography in low light situations and always blamed it on my old camera, plus they always say that light is a photographers best friend! But sometimes good lighting is just not possible, especially when not based in a studio.
I recently took my camera to work with me to take pictures of all the cute baby animals we have running around at the moment. I was getting quite frustrated at my camera not being able to cope with the light levels in the perfectly lit room, no matter how much I changed my shutter speed and aperture I just couldn’t get a clear, well lit photograph of the sloth and its baby (see attempts below). But there was an old gentleman, and regular at the zoo, who then told me about ISO.
Both unfortunately blurry and dark.
I had heard of ISO but had always thought that it would seriously reduce the quality of my photographs, something which is of course true if you’re not using it properly, as I wasn’t. After hearing his brief explanation I decided to change my settings and finally got some good photographs! I just wish i’d played with it earlier on in the day.
I did get a couple of good shots on a low ISO
Well since that day I’ve done a bit of research into ISO so I can learn exactly what it is and how to use it.
So what exactly is ISO?
ISO is the speed of the film, not to be confused with frame rate but instead it’s how sensitive the film would be to light. So a Low ISO would correspond to an insensitive film that would require more light to create a good quality image, whereas a High ISO would be a far more sensitive film needing less light for the same image quality. But even though you may need a higher ISO in certain situations, the higher ISO does also create grainier images and so it is best to keep the ISO as low as possible for the shot.
Of course if using a Tripod for a still subject it would be fine to use the lowest ISO possible, but for handheld camera work and moving objects it’s best to experiment to find the perfect balance between brightness and noise in the photograph.
It really is so important to understand all the workings of your camera, I’ve had mine for nearly 7 years and I’m only just learning how to really get the most out of it! I plan to carry on learning about all aspects of photography and hopefully it will improve my photographs, in fact i think it already is!
But it’s not only understanding your camera, it’s also understanding your subject so I also plan to study the animals i’m wanting to take photographs of as well. There’s not all that much known about sloth babies, as they have about an 80% mortality rate in just the first week of being born, and a lot of that percentage is from the mother dropping them! I believe this is the first sloth baby in our zoo for around 50 years. So not only is the sloth baby proving to be vital research for myself into the animal kingdom, but also for the keepers who are learning new things about how they develop, grow and learn too! It’s all very exciting.
I plan to take my camera to work again very soon and experiment more with the ISO settings, plus i want to get even more adorable photographs of various animals!
Sorry, I wrote this post a week ago and completely forgot to post it! I’m so silly sometimes.
It’s Monday again and time for the weekly update! Here’s last week in pictures, sorry they’re mainly phone but it was all a bit hectic with well over 40hrs at the pub in the first 4 days followed by starting my new job at London Zoo! I also have the most horrendous cold (perfect timing for the new job) and had barely any energy.
Monday saw me tucking into the most amazing toastie ever. Steak, cheese and deliciousness! Yum! (and yes I like my steak rare!)
On tuesday I noticed this gorgeous creature towering above people outside the local garden centre. I just had to snap a picture to send to a close friend who loves gorillas!
Wednesday had a cool looking sky at sunset. I seem to notice the sky a lot more often these days as it looks so pretty through our windows!
Thursday I was nominated for these Cancer awareness #nomakeup selfies. I never wear make up anyway recently as I’m always at work (it would just sweat off in the kitchen) or too tired from work so I went all out with a kitchen hair net and carrot cake!
On Friday I started my new (although temporary *sob*) job as a presenter at the zoo. I was mainly sorting out all my paper work, given all the things I needed to learn and watched some of the presenters show me how it was done. Little did I know I’d be taking on the role of Giraffe feeding the very next day, and getting licked all over the face in the process.
On saturday I shadowed another presenter for the whole day and got to have a few more interactions with all the animals. It was so much fun! I love these Emperor Tamarins with their awesome moustaches. I can’t wait to have a day to visit with my DSLR! I hope to take some really awesome photographs which could help me raise money for ZSL.
Today I noticed this gorgeous plants (I think they’re grape hyacinths) growing in our window boxes. It’s a shame, but I will be completely replacing the soil in these soon. Maybe I can try and save these plants.
I’ve finally got myself a new job (although only temporarily) and am now working at London Zoo! I’ve only had a few shifts but it’s amazing. Everyone is so friendly and happy, plus I get to be around animals all day long and really spread the word about conservation and protecting the animals we have in the world today! It really is a dream come true!
