How this photo won a prize


I was pretty delighted to receive a tweet from Adobe UK telling me I had won their competition, well actually blimmin thrilled ! Way back in July I was busy scrolling through Instagram when up popped a photo from Julia of @humphreyandgrace, announcing that she had been invited to give a live demonstration of some of her editing processes using Lightroom on the Adobe Uk Live programme. I am great admirer of julia's work  I was keen to watch. I had never come across AdobeUk Live before  I had to  pop the date  into my calendar to remind me to join in. Infact they had 4  high profile instagrammers to come and share their editing  techniques, there were 2 out of the total 4 that I was a follower of, Julia and also Carolyn of @theslowtraveller. I have been using Lightroom for a number of years, and as with a lot of these Adobe programmes, there are just so many tools available  so any opportunity that presents itself for me to broaden my Lightroom knowledge I jump at, particularly when it involves a well known photographer sharing some of their editing tips, a chance not to be missed! At the end of the programme the presenter announced the competition, edit a photograph using some of the techniques demonstrated and share on Twitter with the hashtag makeit, the prize being a years free membership of Lightroom and Photoshop, well this was music to my ears, my annual membership was due to expire in August and a renewal fee is over a £100.00. I knew I had to enter the competition. One of the many tips I learned was from Julia about the luminance slider  in the HSL so with that in mind, I went through some recent photographs that I had not edited successfully, mainly a trip to Italy,  street photography and landscape are not my usual subjects, so my editing style simply didn't enhance my photographs, therefore I had left them sitting on my hard drive, waiting for some inspiration further down the line. This was the help I need, I chose a colourful riverside shot of the magnificent huge multi coloured buildings that line the edge of the riverside in Pisa, it was a stunning sunny winters day and sunset had just begun, the light was magical, but I was unable to recreate that beauty.     

I had two photos in mind when I was considering the competition, I choose this one as it was the most colourful.  Kismet maybe? No, I do not think so, I believe as it was a prize I really wanted, so as former teacher of mine would frequently tell me, listen and apply yourself Louise,well that is exactly what I did!    




Pop Idol that still has it!

Remember Martin Kemp? Spandau Ballet fame, Eastenders Actor, starring in The Kray Twins remake film, well he had a 1 night show here in north Devon recently, I had to go, what a fabulous evening it was. At first I was a little disappointed, inside the theatre, there were  signs ' no videography, no photography' what was I going to do, I couldn't be so close and not take a shot or two! Luckily, once inside and seated, the audience were informed of course you can take a photo, just no flash, with that a 'sea of mobile phones' appeared, including mine! 


Up close with Prince Charles and Camilla in Barnstaple

This week, Barnstaple, north Devon received a visit from HRH Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, so I took the opportunity of going along in the hope of getting a few shots, well it is not everyday Prince Charles and Camilla are appearing in  my part of the world, even though Devon borders Cornwall. However, I was in a bit of a dilemma though:

a) the time of their appearance had not been announced, I had no idea be it morning, afternoon, early, nothing was announced, so I was going to have to take a guess! 

b) Which camera and lens was I going to use?  

We all know there are masses of crowds hoping to get a glimpse or maybe a handshake and a hello from the future King of England, combined with the huge numbers of staff and armed Police Protection Officers that surround them. So I was thinking that my Canon 6d was not going to get the shots I was looking for as  I do not own a telephoto lens for it due to the hefty weight they have and my much loved favourite 24 - 70 wasn't going to get me in close enough. But very recently I had bought an Olympus M10 ii,  for a practical carry it around in my bag all the time, never miss an opportunity, camera that I could use with a telephoto lens, part of the purchase included this great little lens 40 - 150mm which has an equivalent reach of 300mm on my Canon.  I was so pleased I had made this purchase as  this was the perfect opportunity to put it to the test and it passed with flying colours!   Apart from the fact my 'guestimate' arrival time was a bit out, Prince Charles and Camilla arrived before I did, which worked in my favour, the original spectators who had probably patiently waited to welcome the Royal couple had already moved on, the Duke and Duchess were now inside the Pannier Market, each walking along different sides of the aisle speaking to the specially selected stall holders and Charity Representatives, So I had to make a decision, which one to try and photograph, in the end Prince Charles was my choice, if only because he is actually heir to the throne, plus the Duchess of Cornwall is smaller than I realised in real life, she was very difficult to see, being dwarfed by the large armed Royal Family Protection Officers, Missing a lot of the crowds, in part because they were starting to go outside lining up along Butchers Row behind the barriers to await  a presentation of a Birthday Cake for Camilla, apparently it was her birthday sometime in the week, so I now had a slightly better opportunity than I had hoped for as I was able  to get a whole lot closer than I had expected, still dodging some of the public with their waving arms, holding up their mobile phones, (which apparently Her Royal Highness the Queen dislikes, it is said she would like  to see the people on her visits and not their waving mobile phones!) My small camera with it's longer reach helped me to capture these shots, whilst not perfect, given the security keeping the crowd at a specific distance away from the Royals, the constant moving of the Prince, I was very happy :)  There are a few points that I dislike about some of the shots I got, that pole drove me crazy for one.  I was uncertain about which shooting mode to use, I usually shoot in Manual or Aperture Priority mode, but this was a different subject altogether than I was used to, one that I knew I was not going to get an opportunity to repeat, so I could not fail, I remembered some advice  my photography tutor gave, if in any doubt pop your camera setting onto auto mode and just take the shot, so that is exactly what I did, using the intelligent Auto mode also switching to the automatic scene mode 'Sports', I knew I would stand the best chance of getting the shots of HRH Duke of Cornwall.   

Simple Animation Looping App - easy peasy way

I was delighted to learn about this App, Ripl, from taking part in a course on, the course is The Cut, all about how to create your own videos. Ripl is one of their recommendations as it creates super easy yet simple animation looping films. I quickly liked this tool as it is so easy to understand and navigate around, but the points I really liked, were that I could replace their 'standard' backgrounds with my own images, you are able to change the layout, the style, the fonts, the colours, plus a real bonus is that you are able to change the colour palettes using Hex codes, so if you have a particular colour palette that perhaps you have on your IG gallery or website, you can produce these lovely little animated films that will look cohesive on your own blogs or my case my website. As proof of its ease of use, I had within 10 minutes of downloading the app created this little animation, by uploading my own image, changing the font, adding my own text, changed the layout and voila, the result is below. After you have completed the animation it also helps you to store the film onto you own camera roll, then share, I chose Instagram as I wanted to promote a new hashtag that I created with some friends which we are just starting to run on Instagram. By the way, we would love you to join in with us, no need to follow anybody either, just post your image and tag #serendipitystyling.   Have fun using Ripl xo