Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

An Ordinary Half Term Day

It is half term which means a week off of school and nursery and we have a week full of little plans rather than big ones.  The weather is set to get wetter as it gets on, so we made sure we got outside whilst we could.  It was one of those rare winter days where the sun blinded us as we drove over to a seafront park and it warmer our faces as we explored the ruins of an old castle built right on the cliff top.

The playground next door had a castle theme and the children loved it.  Some of our local ones are a bit of a struggle for Cora's little legs but this one was perfectly designed for children of all ages and I could sit back and relax as they ran around.  The cafe served fresh cake and hot coffee and it felt like half term got off to a great start.

Of course there were tantrums as we had to leave, a child who refused to eat any of his lunch and the day certainly wasn't perfect - it very rarely is, but we had fun and I took a few photos that I wanted to share to look back on.  I know that one day they won't all be so content with a seesaw and roundabout but for now, this is their perfect start to half term.

There they are, my baby girl with a fringe that just won't stay out of her eyes, my toddler boy who goes one way whilst we all go the other, my four year old whose tongue can't help but poke out his mouth when he is concentrating and my big boy who looks so grown up with his two front teeth missing.

It was just an ordinary half term moment, but it was just as worthy of recording as the big moments.

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Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Sony Xperia XZ1 - Initial Review

Blogging is what started my love for photography and when I look back at the photos from my early posts, I can see just how far I have come.  The cluttered backgrounds, odd angles and blurry limbs of a little Dylan feel like a lifetime ago and taking photos has become not just something I do to illustrate a blog post, but something I do because I love to.  I love taking the perfect shot, capturing just the right moment and learning more about using my camera. 

My DSLR is usually my camera of choice, but it is big and bulky, a pain to carry around and I can look quite odd when I pull it out my bag and start snapping away.  I need a phone that can take a good photo, photos that I want to share on social media, display on my blog and capture all those imperfectly perfect moments that aren't going to wait for a big camera.

We are testing the new Sony Xperia XZ1 which boasts brilliant camera techology alongside easy to use android technology (I am most definitely an android girl). It has lived in my pocket and my hand this last week whilst I get used to the camera, the features and the fun slow-motion videos you can make.  

Sony Xperia XZ1

We recently visited a little local soft play which has a (closed) theme park behind it so I stopped to take some photos of the little two running around outside.  It was a bright place but the day was dull and the sky was dark.  I love how well the camera captures the colours and more importantly how well it captures the moment.

Sony Xperia XZ1

Sony Xperia XZ1

One of my favourite features so far is the predictive photo taking.  Before I have even pressed the shutter the phone has taken a couple of photos and when I browse back through I can choose my favourite from the bunch. It means I am less likely to miss a sweet cuddle or the way they hi5. 
Sony Xperia XZ1

Sony Xperia XZ1

The phone camera can be used in either auto or manual, and this coming week I am going to be playing with the manual features a bit more.  These photos are all in the automatic setting so I just point and shoot, and they haven't been edited at all.

Sony Xperia XZ1

Having a phone with a great camera is important to me as it allows me to get in the photos more too.  Whilst most people are a little scared when I hand over the 'big camera', they are confident to point and shoot with a phone and it means I can get in the photos more too.  I want my children to be able to look back and see me in their childhood and I love these photos of me and my baby girl that my sister took on the Sony Xperia XZ1

Sony Xperia XZ1

What I really wanted to see is what makes this phone better than my other one, which is also a top of the range model of another brand.  Pretty much all phones now can call, text, browse the internet and host a huge range of apps and games.  Most of the features that get updated are things that I would be content having an older model of, but the camera is really important to me and the reason I upgrade every time I am able.  

In video mode on the Xperia XZ1, you can tap a little icon above the stop/start button which adds a slow motion clip into the recording.  It makes a tiny moment expand into five seconds worth of footage as it records 960 frames per second and you can do this as many times as you want during one clip.  I have so many ideas to try with this, but here is our very first go.  Again this video has not been edited other than the very start being cut off and I have uploaded it directly from my phone.