It’s been in the news recently that the Female Sumatran Tiger has had 3 cubs, I haven’t managed to catch a glimpse of them yet, but hopefully soon I can, you can follow their progress on London Zoos facebook page and their youtube.
To celebrate the new job, where I’m allowed nail polish, my nails can actually grow, and the arrival of the new cubs I decided to paint my nails!
They came out so well! I’m super proud of myself. Last time I went to London zoo as a customer (for zoo lates which is awesome by the way) I also painted my nails ‘big cat’ themed with these leopard nails.
Unfortunately I still work at the pub on thursdays and I’m only at the Zoo for the summer (fingers crossed they take me back next year!) but i’m so so happy with my new job and just know I’m going to love every minute of it!
I’m afraid there might not be many crafty updates for a little while as I have a lot of scripts to learn (I am one of the presenters for the animal talks) and all my spare time is spent reading lines. But do not fear! I have loads of projects in mind, both sewn and photographed. Until then I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite pictures from the zoo so far!
“the most important thing is not clicking the shutter, it is clicking with the subject”
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.
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.
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.
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!
On Monday 10th I took a picture of this plant to send to my sister. She bought me it to say congratulations for getting my new job. I was so surprised that it was still alive I had to share it with her! (I’m terrible with plants)
On the 11th the plant was still alive. I decided to take a few closer shots as it was so pretty.
On the 12th I finally ate this chocolate lion. I’ve had it far too long and decided it was just too pretty to eat! I’m sure it tasted better when I first bought it.
On 13th I decided it was time for a haircut, but all the hairdressers around are either out of my budget or I don’t like the look of (i’m a little picky sometimes). So i decided to try cutting myself, i cut Ash’s hair all the time and we need to save money so i thought I may as well try. It’s not perfect but not too bad for a first try! Hopefully I can afford for a professional to do it next time.
On the 14th I ate some of this rice pudding i’d made. It’s so easy and makes delicious little snacks in these pots! I think this will have to be a regular thing.
On the 15th the sky looked awesome.
On the 16th I finally uploaded some skate photographs onto my facebook page. I will be writing a blog post (if I ever get a day off work) but until then you can find them here.
Next week will be very exciting with my new job starting, but i’m also working 6 days out of 7 and several 12hr shifts. ouch!
I know i know, i’m terrible and haven’t updated my 365 project for nearly a month! But it’s ok, i have been taking photos so here’s a little catch up.
Warning – Going to be very picture heavy (if you hadn’t guessed)
February the 10th saw me driving up to the north with the radio blasting and ash putting in ear plugs to avoid hearing my singing.
On the 11th i saw these amazing blue orchids! My mum didn’t think much to them but I thought they were gorgeous! It’s a shame I can’t help but kill plants. 😦 I am definitely not green thumbed.
I went to go see Frank Turner with my sister and some friends on the 12th. On the way there I was reading a book on photography when a stranger asked me if I was into that sort of thing and told me to visit this gallery. I still haven’t got round to it, but the exhibition is still on so maybe i’ll go soon.
On the 13th I finally fixed one of my favourite earrings. It’s been sat on my desk for so long and I only just got round to gluing it back together. Hopefully I wont break it again!
On valentines day I spent most of the day drawing hobbits and dragons. Not bad in my opinion. I didn’t actually do anything with ash, neither of us are particularly bothered by it in all honesty. It’s a silly holiday really (we did make an excuse for some snuggle/movie time though of course).
On the 15th I moved my penguin statue, a christmas present from my mums boyfriend and just totally awesome, to a spot where he could keep an eye on my working.
My hair went crazy big and curly on the 16th as I left it in a big plait over night. It’s a shame that it’s so long and unmanageable at the moment, it just looked like a massive frizz ball! Definitely time for a hair cut.
On the 17th I really enjoyed the contrast between the moody, british sky and these stunning blossoms.
The 18th saw lots of editing work. Nearly a whole day of editing! My eyes definitely needed a rest by the end, but at least I had been very productive. These photo’s are amongst my favourites i’ve ever taken.
On the 19th I found out that I had an interview with London Zoo! I was so excited that I really couldn’t concentrate at work, not the best when working in a kitchen. I burnt myself so many times I lost count and nearly chopped my finger off! Luckily my nail stopped the cut becoming any deeper but it was still pretty nasty.
On the 20th I was starting to feel like I lived in this uniform. Working 60+ hour weeks, 6 days out of 7 most of the time and just constantly tired. I was starting to want just a day to pamper myself, wear make-up and look pretty but I just don’t have the energy even on my days off.
