Sunday, 20 November 2011

Occupy Leeds

I have spent the last few evenings (well late into the night really as I was there til 4am today!) at the Occupy Leeds camp in the city centre. I think before I went down there, I, like a lot of other people in the UK had the opinion that the umbrella movement which has now come to be known as "Occupy" was a bit of a waste of time. After all, the people who are giving up all there time to be on such sites permanently are unemployed, so who would really "miss" them and therefore pay attention to the prostest/demo? I realise now, having spent a significant amount of time down there in City Square chatting to the people and learning more about the worldwide movement that there is a great cause to be found there. They are representing the 99%, with which I myself identify. Whether or not you feel that setting up camps in towns and cities across the UK is the best way to have your voice heard (the jury is still out on this for me), you have to agree that is A WAY. It is a peaceful, friendly, non-violent and all-inclusive way for the people who are dissatisfied in the UK to get their point across. And not just across to those in positions of power, but to everyone.

these are some shots from Dave's LC-A+ as I haven't scanned mine yet

The thing I have been most impressed with since visiting the site, and the reason I have now decided to continue to offer my support and appreciation to those who are organising this mass demonstration. I have met lots of people in the time I have been going down to the site, these range from the most liberal and political thinking socialist types through to fairly conservative right wing fanatics, and I have really enjoyed hearing what everyone has to say, even if I don't always agree with them totally. Some people are protesting about the greed of the banks, the number of unemployed young people in Britain today, the amount spent on warfare compared to the NHS, the privatisation of our public services and a whole range of other things. The conversations have been super interesting and I have certainly learnt a lot just by being there. I would recommend you go and visit the camp, or a similar one if there is one in your area, I can guarantee that the cups of tea and great chats will be going on constantly 24/7!
Billy Bragg even made a guest appearance Friday

Thursday, 3 November 2011

New lomo product = obligatory blog post

The Lomographic Society Proudly Presents

The LomoKino - Super 35 Movie Maker

Lomography in Motion: Take the next step in Lomography with the first camera that makes your Lomographs move on any kind of 35mm film
Unique Art: Become the director of your very own LomoMovies and produce unique and precious pieces of movie art by simply winding a crank
True Gadget: Irresistible design and unlimited creative possibilities will make gadget loversí hearts pound faster
LomoMovies Online: Upload, watch and share your very own LomoMovies on

Lomography in Motion
How great it must have been to witness the first pictures as they started to move or to see the Lumiere brothers amazing the crowds with their very first short films. After over 200 years of movie making, million-dollar-special-effects, big scale film studios and endless Hollywood dramas, we give you the chance to return back to the roots of movie making and witness the very first steps of moving Lomography. The LomoKino allows you to become a director yourself and capture Lomographic movies on 35 mm film of any kind: no sound, no special effects, no post production ñ just simple Lomography in motion. 

Unique Art
To become a true LomoMovie director, just simply wind the crank of the magic box to capture 144 shots on one roll of 35 mm film - which makes 36 to 48 seconds of LomoMovie. You can use any kind of 35 mm film for different effects: Slide film, colour negative, redscale or B/W. After developing the film, spool it into the specially developed LomoKinoScope and watch your Lomographs moving over and over again. What sounds very simple produces a unique piece of art which can either stay in your hands only or can be given as a special present to somebody who really deserves it. Show your sweetheart how fast your heart is really pounding or capture a flying birthday cake for your grandma who will feel catapulted back in time. 

True Gadget
A wise man once said ìform follows functionî ñ naaaah ñ we like to say ìform follows motionî and thatís why we designed this camera to become a true gadget. Its irresistible design takes you straight back into the time when people left the audience screaming because a locomotive was speeding towards them on a movie screen and the movies were still a true business without special effects. It comes in a package either alone or with the LomoKinoScope, one film canister and a marvelous book. Its creative possibilities are so diverse that not even we can tell the limits. Itís up to you, gadget lovers, to take this baby in your hands and explore what movies used to be like the Lomographic way!

LomoMovies Online
Unlike the very first filmmakers we can call a powerful tool our own: the internet! Linking the simple technology of the LomoKino with our website, enables you to upload, watch and share your own LomoMovies. To give you a taste of the special LomoKino aesthetics and the sheer endless creative possibilities, we asked filmmakers from around the globe to create their own LomoMovies. Visit our website to get some inspiration and start shooting your first LomoMovie!

