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.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The top of the Glen

I was very very naughty last weekend and didn't do my camera review because I was in essay hell. I still have 3 to complete by 18th July and I am not especially excited about any of them. I have prepared a kind of double camera review for tomorrow though to make up for my lack of effort last weekend. 
Anyway the reason I was essaying hard on the Sunday was that on Saturday me and Dave went for a lovely date in the countryside. We finally got to ride the tramway up Shipley Glen, which is just the cutest little place in the world. It was really super hot and sunny too so that was nice. We also had lunch at an amazing pub at the top of the glen. We also took lots of lovely analogue photos, which were developed without a fatal disaster at the lab!

This weekend will be a lot more dull sadly as Dave is at work both days. I am currently contemplating venturing out in the wind and rain to go to Asda Supercentre to collect my free digital camera that they are giving me by way of an apology for mucking up my Brighton films. Not that I want a digital camera (I have a really good one, just tend not to use it much) but I can put it on ebay and use the money towards the new LC-Wide that I mentioned a few weeks ago when it launched. Hmmmm, it would be a 2 hour round trip with the bus and the walking and I am just not sure it is worth facing the rain for!!! What do you guys think?