The 21st I was starting to feel positive. I was super excited (and nervous) about this interview and also knew it wasn’t long until Legoland wanted me back, plus i was about to drive up north for a wedding! Life was definitely about to get fun, I just had to stick it out at the pub for a little longer. This mirror is above our bed and was there when we moved in. We’re far too lazy to take it off and I actually kind of like it. It makes me smile.
The 22nd was the wedding of two very close friends! Unfortunately I forgot my camera (silly me) and my phone was dying so I didn’t take many pictures, but I did snap this cute picture of the first dance. The groom had changed into some more comfortable shoes for the party side of the wedding, as had the bride who was now wearing bright pink converse under her dress. Such a lovely day! I’m so happy for them both!
On the 23rd I went back to the south, but before I did I managed a little switcheroo at home, giggling like a naughty school girl the whole time. Mum has never got round to putting up my graduation picture (the woes of a second child!) and so I put mine in my sisters place. I don’t think she’s noticed yet, until she reads this blog post…*evil cackle*
On the 24th i received this sewing pattern I had won! I can’t wait to get stuck in!
On the 25th was my interview with London Zoo! It ran from 9-5 with lots of group exercises, presentations and other things to really get to know if we were right for the job and was such a fun day! It honestly made me want to work there even more, which I didn’t think was possible. I somehow managed to get a selfie with a penguin as well!
After the long interview and then rushing off to work for a close, I wasn’t feeling very awake on the 26th and drank far too much coffee.
On the 27th I got the news that I got the job!! I was so excited and i’m pretty sure I asked the person on the phone ‘Really?!’ several times. I celebrated with a glass (or two) of Merlyn, it’s like Baileys but so much better! I’m still convinced they’re going to ring up and tell me they made a mistake, but It’s quite honestly a dream come true!
On the 28th I started counting down to my start. I wrote it on my calendar and was still bouncing off walls.
On the 1st of March I received a congratulations card from my mum, complete with penguins of course!. How lovely 🙂 And yes, still bouncing off the walls at this stage.
On the 2nd there was a gorgeous rainbow! I could see the whole thing (I haven’t got round to editing those pictures yet though). If only I could find the pot of gold at the end…*sigh*
So that’s me all caught up to this week! I will be posting these weekly as usual from this sunday.
February was most definitely a very exciting month and I’m sure that March will be just as exciting!
I’m sorry for my absence recently, it has become a little intense on my end! A few people left the pub I work at and, with it all ready being understaffed (especially in the kitchen) i’m suddenly roped into 6 day weeks with over 60 hours. As you can imagine it’s not leaving much time for Penguin Theory-ing.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel as my life is soon to take on a drastic change!
I have somehow managed to bag myself a job and London Zoo! I’m so excited as I seriously love animals (if you hadn’t noticed from reading my blog) and I will be earning more than I do now with a job I just know I’m going to love! Plus I’ll have more time for Penguin Theory as I will be working less hours also. I seriously cannot wait to start! I wish it could be now! It’s shame it’s just a summer job for now, but I plan to work hard and really try to impress.
I am also still owed a lot of holiday from the pub job and so I have next week off (I only found out a couple of days ago!). I will be using that time to catch up with my 365 project posts and making lots of new items for my shop as well as starting some new exciting projects.
A project I really cant wait to start is this gorgeous coat, I won the pattern from an excellent blog: Custom Style . Thank’s Brooke! I can’t wait to get stuck in! I have so many ideas for the fabric choices but just need to buy some fabric large enough. I think this will also be the first project i make a mock-up of first so I need to get some muslin too. Unfortunately I might have to wait for my new job to be able to afford it as the current one (even with all these extra hours) only just covers my rent and other expenses.
By the way brooke, your handwriting is so pretty!
I also have some very big plans for my photography and will be going on lots of adventures with my camera during the next week, and not just taking photo’s of nature but also getting back into longboarding and other sports.
I’ve already entered the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (just before the deadline!) although i wish i’d had more time to really explore and take more photographs, I still think I might have some good contenders entered but I’m just happy that i’ve at least tried. Fingers crossed!
I really can’t wait for this next month, it’s going to be amazing. As cheesy as it sounds, i feel like it’s the start of the life I’ve always wanted and I couldn’t be happier! Bring on the rest of 2014! 😀
Last weekend Ash and I went up north to visit my mum as I had a dentist appointment and I wanted to visit my grandma who is having a pretty rough time in hospital.
