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31 May 2012

frankly: the inbetween bits

This print, and everything else in this Etsy shop are AMAZING.

Exam periods always feel so stale, a halfway point where I'm sort of done with one thing but not quite started on the next. This time around I've only had the one exam, and its almost been worse - because I've only had one thing to concentrate on. Less stressful for sure, but I'm still keyed up. I start to feel guilty if I'm doing anything that isn't revision, and exhausted if I spend all of my time revising for just one exam. Does anyone else find this - that exam time is just plain weird?

I like to be doing things, even if thats only going to lectures and doing assignments. When I don't feel like I'm doing anything it gets me down a little bit, I feel like I'm 'wasting' time. I start to question everything in my life, why I'm here, what I'm doing, where it'll get me.

Initially this always seems negative - I trust my own judgement and I have faith in my own decisions. So, why question them? Previously, I've always ended up trying to kick myself out of these funks rather than taking some time to just sit and think. Lately, I've been keeping this quote in mind:

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like - Lao Tzu


This weekend while I was home, I made sure to take some time off and just be. Its actually pretty fascinating to observe your own mind, to let thoughts come and go without really hanging onto them. I wrote lists of dreams, started making plans and had really long conversations with my mum about pretty much everything. (Hi mum!) And I feel a million times better for it, suddenly this doesn't feel so much a 'stale' period, but an in-between period. Breathing space. The time that life gives you to get things figured out, work out what you want in life and what you don't. Discard things that are no longer necessary - be they objects, plans or half started projects. Simplify and get back on track. I'm trying to keep my 'word' for 2012 in mind, and some of the stuff that I'm working on is scary. Big scary. I'm-completely-out-of-my-depth scary. Really good scary. I'm excited.

I'm starting the think that maybe these 'in-between' times are the most important times of all.

Now I'm curious, does anyone else get this? How do you deal with it?

This is part of Frankly: a series where I write about stuff that I think + don't really proofread. You can find other Frankly posts here






29 May 2012

this weekend + some thoughts


1. The train home this morning, lots of new music// 2. My favourite train station// 3. Rainbow pens, a revision essential// 4. Work on the move// 5. A stunning sunset as I came up to bed// 6. The moon + sunset on a late evening wander with Zak

This weekend has been an odd one, busy and relaxing at the same time. I've been making the most of my early-rising tendancies to get my revision mostly done with in the mornings. I love that by 11am I can have done 4/5 hours but still have the rest of the day to myself. I took the bulk of my stuff home for the summer so things are feeling a little bit empty in my room here now (and I didn't plan for nice weather so have kept all my winter stuff...oops!). At first it seemed a bit silly going home the weekend before I go home for the summer but its meant that I can get all my stuff home... and I needed it. Something about going home is just good for me, probably the combination of being with family and getting away from the city.

I haven't been around here much, not really feeling like much is going on at the moment. Exams are always such a strange 'in between' period. Not quite done with one thing but not really able to get started on the next. I only have the only exam this time around (luckily!) but I'm a little bit stressed about it. Not helped by the fact that I collected the results from the coursework today and didn't really get the results I was aiming for. Sometimes I think I just need to remind myself that sometimes its ok to not do as well, and to be less hard on myself when I make a mistake.

I've left my 'big' camera at home for the few days that I'm back here, so I've been making an effort to actually use the camera on my phone. I can be quite hard on phone pictures 'cos they rarely live up to the quality that I'm used to from my SLR, but I'm starting to really appreciate being able to capture the little things. I just wish my version of Android was instagram compatible! Ah well... Hope that everythings going well for all of you who are sitting exams and the moment, and that life is good for those of you who aren't.

25 May 2012

friday favourites #15



Wednesday it was like, proper summer. So we went and played at the park because thats what grown up kids do. I took far too many pictures of my feet on the swings and 2/3 of us injured ourselves. All good fun!

21 May 2012

happy birthday blog

Dear Blog,
I can't believe you're already a year old, sometimes its a bit scary how quickly time passes. Although, having said that, it seems like ages ago I sat in my bedroom in halls and typed out that first post. Looking back is a strange combination of "did I really write that?!" and "actually, this years been really good for me", but I love that you've given me the ability to look back like that. I've got some amazing things planned for the next year & I'm looking forward to keeping track of them all with you

Remember where we started?

Dear Blog Friends,
You know who you are. You're the recievers of weird emails and random pictures. The kind words of support and encouragement right when I need them. You may be half a world away, I may not know what your voice sounds like and we may never meet, but I am forever grateful for your friendship.

Dear Blogland,
Thankyou for being one of the most motivational and inspiration places that I've ever been. Thankyou for giving me back my love of photography and teaching me how to code a blog layout (sort of!). Thankyou for reminding me that dreams should be scary and that nothing is really out of reach.