So far I am really impressed with the Sony Xperia XZ1 and whilst I won't be hanging up my DSLR, I am enjoying having a great little camera in my pocket.  

I will be writing a full review of the phone next week!

 I am working with Sony on a paid collaboration but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Rollercoaster

Motherhood is a rollercoaster and sometimes it feels like we are riding it in the dark.  There are those moments where you can't stop smiling, it is exhilerating, exciting, you let go with your hands because you trust that everything is going to be ok.  There are those moments where you can feel yourself climbing, anticipation building, knowing things can go one of two ways - it may be smooth, it may be scary.  Then there are the moments when you are just free falling, you don't know what is coming next, when this bit will end and how you will feel at the end of it.  Your stomach feels like there are butterflies dancing around in it, you cling on to the bars in front of you for dear life and are consumed by the fall.

We are all on different rollercoasters, all similar but all unique.  Some are milder, a bit like the ladybird ride I used to go on as a child at our local theme park, some are more of a loop the loop with your feet dangling down and you can't stop worrying that one of your shoes is about to fall off and get lost in the blur underneath you.  Being in the dark though, we can't see everyone else's rollercoaster, we can't know what kind of ride they are on. 

You know how when you are on some rides there is a little hidden camera? Well I think ours is social media.  Lots of us people know where that camera is, so they can put on a smile at the right place, even when they are scared, even when their feet are dangling.  Others are generally calm and enjoying the ride at that point.  Their smile is genuine, their enthusiasm real.  I want to smile in my pictures.  I want my souvenir from this ride to be the happy memories, the hands in the air, hair flowing in the wind, shoes staying in place smiles and so that is mostly what I share.

To be honest, my rollercoaster is pretty smooth.  My children can be challenging and I will own up to not always knowing how to deal with them best, to getting frustrated, to not parenting how I imagined I would, how I want to.  I can look into other situations with ease but I can't always take a step back from my own to see where I am going wrong.   Some days my children fight and squabble, they throw and most recently they have decided they enjoy flooding the bathroom.  My toddler has spent months refusing to hold my hand or stay with me out and about which resulted in him being in the buggy most of the time as I struggled to keep him safe when he was out of it.  

Through all this, I consider myself a glass half full kinda girl.  I feel lucky to be in the situation I am, privelidged to be their mama and able to stop and see the beauty in our lives every day.  There is a lot of pressure on social media at the moment to be 'real' and not sugar coat things but I think I am real.  I share snippets of our life, the bits I want to remember.  I don't share my whole life and I will own up to having bad days and weeks but ultimately some things have to remain personal.  

I love social media, I find it interesting, inspiring and it encourages me to see things from a different point of view.  It shows me an insight into other people's rollercoasters and I can share bits of mine.  After having a difficult time with Finn, we have reached a period of calm, we can relax a bit more, enjoy him more and everyone is benefiting.  I don't doubt that the next hill is on the way (especially since Cora is so nearly crawling) but for now, things are smooth, we are mostly pretty happy and we are smiling for the camera.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

My Boys

With only ten weeks to go (ish) until we add a sixth member to our team, that feeling of the end that is so familiar now has arrived.  I remember during my first pregnancy trying to get my head around the fact that things would change beyond anything I could possibly imagine and I spent those final weeks with my friends, going out in the evenings (and treating myself to an orange juice), going for long walks, going out for dinner and enjoying my social life.

When I was pregnant with baby number two, I couldn't possibly comprehend how I could fit a second little baby in my life and those 10 weeks were spent enjoying everything about my first born, living life at his pace, letting my newly mobile toddler walk, as we had nowhere to be, there was no rush and nobody but us.

During my third pregnancy, I wanted to make the most of me-time, and I went to the cinema at least once a week as I remembered all to well how little personal space you get with a baby around.  I went for walks on my own along the sea front in the evenings, sat in the hairdressers and just enjoyed peace whenever I could find it, as three was set to be loud, chaotic and always busy.