Whilst there I took advantage of my mums bird friendly garden. It’s rare that I get a chance to see so many birds (other than pigeons) so close, not having a garden at my flat, and so I grabbed at the opportunity to have so many birds so easy to see!
The first day really showed me how much I had to learn! I took so many pictures but just kept being too slow as I was chasing them around with my camera lens.
I was a little disappointed in myself and was told off by my boyfriend as usual. I always get annoyed with myself when I can’t do something perfectly straight away and he always has to remind me that everything takes practice and motivate me to not give up. This is most definitely one of my biggest flaws so thank goodness I have Ash to kick me into gear every time!
So with Ash’s stern words fresh in my mind I tried again the next day!
This time I actually watched the behaviour of the birds and figured out that the blue and great tits were hanging out on a bush near the back of the garden, watching for danger. They would only fly forwards onto my mums magnolia tree once they had deemed the garden safe and then watch out for danger yet again before flying to the bird feeder and darting back to the bush.
Just watching made it so much easier to predict where they were going to land as I soon figured there was one, very well placed, branch in particular which they loved to land on before feeding.
Unfortunately by the time i’d figured this out it was already getting dark and I am without a tripod for the moment which meant all of the photo’s we’re shaky and dark.
The next day was my last day and I was determined to get some good shots. I positioned myself on the floor next to the sofa, army style, and waited.
It didn’t take long for the birds to appear.
First the blue tits and great tits made their appearance and I managed to get a few good shots of them on that one branch. But then more and more birds started to appear, flying backwards and forwards from the feeder.
There were gold finches, chaffinches, a pigeon (of course, they’re everywhere), and even a few sparrows! Sparrows are unfortunately in trouble in the UK and are at Red status so I feel quite privileged to have seen some. The numbers are now rising in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but unfortunately still in trouble in the UK. They’re such pretty little birds too! They may not have bright colours but their flecked patterns more than make up for it.
I sat there well past the time I was wanting to leave for the long drive back to the south, completely mesmerised by the gorgeous birds that visited the garden, and all for a few simple seeds.
All too soon I really did have to drag myself away, but I have learnt a lot from those short 3 days and hope to improve even more before my next visit.
Have you got any birds visiting your garden?
On the 3rd of feb i took a few pictures of some terracotta warrior statues I bought from China. I’m hoping to make a nice item from them for my shop.
On the 4th I took some more pictures of my products wrapping, this time showing the inside too.
The 5th saw me realise I could fit into the skirt I had made, despite it being designed for children, and so I thought I’d model it to give an idea of how it looks on. Just a shame that I had bad lighting, no tripod and no one to take it for me. I’m not the best with timers.
On the 6th I saw what a week of no work would do for my hands as my nails and skin looked lovely for the first time in years! I really cannot wait to get a new job.
On the 7th I was in the north. I thought the trees in my mums’ garden looked pretty cool silhouetted against the darkening sky.
On Saturday the 8th I took Ashley to Blacktoft Sands where we saw lots of marsh harriers hunting.
Today I took pictures of the birds in my mums garden. There were a few blue tits and great tits, it’s just a shame they didn’t come closer.
My photography is definitely improving, but I still have a long way to go!
On the 27th I finally finished this tie I’d had in mind for far too long and I love it! It’s already available on my etsy here
On the 28th I opened the kitchen for the second time ever and first time on my own (5am starts! Ouch!) but as I was lighting the grill I noticed it looked kinda pretty. Obviously being at work I only had my phone on me, but the picture still came out pretty cool…or should I say hot 😉
On the 29th I was playing with this adorable fabric! I think I have to buy more soon!
On the 30th I dressed up all Chinese style for a photoshoot to celebrate the new year! Ok, so I didn’t actually take these photo’s but I did think of the concept, the styling, modelled and directed the shoot so I think it still counts. You can find the post I wrote here
I did actually take a photo myself on this day (sort of, it was after midnight but I was only just leaving work and hadn’t slept yet so I guess it counts). The weather was super foggy and looked awesome so I just couldn’t resist!
The 31st I had finished the adorable-fabric skirt and it really is cute! I took some bad phone photo’s as my camera’s battery had died and I’d lost the charger! Oops! Lots of photo editing later and you can find the skirt in my shop here
On the first (wow February already!) I had my last day of work for two weeks! Yey for being owed holiday! I also went and bought a new charger as I will be needing my Camera on Sunday! This charger not only charges my old styled DSLR battery (my camera is a very old model) but also AA, AAA (etc.), newer camera batteries, phones and has a car adapter! It’s going to be perfect for holidaying!
