Bad At Sports

Musings on crafts, cooking, travel and books…but not a bat or ball in sight

2011 in photos January 20, 2012

Filed under: photography — badatsports @ 12:17 am

I decided that a nice way to commemorate a roller-coaster of a year would be in pictures. I dully flicked through my online photo albums and felt uninspired. Yes, there were some very happy times (weddings and hen -dos  of some of my best friends, trips to Edinburgh and Budapest, and family visits to name a few) but it seemed a bit flat somehow. So I went through my random, often drunken, often blurry (often drunken and blurry) phone photos. In no particular order:

From left to right:

1. I got accustomed to seeing my husband on TV and reading about him in the press. The Waitrose magazine was not the most renowned publication he was featured in, but it is the one I have a photo of.

2. A rather dark photo of Jaime’s Big Feastival that I went to with Tim in summer. I got all nostalgic when Athlete played.

3. Watching Scott Pilgrim vs. The World at Somerset House. Lovely atmosphere and brill film for a closeted geek.

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BBC Birmingham Good Food show 2011 July 12, 2011

Filed under: food,photography — badatsports @ 10:17 pm
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I have been very lax at keep this blog updated, and I fully admit that I have been spurred onto writing this entry tonight (an hour before bedtime) because my  blog worthy foodie adventures are starting to pile up unrecorded. I could blame work, but the truth is since I last entered the blogosphere I have watched 3 seasons of Fringe and spent countless hours aimlessly trawling through my Twitter feed. I have planned to write many a time, but it’s so easy to be lured away by a pint outside on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon.

My friend Matt said that if you are a writer you always find time to write (ironically he said this on the aforementioned sunny Sunday), so I am probably not a writer. This doesn’t bother me too much. Writing can join the ever-increasing pile of discarded hobbies that grows year on year – from the short-lived violin playing days of my childhood (didn’t like my new teacher so quit), to running and knitting (which I haven’t done for months but still list as interests to make me look well-rounded).

One thing that I never lose interest in however – is eating. A love of food has been ever-present in my life. A good friend Tanya pointed out that all of my boyfriends have loved to cook –  as if this was a coincidence, not a well thought out life choice. And as fate would have it, I ended up married to a MasterChef. My stomach always looks out for me.

One of the perks of being Tim’s wife is that I got to go to the BBC Birmingham Good Food Show in mid June. In 2009 they combined with MasterChef and now do cook offs between past champions, cook schools (where participants can cook along with John, or a previous contestant) and even a mini MasterChef competiton judged by John and Greg with audience members.

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Tales of my new Canon 350D: glass and LCDs March 5, 2011

Filed under: photography — badatsports @ 9:50 pm

The other day I had forgotten to bring a book to work, and the friend I was meeting to go to our inaugural book club meeting was late (we discussed Revolutionary Road and all felt very intellectual. It was great). I found myself in W H Smiths looking for a magazine to pass the time and realised I am too old or too young for most women’s lifestyle publications. I’m old enough to know what style of swim suit is most flattering on me for the upcoming holiday season and I have the “smokey eye” effect as pat as I ever will, but I’m too young to care about wainscotting or the ten best walk in showers (that’s an actual article if you’re interested)

Then my eye alighted on Digital SLR Photography magazine, and I decided to give it a whirl. Having neglected my shiny new camera for a while, I decided to try out one of their creative projects. The set up was simple enough, and as I was feeling rather lazy I was delighted to find that I neither had to leave my house or prepare anything special.

All I had to do was find a pretty background on my computer, a wine glass, set my camera to aperture priority mode (with an aperture of f/8, and ISO of 800) and snap away. With the aperture t f/8, even though my hands were shaking all over the place the image still came out fairly sharp.

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Snappy snaps – tales of my new Canon 350D January 31, 2011

Filed under: photography — badatsports @ 9:59 pm
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I’ve been interested in photography for a while, and up until now my old Canon Powershot A640 served me well. It documented most of my three years living in Japan, my honeymoon in Hawaii and many other magical moments in between. However I have always encountered severe camera envy, especially when browsing Flickr or seeing gorgeous amateur wedding photography…and I have now made the leap into SLR ownership. My friend was selling a second-hand Canon EOS 350D for £150, and despite post-Christmas empty wallet syndrome I jumped at the chance.

He handed it over to me a couple of weeks ago, and with my prompting started tutoring me on ISOs, aperture, shutter speed and the appropriate situations to prioritise each with a slightly maniacal gleam of photographic passion in his eye. I’m not scientifically minded, so I found this recap on the Exposure triangle very useful.

And now, I am in love. The picture quality is sharp, it doesn’t have the frustrating lag between photos and it has a fun twiddly thing at the end of the lens to focus.

I’ve given it a whirl a couple of times and I have vowed to stay away from “auto” mode and editing tools until I have really got to grips with it and its capabilities. I know this means that my first thousand or so photos will be awful. I took about 40 photos of the same duck in Finsbury Park ranging from blindingly overexposed to pitch black while trying different shutter speed and aperture combos. Cropping is especially hard to resist as the standard 18-55mm lens doesn’t get me as close as I would like to things.

Nevertheless I will keep trying, and maybe I will be able to produce something really beautiful.

So here are the best of my first awful photos: