Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Photography Bible

This book was sitting in my Amazon basket for a good few months, waiting for it's turn in between uni books for it's chance to arrive on my doorstep. A few months back, I finally gave in after admitting that my photography really wasn't where I wanted it to be, and it's has really helped to improve my photography.

The books starts off with a really detailed and helpful guide to cameras - a look at different types and how to drive them, what lenses you can buy, information about the different settings and modes, and then it moves onto extremely important and slightly more advanced topics like aperture, ISO and shutter speed. This was the main attraction for me, as although I haven't really shot in 'automatic' for a year or so, it's all been experimentation so I wanted to really discover how to use and manipulate all the different settings to achieve the perfect shot. It also covers a few aspects like field of depth and metering that I had found confusing in the past, but it explained them in such simple terms which was great. 

Then it moves on to actually taking the picture and deals with topics like composure, as well a covering themes such as 'landscape', 'pets', 'weddings' and many more, so there are tips and tricks for every type of picture, which I think is an amazing idea. One of my favourite features is that throughout the book there are pictures that the author has taken, and besides each one all settings/lenses etc. are listed so that you know exactly how they achieved the shot.

Part three covers post-production - looking at exporting, editing and work flow - which although really useful, wasn't that important for me as I have a lot more experience in that area. However, if this is an area that you lack knowledge in, then it's definitely a great chapter.

Finally, the author touches upon how to make a living out of photography and provides detailed case studies to show examples of real, working businesses. Again, this was another very interesting read. 

The first, more 'technical' section of the book was by far the most helpful for me, but it honestly depends what knowledge you start with and what your natural strengths are. I studied art throughout school so I have quite a good eye for composure etc. (if I do say so myself!), so the other sections were more useful for me, but that might be completely different for you. Overall I think this is a brilliant book for any of you photographers out there, whether you're a complete beginner or consider yourself quite a pro - there's always tricks to learn! My only wish is that the technical chapter was a big longer, but again that's personal preference! 

The Busy Girl's Guide to Digital Photography is available through for about £12.50 depending on the seller. 

Have you read 'The Busy Girl's Guide to Digital Photography' or have you read anything similar? What did you think? Let me know in the comment section!
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

#Use or Lose - Eyes

My last edition of #Use or Lose was just before I moved back from Madrid earlier in the year - well the time has come to reshuffle and reorganise my beauty stash back here in England at my university residence. The concept is easy, I give myself a month with these products, and I either use them, or I lose them. I'm writing this about a month or so before this post actually is scheduled, so that at the end of the post I can update you on what made the cut, and what got passed onto another, more loving home. 

The Suspects:

Models Co. Duo in Goddess
A pretty, neutral duo that unfortunately never really get's it's time in the sun (both literally and figuratively!) The brown shade in this duo is really lovely, but I find the lighter colour a bit clumpy and prone to creasing.

No7 Trio in Cappuccino
Again, another lovely set of shades that gets overshadowed by the likes of my Urban Decay and MAC palettes. The trio contains a nice shimmery highlight colour, a soft taupe and a golden brown (think MAC Tempting but smoother). The upside of getting rid of this is I know that a lot of my friends would use this to death if they got their hands on it!

Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in Pink Pearl
This is a tricky one - the colour is gorgeous and very 'me', but I simply cannot work out how to get it to work on my eyes. At the counter, the pigmentation is gorgeous, but I can't seem to get any colour on my lids! Maybe mine's a dud - but I'm determined to keep trying!

Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Aubergine
The colour and quality of this eyeshadow are excellent - it's just not a colour that I ever seem to get much use out of. 

Calvin Klein Eyeshadow (shade unknown)
This colour is slightly peculiar - it's nearly a terracotta colour but with a slight golden tinge to it. It's nice enough but compared to other eyeshadows I own, it just doesn't compare when it comes to quality, application or longevity. I'm sure I can find a nice home for it though!

The Outcome:

Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Aubergine - although I didn't use it much, I still think it's a really useful colour to have in my collection, so it's staying!
Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in Pink Pearl - I STILL haven't cracked this, but I will!!

Calvin Klein Eyeshadow (shade unknown) - Like I said, this just doesn't stand out enough for my, and if I kept it I'm sure it would continue to gather dust. Off to a friend it goes!
No7 Trio in Cappuccino - A gorgeous trio which I would honestly recommend if you don't have anything similar - but I have a million shades like the ones in this so I think it's only fair that it moves on to someone who will use it more than I have.
Models Co. Duo in Goddess - I got this in a beauty box and I've never been that bothered about it, so I'm not really losing anything by passing this on - hopefully one of my friends will get a lot of use out of it!

Have you got some cleaning out to do? Try this #useorlose method and tell me how you get on!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Girl Behind The Screen

-    I actually wear glasses pretty much all of the time. My eyesight isn't bad, but I was born with a squint in my left eye which resulted in me having two surgeries on my eyes before the age of 3. 

