Hi guys! I’m always interested to know what kind of photo equipment people use for their photos – mostly the lens, as I think that’s where all the magic really happens.
For me my photography totally changed when I was able to use this set up, and it was a fantastic investment. I’ve slowly built up to this equipment over a few years.
My most used set up…
Camera: Canon EOS 6D
Lens: SIGMA Art 35mm f1.4
Computer: 21″ iMac and 13″ Macbook Pro
Software: Adobe Lightroom Classic & Adobe Photoshop CC
You can see some examples of using only this set up here:
What About The Future?
Honestly? I’m up for experimenting with pretty much anything to see what can be made with it. In general I do prefer shooting with prime lenses (ones that don’t zoom!) because it adds a) a visual consistency through your work and b) absolutely gorgeous results and depth of field (my favourite). I don’t have the budget to expand soon, but I would love to try:
85mm f1.4 (Sigma or Canon)
50mm f1.4 (Sigma or Canon)
and perhaps have a go with a…
Canon 5d Mk4
Sony Mirrorless cameras!
I’m always interested in finding out what people use and why they love it.
What’s your favourite camera set up?
What would you like to try next?
Jasmine Aurora x
When was the last time you visited a theme park? I have to admit, I’ve been around two times in my life. Rollercoaster rides are really not my thing, but having fun with friends and seeing interesting animals are. I was also rather excited about all those little things too – the stalls where you win big fluffy toys, the decorations, the music and the atmosphere – the smell of candy floss and sugar. Sign me up. Therefore, when Jack and I were invited along with friends to Chessington World of Adventures, I was really looking forward to going.
The friends we went with live quite far away from us, so this was one of the rare occasions we were able to be in the same place at the same time and we wanted to make the most of it.
When you meet distant friends you have to go back to your 12 year old selves and all put your foot in the middle for a photo. The difference being that now I have a pretty awesome camera and actually this image can be a really cool character study and a way to see the uniqueness of all out friends.
It was a bit of a weird experience going back to Chessington as last time I was there I was taken out in an ambulance (a story for another day). The day hot and warm but thankfully cloudy too with a breeze running through to take the edge off too. We pulled up and parked in the field and a feeling of happy excitement was in the air as we headed towards the park entrance and the smell of freshly made sugared doughnuts wafted over to us.
As you walk around the park people are flying over head, screaming from swirling adrenaline. It’s a bit like you’ve walked into a magical land where things are wild and wonderful – like anything can happen. I can imagine Disneyland is something similar on a much bigger scale, I’d love to go there one day.
Walking around in a group gave me a feeling of belonging – these people where so lovely and welcoming to me that I immediately comfortable with all of them.
The first ride we visited was – Tiger’s Rock. It’s a log flume water ride and I have to say, it looked pretty awesome. A few of us stayed with the bags while the other’s queued to go on and we watched the other boats crashing into the water, the air smelling of swimming pools and the odd stray splash that might come your way. I ended up getting wet just sitting on the side lines from a stray water cannon.
While we where waiting, we happened to be just in time for the talk about – the tigers. My view on animals in captivity and zoos is very mixed. I don’t like animals in cages, and I would much prefer them to be out in the the wild and not just here for our entertainment. However, If the animal is kept in a great enclosure, is being rehabilitated, happy and healthy, and used for the purposes of education and not just as entertainment then I’m okay with the animal in a cage. I do not know on the status of the tigers in this park, but I will say that the tigers had a large enclosure and seemed to be happy and relaxed.
It was amazing to be so close to these amazing creatures. At some points they were maybe only a metre away from me. I thought I would find them beautiful and a bit overwhelming – and I did, but I also was quite scared of them too. At the time I thought I was being a bit silly, but thinking about it – was I really?! Tiger’s are amazing predators and carnivores so actually, it’s quite normal to have a bit of fear around them. They are huge and muscular and powerful creatures.