This time I have realised that the weeks with 'my boys' are soon to be over, there will be a little girl on our team, and everything will change all over again.  These boys have been a three for 14 months, they have such beautiful bonds, they are learning and growing together and they are just wonderful to watch.  My focus will shift, I will be more outnumbered than ever, and I will have to stop saying 'my boys' and start saying 'my children' or 'my family' when I refer to them all.

It seemed to hit as I turned 30 weeks, it is a milestone week and these photos make me a bit emotional.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have three amazing little boys in my life.  To be the one that gets to wake up to their smiles each morning, and tuck them up in bed with a story and a song each night.  I get to watch them grow into the men they will become, nurture friendships with each other, learn alongside one another and be a little team.

These next ten weeks are about them, about making memories, about getting out together, exploring and observing, because I love to just watch them.  I want to have adventures that are easier without a new baby in tow,  I want to capture them as they are now, whilst it is just the three of them, I want to prepare them for a sister without making them wish away the present, because the present is pretty awesome right now.  

These photos are from the weekend and they may be my favourite ever, they capture so much of who they all are, they capture them together, they were in their element, outdoors, exploring, having adventures and you can see that in their smiles, in the way they are so relaxed.  I took my camera out only a couple of times, I wanted some special photos of  'my boys' as they are now, but the rest of the time I got stuck in with them all, I searched for the Gruffalo and got excited when we found the snake's log pile house.  I squelched in the mud, marveled at sticks, and came home with muddy feet.

It feels so strange that my time with just these boys is numbered, that things are going to change all over again, the dynamic, the pace of life, the size of my heart, and whilst I am confident we will adapt and find space and it will soon become our new normal, I am excited for the final 10 weeks, our final adventures just as we are and that I get to watch them just as a three for a little longer.

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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

An Easter Outing

This year the Easter weekend has seemed even more special than usual.  I have two children old enough to know what is going on, a little one who can have his very first taste of chocolate and the promise of two weeks with no school run and my biggest little boy at home,  Over the long weekend we managed to fit in some spring cleaning, catching up with friends, quiet time in the house, family time and an Easter outing too.  The winds blew, the sun shone, the chocolate disappeared pretty fast and three little boys were already asleep as their heads hit the sheets each night.

Easter Monday was the day we had planned a day out and despite the fact the wind had howled all night (and blown over our fence panels), the sun was still shining and we needed a day of fresh air.  We headed to our local Wildlife centre as it has something for everyone and had such a lovely day that we all came home smiling.

I love seeing the big cats but we seem to spend the longest time in the reptile house as the big two are fascinated by lizards, snakes, crocodiles and rodents.  It works out well if you manage to time it so that you are in there whilst it rains and enjoy the nicer parts of the day outside though.

We love this park as it has a playground inside that has so much to do and we spend just as long climbing and sliding as we do looking at the animals (and there is a soft play inside so that Finn can get out the buggy or sling and explore too).  There are also ride on electric trucks that they have to have a go on each time we visit.

I can't wait to spend two whole weeks with my favourite small people now, especially considering that when the new term starts Archie will be doing more hours at nursery and our time together will be even more precious. 

How was your Easter Weekend?

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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Folk Week Festivities Part 1

As a family, one of our favourite weeks of the year comes in August.  A local town holds a folk week festival and the bloke always books the week off work so that we can enjoy the sun, music and time together as a family.  The boys love the atmosphere, they love sitting in a pub garden with a glass of juice listening to music, they love running around at the bandstand pulling some pretty impressive moves and they love jingling their bells and escaping to the beach when the day gets too hot.

We eat ice cream every day and mini donuts if we can fit them in too.  We stay out late (well late for them), and take them home when they are ready to drop and we have picnics every day in one of the little parks.  

We are so thankful to live so close to the sea and to have such wonderful events on locally.  I took some photos over the first couple of days - Archie being the wild child he is, Dylan recovering slowly from a week of illness and Finn - pretty much always smiling

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