Today is Sunday and I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for the photo as I’m probably out and about taking it! I’m adventuring to the centre of London for the Chinese New Year celebrations and hoping to get a few really good shots! I’ll definitely update with a blog post when i’m back and the photo’s are fully edited so keep your eyes peeled!
What have you been celebrating this week?
Jan the 20th saw me excited over my work week. No closes? No finishing work at 1 or 2am? Actually on morning shifts for once? Definitely something I am rarely treated too.
On the 21st i must have moisturised my hands constantly. My mum bought me this hand cream from Avon as my job was making my hands very sore. It works wonders! I accidentally made the photo purple, I guess that will teach me from looking at the filters in bad lighting. oops!
On the 22nd we finally got news back from our old tenancy! We had to take legal action as our landlord was demanding to take more money off us than our deposit, but he was a big, fat liar and we got all our money back! It’s a shame it’s all gone on rent we owe for the current place and so we’re still as poor as ever, but such a relief to finally have it sorted! Plus it was right before staff party which meant I could enjoy myself without worrying too much.
On the 23rd Ash and I went to a little cafe for breakfast burgers to recover from the night before. They were delicious and our drinks even came with cute heart and triangle ice cubes! It was nice to get out of the house together on a (sort of) date as it’s something we haven’t done for ages due to lack of time and money. We’re hoping to start where we left off from with our Alphabet dating series soon. I can’t wait!
On the 24th I FINALLY finished a project! I’d planned out this tie for a while and now it’s done. It should be up in my shop shortly. Still many more half done, or not even started, projects to go though…
Yesterday I had a catch up with my sister over a cuppa tea and murder she wrote! We then went to IKEA to get her some items and I somehow came back with a car full! Oops!
Today was my first official ‘Crafternoon Tea’ with a good friend. She brought some tiny sandwiches, scones and cheese and biscuits. I made some soup. Then we crafted all afternoon with a cup of tea in hand! She made a big cushion cover and I made good progress on a dress I started in the summer!
Sorry they are all phone pictures this week. It’s been a bit hectic socially. Next week i will definitely try to take more with my big camera. (one week i might actually stick to it!)
Until then stick around for more sewing, products and some hopefully awesome photography.
Jan 13th saw a 12 hour shift in the kitchen. Ouch. But hot chocolate with marshmallows made up for it 🙂
Jan 14th saw another 12 hour kitchen shift (double ouch!) plus I wasn’t very well, but my sweet tooth saved the day again as I spoilt myself with yoghurt. I always view yoghurts as a special treat as I very rarely buy them to try and save a bit of money, I seriously love them though, possibly even more than chocolate!!
Jan 15th I still wasn’t very well and took the day off work (I was meant to be on another terribly long shift). By the evening I was starting to feel better and so treated myself to Chinese with the housemates whilst watching films.
I spent most of the 16th playing League of Legends with my housemates. It’s super fun, although quite complicated and stressful at times, but i think i’m starting to pick it up now and am not completely rubbish.
on the 17th I took all the ingredients for a chicken wrap to work with me. Unfortunately I completely failed in making the wrap somehow, but my kitchen friend came to the rescue. Yum!
On the 18th I decided it was a good day to show off my window. I love this window and it’s view. It makes me smile every morning!
Last night I took this picture of my Fish lights. It was after midnight and so it counts as the 19th 😛 My sister got these as a present years ago as I’ve always been obsessed with the sea, they fitted in with my ‘under the sea’ themed room and now I have them strung up on the partition in the middle of my bedroom. I think they’re awesome.
Next week is a lot nicer shift wise and I plan to do a lot of sewing and adventuring!
January 6th saw me finally decide on the final packaging for my products and I took many pictures of my new, pretty packaging before sending off my parcels to their new owners!
Jan 7th I spent the whole day organising my deadlines for things I want to make, blogs I want write and other boring admin things.
Jan 8th I watched Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Zoo Quest’ from back when TVs were in black and white and David was handsomely wandering madagascar in a pair of converse. Of course i got a lot of sewing done as well.
Jan 9th I went to Alexandra Palace to try and shoot my own nature documentary of sorts, unfortunately the creatures I wanted were not to be found and so I got Ash to take a few photographs of a new product I was wearing instead. Whilst we were there we saw this man ecstatic to be feeding pigeons. His enjoyment was contagious and I couldn’t resist a few snaps of him.
