Photography – hints and tips…

coffee white cups - littlegreenshed blog

Before I met Dan I had very little interest in photography.  Whilst travelling I took a film camera (back then there was no such thing as digital – OLD!), so the process of taking photos and sending them off to be developed wasn’t a novelty, more of an annoyance.  Lots of drunken photographs and things taken with bad angles and out of focus.

At school, Dan studied photography A level, travelled to New York to shoot Time Square and Central Park. He introduced me to his pride and joy an old, film, Canon AE-1 program camera,  That was it, the photography bug bit, hard.

Now, I am a photography geek.  I see everything through a lens, and feel incredibly jittery if I don’t have my camera or phone with me at all times.   Phoneography (yes it is a word) is a new phenomenon.  As phones have developed, the camera on the phone has become increasingly more advanced.  Personally, I know that if I can’t get the shot with my Nikon D3200, I can rely on my Samsung S6 to take a great shot instead, dare I say it, it’s sometimes much better!

There is a saying ‘the best camera for the job is the one you have on you’  and this is true. Don’t get too hung up on whether a shot was taken with a DSLR or just your old phone – just take the shot!

For example, the image above was taken at The Pig near Bath.  Dan and I sat in the window of the lounge after eating a great meal, when the coffee arrived.  Instantly the photograph was laid out in front of me.  As the lounge at The Pig was packed with other people relaxing by the fire I felt uncomfortable clicking away with my DSLR, so instead I took this with my Samsung phone.

The composition, the light, tone and colours have all come together to make this image one of my most recent favourites.

Lou Archell Littlegreenshed Tulips


I edit everything in VSCO – everything.  All images on Instagram, twitter, facebook and this blog are edited with it,  If you don’t use this brilliant app, then why on earth not?  To me it’s the best photo editing tool out there.  You can download it for free on your phone or tablet.

In VSCO, I first of all play with the light, up or down the exposure.  Take out a little of the colour and turn down the saturation.  I prefer a more muted feed, without overly bright colours.  True blacks and whites.  Then I sharpen, only a little, touch the contrast up a nudge and then apply a filter.

Filters – you either love them or hate them.  For me I love ones that look very natural, that bring out subtle highlights to the image.  The VSCO filters I use time and time again are A5, A6 and C4. But I am sure you will have your favourite and will find something that really speaks to you.

So there, a little insight into my love of photography and how to achieve these images.  If you are looking for more advice on cameras, editing and specialist photography tools then I suggest you go to The Photography Show at the NEC in March.  Four days of inspiring talks, workshops and of course the experts will be on hand to help you with your photographic queries.

The Photography Show are currently running a little blogger competition, to win an OLYMPUS PEN E-PL7!  Cor it is every blogger’s dream to own one.  Techie bit: – it’s premium design and slim silhouette means it not only looks stylish but is perfect for taking photos on the go.  With 12 Art Filters, 7 Art Effects, tillable LCD and built-in WiFi, taking and sharing creative shots has never been so simple. The winner will be able to choose from black or silver.

To win your Olympus PEN E-PL7 you will need to share a day in your life  Simply submit up to 4 photos that capture a day in the life of you, the blogger. The competition will cover the following four categories (Travel, Food, Fashion and Lifestyle) and your entry can be as creative and abstract as you like!

Also the overall winner and all shortlisted entries will get the following:

  • 2 complimentary show entry tickets
  • Entry to the blogging related seminars
  • Images displayed in one of the galleries at the show
  • Promotion on our Facebook and Twitter channels to audiences of thousands
  • Images featured on our Instagram takeover (one day in February) and on a Blogger’s Day in the Life Pinterest board

Cool eh?  More details can be found on The Photography Show’s website.  Entries close on 12th February.

In other news!  I will be taking over The Photography Shows instagram feed later today!  Head over to Instagram and wish me luck!

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