I got this idea from A Beautiful Mess book, to take a self-portrait (classy way of saying selfie) everyday for a month. In the book they take beautiful photos of people in meadows holding novelty lamps or something. I had less to work with. It was a rainy, grey September, and the selfie camera has clearly broken. You can see easily which pictures I took with the front camera and which ones were with the back one. Continue reading “Self-Portrait-a-Day”
A Beautiful Mess
A few weeks ago I went through the stack of craft books in my craft room, and one of them was A Beautiful Mess. It’s a blog by a few ladies who I think used to run a vintage store but now blog full time. They cover food, crafts, and clothing and style. It’s evolved in the last few years into a sleek lifestyle blog for better or worse. It’s the type of hipster lifestyle that I think I want but will never have. One where you can wander outside in a summer dress and dutch braids, where you do photo shoots against brick walls holding guitars, and where you spend autumn in pumpkin patches. Well where I live, no matter the season, it’s cold and rainy, there are no attractive faux urban backdrops to hand, and pumpkins exist for 1 week in a pile at the supermarket… I wonder how representative the photos on A Beautiful Mess are of their lives.
They sort of specialise in photography and there’s a lot of info and tips on their website. They also do sell some courses but I’ve never tried them. The book I have is a photo idea book, which has practical suggestions of what you can do with photographs such as personalised gift tags. It also has a lot of creative ways to take photographs, not so much with technical insight this is more about how make the picture interesting with backdrops and props. So if you want a nice instagram photo then this might be the book for you 🙂
Here’s a few shots of near my house, with a moody grey sky. These were taken with my Canon Ixus and 35mm APS film. I am quite impressed with the clarity of the image and the depth of field. I don’t have any really exciting to add to this. Not much is happening in the shots as I was just using up the roll!
I used my Canon Ixus camera, which is an electronic film camera when we went to Edinburgh in July (for that classic Scottish summer weather…) The film is APS 35mm, which is super easy to put in but pricey, hard to get hold of, and not that many places can develop it. But it’s easy to use and fairly reliable. This is Arthur’s Seat, an ancient volcano about 250m above sea level. You can see the great view over Edinburgh, and all the little people having a trek around Arthur’s Seat.
And this is the Edinburgh Botanical Garden, well worth a visit. I love how the colours have come out in these photos. It was a much sunnier and brighter day so the camera handled it a lot better. I was also very impressed with the clarity of the images that came out, normally they are much grainier or blurrier.
I used my Canon Ixus camera, which is an electronic film camera whilst I was in Liverpool for a weekend in May. The Canon Ixus is very compact in size and easy to carry around but it’s a noisy little bugger. It makes that classic camera noise when it takes a picture, and whirs for about 10 mins when it’s rewinding the film. The film is APS 35mm, which is super easy to put in but pricey, hard to get hold of, and not that many places can develop it.
Above is a photo of the sculpture room in the Walker Art Gallery, and below is across the Mersey in New Brighton. We went to a little Bank Holiday fair next to the sea front which was nice. The grainy quality of the film, and that it’s over exposed does make it seem like it was taken in the 1980’s though. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Above is the sea at New Brighton, and this shot is really grainy but you can make out the wind turbines on the horizon. I’m not sure what makes it so grainy, I would imagine it’s the film as APS is no longer made so it’s all pretty old now. And below is a snap of some of the runners in the Liverpool Marathon that was taken place that weekend. I don’t think it really captures the energy of the moment though, they look like they could be walking. But you can see some of the beautiful and interesting buildings in Liverpool in the background.
I’ve been trying to do more film photography but it can be a bit of a pain. It’s defo not as easy as whipping out your phone, and the results are quite hit or miss. But these are some of my favourites from 2017 so far.
Below- Superlambanana near Albert Dock, Liverpool. Taken with Canon Ixus and APS film.
Below- Part of the Washington Memorial, Washington DC. Taken with Diana F+ and black and white film.
Below- Photographer dogs in New York City. Taken with Diana F+.
Below- Archway entrance to China Town, Liverpool. Taken with Canon Ixus with APS film.
Below- Cherry Blossom in Washington DC. Taken with Diana F+.
Below- Townhouses in Washington DC. Taken with Canon Ixus and APS film.
Below- Coney Island, Brooklyn. Taken with Canon Ixus and APS film.
I had an old film in my Le Clic camera for a while, and I finished it off a few weeks ago. I found some old photos from a walk I went on with the family back in October! Above is mt dad, sister, and niece. The film is out of date which gives it an annoying pink blurriness which annoys me.
These images are more recent, still the same role though. This is a walk boyfriend and I did in May. It’s not great at capturing detail, as a result I think the above photo looks like a water colour.
I went to Liverpool on the bank holiday weekend and took my Canon Ixus camera with me. I’ve posted photos using that camera before, most recently from when I went to America. It’s an electric, analogue camera. So basically, it has film and a battery- both of which are expensive. It uses APS film which is super easy to use but gives a small field of vision. Meaning that less stuff fits in the photo than your used to, so you can easily crop things out accidentally.
Like most film cameras the Canon Ixus struggles in lower light levels. You can see in the top two images the difference it makes when the sun goes in! The top images is much crisper while the bottom one seems fuzzier. That’s a Superlambanana by the way. They crop up around Liverpool. Half banana, half sheep…or something.
Some of the best photos with my Diana F+ are the mad ones where there are multiple exposures on one frame. Above you can see the beautiful pinks of the cherry blossom in Washington DC’s tidal basin. You can also see on the left the faint image of the tidal basin and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. There’s a few things going on here. As well having multiple images superimposed over each other, it also hasn’t wound on enough so both images are cut off weirdly. Impossible to reproduce.
Above is the water front off Manhattan. Again the camera hasn’t wound on enough so the shots overlap. The problem is that they don’t make it clear how far you’re supposed to wind the windy thing to wind it on to the next shot so you have to guess. I underestimated the amount a few times clearly.
And this is a nice one round the back of my house when I was using up the film so I could get it sent off and developed!
After my trip to America (New York and Washington DC) I thought I would try my hand at scrap booking. I’ve kept a scrap book before but then lost interest in it, and it sits half-filled on a shelf somewhere. For this project I chose a smaller scrapbook that would be dedicated just to this one trip.
Whilst I was there I kept hold of receipts, tickets, restaurant business cards, food packets etc Anything really that I liked, that summed up the USA to me, or that reminded me of the trip. I have the Rishi tea bag wrapper from my birthday lunch. I kept the baggage check tickets from the very rude staff member (fond memories). And I have the flattened Milk Duds box that kept me sustained for the first few days of jetlag in NYC.
I took a lot of photos with my phone, and a bunch with my digital camera. So I could start planning it all out as soon as I got back. I did a lot of notes when I was planning it out- that’s how my brain works! I listed the photos I wanted to use, the items I had to include, and also what we did each day to remind myself. I still manged to mess it up and get two of the days the wrong way around!
But I also used film cameras (Canon Ixus and Diana F+) as well, and had to wait to get them developed before I could see if I wanted to use any of them. So it dragged a few weeks annoyingly. Below you can see a an image that boyfriend took with his phone (left), it’s off me with my film camera. And you can see the photo I took of him with my film camera (right). You can also see how much better digital cameras adapt in lower light levels!
It’s not perfect, some pages look a bit messy or odd. But I’m pleased and plan to do it again when I go away in October to Riga.