On the 10th I had a horrible headache (probably from not sleeping enough) and just climbed into bed as soon as I was home from work.
On the 11th a friend who has moved to Denmark was back for the weekend and had a gathering. Unfortunately I had to leave early for work (the story of my life!) but at least my shift wasn’t too bad.
Today, Jan 12th, I have again been mainly organising and watching nature documentarys. But I did make a delicious stew type thing in my slow cooker! It’s a shame it came out extremely watery, but tasted nice enough.
Next week is horrendous shift wise at work, but hopefully I can still keep up with some daily photo’s, even if they’re just from my phone.
I have a new endeavour to go hand in hand with my wildlife photography in progress and so set out to Alexandra Palace to see the fallow deer that will be featuring in it. Unfortunately they had all disappeared! I assume they are inside and away from this bitter, cold weather, but it was quite a disappointment. I do have some ideas for what I can do with some other creatures, though, whilst I wait for their return.
So as not to waste our trip, I got Ash to take a few photographs of me in my newest creation! A sparkly, flowery, cosy infinity scarf! It really was very warm and cosy.
The outer fabric is the same as with my cape, and beautiful black, shimmering fabric I just adore. Hopefully I can buy more of it soon as I’ve more or less run out!
The inner fabric is a gorgeous, silk-like fabric which feels lovely against the skin and features a pretty flower design.
The scarf can be worn in the depths of winter with a thick coat to keep you nice and toasty warm, but it is also a good match with a simple t-shirt in slightly warmer weather.
I wore it with a plain black top, and big black waisted belt finished with this gorgeous blue skirt. I felt that the flower patterns in the skirt and scarf complimented each other well, plus I am just in love with this skirt (a bargain £3 from Primark!)
As it was a rather cold day I also wore tights with knee length socks to keep my legs warm, and these adorable fluffy boots!
Finally I finished the outfit off with some earrings I made for myself ages ago (more like I loved them so much I couldn’t bare to part with them). The blue matched perfectly and the chain drops gave a sense of elegance to the outfit.
My make-up was simple. Just a light pink on my eyes with some winged liner and a hint of pink on the cheeks and lips.
Hopefully the Fallow deer will return soon, but for now you can find this scarf listed in my shop right here
I’ve decided that I really want to do a 365 project to document this year and hopefully improve my photography. I will try to take as many with my ‘big’ camera as possible but I’m sure there will be phone/instagram pictures included as well. I am combining this with 100 days of happiness too and looking for the things which make me happy in day to day life so as not to take it for granted. Follow me on instagram (username : Fwaire) for all the 100 days of happiness photos!
I was going to start on Jan 1st to keep things simple, but I seem to have gotten a little too excited and started on the Eve instead, I guess that could make for a good, bold ending though. 🙂
I’ve decided I’m going to blog my photo’s every sunday rather than everyday as I think it will be easier to keep up with, so, without further ado, here’s week 1 : Days 1-6!
Happy New Year! Myself and Ash on December 31st (somewhere around midnight), celebrating in our house with a few friends.
Jan 1st – I wasn’t particularly hungry whilst at work but couldn’t resist a pudding on my break! Mmm Apple crumble and custard! 🙂
Jan 2nd – Making ties! I’ve had two sales already (one on christmas day and the other on the 1st of jan). Such an amazing start to the year!
Jan 3rd – A sudden thunder storm made me dash for my camera in the hopes of photographing lightening! Unfortunately the bolt that sent me running for my camera turned out to be the only one, but I do rather like this image I captured of the rain on our slanted attic windows. It can sometimes be loud, but I actually find the sound quite soothing.
Jan 4th – Our light switch has broken in our bathroom but luckily our flat comes with awesome stained glass windows in almost every door. The unusual lighting situation has really made me appreciate some of this house’s beauty. This is our current, romantic, view from the toilet, along with Ash wondering why there’s camera sounds coming from the bathroom…
Jan 5th – This was a movie day, until i was called into work (it was meant to be my day off!). I watched a few disney classics whilst sewing and then settled down with some David Attenborough after work whilst writing this blog. Lovely! I find streaming programs on my laptop whilst sewing helps me to work better as I then can’t use it to explore the internet!
So that was the first (almost) week of my 365 project! It’s a shame I only managed to get my DSLR for two of the shots, but hopefully I can use it more next week. 🙂
Who else is doing a 365, 100 days of happiness or similar project?
I know this is something which is said every year, but for the first time I feel like it is actually true for me.
