A newbie in Singapore

Now I’m officially here to stay in Singapore, which means my employment pass has finally been approved, I can actually start blogging about what I’ve been up to, something I wanted to do weeks ago but didn’t dare as I didn’t want to tempt fate. I don’t actually believe in fate mind you, but hey, someone official might have read this blog, decided I was a bit previous with being excited about a job I didn’t officially have approval to do and ordered me home. You never know…

I don’t know how many people will read this (hopefully regular) blog, but if nothing else, it’ll be a good reminder for myself a few years’ down the line about what it was all really like, rather than what I choose to remember. (That’s for the psychologist in me who knows a bit about how flawed our brains are when it comes to retrieving and recalling memories, as well as our tendency to remember the peaks and ends of experiences better than all the other trivial stuff that happens in the middle.)

As this is my first blog in Singapore, I should probably begin at the beginning. There are quite a few potential beginnings, including the beginning where I was offered the job to come out to Singapore and head up a new office for the company I work for, but this beginning starts the weekend before I left, 2nd and 3rd January 2016.

On the Saturday night I had what my Mum ominously called ‘the last supper’, a curry in Hyde followed by drunken dancing featuring my Mum, her husband, my brothers and their partners and my lovely niece, Mille. (Note: Millie did not partake in drunken dancing, she’s waaaay to young for that yet.) I saw a lot of my Dad over the weekend too as he helped me sort out some of the last things I had to do around the house, and I spent Sunday evening with him, my last night in the UK.

That weekend was weird, because for months I’ve known I was coming out here and been preparing for it – packing up things I wanted to bring out here with me, throwing out clutter from the house (I filled a huge skip, plus more. It was probably only a matter of time before the TV show Hoarders: Buried Alive caught up with me), sorting out life’s admin like bank accounts, selling my cars, cancelling my TV licence and other exciting stuff like that, as well as handing things over at work and preparing for my new job out here. But none of it quite seemed real. It was like this nebulous ‘thing’ that was happening at some distant point in the future. Not now, not really. In a few months’ time. In a few weeks’ time. In a few days’ time. Not on Monday. Not tomorrow. Not now. Time has a sneaky habit of creeping up on you like that. Even when you’re expecting it.

That weekend, it got real. Saying goodbye to my Mum, my Dad and my brothers made it feel real. Saying goodbye to my two beloved parrots, Kev and Mel, when I left them with my Dad to look after (temporarily, I hope) made it seem real. Was I really leaving everyone?

On the Sunday night, alone in a house devoid of pretty much everything apart from a bed, a TV, a settee and a packed suitcase, and a significantly quieter house than usual – mainly because of the absence of Mel’s shrieking and Kev’s frequent shouts of ‘what you doing?’ – I started wondering what the hell I was actually doing, and what business I had moving 7,000 miles away from anyone I knew and everything I know and setting up a new office with no real idea of whether any of this was going to work. I’ve literally never spent more than three weeks out of my home town of Denton in my life (seriously), and while I’ve travelled all over the world on holiday and all around the country for work, I’ve never lived more than about half a mile from where I grew up. [I say I’ve travelled the world on holiday. I’d never actually been further East than Egypt until I got this job and came out here for the first time in October. So maybe a better description would be to say I’ve travelled Europe, Africa and some parts of the US and Caribbean. Doesn’t make me sound as worldly-wise though.]

And after lying awake for ages worrying about what on earth I’d let myself in for I thought, shut up Schoey, this is is going to be the biggest adventure of your life. This is an opportunity to find out what you’re really made of and do something amazing that most people never get the chance to do.

You know, if the last few months have taught me anything (and they’ve taught me a lot of things, I can tell you, but that’s for another blog), they’ve taught me that life’s too short to get hung up about ifs and buts and maybes. The best thing – for me at least – is to try to do as much as I possibly can with my life while I’ve got the chance. And if those things include a massively exciting, life-changing adventure halfway across the world, experiencing a completely new culture, country, job and life, then that’s all the better.

I decided I was going to smash it.

So many people have told me how brave I am, how they’d never have been able to do something like this, especially on their own, not knowing anyone. I’m sure there are some people who think I’m brave doing this as a solo young(ish) woman – although no-one’s specifically said that to me (I can think of a few who’ve probably thought it though). For me, my age and the fact I have boobs is irrelevant. Loads of people travel these days. And if a man can do it, so can I. I can even do weeing standing up now I have a shewee.

