Feeling Rejuvenated

Yay, I’ve just had a lunch date with a couple of friends and fellow artists. It’s done me so much good. I’ve come away feeling refreshed.

My motivation is high, and I’ve just finished the third piece of embroidery, but I haven’t had the energy to get out with my camera. However, I have been taking photos on my phone, which is keeping my foot in, and I’ve just been reminded of the value of smart phone photography.

Heres a few photos from the last few days.










Two Years Blogging On WordPress


WordPress sent me a notification that I have reached my two year anniversary of being a WordPress blogger. During that time I’ve seen some amazing photography by my peers, followed some awesome blogs from awesome people around the world, developed a new online community, taken advice about what camera would be better for my long term development, and some how I have 1,919 people follow my blog.

WordPress has been a wonderful platform for me, my prose and my photography.  I’m most grateful.


A Successful Day Does Not Have To Feel Good! Thankyou.

Yesterday was a day won. That I won. That we won. Yesterday I succeeded.

Yesterday I felt physically unwell and in distress, and was challenging mentally and emotionally. I went to bed drained and had nightmares that involved me being force fed, binging and people being intensely violent towards me. But yesterday was very much a successful day for me.

Despite my panic around calories and feeling the need to restrict my calories further, along with an obsession about binging, I did neither.

I stuck to the foods and calories that my eating disorder team and I have agreed. This is an achievement considering how I felt.

I was nurtured by my friend P and cousin L, and supported by you, my friends and fellow bloggers. I thankyou all so so much. I can’t express how much being nurtured and supported helped.

This old saying rings true:-

I alone can do it, but I cannot do it alone.

I can make no promises about today. I’ve woken up with the desires to binge and starve, and yet I feel much calmer and more positive, and I feel very grateful that yesterday was a successful day.

My Heart Is Racing – I Need To Run

Two coffee’s and it’s only 11am.


I have no idea why Richard is buying me coffee. I don’t drink it, ever! Perhaps he’s trying to fill my belly to keep me off of the beer. I’m a bit of a party animal, it’s second nature for a soldier.

The drinking got worse once I left the forces. My mental health was bad, and I wasn’t sure how to cope with daily living without regimented routine and a string of blokes who had each others backs.

Since I started getting help from SSAFA, who are an armed forces charity, life has started to turn around. I’ve got so many transferable skills from my military career and I’m starting to see how I can use them.

It helps having a mate like Richard. He’s a bit of a dick sometimes, and he does go on about curving the excesses and finding balance, but he’s a good, caring bloke and I love his sense of humour.

He doesn’t understand what it’s like to serve, to be on the front line, but I’ve learned that he doesn’t need to. He listens, he lets me talk my shit out, and he never tells me what to do. Priceless.

Anyhow enough of this gushy, soppy shit, time to finish my coffee, then fuck him, I’m on holiday and I’m gonna get so pissed he has to carry me home.


Exercise 1.12 Smash – Balloon Burst


  1. Set up your camera on a tripod a few metres from the ‘impact zone’ (ground, wall or other) and set the shutter speed to the fastest possible for the available light. Focus your lens manually on the ‘impact zone’. Take a few shots to make sure the exposure is spot on.
  2. Now ask an assistant (standing out of shot) to drop or throw your object onto the impact zone where you’ve nailed focus. (They may need to wear protective glasses depending on your choice of object.) Take your shot.
  3. Review your photo. How was your timing? Is the shutter speed fast enough? Should you increase your ISO?
  4. Try again…and again…
  5. Review your images.

You should have a variety of images that show the frozen movement. However, this project doesn’t just illustrate the effect of a fast shutter speed, but also the significance of chance in photography. Even if you photographed the same kind of object ten times, the resultant images would all show subtly different results. This is one of the reasons why photographers invariably shoot a lot of exposures.

This exercise also shows how a ‘planted’ object can alter the interpretation of the environment.  All juxtapositions have this effect, but usually in subtler degrees.

I have really enjoyed this project. My friend and I had a lot of fun that afternoon, and he was very patient with me making adjustments to the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I did not have my tripod with me that day, and I really wanted to try to catch water as a ball in the air, so my friend burst the balloons with a pin and his hands are in shot. If we get the chance to do this again then we will use a pin on a stick so that it will be easier to remove in developing. We had 50 balloons, so at 5 frames per second I took 250 photos. I used manual focus throughout.

Exercise 1.12 Smash

ISO 5000, f6, 1/8000th sec

Exercise 1.12 Smash

ISO 8063, f5.6, 1/8000th sec

Exercise 1.12 Smash

ISO 6400, f4.5, 1/6400th sec

Exercise 1.12 Smash

ISO 100, f6.3, 1/40th Sec

Exercise 1.12 Smash

ISO 100, f7.1, 1/20th sec

Exercise 1.12 Smash

ISO 320, f4.8, 1/500th sec

I have included the last photo to demonstrate that in freezing fast-moving objects there is a lot of chance involved, however there are ways to mitigate it. Good communication with the person helping you. Taking the time to set the camera up before each shot. Using continuous exposure – I could try with my Fujifilm 9900 which has 12 frames per second, and for something like this the loss of image quality would not matter. We did try to use fruit juice to colour the water, but the balloon needed to be filled with pressure from a tap. Every time I tried to add fruit juice the ballon would spurt all of the water back onto me.

I like the first and the fourth photos. The first because I managed to obtain my ball of water, and the movement in the fourth photo is beautiful and dynamic, it catches the moment of explosion. Seeing the bubbles of air within the water is also pleasing to my eye.