Technical Details
Film type: all kind of 135 roll film 
Lens: 25mm
Exposure area: 24mm x 8.5mm: 144 images/film
Continuous Aperture: f/5.6 - f/11
Shutter: 1/100
Hand cranked: approx. 3-4 fps, 36-48 sec. movie per roll
Film counting: volume display
Focusing: (normal) 1m~infinity,(press button for) 0.6m close up
Tripod mount: yes
Retail price: tba


The Lomographic Society International is a globally active organization dedicated to experimental and creative snapshot photography. Boasting over a half-million members across the world, the concept of Lomography encompasses an interactive, vivid, blurred and crazy way of life. 
Through our constantly expanding selection of innovative cameras & photographic accessories, we promote analog photography as a creative approach to communicate, absorb, and capture the world. 
Through the efforts and skill of our Lomographic Society members, we seek to document the incredible planet around us in a never-ending stream of snapshots ñ literally a global ìLomographicî portrait as seen through the eyes of countless individuals and cultures. 

The Future is Analogue!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Art By Offenders

This is just a plea to all you London folk really. I will do some proper entries tomorrow when I am less tired. There is a super (and free!) exhibition on at The Southbank Centre right now showcasing this year's entries to the Koestler Awards. All the art on display (including songs, poems, paintings, matchstick models, clothing etc) has been made by offenders in prisons, secure patients, young offenders, people on probation and so on. It is a fab exhibition and I think the Koestler Trust is a great organisation giving a voice in the art world to people who otherwise would not have one. Anyway, I think you should all go see it. . . go. .  .now!

one of my fave pieces from the exhibition by inmate David Franklin

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Some lovely New York photos

So yesterday saw me get my last 2 rolls of film back from my holiday in New York. It was a bittersweet moment really because the holiday is now well and truly over with, at least for the last few weeks I have had all my photos to look forward to, which is a sad feeling. But on the other hand I am really happy with how these shots came out. I had stopped using a Diana and 120 film so this is my attempts at getting into it again. I got a wide angle lens just before I went away so I though New York would be the perfect place to give it a try. Below are some of my favourites.

view up Rockefellar centre, almost missed this shot as my lens cap was on but luckily spotted a Japanese boy with the same camera looking at me like I was bonkers!

my new favourite double exposure ever, view from the Top of the Rock

a nice angle on the Waldorf Astoria hotel, taken with some battered Ilford Delta film

a cheeky candid shot of some teens in Harlem

I hope you all like them, of course you can see the whole album on my LomoHome.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

I want to ride my (Schwinn) bicycle

Since I went to Portsmouth with the parentals at easter 2011, Dave and I have been coveting designer bikes. We saw a girl on a really cool cruiser bike, it had a little basket and a cup-holder and it just looked like a pleasure to ride. We found the make was Schwinn, which we had never heard of and found them online. They are quite pricey (mine sometimes retailing at £449) but they are so comfortable and would be so great for trips out round Yorkshire, as I like being outdoors but find walking just a bit dull. There is a place in Wigan that sells them so now that I am not saving up to go to New York anymore (sob, sob), I am going to put a bit aside each month for me and Dave to buy ourselves a Schwinn bike. I am hoping we can get them in March maybe so at the first sign of springtime sun we can be out in the country. Also, I am hoping my work might help me, through the cycle to work scheme, fingers crossed!

my Schwinn bike - Debutante

Dave's Schwinn - Courvette

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

When September Ends

I thought I would start as I mean to go on and blog about all the wonderful month of September, as it was one of the best I have had in the last few years, let alone of 2011. Below are a few photos of what I got up to.

Looking after baby Dylan at the beginning of the month - what a pleasure he is now as he is turning into a proper little boy

My family trip to New York 2 weeks ago - 6 ladies went and had a fab time. Photos show my first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, yummy treats and the spectacular new 9/11 memorial

This is my awful face for Leeds Zombie Prom last weekend. It was the third time I had been, but the first time I got dressed up for it so I went all out.

All in all September was a great month on a lot of levels and I am a very lucky lady to have had an experience as amazing as New York. It was lovely for my Mum and her sisters too as they have never been further than Spain in their lives before. I needed the break as well because there are some difficult job circumstances at the moment which I will write about another day this week as hopefully by then they will be resolved (in part).