And I’m not brave. Not really. I’ve just made a conscious decision to make the most of every opportunity which comes along. Yes, after what I’ve been through, I’ve probably been stronger over the last few months than most people expected (including me), but life isn’t a cliched bed of roses, it’s cruddy and shitty and really bloody awful sometimes, but it’s also amazing when you open yourself up to the people, places and experiences it offers. We can’t always choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we respond to what happens, and my response is to think about my future and make the most of every minute. That’s not being brave, it’s being pragmatic.

I digress. Bleary-eyed at the check-in desk at Manchester Airport at 6am the next morning my main concern wasn’t what the hell I was doing going to Singapore, it was making sure I didn’t have my duty free wine taken off me en route. You’re allowed to take two bottles per trip into Singapore and I was sure as hell going to take two bottles with me. I knew the Singapore Airlines flight stopped in Munich on the way, and that you get off and then get back on the same plane, but I didn’t know whether you’d go through the scanners and get any liquids that were 100ml+ taken off you. This was extremely important. Wine is sooooo expensive in Singapore, it is now a rule that anyone who comes to visit me must bring two bottles of duty free white wine with them. Good news from the check-in desk: no scanners at Munich, you just sit at the gate. Phew. Duty free wine, here I come.

When I arrived in Singapore around 15 hours later, even more bleary-eyed than I was in Manchester, and with my single suitcase and two bottles of duty free wine in tow, I was reminded of just how hot and humid it is. Having been out here twice before for only a total of around 10 days, once in October with colleagues and my Mum, and then again for a few days on my own in December, you forget (or at least, I did) just how different the climate is. Yes, obviously I know it’s hot, but it does hit you like a wall when you walk out of the air-conditioned airport (everywhere is air-conditioned in Singapore) and realise the jeans and long sleeved silk shirt you’ve been wearing on the plane and which were just fine in Manchester aren’t really helping the sweat situation. In fact, so I’ve learned recently, despite being a natural fibre silk is not good for avoiding sweating at all. It retains water. At least it doesn’t smell when it gets sweaty.

I was met at the airport – with a card with my name on and everything – by Wilson, who took me to the apartment I’m currently living in and showed me around. That didn’t take too long, it’s not a huge apartment, but then most of them aren’t here. Space is at a premium, and newer apartments like this one tend to be built smaller so they can fit more into the developments. It’s nice, it just feels like a hotel. Which it kind of is really, so it’ll be nice to get into my own place in a couple of weeks’ time. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

The apartment I’m in, on the 10th floor of The Altez, is ideally located for settling me into Singapore as it’s only a 15 minute walk to work. That would be a 10 minute walk in Manchester, but you can’t walk too fast here without ending up a sweaty mess, and that’s not really the look I’m going for, so 15 minutes it it. It’s got a couple of pools, plenty of food places nearby and its location means I haven’t had to worry about navigating across Singapore for the commute to work in the first few weeks. I’ve had to buy Apple TV though as the TV package in the apartment mainly seems to have local (read: non-English-speaking) channels or news. My Mandarin isn’t up to much yet and there’s only so much rotating news you can watch, but there’s a lot of Netflix to get through. (Note to self: there’s a big city out there, watching entire series’ of Broadchurch and Making a Murderer on Netflix isn’t the key to exploring it…)

You might be wondering what Singapore’s really like. When you ask people who’ve been here on holiday, one of the first things they say is it’s ‘safe’. Not in a Manc way (as in ‘yeah, he’s safe’) but that it’s a really safe place. I thought that was such a weird thing for people to describe somewhere as, but when you get here it makes lots of sense. Apparently Singapore is one of the safest cities in the world. And as a seasoned veteran of three whole weeks it really feels like it. No problem to be wandering around with a map on your own at 11pm; if anyone approaches you they’re likely to be offering you directions rather than wanting to mug you! That’s not to say you shouldn’t have common sense, but genuinely the vast majority of people seem really friendly, polite, helpful and welcoming.