Dear Readers,
Thankyou for being here, for coming back time and time again and for taking the time to leave your thoughts. It still suprises me that people are genuinely interested in what I write. So thankyou.

Dear Lurkers,
You know who you are! I know you're there because blogger now shoves my pageviews in my face everytime I log on. Boo. So, because its the blogs birthday I'm making a special request for you to introduce yourselves - please? Leave a comment, email me or whatever - I'd really like to meet you!


20 May 2012

the botanical gardens & reading histograms


I mentioned on Friday that I took a walk to the Botanical gardens as a revision break earlier this week. It was exactly what I needed and me and my camera were quite happy wandering around for an hour or two. For some reason when I'm revising I have a tendancy to turn into a hermit, leaving the house only to go to the library or for biscuit/chocolate missions (healthy snacking - what?). I finished going through the pictures this weekend and these are my favourites.

I'm not usually a huge fan of photographing flowers - I never feel like they look very original, and although I'm not a 'proper' photographer I'm still trying to develop a personal photographic style. I don't really know what it is about flowers, maybe because its such a common thing to photograph, I don't know. Anyway, back to the point... I've been making a real effort recently to get to know my camera better and shoot everything in manual.  It takes a little more time and effort but I think its really worth it. This is the first time I've checked histograms as I've been shooting - I read an absolutely fantastic article about how to interpret them properly and its made the world of difference. I always check them in Photoshop if I do any post-processing but I've never really checked them in-camera before. Nothing is worse than getting an image home that looks great on the tiny camera screen and finding that the highlights are totally blown out. Well, obviously there are worst things - but thats sort of irrelevant. Conclusion? Histograms are really awesome.

In other news, I've booked tickets to go home this weekend. This is probably the longest I've ever gone without going home, and although it isn't really that long in the scheme of things - its been long enough for me! Also, my partner-in-adventure is home this weekend and we have some Spain planning to do! I'm looking forward to chats over tea with my mum, sea spray, fields and walks in the woods with my dog. Sometimes you just need to touch base with your roots, right?

18 May 2012

friday favourites #14


Wednesday I got my revision finished up early, so I wandered down to the Botanical gardens for a couple of hours. It was lovely to just take some time out in the fresh air and breathe easy for a few hours. I took a load of pictures and I haven't finished going through them all yet but so far this is definitely my favourite. The grass around this tree was absolutely covered in blossom petals, it was gorgeous. I am of the opinion that blossom trees should forever be in flower and the ground should always be covered in petal-confetti.

15 May 2012

currently...




studying:  like crazy! Its a bit weird but I kind of enjoy revising, this probably has something to do with my undying love for brightly coloured stationary. Sharpies, coloured pens, highlighers and post it notes are all utilised for revision purposes. I'm just happier if its colourful, okay?

listening to: the head and the heart//the civil wars//anything by ludovicio einaudi//lady antebellum//dawes [also, I like to listen to stuff when I study, any recommendations?]

smiling about: the sweetest emails from you guys, seriously, it makes my day! Who doesn't love email that isn't spam?!

super excited: about a trip I'm taking to Spain with one of my best friends. We decided to go somewhere, googled the heck out of the internet and booked it a week or so later. I can't wait, only a few weeks to go!!

really really hoping: that my passport comes in time for above trip because I am an idot who books a holiday with an expired passport. Please cross everything that can be crossed for me? Thanks...

slightly obsessed with: travel photography. I have a deadly serious case of wanderlust here people. It's bad. Really really bad.

loving: going through all my old photographs. I've discovered some absolute gems, and a ton that I obviously just dumped on my computer and forgot about. I think photoshop is going to get a serious workout over the nxt few months

missing: catching up on blogs. My bloglovin' is kinda bursting!

looking forward to: going home. I think this is probably the longest I've ever gone without seeing my mum, and that kinda sucks so... yeah, I'm looking forward to going home.

listing: everything I want to do over the summer. Hello bike rides and nights with wine.

11 May 2012

quiet times

from here but photographed by this guy


Its been pretty quiet around these parts over the last couple of days. I'm coming up to the end of term so I've got a final rush of work and revision, exams and then I'm done for the summer! Its weird to think I've only got just over a year left of my degree - its going too fast!

I know I usually post a picture on Friday but I've hardly picked my camera up this week, I've pretty much had the same views every day - the library and a computer screen! I think my camera will tag along with me today so we'll see what happens. Its hard to feel creatively inspired when my head is constantly thinking about coursework! I'm not complaining, summers just around the corner and its going to be a good one! (I've already decided!) This is the the final push, so I'm trying to knuckle down and get everything done as well as I possibly can.

That said, I've been trying to make sure I'm not spending all of my time working so I've made a really good start sorting through all my digital photo's. They're currently the most unorganised mess and its so hard to find anything! So I've been going back through them and sorting them, getting rid of anything thats a blurred mess and renaming them to something a bit more relevant than a number. Its so nice to go back through them, it makes me realise how much I miss having pictures printed. Once I'm done sorting I think a mass print order or something will probably be in order!

