The Super Blood Moon

The Bloke and I both love photography, so we were really excited about the Super Blood Moon that was expected to appear yesterday night. We had been checking the weather forecast all week, and set our alarms for 2.00am so we could set up in time to get some decent shots.

It was freezing outside, but we went out into the back garden. The sky was absolutely perfect – there wasn’t a single cloud and we could see everything really clearly…

It was a truly spectacular sight – I’d never witnessed anything like that before (being just a year old when it last appeared in 1982), so for a while I just stood and watched. Beautiful. Continue reading

Balloons and Tunes!

Our local park in Birmingham is holding a ‘Balloons and Tunes’ festival this weekend, and The Bloke and I joined about 14,000 other people to witness the hot air balloon display. It’s not something I’ve ever experienced before, and it genuinely surpassed all expectation – as the sun set they were lit up in time to various pieces of music, with spectacular effect!

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Ooh, pretty…

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Pretty…

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Enjoying the rides…

In fact, the whole event was superb – it was full of people just enjoying themselves on the various rides with friends and loved ones, and it was a great atmosphere…

Even a little pug joined in the fun, although it must have been a bit too much for him after a while as it ended up ¬†falling asleep on top of one of the prizes on a stall… Bless.

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Sleepy pug…

 

It’s the little moments…

How Not To Do a Photography Shoot

imageIt was a long day yesterday.

My friend and I participated in a photo shoot – we had been stopped in the centre of Birmingham last month and offered a promotion (at a huge discount) for a new photography studio that had recently opened. As part of the package, there was champagne, a hand massage, manicure, professional make-up and hair and an hour long photography session, with a free photograph at the end and the opportunity to purchase further prints if we liked them.

We were excited, but a little apprehensive – neither of us had experienced anything similar before and didn’t know what to expect. However, we did as we were asked and arrived with some of our favourite outfits, no make-up and natural hair.

I’m not one for complaining when I go out – after years of working in various jobs within the service industry I know how awkward, demanding and rude the general public can be – so I always try and be as polite as possible. However, if I had paid the price that they are usually charging for the package that we had I would be demanding my money back, and then some. While I’m not going to go into too much detail, I want you to imagine that a couple of students woke up one day, hired out a couple of tiny rooms in one of the roughest areas of the city and employed their mate with an SLR camera to take pictures. The studio wasn’t a new one – the company ‘opening’ this new place had in fact arranged some sort of deal with an already existing, run down business.

My make-up artist was very inexperienced, and despite asking lots of questions about the sort of style and colours I liked she completely ignored everything I had said and proceeded to make me look like Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Batman, sticking bright red lipstick on me and putting one of my false eyelashes much higher than the other, which I then discreetly adjusted and improved in the toilet afterwards. Don’t believe me? This was the before and after…

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It’s amazing what your own make-up, toilet lighting and Instagram can do isn’t it!

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The saving grace of the day was my friend. I’ve known her for a long time, and she’s one of my favourite people. Neither of us were happy with the service we received, but she put a brave face on it and kept me feeling positive throughout the day. She’s a much stronger character then I am, which I was grateful for as she politely put the photographer firmly in his place when he was inexplicably aggressive with us when we first walked in. To be fair, by the end of the shoot he was laughing and joking with us, and we were making each other laugh by pulling silly faces at each other and after a while I was able to relax and enjoy myself. She’s a glamorous woman and was a natural, taking things in her stride and striking different poses in the beautiful outfits she had brought with her.

After waiting for quite a while after the shoot, we were given the opportunity to look through our photographs. I have huge body confidence and anxiety issues and I while I wasn’t expecting the camera to remove 60lbs from my frame, I was hoping for images that would make me feel a little more confident about myself. It had the opposite effect – the angles in most of the pictures actually made me look bigger than I am, and I was completely deflated. I did purchase a few of them (after lots of bartering as they initially attempted charge an extortionate amount of money for them), mainly because my friend looks great, but there was only one of me that I thought was ok. Here’s one of us together that I liked – we look like we are auditioning for the new series of The Apprentice…

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I’m not going to include many of the pics, but this was the one that I originally liked. Unfortunately, when I got home and put it on my tv screen (which was much bigger), it looked totally different than during the viewing process. There’s a few issues that bug me… My left eye (which looks totally black) and The Hand. The poor lighting looks like a random person has shoved their arm in front of my face. The more I look at it, the more I hate it. It’s a dead hand.