As an example, I was on the MRT yesterday (MRT = Mass Rapid Transit – basically underground trains, like the tube in London except spotless and air-conditioned and you don’t get black snot in your nose after being on them) with half a dozen shopping bags after spending the afternoon, and a small fortune, in one of the shopping malls. I got on the MRT and a lady offered me her seat. What?! That definitely wouldn’t happen in Manchester. And it’d be even less likely on the tube in London where you avoid eye-contact at all costs. Clearly I’ve only scratched the surface so far, so it’ll be interesting to see whether my views change once I’ve been here a bit longer, but safe (literally) to say it’s definitely safer walking around the streets here at 3am than it is in Piccadilly Gardens…

Despite being here three weeks, the longest time I’ve ever been on holiday for previously (and as I said, the longest time I’ve ever spent out of Denton), and despite the fact I’ve been crazy busy at work since I arrived, I still feel a lot like I’m on holiday. I suppose that’s natural, especially until I’m in my own place with my own furniture etc. and with every experience still feeling so new, but I also think one of the reasons for this is psychological…to me, hot weather is a heuristic (mental shortcut) for being on holiday, as the weather in the UK is pretty much never hot, and I’ve always loved to holiday in places with better weather, which is pretty much anywhere really. Plus being somewhere where you need suntan lotion everyday and where your apartment has a pool is definitely holiday territory. I’m not sure how long it will take me to break this, or whether I ever will. In a way I don’t want to, I totes love holidays!

So what can I tell you about Singapore? Well, the food is amazing, and extremely cheap if you visit the local hawker centres; anywhere between £2-4 gets you a huge plate of fantastic food. These are street food stalls which are all government-regulated and have food hygiene certificates so no dicky tummy, even with my IBS, which is a lifetime first for me. I thought being vegetarian I might struggle to find things to eat as there’s so much meat and fish in everything, but there are loads of places if you look for them. In some cases, I’ve had no idea what I’ve been eating, but I’ve been assured it’s vegetarian so I’ve tried it, and I’ve yet to find something I don’t like, even thought I thought I was fussy. Here are some examples. Obviously I recognise what a curry looks like.

Wine is expensive. It’s all imported which adds to the cost but it’s also taxed heavily and I learnt last night at a wine tasting event (more on that later) that the government adds a standard levy of around $10 on every bottle imported, so you’re better off buying a more expensive bottle of wine as the tax comprises a lower proportion of the price (top wino tip!).

You can drink the water from the taps. Singaporeans drive on the left side of the road, like in the UK, but cars are ridiculously expensive to run, as they’re taxed even more than wine. Like, two times the value of the car just to put it on the road, never mind road tax. Hence the people who have cars are people who can afford them (apparently 16% of households are millionaires here), and you see and hear more than a reasonable share of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Rolls Royces and other beautiful driving beasts than you’d probably see anywhere else in the world other than somewhere like Monaco. (While I mention Monaco, Singapore, Monaco and Vatican City are the only three city-states in the world i.e. where the country is the city. Factoid for you there.) But the public transport is so good, you don’t need a car. Despite having two cars back in the UK (and shedding a little tear when my lovely Lotus Elise drove away after I parted with it before moving – yes, really), I haven’t missed driving much. There’s still time though. And I do have achey feet as they’re not used to doing so much walking. That’s actually one of the reasons I went shopping yesterday, to buy some comfortable shoes!

The plug sockets and voltage are the same as the UK so you can bring your gadgets from home and they work. Wine is expensive. Taxis are cheap – much cheaper than in the UK, as is the public transport actually, which is probably why taxis have to be cheap to compete. It’s hot and humid, all the time – the temperature doesn’t vary much, even at night. As well as being hot and humid, it’s monsoon season at the moment, and I’ve never seen rain like it. Think it rains in Manchester? Next time it rains, check if it feels like someone’s chucking buckets of water at you from all directions, or whether the whole floor (not just parts of it) is like a 2” deep puddle. No? Didn’t think so. That happens most days at the moment. And you won’t find a taxi when it rains either as everyone’s after one. But at least it’s hot rather than being freezing cold rain.

It’s also busy everywhere. While the whole main island of Singapore is about the size of Greater Manchester, it has twice the population; I read about how crowded it gets before coming but the number of people walking around the central business district (or CBD as it’s known) in the morning and at lunchtime is crazy. As a slight claustrophobic, I can’t wait to experience the MRT at rush hour once I’ve moved into my apartment (!)…but at least the noise is minimal from there as it’s a bit away from the main road. The one I’m in now might be on floor 10 but as soon as you open the window you can hear the traffic noise below. There’s also loads of construction all around Singapore, from new condo buildings to new MRT stations. So many things are newly built, that an apartment built before the year 2000 is considered old!

Did I mention wine is expensive?

I’ve got loads more to write but I can feel a curry coming on; it’s teatime (that’s dinner for anyone reading who’s not from the north of England) so I’ll sign off for now. So I’ll catch you next time when I’ll tell you about finding an apartment, starting work in a new city, attempting to make friends and finding a hairdresser who can cope with platinum blonde. (I say ‘finding’, I’ve found a hairdresser and made an appointment; whether they can ‘do’ the blonde and style I’m after is to be confirmed next Saturday.)