Monday, 3 October 2011

Knox Appeal

So I just read online that both people originally convicted of killing Leeds Uni student Meredith Kercher have won their appeals and have now been released from prison after 4 years. I have to admit I feel quite anxious about the whole situation. 
For those of you who aren't familiar with the case, Meredith Kercher was studying in Perugia, Italy through an exchange scheme when she was found one morning stabbed to death in her flat in November 2007. I will always remember the story because when it came on TV, I facebooked the name Meredith Kercher, as she was from my uni, in the languages department, same as me and we had both been born in 1985 so I wondered if I maybe I had seen her around the department. I didn't recognise her photo but it told me that we had a friend in common and it turned out that my friend Alex had studied alongside her. He was obviously devastated about the loss, particularly the circumstances surrounding her murder.
The blame was placed straight away on American student Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito, along with another man Rudy Guede.  All 3 were convicted of her murder and sexual assault and given long jail sentences. 
Knox and Sollecito have always maintained their innocence and obviously the ruling today suggests that the world now ought to believe them. I am just not sure that I do. There are a number of reasons for this, and I know that the media made Knox out to be some sort of sex-addicted lunatic, which I have always tried to ignore. Firstly, the fact that when this first happened Knox lied and blamed Meredith's boss Patrick Lumumba. She now has to pay costs to him for this. Why would you lie if you had nothing to hide? Also, the way Knox acted after the event was always a bit bizarre, giggling and cuddling her boyfriend in the police station the reports suggested, which again seems totally bizarre to say she had only known him 10 days or something and her friend had now died in awful circumstances.
Anyway, I suppose it is not for me to decide, and in many ways I hope that Knox and Sollecito are innocent, otherwise the courts have made a terrible mistake in letting them free. I just hope that the right people are punished for causing such a terribly sad loss of life, and deep down, I am not sure now that they are.

Meredith Kercher, from - I hope she is resting in peace

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Obviously you have probably noticed I haven't blogged for quite a while. I suppose you could say that life got in the way, but essentially what I mean by that is that I got lazy and undisciplined with myself. It is a shame too as I have had some super things to write about. 
Anyway, I have to be honest and admit that I hadn't really missed blogging very much. I guess because I still do the old pen and notebook journal thing anyway, I didn't really feel that the digital version was adding anything. But tonight I was on Twitter and someone linked their blog and I then spent a good few hours reading through some of my favourite blogs and catching up. It was then that I realised I had missed it quite a lot. Not the camera reviews so much, because I get my camera/photo fix over at lomo, but the way writing a blog made me think about things. Like how I used to use Instagram to record on my iphone when something made me really happy so i could blog about it later. That is a really nice feeling and it made me appreciate things a lot more than I do now for example. So I am going to start up again, not just camera reviews but a proper little blog. At least 2 little entries a week, just to remind me to #32: Enjoy the little things.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

London's Burning

I literally have been watching the rolling news on Sky / BBC for the last 48 hours. I don't know about anyone else but I am glued to my screen. I was surprised actually when I looked on my blog list and no-one had made an entry about the rioting already. I am looking at aerial footage of London right now and it looks like it is in the aftermath of a world war. I don't believe any of the people out on the street being criminals in this way have any political message or genuine motivation for this action. I appreciate it began following the shooting on Thursday evening but what is happening now is so far removed from that and I am sure Mark Duggan's family are appalled by all this. I personally have not watched the news as much as this since 11 September 2001.  For me it has led to a number of questions:-
1) Why had BBM not been shut down already? If that is the way the thugs of today are organising themselves (as reports have suggested), why don't Blackberry just stop it working for a while. 
2) Why were the army not bought in on Saturday/Sunday to deal with the problems before it got so bad? Don't get me wrong I am still a liberal hippy and not an advocate of the rubber bullet / tear gas / water cannon plans but surely the armed forces are better equipped and trained to deal with something on this scale than the Met alone. Not that the Met didn't do a great job, putting their lives at risk. 
3) What is the difference between a looter and a burglar? I thought looting happened after like a natural disaster, once shops have already been damaged anyway? Maybe I got that wrong but in my opinion these morons are just vandals, burglars and thugs. 