This year will be so much bigger and better than last year and it really will be a new start! I’ve just moved house, far bigger and better than the last place and I actually have a place I can call an office (I will have to take photographs soon!). After 2 years I finally seem to have a way out of the day job, which was only meant to be temporary in the first place, and seem to have bagged a job which actually excites me and makes me happy to go to work. And I’m more determined than ever to make The Penguin Theory a success.
Last year i’m afraid I only managed to reach one of my goals, but luckily I think that goal will be crucial for success this year. I am finally a lot more organised than I’ve ever been in my life, keeping to deadlines, sorting out paperwork, keeping notes in my diary. There is still a lot of improvement to be done but i don’t think myself or my family have ever seen or expected me to be quite so diligent.
I thought I should have some goals for this year as well, but this time maybe actually manage more than one. I decided to narrow it down to 5 big goals of things that definitely have to happen.
1) Make The Penguin Theory more successful
Regularly update my blog and other social media. make an item and/or go on a photography adventure every week. Make more sales on Etsy and at craft fairs. I don’t have to be living off it (although that would be nice) but i definitely want to make visible progress.
2) Get a Job I actually enjoy
I need a day job to fund my penguin theory adventures (unfortunately) but whilst I can’t survive of The Penguin Theory for the moment, I should at least be in a job I enjoy. My current job was never meant to be permanent and yet i’ve been there for almost two years. It’s time to move on to something I can look forward to everyday and I think I may have already found it! A couple of months ago I worked at Legoland for a week and loved every second of it. It’s a longer commute but so much more enjoyable which makes it an obvious choice for me. Not only are the hours more regular but they’re actually during the day! The only problem is that Legoland closes for a few months every year as a lot of the rides cannot be operated during the winter months. I am still trying to decide if I should keep the pub job for 1 day a week so that I can definitely have work in the winter or just to quit altogether and hope that I can find a temp job or make enough money through penguin theory for the winter months.
3) Go travelling
I want to go on holiday and explore somewhere I haven’t been before. In all honesty even somewhere in the UK would be fine, but it would be amazing to go abroad.
4) Enter Wildlife Photographer of the Year
It’s something I’ve always been fascinated with and in these last few months i’ve realised that I really do love to take photographs. I’ve always followed Wildlife Photographer of the Year and seen the exhibitions whenever possible. This year I’m determined to enter. It doesn’t matter if I don’t win, or even get a mention, I just need to try. I will most definitely be viewing the exhibition at the Natural History museum this year as well.
5) Pay off Debts and Start Saving
I wont lie, the end of this year has been horrendous money wise. Ash, unfortunately, had to leave university as we couldn’t afford for him to continue and with this difficult time in the job market he had to rely on me for a few months, the problem being that minimum wage is barely enough to cover my costs. Luckily I had a lot of savings but they are completely wiped now and we’ve even had to borrow money from my mum and our housemates. But now that Ash has, not one but two jobs ,we are slowly paying everyone back and can hopefully build up some savings between us again.
So did you reach your goals for last year and what are your goals for this year?
Yesterday I decided to wear this lovely grey, woollen dress from Zara. It’s very plain, but very versatile which I LOVE.
I felt like making my outfit a bit more festive by adding these cute winter tights i probably bought from Primark (lets face it, most of my clothes come from there). I just love the adorable snowflake and heart pattern! I find these adorable ‘pixie’ boots from new look go perfectly with most outfits, I haven’t wore them in a while and so I had to show them a little bit of love 😉
I also added this sparkly belt to add a bit of festive glitz to the outfit. I’m pretty sure that this is, again, from Primark.
To finish it off I continued with the festive theme by adding a festive colour! I went with my bright red Zatchel and red beaded bracelet. I just love this bag, it’s so well made and big enough to carry everything I need.
Over the top I wore the cape that I made myself which again adds a bit of wintery sparkles. I’ve actually been thinking about ways I can improve this cape design and hope to be making many more in the near future! Although I know there are a lot of improvements to be made with this cape I still love it dearly and love to show it off at any possible moment.
For my make up I went for some subtle, but striking, eyes. I used white and silver/grey eye shadow before lining with black eyeliner and then a sparkly eyeliner on top (again adding to the glitz!)
I decided i wanted bold lips and what better than bright red to match my bag! I very rarely wear lipstick but definitely think I should do it more often.