 

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Seeing line, shape and form in Manchester’s architecture

I’ve always wondered what the secret is when it comes to architecture photography. After going on a course today, it turns out the secret is using manual rather than aperture (or shutter speed) priority, and looking for line, shape and form.

Don’t be scared of manual

Using manual means you’re thinking about the right exposure for your picture. I’ve always used AV and set my ISO to auto and plumped for whatever shutter speed the camera gives me, switching to TV mode if the shutter speed was too slow, but compromising the depth of field. Using manual gives you much more control; you can set your ISO to 400-800, leave it, decide on the depth of field you want, and then set the shutter speed to give you the right exposure (you can check this on the back of your camera).

Experimenting with shallow and wide depths of field and managing the exposure like this gives you much more control, results in better exposed pictures and allows you to experiment a lot more with the available light. It’s also much easier than I thought it would be.

IMG_3431Finding form

Looking deliberately for lines and shapes in architecture gives you a different way of photographing buildings. Instead of seeing the building, you start to see it as a series of shapes, lines and patterns – it becomes almost abstracted. You can start to put different shapes together to create much more interesting photos.

Top tips

My top tips from today’s course are:

  • Use manual – don’t be scared of it, it’s easier than you might think and much more satisfying to use
  • Put different lines together, maybe from different buildings or structures
  • Look for shapes and patterns in the world around you to create great photos
  • Reflections can be an unusual way of capturing a building
  • Look from different angles – adjusting yourself so you’re low to the ground or at a slight angle can make all the difference to a shot
  • Try to tell the story of a building, like what it’s made of, or when and where it was built – give the viewer clues to its whereabouts by what you capture around it.

Want to improve your skills?

Big thanks to Paul Wolfgang Webster – I took all of these today during his architecture photography course, and they’re a huge improvement in my work (so much so, I’ve written my first blog in a while!). Usually after a day of shooting I don’t have this many shots I’m proud to share, so hopefully this is a new beginning for my architecture shots. This is the second course of his I’ve been on, and I’d definitely recommend them – you can get them through Amazon Local deals at the moment and they’re well worth the money!

 

For more of my pictures of Manchester, have a look here.

Getting ready for trading…

This Saturday I’ll be selling my photos at a craft fair for the first time, in my home town of Denton. It’s Denton Euro Festival time, involving live music, food, drink and a craft marquee…and I thought why not get involved and set up a stall hawking my wares? I’ve been on Etsy for a while but haven’t done any face to face photo selling before. But you’ve got to start somewhere.

I’ve just spent several hours mounting and bagging photos and generally getting very excited. I’m really pleased with how professional it’s all looking; the mounts I got are really nice quality, and I got some stickers made up with my website and name on which adds a nice touch to the back of the mounts. The mounts came with the right sized bags which are perfect and great value. I’d definitely buy more of those…assuming these sell!

I’m not really sure what will sell best so I’ve got a variety of mounted prints in three sizes including a few shots of different places in Manchester (I suspect they’ll do better than some of the more abstract work I have but we’ll see), and I’ve framed a couple of larger pieces on fine art paper. If they don’t sell, I’ll either keep them for a future stall or hang them up at home, so as far as I’m concerned, I win either way 🙂

Now I just need to work out how to display everything and how to price it. And whether to use a bit of behavioural science like a decoy or high anchor price. I say that, I’ve already framed a couple of prints with that exact thing in mind. Although I’m not sure I should be sharing my pricing strategy here…

If you’re local, pop along and say hello – it’s 12-7pm on Saturday in the centre of Denton. If not, wish me luck and I’ll let you know how it goes!

stickers photos

Weeks 7 & 8 of 52

Week 7’s portrait was taken on last Saturday’s photography course, shot with a single light source in a studio. Paul, the course tutor, told us he would convince us studio lighting was better than natural lighting by the end of the day.  And he did.

We used combinations of one light source and reflectors, and the different moods and effects you can create even with limited kit is impressive. I’ve since bought a set of reflectors after seeing how many different effects you can get from them. This shot was taken using a beauty box on its own (no reflector); the dark shadows combined with Peter’s serious expression make a moody shot.  And you wouldn’t guess it was taken against a white background.

