What do you really want? /2

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Have you ever played with flour? Other than in the kitchen, I mean.

Let me tell you, once it’s out of the bag, it can reach even the tiniest and most hidden of places.

I played with it inside a space of lets say 4 by 2 meters, in an apartment that wasn’t mine, over some good hours, on a weekend, with one friend throwing, one assisting and me shooting. Sounds like fun, right?

But before we got to the fun part, I remember being worried about finding a place to photograph. Somehow, the opportunity came to me in the form of a friend’s sister leaving on holiday and being so kind as to trust us with her apartment. We used only the lobby area but, like I said above, flour doesn’t really care. It got to the bedrooms as well.

Next thing was finding a proper backdrop. If it ain’t dark, it ain’t working. I remember walking in the summer heat with a friend, carrying a couple of kilograms worth of black cloth bought from a materials deposit. That was sorted.

The last thing was lighting. I was sure I had to kill the ambient light and use flash somehow to make this work. What I bought was probably the smallest softbox that existed and the cheapest one I could find, mounted it in front of my flash and triggered from a distance. It wasn’t giving too much light, even at full power, so we used up all of our host’s aluminium foil to hang as a reflector on the other side of the model. The setup looked kind of rudimentary for an indoor flash shoot, but at that time, it meant everything to me. Low budget, high expectations.

We even laughed after ordering some pizza, when we imagined the delivery guy’s face when he saw all that we barely could open the door, let alone squeeze three pizza boxes through.

Looking back, I realise some of the photos could have turned better if I had more light. But again, for me, that was the greatest experience ever, beginning with an idea and fighting hard to find a way to put it into practice. I believe all things came together nicely in the end: location, tools, everything. We spent a good couple of hours cleaning up afterwards, but it was totally in good fun and satisfied hearts.

My friend who assisted me even shot a couple of videos, which were put together for the making-of you see above. Did I mention I like playing around with video as well?

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What do you really want? / 1

I watched this free webinar on Wedding Photography last week and surprisingly enough (because of the fact that she doesn’t shoot weddings, not that anyone questions her talent), Sue Bryce was invited to give an hour of inspiration. Her theme was ‘Glam the Dress’ and she started by asking this simple question in order to get started with your photography: What do you want? What do you really want? Write it down on a piece of paper. ‘Do not give me the reasons why it won’t work, think about what you can do to make it work.’ She’s inspiring, that woman. I wish I could do what she does.

So I started to remember all the good times I got from photography over the years, instead of thinking why I can’t do it anymore. I started reminiscing the process of some of my shoots, the effort, the thinking behind them, what drove me to do them and how it all turned just fine in the end. I’ll start remembering them here, just for the joy of writing and sharing. Many of them will feature the same people, the ones I felt more comfortable to shoot with.

This one was shot in Germany, at Villa Hugel, or to be more exact, in the estate surrounding the villa. There is this huge park where you can walk around, an almost forest if you wish. The first day we went there, we were accompanied by our parents and we visited the villa too, so there wasn’t much time to spend. So my cousin proposed coming back the next day and just take photos in the park. Mind you, it was so big, you had plenty of spots to choose from and it was pretty deserted too. Beginning of December, no wonder people would rather stay indoors! I don’t remember time flying by and that’s one of the characteristics of doing what you like. You get so lost in what you are doing, that you forget you need food, sleep, anything. And when it’s over, you can’t wait to go back home just to see the results on a bigger screen and start working on the photos! At least, that’s what I feel like and that’s never going to change.

In no particular order, here are some stills.

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The thing about road trips

The trees have lost their blossom and I can see little pink dots on the pavement. It’s jasmine’s time to spread its perfume, along with the rain and the grass.

I was trying to remember if I had seen spring in the countries that we visited a few weeks ago. If we did see it, it was nothing like here, otherwise it would have stuck to my mind. We saw the coldness of Denmark, the speed of the German highways, the heat of Eastern Europe and the beauty of Czech Republic’s capital.

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Between looking for gas stations, places to sleep, places to pull over, places to eat, getting lost because of a faulty GPS, being stranded in the middle of a highway with little gas to go and speeding like at the races to catch the ferry back to the mainland, I’d say that we fared well. The result were 300 photos and two scratches taken by the car in the attempt to pull out of a parking space. I drove in most of the countries we crossed, except Denmark and Sweden. And I think I did well, considering the pregnancy and the not-so-fit jeans.

Of all the places we’ve seen, we really liked Prague, even though we visited it for only 1 hour. I liked Budapest too, while Copenhagen and Malmo close the pack. I wish we had more time though… at times, I felt we were rushing to get somewhere, to get back or to go forward.

On a more local note, I am planning a photoshoot with my husband. Of course, what I plan doesn’t usually happen the way I want it to, so we shall have to wait and see how it goes.

Until the jasmine’s perfume wears out, see you next time!

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Spring trip-ing

I don’t know about where you are, but spring here is not so warm, not so friendly and not so dry.
Luckily, we are going on a trip for 2 weeks, so we get to see other, better “equipped” countries during this season. I am thinking of taking my film camera with us as well, despite the fact that it is a bit on the heavy side; not to mention the smallest of my DSLRs, an old Nikon d40x.

Hopefully, I’ll have some photos to share when we come back. Until then, happy spring-ing!

I have added an About me page in the menu above cause I didn’t have one on this theme. 

Happy spring!

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Hope the weather where you are is beautiful enough to go out and enjoy some sun and warmth.

Here, it’s pretty cloudy and spring turns out to be rather chilly.

Back home, two days ago, it snowed.

I went for a walk a week ago, just to Greenwich and back. Took the camera with me again, after one week previously I didn’t even take it out of the bag. It was a sunny weekend overall and I’m glad that I could take some photos this time.

I like the Greenwich area, because even though it’s touristy and crowded, it has kept its charm somehow. Green areas, lots of open space, the Thames, the museums. Not to mention it’s geometrically eye-pleasing.

The lady in the featured image was an immediate choice for a selective color photo. Her stockings and bag straps were of a such bright color, it contrasts nicely with a black and white version. Some of the other photos are below.

Have a good week and a peaceful Easter if you’re celebrating on Sunday!

Photos taken with Nikon D7000 and the Nikkor 50mm (I need to shoot some portraits…sigh).

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