Monday, July 20, 2015
Ok so if we just set aside my sporadic posting and blame it on holiday prep, can I just ask: what is with this weather? I mean seriously. It feels like summer just hasn't happened this year and it's already nearly over. Somehow we've only managed to scrap a handful of good days and some freakish thunderstorms. Which has pretty much left my summer wardrobe in complete chaos. I don't know if i should be dressing for hot days, or preparing myself for a torrential downpour. I knew I needed a raincoat for Glastonbury, but who'd have thought my Barbour Ramspide would've seen so many outings? So with the weather still refusing to play ball (or stay consistent), I feel like the last few weeks I've been dressing like it's summer and layering for winter...
Saturday, July 04, 2015
There will be lots of queuing. We waited for three and a half hours to get through those gates. And by the time we got through (and had been standing without any shade and three verrry heavy backpacks) we had managed to each burn our scalp, shoulders and noses. I'm quite olive skinned so in general, I wouldn't say I burnt easily and on holiday I usually use about SPF 25 as the highest. Glastonbury is a whole different game though. If you're lucky enough to get good weather, the sun is sort of relentless. And when you're out all day enjoying yourself, you don't notice how exposed your skin is. Even if you're a good tanner, take at least SPF 25 or 30, so you don't need to worry about looking like a lobster in all your photos.
Bindis, metallic tattoos, fluro body paint, feather hair extensions, floral crowns, costume jewellery, you name it, one of the girls brought it. You might feel a bit daft at first, but everyone loves to play dress up once they've had a few. And fluro paint is the gift that just keeps on giving. You can reprint it all over someone else's arm, or your clothes or someone else's clothes, then find it out glows in the dark. Or at least ours did. Which comes in pretty handy for losing people in Shangri La. Longer festivals like Glastonbury are all about pacing yourself.. you'll be out all day and pretty much all night, so catch up on your beauty sleep before you go. You won't be getting much when you get there.
Both times I've been to Glastonbury it's rained and it didn't spoil either experience. It's sort of expected and it comes with the territory. So even if the forecast looks amazing, always be prepared for the odd shower or torrential downpour. If you're lucky, the majority of the time the weather will be great but once the ground has gotten muddy, there's usually nothing that can cope but big boots or wellies. This year's forecast looked pretty grim so I made sure I packed my Barbour short gloss wellies and some decent rain coats. And a poncho from Target Dry (which although I don't have any photos of was one of my failsafes during the festival and came in super handy!) I was gifted the Barbour wellies last year and I love them because they're quite short so it means my legs still get plenty of sun! This year, Barbour very kindly sent me one of their Rampside Casual coats too to keep me dry. I've been on the lookout for a yellow fisherman's jacket for AGES now and I'm absolutely in love with this! Made from a durable cotton blend, it's the perfect lightweight jacket for summer showers. It's perfect because it's pretty warm but because it's thin, it folds up really small so it doesn't take up too much room in your backpack. Plus the canary yellow made me very easy to spot in a crowd!
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Let's face it clean hair is only really going to last for about 48 hours if you're lucky. If you're super lucky you might get a few days, but really most of us are starting to feel a bit gross after two. The easiest thing to do (if you're holding out from using dry shampoo too soon), is to scoop it up! If you're feeling lazy or a little too hungover, then a high ponytail will be enough to disguise any greasy locks. Or if you're feeling a bit more creative, then braiding or plaiting your hair is actually a really good way of hiding the fact it needs a wash. Plus plaits lend themselves to dirty hair since your tresses are easier to style and will hold in place for a longer period of time.
2. Experiment and get creative with your hairstyles
Ok, so when you're at a festival you can pretty much get away with whatever you like. Sure, you'd look like a bit of a twat walking down Northumberland Street in a flower crown. But you're in a field with a load of drunk and muddy people. If you want to embellish yourself with flowers and ribbons then go for it. You can quite easily create a braid with coloured cotton thread (if you have the time and patiences to keep winding it around your hair) or probably pay someone to do it for you. As for floral garnishes, anything with a long(ish), firm stem will be pretty easy to slot into your plait or clip into your hair. Remember this isn't real life. Embrace your inner flower child.
3. Use a pretty headscarf to hide greasy roots
If you're not one to tie your hair up, or you've had your hair up a couple of days, then head scarves can be a great alternative way of hiding greasy roots. Either tied loosely or clipped to your hair, you can turn any little strip of silk or cloth into a handy little hairband. Great for holding back any pesky fringes once they've lost their shape. They're also great if you want to try and push your hair back to get more sun on your face. Or if you've maybe had a bit too much sun and you've accidentally burnt your parting then they can be great for hiding your burnt bits...
4. Don't overdo it with products
While it's tempting to fill your bag with a load of miracle haircare products, don't. It's a waste of weight and a waste of time. Everyone knows that the more product you put on, the quicker it'll get greasier too. So try to leave washing your hair right up until the last minute and hold off using any products for as long as possible. Once you do, I'd stick to using the bare minimum. I only use three products: sea salt or texturising spray, hairspray and dry shampoo.