Peter with beauty box and white background webWeek 8 was taken by the tram and bus stops at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, using a tripod and a 30 second exposure. I’ve slightly cropped it, boosted the vibrancy, warmed it up and added a bit of sharpening. On the right is the original shot.

 

 

 

Days 27-29 of 365 – month one almost complete!

Well, we’re on the home run. For January, at least; only two days to go and I’ve completed 1/12 of the 365 day project. Woop woop! It feels a bit like the juice diet did after the first few days – I’ve got this far, so I’m going to finish it! But unlike the juice diet, I don’t have to abstain from food at the same time. Or alcohol, which is probably more to the point.

On Monday we celebrated the life of my late Granddad, Derek – or Bill, as he was known to his family and friends. Having decided it was inappropriate to take my camera to the funeral (or, having been instructed so by my other half), I took a photo later instead of the order of service, to mark the (sad) occasion in my project so that when I look back over the year, I’ve captured all of the significant events (happy or sad), as well as the everyday ones. [Just to clarify, I wouldn’t have been taking photos at the funeral, it would have been afterwards at the pub, I’m not totally odd. With hindsight, I could have used my phone to take a photo, but it didn’t occur to me at the time.]

027 Granddad Williams resizedYesterday I went out for lunch with two ladies I met through Good for Nothing a couple of months ago. This was taken in Pop Cafe where we ate. I probably should have used a smaller aperture to get more of the foreground in focus. Or maybe set the focus manually. Or both. But I like the way it’s captured the lady in the background, as well as the fact that I took this from where I was sitting, and immediately spotted the potential photo when I got my camera out. It’s true, this 365 thing does make you look at things a bit differently.

028 Pop cafe resized

I took this photo of an alley and bins this morning on the way into work. It’s a shot I tried last week, although when I got to work and looked at it on screen I decided I didn’t like it, so went out at lunch to do some street photography instead. I got a bit lower down today to take this, and I think the angle is better. I was trying to draw the viewer into the photo, past the bins and the bin bag on the cobbles, and down the alley towards the entrance way in the distance. I think it kind of works. And while a dark alley might not be the most obvious choice for a photo, I think there are pictures in even the most mundane, everyday things, those we don’t pay much attention to most of the time. We just need to be looking out for them.

029 Manchester alley resized

Portraits, shooting from the hip and various other photo experiments – days 14-22 of 365

A bumper crop today as I have some catching up to do. So far I’ve remembered to take a photo every day, I just need to get better at writing down a few thoughts about them and getting them on here! I’ve tried to use a few techniques in the last week or so, to test myself and see how varied I can make my photos. I’m fairly pleased with the results, and already I think it’s helping me improve my photography.

Day 14 was a close up of a pineapple. I used an external flash attached to the camera as it was taken at home in the evening with no natural light. I wanted to create an abstract pattern from the shapes, but a tighter crop might have worked better as you can see the rounded edges at the side. I haven’t re-edited because I’ve made myself a rule of not going back and fiddling after I’ve done an initial edit (I’d cropped it a bit already), just to keep momentum going or I don’t think I’ll ever get to the end of the project.

014 pineapple resizedDay 15 is a reflection of a building in a puddle in the Northern Quarter in Manchester, taken at lunchtime. The colours could do with being a bit more saturated but I don’t seem to have mastered puddle photos yet – one to practice a bit more.

015 Manchester puddles resizedDay 16 was taken looking out of our office window first thing in the morning. I liked the contrast of the dark and the bright street light. And it was the best of the bunch – the rest were either wonky or a bit out of focus.

016 one way resizedLast Friday was day 17, and I went to a voiceover recording as part of a video we’re making at work. We recorded at a home studio in Heaton Moor, and it was great seeing Rowan, the actress who played our narrator, in action using the script I’d written. Rowan said she’d have a look at my photos so Rowan, if you’re reading this, I didn’t choose one with you in it because they were a bit blurred – sorrrryyy! It’s nothing personal, but this was the best of the bunch. I should have taken a few more, and got some close ups really to get some better variation, but you live and learn I suppose.

017 in the recording studio - we're missing the sound guy resizedI bought a car on Saturday and despite lugging my camera all the way to Derby (and back) and having cars and all sorts to photograph, I managed to avoid taking a photo all day. So this is one of Kev the parrot, taken using a flash. It was only afterwards I realised I’ve already featured Kev in this project, I just haven’t posted it up yet as I need to convert it but don’t have the software at the moment. Oops. Note to self – no more Kev photos for a good while! At least I have the tortoises for all fall-back next time, they haven’t appeared here yet…

018 Kev the parrot resizedOn Sunday, I went to visit my niece Sadie, to drop off her birthday present. I cropped this shot to remove some of the background and get quite a close up of her face, and converted it to black and white as the phone cover she was holding was pink and very distracting. I like the fact I managed to get the light reflections in her eye – which was more by luck than design, but that’ll do me! This is probably my favourite of the batch. It’d be even better if both eyes were in focus.

