JAZZebell_ in Queens Park

For a fair while I’ve wanted a 20mm lens on my Nikon for shooting clubs as I currently exclusively shoot 24mm.

It turned out getting an actual 20mm for my Nikon was going to cost an absolute ton, and I resent paying that much for something I’d mostly only be using on drunk people anyway so instead I opted for a Sigma 10-20mm lens. The snag being that it ain’t a full frame lens, but as it didn’t cost nearly as much as my other options I went for it.

While it might not be a dedicated 20mm lens, it’s technically wider than what I already had and when mostly zoomed out it creates a pretty neat vignette and distorts in a way which reminds me of photos of early 90’s grunge bands.

So I took it out and tested it out with Jazz because a new lens is always a good excuse to get out and take some photos.

It’s always a little unnerving using a new focal length, and it’s going to take a while to get used to it. That said, I’m happy with a whole bunch of the photos we took and tonight I’m away shooting with it in the club for the first time so I’ll undoubtedly post something tomorrow too if my photos aren’t utter garbage.

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A night off… so, Cathouse?

Plans I made last night went tits up so I headed to the casino, made a little money, and then headed to Catty for a night out as Stephen was in taking photos.

Jazz had a couple of pals visiting from England and also headed out. We all kept bumping into each other throughout the night. I also kept running into my pal Emily who was out with a couple of pals and I haven’t seen her in way too long. That’s what I love about Catty, familiar faces appear everywhere.

The club is daaaark, and I was shooting without a flash. As a result, the focus didn’t hit 100% of the time. All photos were at 3200 iso (and still mostly pushed 4 stops), around 1/60th, shooting wide open at f2 giving my my new xf35mmf2 lens a serious work out.

I’ve said it before a million times, but the Fuji jpegs are stunning. I feel like this could wind up some tech-snobs, but even with the grain simulation turned off, the noise structure on the jpegs is beautiful. Even if you don’t agree, and the only negative thing you can comment on is a photo being ‘too noisy’ then most of the time it’s not even a comment worth voicing.

Anyway, enough of that. I’m paying the price of two consecutive nights out right now and I need to go clean the vomit outta my sink, and also watch House.

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The Hunters.

I was originally planning on heading back to Glasgow on Wednesday, but Iain informed me of Jeanna’s birthday being on the Thursday and that she wanted to go to Go Ape. As I couldn’t afford the full return journey again so soon, I opted to stay a few extra nights because I wanted to throw myself out of trees and also didn’t want to miss his surprise proposal to Jeanna on the evening that he’d been planning online in a secret group chat for what feels like forever.

We arrived and all signed the necessary forms to clear Go Ape in the event of our deaths and headed through training.

I was taking around a little palm-sized video camera that I looped around my neck, but opted to leave my camera in the capable hands of Grace, as she came along to walk around and watch us from below.

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I legit want to wear this harness everywhere I go – I felt prepared for anything.

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Headland Festival

I jumped on an early train from Glasgow after 2.5 hours sleep and headed to Scarborough as a few pals were kicking about for the first Headland Festival just up the coast and I wanted to get involved.

Check out the view from the camp.

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I’m not really one for festivals, but these sorts with pals are manageable enough for me to enjoy and it’s important to support happenings in yer local area. Turns out I enjoyed it a little too much though and ended up in a tent off my nut earlier than I would have liked.

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At some point I decided I should probably try and head home to recover and ended up in a field in the dead of night throwing up next to a horse that I didn’t know was there. I have a life long dislike of horses and my body is useless at throwing up, so the combination was pretty sobering.

The ride home was rough. I blame the sun and exhaustion. Alcohol definitely had no play in this…

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The following photos are in no particular order and are all over the place and a bit shitty but I ended up not taking nearly as many as I had wanted anyway, but the Festival was rad and it was great to hang out with pals for the relatively short time that I managed to spend there.

Roll on next year! Continue reading “Headland Festival”

Exploring St Peter’s Seminary with Amy

The end of August is rapidly approaching and I’m only just getting round to throwing up some photos from the end of May when I headed to Cardross with Amy to check out the abandoned St. Peter’s Seminary.

We jumped off the train and took a short walk up to it. The area was fenced off, but we got past that no problem. As we got nearer, we noticed a security presence. We literally took shelter in a bush and it was getting all cartoon-like until the man jumped in his car and drove off. We figured if he was on his lunch he’d be about an hour so risked it and just went ahead anyway.

It’s pretty miserable to think that buildings like this are just being left unused. Like, they look good in their abandoned state and that’s all fine and well for photos like this, but it really could be so much more. This seminary is one of only 42 post-war buildings in Scotland listed as Category A – The highest level of protection for a building of “special architectural or historic interest”.

I hate seeing buildings like this going forgotten.

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Rooftop with JAZZebell_

Sunday was a little disaster in that Jazz was supposed to be going on tour, and I was supposed to be elsewhere myself but on Saturday night I drunkenly misplaced the key for the flat while sorting my stuff out at the gig, meaning we both ended up crashing at Stephens and Jazz had no way to collect her stuff. Shit.

The venue didn’t open early, and because Jazz mostly hitchhikes places she didn’t get an early enough start.

This didn’t mean we weren’t productive with our time, though.

We had to wait for the venue to open to get my key back so we grabbed some food in town while we waited and then headed onto TKMaxx’s rooftop for an impromptu shoot since I had everything on me from the night before.

I don’t often use flash when shooting other than my party photos. I find it a hassle, and generally just prefer the simplicity of only carrying around a camera. That said, I don’t feel like I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone in a long while and the flash I’ve got for the X-Pro2 is new so I wanted to try it out.

I opted for the same flash-facing-forward no bullshit approach as I do with my party photos, except that I didn’t let the shutter trail. I’m surprised at how much I like some of these photos, and while I doubt I’ll be shooting flash with any real regularity, I’m going to make a conscious effort to not shy away from it in future.

When I got home I thought I’d only taken a few photos but when I’d finished editing there was just shy of 50. Not bad. There’s a fair few of them below, and I’ll be uploading an extra 25 to a gallery on my private blog in the coming days.

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Birthday Cake with JAZZebell_

I have an insane backlog of blogs to write and photos to share and today I was actually going to post something from that, but Jazz had other plans and I’m not prepared to start ignoring a pal who wants to get naked and have me take photos.

It was Jazz’s birthday recently. I should be able to be more specific but she’s been excited for her birthday and shouting about it for the past two months and actually celebrating it the past 4 days so I don’t know what’s even real anymore. I think this shoot marks the end of it, and I think I kinda want a party myself to celebrate that it’s all over.

Anyway, I’ve just sat and sorted through the photos right now as Jazz is currently tidying up the living room. There’s 30 or so here, and later today (maybe tomorrow) I’ll be posting another 70 to my private blog that you can access here for $7.50.

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