Wow. I think that one word sums up the culinary journey my tastebuds have been on this lunchtime. With a nice and simple decor, the restaurant takes up a large part of the floor at the Mandarin Hotel, London. Service was up to speed and our waitress looked after us very well. I had Hay Smoked Mackerel, Royal Beef and the Chocolate Bar, whilst Mia had Meat Fruit, Powdered Duck and Tipsy Cake. The meat fruit (above) was absolutely out of this world. I was very tempted to ask for seconds, and maybe thirds. What’s most unusual is that it comes in the form of a mandarin which looked really realistic. There are more pictures below but if you’d like a full review then head over to Unlawfully Yours to read Mia’s full review.
Whilst out today I saw some lovely red roses for sale and remembered that we’re not too far away from the 14th February. I decided to grab one and take a few pictures, then I thought I might as well make some cards for people to download. So here here you go.
The gallery below shows you the design of each card, click on the image to download the PDF. Each card is set up on A4 paper so just print it on some nice quality card, fold it in half and write a suitably heart warming message inside.
The cards are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivs 3.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). You are free to use them for your personal usage, and I encourage you to use them with your loved one, but for other uses you require permission. Click here for more information.
My new business cards have arrived from Moo.com! The quality of them is really good, I have to keep stopping myself from flicking through them to see how nice they are. The plan is to continually have the last fifty of my best shots printed out to top up supplies, keeping each card different and it’s own little work of art. I’ve used Moo for quite a few things now and I really like their Minicards, but I thought a regular business card shape would suit photographs better.
I’ve just got back from the Cirque Du Soleil – Totem press shoot at Liverpool Street Station, London. It involved a handful of the cast, in full attire, monkeying around and interacting with the public and actors. I love how little attention Londoners give to a man in a monkey suit prancing around beside them. The characters staged the famous March of Progress pose, as seen above, and had great fun stealing copies of The Metro from passers by and generally causing a great big scene. There were also people on hand to give out free Totem branded Oyster Card holders. (more…)
When I was getting into photography I had a look around the web for guides to taking photographs of fish as I have an aquarium and wanted to take some pictures. I found that there weren’t any really good guides to taking photos so I thought I’d write my own.
I got together three cameras, a Panasonic DMC-FX40, a Nikon D40 with the standard 18-55 kit lens and a Nikon D90 with a 105mm Macro lens and SB900 flash. These are meant to represent the three types of camera user, the beginner, intermediate and advanced. Choose which guide best fits what equipment you have and get clicking!
Regardless of which you go for here are some general tips to get the best from your photos:
- Use an overhead light if you have one. Most tanks will have a strip light above, this is normally great for shooting. If you have one above your tank then try to take your photos as close to the top of the water as possible to get the best light. The water at the bottom of the tank will have lost a lot of the light passing through.
- Clean your tank! Nothing worse than a big dried water drip between you and your fish in the final photo. Any glass cleaning products are fine, just don’t get them in the water!
- Try and get your fish used to you being there with a camera. Some ways to do this are to get them really used to you feeding them so they come up and say hello when you’re around or to put your camera on a tripod and leave it there for a few days to get them used to having a big black camera in their faces.
- If you’re struggling to get them to come and play then take your photographs whilst they’re feeding. My fish don’t care what you do if you’ve just given them some flakes! Blood worms are also interesting to use as you can get photos of your fish eating them.
The new flower in the bathroom vase is an orange gerbera. This one is photographed with two off camera flashes, one level and horizontal facing the flower, the other from above giving shaddows and definition.
A pearl necklace photographed with a Nikon SB900 at 2 o’clock with a deep blue gel giving the blue tones, small SB600 at 5 o’clock dialed right down and with a snood to illuminate the pearls. The white balance was adjusted to give a bit more ‘blue’ tone and the room was completely dark to stop light spilling in.
Half a butternut squash in a blue plastic crate at a farmers market in Queen’s Park, London. I particularly liked how the orange and blue go together, as well as how you can see inside.
A stuffed panda stuck up a tree near Queen’s Park Underground Station, London. He was there last week but I didn’t have my camera with me. I wonder who put him up there? I hope a child isn’t crying over him running away up the tree!
A plane flying over the house in London. What’s amazing about this photo is the blue sky in January! I also love contrails, especially when they create interesting patterns which happens a lot with all the air traffic here.
A pink table I made photographed at a 45 degree angle with a short depth of field to make the background vanish.
At the top of the stairs we have this lamp shade, it’s shaped like a star with lots of cut out star shapes all over it. This picture was taken at night when it was the only illumination source.
Spotted whilst on a walk along the Grand Union Canal in London. I liked how the gas holders had turned rusty giving them an earthy colour whilst surrounded by their metal frames. Also, the barbed wire fence is set up to keep people in, as opposed to keeping them out.
A tealight behind an empty bottle creating an interesting shaddow pattern. One of many empty bottles after a lovely dinner with friends.
This is one of the entrance buildings to Euston Train Station in London. It lists the places you could go to by train when they were built. This picture shows a couple of those destinations. I’ve been out of London for a couple of days and took this whilst waiting for a bus to finally go home.
After dinner I saw that some of the trees outside the restaurant had large spotlights under them, this is a photo taken whilst it was raining which has unfortunately lead to a bit of light reflecting off rain drops and causing light spots. I still really liked the way that the spotlight made the underside of each branch come out into such detail.
A lime photographed using off-camera flash at night. The lighting set up created the blackness behind the lime and the leaves surrounding it.
Artificial blue gerbera photographed at f1.8 to create a defined depth of field.
A pink candle bought from Habitat photographed against a multi-coloured striped rug. The rug was a house-warming present and the candle an impulse buy in the January sale. They go quite well together in the house though.
I went into the city with my girlfriend this evening and took in the best that London has to offer in the evening. Her Majesty’s Theatre in Haymarket is a beautiful building but I particularly like the very top of it and how the three lights create such a uniform pattern.
Macro shot of a lily taken this evening against a black background.