019 Sadie at 364 days old resized

On Monday it was back to work and another lunchtime trip around the Northern Quarter. I chose this picture because although it’s slightly out of focus – I did the old ‘shooting from the hip’ thing, sneaky sneaky like – I liked the way it was framed. Who is the person with the coffee? I don’t even know myself, I didn’t really notice them. I was just snapping away at everyone I walked past. You need a lot of attempts to get anything decent with this type of photography; I mainly end up with pavements or buildings, rather than actually getting people in the shot!

020 coffee time resizedYesterday I decided to have another bash at a bit of street photography, sneaky sneaky style, so again I tied my camera around my wrist, and stood in Piccadilly Gardens for 20 minutes, snapping away. I ended up with a couple of decent shots, but chose this one because the subject looks like she’s looking straight at me while I’m taking her photo. Which is sort of true, but not quite because can’t have known  I was taking the photo since I was actually looking the other way as I took the shot 🙂

021 I might have been spotted resizedAnd today I walked out of the building at work, looked up and spotted these patterns on the façade of the building, directly overhead. I’d never even noticed the arrows before, shows you what you notice when you actually bother noticing. And it saved me a walk around town trying to find another photo – job done straight away. I still can’t decide whether it would have been better to have more of it in focus, or whether I like the blur. Too late to change it now anyway.

022 arrows pointing resized

 

 

 

A transport theme for days 9 & 10

Yesterday I walked to the top of a multi-story car park round the corner from work to get some nice views of Manchester’s skyline. I wasn’t particularly inspired by anything but as I was on the 11th floor, I started looking down to see whether I could get an interesting or unusual view on something, rather than photographing a building.

I decided this close up view from above of two bike seats might make an interesting photo. Just as well I took it anyway, as I was moved on by a security guard shortly after.

010 bikes from above resized

I’ve added a bit of posterization and upped the contrast in post-processing.

Today I had a drive over to Wakefield to look at a new car, so I took this photo at the showroom. I decided to capture a reflection in the badge of this Renault – this isn’t the car I went to look at, but it caught the light and reflection well as I walked past it.

011 car reflections resized

Day 9 of 365

Day 9 was taken early this morning at 35 Dale Street. I liked the lighting on the building, and was also quite chuffed with myself for getting it taken so early on (before 7.30am). No editing except a slight crop – I’m trying to avoid doing much post-processing, partly out of necessity (broken laptop) and partly for speed and to really test myself.

009 35 Dale Street resized

Days 6, 7 & 8 of the 365 day photo project

I may look like I’m getting ahead of myself, posting up pictures from days 6-8 when I haven’t sorted out days 3-5 yet, but I’ll have to upload those another time. Days 3 and 4 are time-lapse photos and I haven’t managed to find a decent program to run them through, and the pics from day 5 are saved in RAW rather than JPEG and I have a problem with my laptop so can’t convert them…blah blah.

They’re done though, honest. And I need to buy a new laptop so I can do some proper editing and saving down from my memory card which is getting a bit full in the meantime. Preferably before my current laptop actually dies. (I’m considering doing the Mac thing. But I don’t know if I can really justify the price premium. It annoys me a bit, but I still want one. But I digress.)

Day 6 then is the big wheel which reappeared recently in Manchester, this time in Piccadilly Gardens, converted to black & white with a bit of added contrast.

006 Manchester big wheel resized

I think this daily photo thing is already helping me improve my eye – day 7 is a photo which was taken literally steps outside my office in Manchester. It’s a shot looking up at the building, but as I went to rotate it upside down and resize it to upload it here, I turned it on its side and really liked the effect. This photo also had the best colour in the sky of the ones I took – the others were a bit dull. Which reminds me, I need to buy a filter for my lens (as well as a laptop).

007 looking upAnd so for day 8, which was also taken steps away from my office in the Northern Quarter. I need to try not to end up with 300 photos of graffiti as that would be a bit too easy, and pretty boring.

008 Northern Quarter graffiti

I’d say so far so good; apart from the time-lapse issue, I’m fairly happy with the photos. Let’s see if I can keep it up!