As our friends went on the ride we hired out a water cannon to give them an extra blast as they came down the water slide. This little girl got a little bit too happy with it and soaked me by aiming it at the pillar behind me.
The rest of the day was mostly spent walking around the park and soaking in all that it had to offer. We visited a few rides, got some food, played on some stalls. Having not been to one of the parks for at least ten or more years, I can totally understand now why some people come down for a couple of days or the weekend because there is just so much to experience – much more that we could in the few hours we where there that day.
While most of the guys went on a ride, Arthur took me to see the sea lions and oh man they are so sweet. They where playing up to the people looking at them through the glass, I think they really liked the attention and played up to it.
When I was younger, I used to tell people I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. Mostly this was because I really loved dolphins and thought this meant I could swim with them all the time, but also because I thought everything under the sea was really interesting. The Sea Life centre on London south bank is a fascinating place, and in Chessington they have a sort mini version from the same people. It’s got the same moody blue lighting and a sense of being part of the another world. *sings*
There was one part of the Sea Life part that made me stop in my tracks. The whole aquarium was full of life and colour and movement but there was this one tank in the section of the Amazon rainforest where there was this one particular tank. In this tank, there where some pretty intimidating looking and fairly large fish that where just completely still. They where not moving at all, hanging in the clear water and where so unnerving to watch. Jack then pointed out that these where in fact Piranhas and so I casually walked away from them because they were freaking me out just a tad. They are amazing creatures, but I’d rather not be that close to them.
There were parts of the aquarium that where just absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been wanting to photograph in the London Sea Life centre for quite a while now, and some of these photos have made me want to do that even more than before. I hope that at some point this year I will be able to go down and create a proper photo series there.
Under the sea is like an amazing alien planet. It’s so different, but it seems like time flows differently somehow. It’s intense but calming and fantastic all at the same time.
Standing somewhere where the whole point of the park is to inspire and smile and have a brilliant time is a great mood lifter. I may not like rides. I may be scared when I see a lion. I may get anxious when I am away from people I know for a while. But it’s great to feel loved, included and part of something bigger.
Thank you guys, for making my day so happy!
On this blog I am now going to post something every Sunday – perhaps something during the week too, but a Sunday morning at 9:00am is now going to be my regular posting time and I’d love to connect with anyone reading or perhaps some other people that blog too.
If you would like to know more about Chessington World of Adventures, here is their website.
Please feel invited to follow me on twitter or instagram too, and I will see you soon.
Thanks for reading!
Jasmine Aurora x
Earlier on this year I was wandering around the Tate Modern looking for new inspiration. I have to say, out of anywhere I’ve been – the Tate is pretty much the perfect place to be inspired to start a new project. As well as all the wonderful art, my favourite part of the Tate Modern is probably – the book shop downstairs. Oh. Man. I could (and did) spend hours in there browsing the different collections of books. If I could, I would visit every day and buy more and more and MORE.
In the end I came away with a book called ‘The Photographer’s Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas’ – filled with ideas of small projects to widen your horizons, inspire you creatively and push yourself to try new things in photography. It seemed the perfect way to experiment which was exactly what I wanted.
And then… I forgot about it, and life got in the way a little bit. But last week on facebook, someone posted about buying this and I thought *hang on, I have this, right?* and there I was, excited to try things all over again. I want this blog to be a bit more experimental as well as showing the regular kind of portrait and documentary work I usually do, to show the process of learning photography as well the final results.
And so, here’s the first assignment I attempted –
by Anna Schechter on page 300
This assignments involves taking fifteen minutes to scroll through your phone and choose 5 – 10 images that where never intended to be connected but could make a body of work.
The series I created was small moments I had captured on my phone this year which bought me joy, that I photographed wanted to remember but ultimately they sat on my phone doing nothing. These days we take so many photos and they get lost in the digital void, but these are the little moments that ground me.
If you’re interested in buying the book, you can get it on amazon here.
I really enjoyed trying something new, and I’m hoping to slowly work my way through the book and post about it here.