I just left my hair in it’s natural, wavy state (i’m far to lazy to actually do any serious styling) and just pinned back the front to keep it out of my eyes. Despite being so simple my boyfriend kept saying it looked really nice! Sometimes I guess simple is the way forward. 🙂
Do you like to wear bold colours?
As the title might suggest, this post will be very picture heavy. You’ve been warned!
I always believe that you should make your life an adventure and I often take the time to notice the random things going on around me, making even a trip to the shops an exciting experience. Because of this I usually find I notice things that I would love to photograph but never seem to have my camera on me, such as the time I saw cows crossing a motorway bridge with the words ‘Rural Revolution’ graffitied below.
I have decided that I need to take advantage of these moments and so, not only am I going to make an easy to carry camera bag, i’m setting aside time every now and again to go on a Photography Adventure. Just me, my camera and an adventure!
Ok so maybe Ash can join on a few adventures. 😉
Not only do I believe that this could result in some great fun and photographs, but I am also hoping that it will improve my photography skills as I challenge myself with shooting on Manual settings and in lots of different lighting and situations.
I went on my first official Photography Adventure on monday. I decided just explore my area, we’ve only just moved here (although it’s not that far from our old place) and I thought it would be a good way to learn about where I actually live.
The area we live in is called Muswell Hill in North London. It quite posh and full of crafty and vintage shops. I should’ve taken some photo’s of the highstreet but I forgot to get my camera out until I had passed the high street and saw this amazing view from a car park just 10 minutes from my house!
I had to stand on top of a pretty precarious wall to get this shot and I knew that I could get better elsewhere and so I moved on.
I found some amazingly steep and quiet streets and just had to text Ash as they would be perfect for practicing slides and cornering on when long boarding (with a spotter of course). A lot of the houses I found must have had incredible views from their back windows and balconies. I saw so many houses I would love to live in! There were loads of the old Tudor styled houses, the type of house i’ve always dreamed of!
I wandered along these back streets for a while until I happened upon Alexandra Palace (Ok so I followed the BBC tower as I knew there were good photo’s to be took here). The views from Ally Pally are amazing, it also has an ice rink, a boating pond, Fallow Deer and regular gigs. Plus it’s only a 5 minute walk from my house now!
I sat for a while, eating a breakfast bar, admiring the view and taking a few photo’s
Soon though, my bum became too cold and so I moved on. Wandering down to the paddocks to see Alexandra Palaces Fallow Deer Herd. I only learned they had a deer herd recently despite visiting often, but now I make sure to visit them each time I go.
On the way to the deer I noticed a squirrel sitting in the grass. I love squirrels (yes, even the grey ones) and so I had to take some photos!
For these shots I played around with a very shallow Depth of Field and feel it really adds to the shots making the foreground out of focus and so the squirrel is the main point of interest.
Next I found the Deer. They were quite far away from the fence to begin with but soon started travelling towards the right hand side of the paddock. I ran over (yes I actually ran) so that I could get some good shots of them walking towards me. Unfortunately, in my excitement, I forgot about the manual settings and so a lot of the photos came out too dark, even for editing. I did manage a few good shots once i remembered though.
Whilst taking these images I got talking to a man who was walking his dogs. We both agreed that these deer were just beautiful animals!
Soon my hands we’re feeling frozen and so I had to tear myself away from these beautiful animals. I decided it was time to go home as I already had a pretty bad cold and didn’t want to get any sicker.
On my way back home I passed the boating lake where this coot was hunting for food. I took a few pictures of it diving under the water before finally heading home to see the spoils of my adventure!
I really hope to do another adventure soon and already have a few places in mind!
Anyone else been on an adventure lately?
I’ve decided that it’s finally time to figure out how to use my camera on manual settings so a few days ago I joined Ash and some of our friends and tried to take pictures of them skating.
I spent most of the session just trying to figure out how to use the camera (I’ve lost the manual and so had no idea what all the buttons actually did) but eventually I managed to get a few good photographs. A lot of the photo’s came out blurred, out of focus or just too dark to begin with, but i’m sure with a bit of practice I can be taking even better photographs than I was before!
Unfortunately the weather was a bit dreary which meant that it was hard to get my ISO low enough for the fast shutter speed I needed and I had to crack out my flash quite early on. But this was also a good learning experience as I haven’t used my flash much either!
If there’s any photographers out there that could give me some good feedback or tips for shooting manual than please don’t hesitate to comment! I’d very much appreciate it 🙂
There are more on my facebook page here
But for now I’ll leave you with my favourite photo from the night, it might be a little over exposed due to the harsh flash, but I like it 🙂