I find it interesting to go back over my 'photography' as well as through regular photos. There's a real change noticeable as I've started to develop my own style. I don't think I'm there yet, but I'm getting close. Even the way I edit pictures has really changed since I first started using photoshop - I just wish I'd kept the RAW files of those early shots! For some reason I used to delete them after I'd processed them, probably to save space but it was SUCH a bad idea!! I've already found a stack of shots that I'd completely forgotten about, so there's probably going to be a completely random mix of things popping up here in the future!

I've hardly looked at my blog comments/emails this week so if you're waiting to hear back from me then I promise I'll get in touch with you soon! Have a lovely weekend!

05 May 2012

april

01Apr2012_2775


April was the Easter holidays at home, spending time with my favourite people, taking pictures of flowers and breaking in new walking boots. Seeing family I haven't seen in a while and baking glittery cupcakes. Checking out the new cafe in town with friends and finding my favourite new chocolate milkshake. Mum's wedding dress coming back into the shop & spending hours writing invitations. A day spent in a shopping centre looking for bridesmaids shoes and then finding them the next day in a boutique on a back street. Meals in pubs with new friends and an amazing but exhausting field trip to Ireland. Breaking my kindle somewhere in the middle of the Irish sea and getting a new one 3 days after calling Amazon. Hours spent searching for a cheap holiday and finally finding the perfect deal. Sorting work experience for the summer and making calls about some big dreams.


02 May 2012

frankly: why blog?

In a couple of weeks, this little blog is going to be a year old. Which, when I stop to think about it is completely crazy, it doesn't seem like that long ago! I always find it a bit hard to explain to people exactly why I keep a blog. Its a place for me to showcase my photography, but then its not. Its a journal of sorts, but then its not. Its very easy for me to decide what exactly this isn't,  but defining what exactly it is -  well thats more challenging.

In order to answer the question of why exactly this blog is here, it's probably necessary to start at the beginning...

I started reading blogs when I was in a bit of a funk, I was in my first year of Uni, living in student accommodation and I was incredibly miserable. Me and my flatmates had polar opposite opinions about a lot of things, mostly about the length of time it was acceptable to leave dishes for. It seems trivial, but I'm not the sort of person who can cope with stacks of unwashed, mouldy plates everywhere! During the week it was generally ok, I could leave first thing in the morning and not come back 'till last thing at night. I cooked at M's flat to avoid the hazard area that was my kitchen, and things were fine. The weekends however, were not fun. I couldn't really afford to go home every week so I turned into a bit of a hermit. I started to question what I was doing at university, what I was acheiving and what it would lead to. I started to feel like I was a bit weird for not wanting to get drunk every night, like I was wasting my time at university because I wasn't out every night.

I didn't see blogging as the candy-coated world that some people accuse it of being. I saw it as a community of people who chose to see the amazing things in their everyday lives and keep a record of them. I discovered the happiness project, zenhabits and Gala's blog. I started this as a way to keep my own record of the good stuff that was happening in my life. The smaller stuff, the moments that perhaps wouldn't have stuck in my mind unless I made an effort to hold on to them. I try not to write about the bad stuff, I learn from it and I'll carry those lessons with me - but when I look back I want to remember the tiny little details that make my life amazing, not the stuff that brought me down.  I'm a much happier person than I was a year ago. I'm not going to attribute it all to starting a blog, because that would be daft, but it has had an impact on my life.

This blog isn't a secret. Most of the people in my life know about it, even if they don't read it. There's nothing on here that I'm embarrased of and I don't see why its something I should keep hidden. Some people don't understand it, I think they think its a bit of a waste of time - but I don't see it that way. I find it weird that if I was a gamer then that wouldn't be weird. If I decided to spend hours of my life killing pixel-people, completing imaginary missons or winning non-existant competitions then people understand that.Writing about things I care about, documenting my life and forming very real relationships with real people? Obviously thats crazy.

I'm not sure how many people feel the same way about this, and I know that some people will probably think its a bit daft. Whatever. To be entirely honest, I don't think you can understand how special this community is unless you're involved in it. Its a digital world full of beautiful, encouragaing, nurturing people who genuinely care. They do. Its awesome. The friendships I've formed with other bloggers are very real. They're different to the friendships I have with my offline friends, but they don't mean any less to me. It makes me laugh a little bit when people say you can't make friends on the internet. Why not? People get married and start families after meeting on the internet!

So, I think what I'm trying to say here, is that I blog because I enjoy it. It provides an outlet for thoughts, memories and the stuff I produce with my camera. It lets me meet people I would never otherwise have met. It gives me something to do in the evenings that isn't mindlessly watching tv.
 I pretty much just really like it.



This is part of Frankly: a series where I write about stuff that I think. You can find other Frankly posts here

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