5 Accessories Under $30 That’ll Up Your Photography Game

Monopod
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Great for mixing up the angles and getting to those hard to reach places.  

Colour Filters 

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A brilliant way to make landscape photography more interesting and a bit of fun to use. You can use in front of the lens of flash, a great technique to try when shooting double exposures.

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Camera 

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I got this second hand Sony camera off ebay for £19.80. The viewfinder is broken but unlike my Sony A7RII I can throw this camera around and experiment without having to worry about breaking it.

Remote Shutter 
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Nowadays these come in different forms. You can get manual/digital shutters and even apps. If you’re shooting self portraits this is a great way to have more control in when and how many images you shoot. And if you’re into moving image, remote shutters provide another option to create stop motion or time lapses without having to keep your finger on the shutter.

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Mirror 

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If you enjoy shooting portraits in or out the studio a mirror can be a useful tool and make the viewer look twice. If your in a creative rut a mirror can provide a great way to start approaching your images differently.

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Utilising Artificial Light in Night Photography

Aside from my tasks I undertake as part of my Masters degree I like to keep up with personal projects. This week I set out to photograph low light portraits both inside and out. I have found shooting personal projects keeps me motivated.

For this set of images I was shooting on my Sony A7RII and cracked the ISO up to make up for the lack of natural light..
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I sat the model near the window so I could use the light coming in from the street

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When I was outside I was always looking for artificial like which I could utilise such as the blue lights of the ambulance, park lights and street lamps.

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Also exactly two years ago today I graduated! Its been a crazy two years with lots of photography ups and downs but just scrolling through my blog I can see how my photography has developed. It’s exciting to think about what I might be creating this time next year..

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Spending 3 Days on Brighton Pier

For my latest masters assignments I had to pick one place to photograph. The aim was to capture the feel of the place. I chose Brighton Pier spending 3 days trying to capture the atmosphere. I went into the shoot knowing I wanted to photograph the rides, people and landscape.

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Photographing 100,000 People!

Two weeks ago, on my way to visit my grandparents I got given a leaflet advertising the ‘Peoples March’, a demonstration against Brexit, in Central London on the 23rd June. I am always on the look out for new photography opportunities and as I was already heading up to Birmingham to catch up with some university friends this proved the perfect pitstop.

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I arrived at the meeting place half an hour before the start, there was an air of both excitement and confusion among the people gathering to make their voice heard. It was clear the amount of people far exceeded expectations at over 100,000 and many had no idea where the march actually started..

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Through sheer luck and determination (and no logic) I ended up at the front of the march along with all the tv cameras and political figures.

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It was a purely peaceful protest with samba bands, face painting and people singing. With so much going on it was hard to know where to look let alone photograph. I aimed to capture a mixture of people along with incorporating the backdrop of Central London.

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The light was extremely bright so I used a ND filter and focused on shooting with the sun behind me.  If you want to see more images from the protest check out my latest Instagram story @madisonbeachphotos.

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And if you’re looking for some travel inspiration check out Emily’s blog. Emily is one of my closest friends; both my roommate in Bangladesh and travel buddy in Eastern Europe and has just moved to Australia! A great travel writer and even better friend, head over to her new blog and give it some support! 

Visiting Camden Market

As a street photographer I have a few favourite spots around London; busy places with interesting characters (and good food is always a plus!). Camden market ticks all these boxes so with an hour before I needed to be at a meeting in central London I hopped on a tube for 10 minutes and explored Camden.

 

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Despite being a week day, Camden was packed with tourists, businessman and market traders.

There is almost too much choice when it comes to food. There are hot food stalls including pizza, Indian and Chinese, but there are also more street food-type options such as burritos and burgers.

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Of course you can avoid the British art of queuing and save yourself some money by bringing a packed lunch.

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I would definitely recommend a packed lunch if your staying in London for a few days and on a budget. As delicious as most of the food is- it’s not cheap. Camden also has a river running through the market, it acts as a great picnic spot.

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If you want to check out Camden I would also recommend heading north and walking to Primrose hill, after a sweaty walk up the steep hill you can see my favourite view across the London skyline..

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Lisbon Travel Diary: Thunderstorms & Rainbows

A fully packed day here in Lisbon started with a trip to one of the biggest shopping malls in Europe. I don’t normally factor in time for shopping when I’m travelling or visiting a new city but with us both needing new shoes (and an umbrella) it was a much needed first stop of the day.

After spending way too long in the maze-like shopping mall we dropped our new shoes of at the hotel and went exploring. We chose to explore the Alfama neighbourhood, home of the castle and many cathedrals.

Despite the erratic weather we had a great time winding in and out the lanes and keeping warm in the pastry shops. The area is also famed for its graffiti. Whether you like it or not it, the graffiti here adds colour to the streets and the majority is very creative (with a few exceptions of course). The only downside of the area is the entry fee to the castle- you can’t even see the grounds or view without paying a relatively expensive admission fee.

Next up-food. Both a travel magazine and our hotel receptionist recommended the Time Out market. A short walk from the main square along the river you arrive at the grand entrance of the market. Once you go through the doors you are faced with what feels like a hundred potential food options, with kiosks lining the four walls of the indoor market.

Long, communal tables fill the middle of the modern market. It was so busy it was hard to find a seat, but everyone was very friendly and happily partook in a Tetris-like game in order to fit everyone in.

Most food was fish or meat based- you’d be hard pressed to find many vegetarian options. I opted for a very tasty beef burger and was able to watch the filming of a Korean food program, it was extremely humorous watching the presenters and full crew trying to manoeuvre their way through the crowds against a time limit.

After filling up and soaking in the atmosphere we headed back through the streets of the capital back to the hotel. Lisbon is a beautiful, very walkable city but there are a lot of hills so if you visit, get ready to have aching legs at the end of the day.

Once again Lisbon has lived up to expectations and recommendations- despite having to dodge the rain for most of the day. Tomorrow we are taking part in a walking tour then will be exploring different neighbourhoods and eating even more food!

Lisbon Travel Diary: Touching Down

One lost boarding pass, a dropped phone and a two hour delay later we were out of Gatwick and finally on a plane flying to Lisbon.

We landed at 2.30pm and after a brief walk found ourselves on the metro. The station was incredibly grand and decorated with black and white murals.

It’s a relatively short journey from the airport to the centre of town (30 mins) and we soon arrived at the metro stop nearest our hotel. As we clambered up the stairs with our cases out the station we came to a stunning view; statue’s and a beautiful square in one direction and the sun shining on a winding river the other.

After taking too many photos we checked into our hotel. We’re not normally ones to complain but the room we were given in this highly-recommend hotel was very dark, claustrophobic and had an odd bathroom-you could see through from the bed..

But the staff were extremely helpful and moved us into another room which has both natural light and a bathroom with an actual door. So after quickly unpacking into our new room we went to explore.

We didn’t have much time left before the sun set so we just wandered around the local area, got some dinner and headed for an early night after having to get up at an inhumane hour for a delayed flight.

My first impressions of Lisbon are as good as they could be; pastry shops everywhere, trams and a beautiful riverside walk. I am really looking forward to getting to know this city and it’s history more in the next few days.