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I tried to experiment and cut it down, even adding an idea for a potential logo, asked for advice in Instagram and from my bloggy friend Steve, who is good at graphics and design, and The Bloke went to work on Photoshop, but it still annoys me.

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Stupid dead hand.

However, it was an experience. I enjoyed spending time with a good friend and we had a laugh.

And the next time someone asks me to go and try out a new photography business, I’ll save my money and take more pictures in the toilet instead!

What about you? Have you ever received any poor services or had your expectations dashed?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks and my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks

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Serenity

It’s a dark and cold Friday night and after a long and busy week I’m feeling a little frazzled. The temperature outside has dropped and tomorrow’s weather forecast is predicting heavy snow.

At times like these, I like to revisit photographs that remind me of slightly warmer and more relaxed times. My favourites remind me of beautiful and serene places that I have been privileged to visit and some wonderful experiences with some of my favourite people…

The view of the Italian landscape from Pompeii, 2012

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The Seine and the Eiffel Tower, Paris 2010. The Bloke and I sat by the river and watched the sunset

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The sunset from the train home after spending the weekend with Mum

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A day spent at the spa with my friend, who had generously bought me a pampering session for my birthday

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Alexandria, near Washington D.C., 2010

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Hope you all have a relaxing Friday night!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

Nighttime

I haven’t done a photography post in a while, so I thought that it would be a nice idea to share just a few of my nighttime pictures from my various adventures over the last few years…

Paris

Paris

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Bon Jovi Concert

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Birmingham

The Wheel and the Library, Birmingham

The Wheel and the Library, Birmingham

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

 

A Lucky View

They’re keeping me in until Saturday. However, I have kept my private room with en suite and incredible view and the nursing staff have been amazing. I can’t write much, so I thought I’d share some of the pics I took today… I took them with my iPhone and did a few Instagram experiments.

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I’d also like to say a huge thank you for all the messages (which i received in the hundreds) from everybody. i have read every single one and really appreciate it! You guys are amazing! You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

iPhone Photography

I’ve been experimenting with dark and moody iPhone photography recently to match the dark and miserable weather we have received, so I thought I’d share some from the last few months… I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!

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Stockport – edited with Instagram

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Dark and moody skies – edited with Instagram

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Sky – unedited

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Frozen pattens on the car – unedited

Don’t forget to check out the blogs I am advertising on my sidebar at the minute!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81blog

More Moons… ;)

At the minute the weather is bloody miserable. It’s cold, snowing, blowing a force ten gale and has consequently ruined our plans to visit the German Market again this evening.

This morning couldn’t have been more different. It was still cold, but the air was crisp and calm and there was a near full moon in the clear sky. As I was ready at 6.30am, I took my camera outside and attempted to take some pictures.

This was the result. With the assistance of a dustbin (I didn’t have a tripod) I managed to get this:

ImageIt was taken with my Canon PowerShot SX270 HS (Compact) camera

Hope you’re all doing well!

Layers in London

This week’s Photo Challenge focusses on the concept of layers. I’ve used this photograph before, but I think it fits the challenge. I took this earlier in the year when I visited London.

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Have a lovely weekend! Happy Blogging!

The Dark Side of the Moon

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Occasionally I’ll attempt something new with my photography and every so often I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. Last night was one of those situations.

The Bloke bought me an amazing camera as an early birthday present. I’m not great with brands or numbers of these sorts of things, and as I don’t have the camera to hand all I can tell you is that it is a Canon Powershot S something-or-other (I can hear all you photography enthusiasts face-palming yourselves in the background).

Last night was quite clear and the moon was really bright, so I decided to test out the digital zoom capabilities. After a few minutes of getting nothing but a light blob in the middle of the screen I stood and waited to try and allow it to focus a little better, and this was the result. I didn’t use a tripod either! Yes, I’ve done a small amount of editing on Lightroom, but I’m really pleased with the end product!¬†