-    My worst subject throughout the whole time at school was English (despite that being my highest grade in IB - typical!) because I am a logical person. I like rules and things that can be explained. Maths was so much simpler for me because you are given a rule and you follow it - none of this free-styling shenanigans. 

-    I HATE being scared - I will not watch scary movies, read scary books or go to scary halloween events. Don't believe me? The last time I went to the London Dungeons I cried my eyes out (I was about 17 years old - I'm never growing out of it!)

-    This article sums up my life (and explains the title of my travel blog)

-    I am in no way, shape or form a party girl. Yeah, I like to let loose every once in a while (who doesn't?) but I am much more of a homebody and prefer a night snuggled up in bed with a Terry's Chocolate Orange and a good movie to hitting up a nightclub or bar.

-    My first and last names are Scottish - just like my father's side of the family.

-    I am an extreme perfectionist and am often far too hard on myself, but it's something that I can't seem to grow out of. I end up getting ridiculously stressed over things that don't actually matter  in the long run because I want to do well, no matter the circumstances. 

-     I have four tattoos and six piercings (but have had eight) - bet you wouldn't have guessed that!

-     The thing that I want most in my life is to be a mother - I can't think of anything more fulfilling and I absolutely cannot wait for it (but not just yet!)
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

What I've Been Loving #32

NARS Blush in Sin (£22.50):
Doesn't this shade just scream 'WINTER' to you? No? Only me then. Well, this gives your cheeks that lovely 'I've just walked a mile in the snow so I'm a tad flushed' kinda look - and I'm diggin' it. The deep plum shade mixed with a slight golden shimmer also has a very 'festive' feeling about it that I simply cannot refuse. It might be a bit early for me to be counting down to Christmas, but my cheeks are still representing! 

The Korres Lip Butters have always been a favourite of mine, and Jasmine just happens to be in the current rotation. They're really nourishing, gorgeously scented and super light on the lips which makes them my perfect 'day-time' lip balm. Another flavour worth mentioning is 'Wild Rose' which has a lovely deep red tint for if you want to rock a berry look whilst still keeping topped up on moisture! 

It's getting colder, so naturally I am already as pale as a ghost. Despite trying to embrace my natural paleness, this shade of white is far more sickly looking than chic = No bueno. So after having a good ol' rummage through my stash, I rediscovered this beauty from a Summer collection a year or so back. A gorgeous glow that isn't too intense for the palest amongst society, and gets me looking a lot more healthy and alive in a jiffy. 

I've been after a legit pair of Tweezerman tweezers for years, but the price tag has always had me running in the opposite direction. However, a recent stroke of bad luck (or perhaps good?) saw BOTH my pairs of tweezers go on an unauthorised walk, never to return. So, there I was - slightly annoyed and bushy-browed - and simply couldn't wait another minute for my other tweezers to show their face, so I toddled on down to Boots and finally took the plunge. Needless to day, these are definitely as good as everyone says and are therefore certainly worth the higher price point. Whats more, they come with a promised free lifetime worth of sharpening, so the twenty or so quid feels much less painful when these bad boys are potentially with me for life (as long as they don't go wandering off like their predecessors...) 

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Friday, October 17, 2014

A/W Prep: Mentality

Even though I find the ever-shortening days and the nippy winds more delightful that anything else, not everyone handles the changing of the seasons as well. To conclude my A/W Prep mini series, I thought I'd touch on the subject of preparing yourself mentally for the colder months, as we've already covered how to look after your body. Without further ado, here are some tips and a few things to look out for as the leaves begin to change colour and the electric blankets are being whipped out...

- Let's face it, for the majority of us this time of year is one of our busiest. Some of us are heading back to school/university, and for those who are finished with (higher) education, work becomes busier and that carefree summer attitude seems like a distant memory. We need to get out of holiday mode and get back into gear, and a great way to do that is to indulge in new stationary, a pretty new diary or a new work bag. Little things that get you excited about getting back to work will make the whole transition that much easier.

- Keep an eye out for signs SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a type of depression that tends to occur at the same time each year - usually during the winter - and is incredibly common. I'm obviously not a doctor, but having a history of mental illness I can definitely relate, so if I can be of any help, please do send me a message. It's important to be aware of conditions like this and familiarise yourself with how to handle them - whether it's something that you suffer from, or if it affects someone close to you. If you'd like more information on SAD, click here

- Use this 'new start' feeling to get going! Now is a great time to get stuck into a new hobby, to get exercising on a regular basis *again*, or kicking off your healthier eating plan. I'm always at the gym at this time of year because I get carried away with starting a new year at university, so it's almost like a new years resolution for me!

- Remember to get outside to get some fresh air and take in a few rays (when you can!) Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, and we get most of our vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. Avoiding cabin fever is also key to keep you feeling happy and motivated, even when it's miserable outside, so try and get out at least once a day - even if it's to pop to the corner shop to buy some milk. Trust me, it'll make all the difference and you'll feel all the better for it - both physically and mentally.

Do you have any tips for surviving the winter months? Let me know!
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