Hope everyone is safe in their part of the country. Fingers crossed that we wake up and this is all over.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Camera Review 7 - Diana Mini

I have had a Lomography Diana Mini for quite a long time now and I have to say it was my favourite camera of 2010. I used it far too much. I love how the huge Diana flash fits it but looks kind of too big. I think this is cute. I stopped using it a bit when  I got my LC-A, and had never particularly fancied any of the clone version of the Mini. When I saw the valentine's "Love is in the air" version in the Soho Lomography store I really wanted it. So after saving up and selling my older Diana Mini, I bought the camera below:-
I have fallen in love with this magic little camera and its funny big flash all over again. I really enjoy the half frame option as you get so many more photos on one roll of film so is good for the cheapskate in me. It is also good to make crazy combinations on one frame. The square frame is also a bit of a classic. The camera is really easy to use and gets super results with the coloured flash. Some examples of both formats can be seen below.

This is a great camera with endless possibilities. You can multiple expose to hearts content, choose from 2 formats and it is small enough to fit into a handbag so makes a great night out camera. I love it very very much again, and even more so because of the cute design.

Thursday, 4 August 2011


A New Website About Sprocket Hole Photography

·       A Brand New Website All About Sprocket Holes
·       Aimed at newcomers to analogue photography
·       Website designed in the style of a roll of 35mm film
·       Information on what sprocket holes are and how to expose them with Lomography Cameras
The brand new Lomography website is designed as an introduction to sprocket holes for analogue newcomers – The website explains what sprocket holes are and highlights the range of Lomography cameras which allow you to shoot through the sprocket holes – Oh, and the website is designed in the style of a scrolling roll of 35mm film!
What Are Sprocket Holes?
Sprocket holes are the little square holes which run along the top and bottom of a 35mm film. They play a functional role in analogue photography because they hook onto your camera’s winder when you load the film – The little teeth of a film camera hook into these holes and transport the film to the next frame. Sprocket-holes are unique to 35mm analogue photography. Neither 120 medium format films nor any digital format features sprocket-holes.
Lomography Cameras That Can Expose Sprocket Holes
Lomography Sprocket Rocket
The world’s first wide-angle camera dedicated entirely to joys of sprocket-hole photography.

Spinner 360˚
Capture 360° panoramas, sprocket holes and all!

Diana F+ with Diana F+ 35mm back
The Diana’s standard format is 120 – But use the Diana F+ 35mm back and the camera becomes a sprocket fuelled wonder.

Lubitel 166+
The Lubitel 166+ has the ability to shoot lovely 120 square images or 35mm panoramic portraits which include the sprocket holes.

Friday, 29 July 2011

York (Old not New as in NYC - not yet anyway!)

Tomorrow I am meeting lots of people from for a full day of snapping in York. I am a bit afraid because I sooooooo want it to be a success and there are a number of things that could go wrong:-

1) Nobody shows up.
2) So many people show that it becomes unmanageable.
3) It rains and is grey all day long.
4) I get nervous and be a crappy tour guide.
5) I forget something essential and be in a mood about it all day <------ Most likely!
6) My period pain gets worse and is not soother by McDs pancakes first thing.

Wish me luck guys!

Monday, 25 July 2011

For the love of lomo

I feel I have become a bit obsessed with lomography lately. It is a worrying obsession and one which I can't really afford to maintain! I have at least 25 cameras now, and I take photos everywhere I go, and I mean everywhere. One day last month I shot an entire roll of film just on my journey to work, and trust me when I say Harehills, Leeds is not one of the most photogenic of places. There are a number of things I like about lomography which I am going to list below.

1) Their products, although overpriced sometimes are stylistically beautiful. Even the packaging they come in is beautiful. Dave just treated me to a Fisheye No. 2 Ripcurl Edition with his piggies (I will explain in a moment) and it is a great example of the beauty of the products.

2) The generosity of the lomo-folks at LSI. Despite some of their cameras being very very expensive, they do great deals every so often and if you play your cards right you can do really well. On their site they give out "piggy points" (each one equal to £1 for use in their online store) if you win a competition, write or translate an article or sometimes just because of the season. I have just worked out that since I joined lomo at the end of 2009, I have spent £582 worth of piggies. That is a lot of free s**t! I am just waiting for delivery of my new beaut - LC-Wide.

3) The community on the website. I have never been a big fan of having "online" friends because I am not sure I used to see the benefit. I even critically thought that people with such friends in blogsville or in forums etc were a bit pathetic really (very sorry bloggers!). Now I understand the magic of an online friend base, especially where there are common interests - for us lomographers it is analogue photography. The community at lomo are so friendly (it feels great to come home and have 100 "likes" on your photos), kind (upon meeting an online friend he gave me and Dave 4 free Polaroids) and fun (the lomo events are a great laugh).