I hope you are having a great day, see you on Instagram!
Hey guys! It’s great to be back blogging again. How are you?
Last week I turned 25 years old, and it seems like a nice round number to have a look back at the things I’ve done in the past. It’s so easy to get caught up in life and forget all the things you have accomplished in the past – so I invite you to do the same and take a while to think about your positive achievements from the small to the large.
1. Leaving school with good GCSE’s and A Levels
2. Finishing my BA Honours degree at University for the Creative Arts
3. Moving out of home
4. Discovering gratitude and being thankful.
5. Learning how to do laundry, and look after a home.
6. Meeting Jack, getting engaged and working on us.
7. Learning about Anxiety, myself, and going to therapy.
8. Going to MCM Comic Con!
9. Finding kindness in small things and the big.
10. Becoming a professional photographer and being a freelancer.
11. Leaving a job I hated
12. Friendships – both recent and lifelong
13. Working on a film set – I can’t wait to do more!
14. Published in Photography Magazines – Starburst Magazine, Dear Photographer, Practical Photography etc.
15. Living alone in my first year of uni
16. Holidaying with Friends at Center Parcs
17. Seeing lots of theatre – my personal favourites have been Wicked and The Addam’s Family Musical
18. Made Good friends Online
19. Completed A Pokemon Game
20. Going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour
21. Learning and creating photography – both analogue and digital
22. Dying my hair blue.
23. Loving nature and animals
24. Helping in my old primary school
25. Creating Jasmine Aurora
Comment below something you have accomplished, no matter how big or small.
As someone who deals with various mental health issues including anxiety and depression, every now and again I make it my priority to have a date with myself; aka, a Self Care Day.
Finding the time for me to do this is rarely the issue, but actually taking a break and doing it seems to be the difficult part. It’s the same with most things that are good for you, isn’t it?
Anyway, I’m trying to do this once a week while I recover from various anxieties – taking a whole day to chill out and ignore work for a while. Some days it’s difficult, others it’s a total blessing. But always necessary and I never regret it.
If you read my last post you’ll know that I journal a lot anyway, but on self care days I make it a priority to get everything that’s in my head down on the paper. This can be in the form of a ‘Today I feel’ kind of paragraph, or I personally find it really helpful to do a spider diagram with short bullet points so that I don’t miss anything in my fast moving mind. Whatever is floating around get’s written down or drawn.
Ah, here it is. The thing I know that is so good for me, and so helpful, and yet it I put it off so often. On a self care day I try and do 10 minutes of meditation at least once. Hopefully more. Reconnect and check in.
Tidy Your Space + De-clutter
I cannot work properly if the space around me is in chaos. Putting things away when they belong, doing a bit of cleaning, or even decluttering your wardrobe makes a big difference to how I feel mentally. If my space is tidy then often so is my mind. These kind of things often get put the side on busy days or bad mental health days so take some time to make your space super comfortable to be in.
Similar to the above – get the job off your mind and get a fresh smelling wardrobe and home all at the same time. Ahhhhh it’s done and it feels great.
Podcasts, Reading + Music
I like to lose myself in something, to tune out for a bit. The great thing about podcasts and reading though is that it doesn’t involve a screen and hopefully the the temptation to just check twitter or work emails just wont be there.
That yoga you’ve been putting off? You’ve got the whole day ahead of you to relax and work on you so roll out the mat. Whatever exercise you like doing, work it into your Self Care Day. I like getting outside too, even if it’s just a potter into town.
Shower, Baths + General Pampering
Getting clean is such a good feeling and I always feel so fresh and ready to take on the world a bit more after a good shower. Use the fancy soap and the expensive face mask. Paint your nails. Pluck your eyebrows; do whatever makes you happy with how you look and feel that you generally don’t have the time to do.
You can do all of the above or just hand pick a few that work for you – the important thing is you take the time every now and again to focus on you.
What else would you add to your self care day?