This year the folks at Bumble and bumble have kitted me out with my festival hair care survival kit, so I'm taking Surf Infusion with is similar to the Surf spray I'm so obsessed with. Since the infusion contains oil though, it's a bit more nourishing for your hair and you get a slightly glossier curl. I figure the oil will give my hair a bit of a treat after too many nights in a tent and bit too much dry shampoo. As for hair spray, I usually go for something texturising to build body for my fine hair. I hate when you get that awful crispiness, so I like one which doesn't leave too much residue. Bumble and Bumble Dry Spun Thickening Spray is great because it gives good hold and texture but doesn't make me feel like my hair is stuck to my head. Sure, you can feel the layer a little if you use it heavily, but it allows your hair to still have a fairly natural movement, so it's not lacquered to your face. As for dry shampoo, I'm usually a firm believer in Batiste but after a few issues (we'll talk about that some other time), I've been avoiding using any sort of dry shampoo. I figured that with needing to spend five nights in a field, I'll probably not be able to get away without it, so this year I'm taking Bumble and Bumble's Brown Hair powder. Unlike other dry shampoos, the powder is a lot finer and is coloured brown, so I shouldn't get that awful dandruffy finish you sometimes find with too much dry shampoo! I've had a couple of spritzes and it seems to do the trick. But honestly, I'll let you know after I've spent a week living in mood with dirty roots and tatty hair. And we can see how it really fairs. For now, I'll leave you with these.. and I should probably go get some sleep before we head off tomorrow! If you want to keep up to date, I'm sure I'll be sharing plenty while I'm at Glastonbury on instagram and snapchat - just search hannahlayford!
Sunday, June 21, 2015
1. Think about your lighting
Every good photographer knows that good lighting is everything. Natural light is more flattering no matter what your subject, so shooting at the brightest point at the day is always going to give you the best results. That being said, golden hour (the time just after sunrise and just before sunset when the light is soft and redder than the rest of the day) can give you some great effects. You don't need to always have a bright image if your focus is sharp, so you can use your aperture and your shutter speed to create a darker sort of image. As a quick recap, your shutter speed and aperture both control the amount of light that enters the lens. Your aperture is adjusted using your f-stop (or f-number), and the higher the number, the more closed the lens and the less light getting into it. Similarly, the faster your shutter speed, the less light that can get into the lens. For the photo below, Tino wasn't in direct sunlight but the room was quite bright. With a high f-stop and a faster shutter speed, I was able to create a darker more shadowy image. At all costs though, try to avoid flash. Flash will bleach your colours and it's a particularly a bad idea with animals, because the reflectiveness of their eyes will make them look like aliens. It's also likely to startle the animal... and let's be honest, that's not going to make a great picture.
Animals generally don't sit still, which can make them a pretty hard subject to shoot. Whether they're distracted while you're trying to shoot photos or you're trying to get an action shot, a slight blur or softness can add to you photo. But the trick is not to just get a completely blurred image. Switching your AF settings from single or one shot to continuous focus can make all the difference. Continuous autofocus or AI Servo AF if you're using Canon (or Continuous-servo AF if you're a Nikon user), means your camera will keep tracking moving targets up until the point where your shutter-release button is pressed all the way down. If you want to get mega technical, AI Servo works by predicting where your subject will be slightly in the future, based on estimates of the subject velocity from previous focus distances. Making it more likely for you to be able to capture a nice sharp image.
3.Understand the rules for framing your photo
The crop of your photo can be key to how attractive it is. Understanding about framing images and learning the rules of things like the rule of thirds or golden ratio and the Fibonacci spiral. The idea (if you don't want to get lost in a load of articles) is that you don't place the point of focus in the centre of the frame because it's not where people's eyes are naturally drawn. Instead you use the off centred eye of the Fibonacci spiral as the point of interest. So you can see in the shot above, that although Tino's face isn't in the centre of the frame, it's still the main point of focus. While using composition techniques like the rule of thirds and golden ratio are good guides and create really interesting shots, they are just guides. But by thinking about these rules, you're making more considered decisions about how you frame your photos. So even if when you understand the rules, you decide to break them, you'll still be thinking more about where you're placing your subject in the frame and why. Which of course is going to help you take better photos.
Depth of field has to be one of the biggest buzz phrases in photography right now. Especially where blogging is concerned. In case you've been wondering what everyone is going on about, depth of field is the range of sharpness around your subject. A wider A narrow depth of field (the most popular in blogging) is where your subject remains razor sharp but your background drops out to a nice desirable blur. The effect is created using the low f-stop numbers (so your aperture is wider open). It's great for fashion blogging because it means when you're shooting outside or in a crowded area, the eye isn't distracted by the background. Likewise, it's great for food and products, because it keeps the focus on the main object you're photographing. Much like with portraits, a narrow depth of field can create a lovely focus on pets by creating a nice soft edge. This is particularly effective if your subject has a big fluffy coat like Tino.
5. Try being creative with your angles
Everyone has a good and a bad angle. Animals are really no different. By experimenting with angles and where you're shooting your pet from, you can create a whole range of different effects. A lot of animal photography is shot at eye level, and getting down to your pet's level can be a great way of getting their personality across. Since they're looking up slightly at the camera, you'll get a cute, big-eyed shot of them. You'll get the same sort of effect from a higher level (whether that's human or more of a bird's eye view). Lower angles (like with people) can also create a pretty powerful images. You're placing your subject in a more authoritative position so they're looking down into the lens. It's a more dramatic image and can be an interesting perspective to play with. There's no real rules with angles so it's a great thing to have fun with and play around with the different effects you create.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Sunday, June 07, 2015
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Friday, May 29, 2015