I do feel a bit daft for being so involved in what is essentially a big website but to be honest I don't care. It is a really great common interest for me and Dave and writing articles for them is enjoyable and leads to piggies for me so it seems like a great use of my spare time. My laptop has been poorly this last week or so (hence the lack of blog entries) and the main reason I have been sad about it (not the uni work or talking to my real life friends on Facebook or even spending on ebay) is that I have missed When I got my laptop mended on Thursday night I had 2 new albums to upload which have become really popular really fast and then on Friday I was made "LomoHome of The Day" which is an award you can win and you get 50 piggies to spend! I now have my beady eyes on the new Russia Day Lomo LC-A+ which is a limited edition red leather one. You can read more about the Russia day here. I have always wanted an LC-A+ because although I love my original LC-A, the new version can do MX and has a higher film speed setting. I wanted a limited edition as well so it looks a bit different and used to want a white one (though decided that knowing me this would get filthy!) I am definitely going to buy the one from the winner of the customisation competition if I like it or the Russia Day one. It is hard to resist a camera with a tiny sperm painted on the viewfinder though! What do you guys think?

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Camera Review 6 - Split Cam

Today I am reviewing a camera I started out hating. I had seen photos taken on with this cheap little beast and knew a long time ago I wanted to buy one. It is really the multiple exposure king as that is what it is primarily designed to do. It has a built in horizontal splitzer over the lens and viewfinder so you can make crazy combinations in your photos.
The first one I got 2 years ago second hand when I was quite naive when it came to cameras didn't even have a functioning shutter. Not that I realised that for the entire first roll however! Then the second one I got came in a camera job lot off ebay (aren't job lots great by the way - you get some hidden gems and can re-sell anything you don't fancy). I shot a roll on this and all the photos came out like this:-

As you can see, it has "splitzed" but the bottom half of every picture looks like it was shot through a tissue and I had no idea why. I took a punt and bought a third Split Cam, but this time I had a brand new shipped from the USA, it didn't even cost that much (£13 I think). I put a roll in it in September last year but was so unexcited about it in case it didn't work I only had it developed last week. It worked and I loved the results. Below are my 3 favourites:-

Obviously with it being just a plastic point and shoot and a fairly fast shutter speed, some of the photos came out a bit grey as I didn't exactly use it on sunny days. I love the mad effects though and it is so easy to do and there is a guide on the viewfinder to help you line up, which for me is great because my spacial awareness is generally fairly poor. For the money I think this is a great and fun camera to use, but I recommend buying a new one!!!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Houseguests Zelda and Duke

Sorry about the lack of entries this week but I have been busy babysitting 2 gorgeous half siamese kittens named Zelda and Duke. They were rescued by my friend Helen's sister and have had to be rehomed as they were not being looked after very well. I have found a lady at my work to take these 2 and their little brother Troy has gone to a new family. They will be staying with Dave and me til Sunday and though I am not a cat person in the slightest, I cannot stop playing with them. They have huge big blue eyes and are smaller than my size 3 feet! Here are the only 2 photos I managed to get during a brief moment where they quite wriggling!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Camera Review 5 - Actionsampler (no/with flash)

**Note - I wrote this article last week ready for Sunday 10th July, then saved it as a draft instead of scheduled for it to be published, booo**

I have had my lomo actionsampler for quite a long time but had found it really really hard to get decent shots out of it because there seems to be a fine balance between moving it enough and moving it too fast that I just couldn't get a grip of how much light it needed and what would be too much. Below are a couple of very early shots taken using it.

Then 2 years later I got the actionsampler flash model from lomography. 

This model is considerably chunkier, and in my opinion does not look anywhere near as pretty as my little see-through no flash model. However it does the job just perfectly. On nights out, which seems to be when people are most keen to dance and pose for the camera, you need a flash to capture the magic. I love how the 4 flashes fire in sequence. I also love that the way to charge the flash is to unflip it and turn it around. It gets me a lot of attention this little camera and for nights out, it is the only action camera available to my knowledge. I still use the other one in good weather but sadly it does tend to get a bit neglected in favour of the flash model. Below are some photos from last Halloween taken using the flash.

Obviously the flash model costs considerably more but if you are going to use it on nights out, or you live in a country where you may not get decent enough sunshine for the no flash model then I cannot recommend this enough. If you are looking to get a no flash one, you can pick up non-lomography ones for around £5 on ebay that work just as well in my experience.