Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bamboo Pen

So the other day I got a surprise birthday present from my friend Andy. I had no idea what it was when I first saw it, but it looked amazing, and a classic Andy-gift: a gadget! I soon discovered that it is called 'Bamboo' and it is a pen graphics tablet. It was such a thoughtful gift because he got it with the intention that I could use it with Photoshop and Illustrator, and it might be handy in my future career!

I've been having loads of fun with it, and I know I'm going to get a lot of use out of it. In the image below I used the pen to make all those swirls you see in the background. It's nothing amazing but hopefully I'll be a pro within a few weeks.

Here's the Facebook event for the the Photoshop Tutorial at DCU on Tuesday.

That's about all of my news. Now I'm going to sign off with my own handwriting... Because I can!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Cloud Collecting

When it's too cold and dark to venture outside, I bring the clouds in to me... And then take photos.

The above image features cotton ball clouds. I have seen various photographers experiment with indoor clouds, and I think the result often looks amazing. Rosie Hardy's stuff is particularly inspiring (below). Also, have a browse through my Flickr favourites because there are other cute cloud photos there.

Image credit: Rosie Hardy.

Image credit: Rosie Hardy. Check out more of her stunning images on her website,

I'm a bit bored with taking photos in my room. Tomorrow I'm going to brace the chilly weather and take some outdoor photos. I may post them here tomorrow if they are share-worthy.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lomography, Dee and Me

I went into town today with a mission in mind: To buy a Lomography camera. My Mum had topped up my account with birthday money, and I was ready to splurge. So I ignored my rational side (logic that screamed "DON'T YOU DARE GET RIPPED OFF AT HIPSTER CENTRAL") and entered Urban Outfitters, later leaving with a new toy camera in my life. The Diana F+.

My heart was thumping as I typed my pin number. I have longed for a Lomo camera for at least three years. It was definitely the most exciting purchase I've made recently! After the surprisingly inexpensive purchase (Urban Outfitters had a special 20% discount for students) I skipped across the road to a cute cafe to become acquainted with my new best friend Diana.

I just about managed to resist the urge to take a snap of my meal, I had been hipster enough for one day. Even if I had wanted to score an 8.9 on the Hipster Scale and photograph my food with my Lomo, it would have meant eating very chilly chips, as it took me half an hour to figure out how to load the film. I sorted it out eventually. As I wondered what my first photo should be a girl sitting close by began to chat to me about my camera. Her name was Laragh, and she told me about how she bought a Diana F+ in the summer, and will soon be developing her first roll of film. She also gave me advice on the best place to get film, as it's much cheaper if you know what shop to pop into.

Laragh was lovely, and I decided that she would be the perfect subject for my first ever film photograph. So I took her picture, whilst thinking "I have no idea what I'm doing". Later when I used the camera again I realised that I hadn't wound the film enough. I don't think I got a photo of Laragh after all. Such a shame. I'll have to wait till I develop my film to find out, hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised.

This photo makes me laugh. It looks like I'm just like "OH HAI THERE, I didn't see you, just taking a pic", when the reality is I am crouching before my DSLR on a tripod with the self timer on.

I took some images in Dublin with my DSLR (see below). I decided to edit them so they boost a similar effect to ones from a Lomo camera. You may question why I'd bother with a Lomo camera, when I can use Photoshop to create the same effect. The answer can be shortened to a single word: Adventure. While I love taking photos with my Canon DSLR, and no film version could replace it, using it can be an entirely calculated experience. I adjust the aperture, shutter speed, I point, I shoot, I review. The experience of using Diana to document my life is undeniably different. The flexibility of the settings is limited. For example, in terms of shutter speed I have two options N or B (don't ask me what they mean, I haven't got my head around that yet). With a DSLR you can snap at a speed from anywhere between forever and a gazillionth of a second. Diana strips it down to a minimum. Often the results may be blurry or unflattering, but who cares? It's all part of the fun! And who knows... Maybe some where amongst all the horrible first photos I take, there'll be a gem.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Patronus Workshop

Yesterday I hosted my first workshop on behalf of Fotosoc and Harry Potter Soc. Or maybe that should read "I taught my first Defence Against the Dark Arts" lesson, seeing as the tutorial was to do with summoning your Patronus (using Photoshop).

During the day of the event I felt stressed; generally worried about how the workshop would run. Then, an hour before the tutorial, I found out that the projector in the Mac lab wasn't working. One mini-freak out later, followed by a last minute room change, and it all ran smoothly from there.

There were around 10 attendees, most of them were completely new to Photoshop, which made for a slow and enjoyable teaching pace. I walked everyone through the basics of Photoshop, and helped people with using the Macs, which, as I can remember from last year, are tricky to use the first few times. Despite the fact that there were a lot of PS newbies, we got some great creations. Check out Fotosoc's Facebook album here. Below is Licia Carlesi and her Patronus, a cute elephant!

Image credit: Licia Carlesi

The workshop lasted around an hour, and, it seems to me that the participants enjoyed themselves. I had fun helping them out too, and I have a few ideas for future Harry Potter and Fotosoc link-ups. Imagine me teaching a class how to correctly pronounce "Wingardium Leviosa", and you'll get an idea of what I'm thinking...

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A Unique (Chicken Filled) Proposal

Recently Fotosoc ran a competition, which challenged the entrant to make us laugh with a photo of the go-to student meal, the chicken fillet roll. I thought I'd share the winning image, because it's excellent!

Who could say 'no' to a proposal like this? Image credit: Oliver Kelly

Congratulations Oliver Kelly! There were lots of good entries, check them all out on Fotosoc's blog.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Erica Coburn at DCU

Yesterday Fotosoc, along with Style Soc, hosted it's first major society event for the year. The Fashion workshop included talks from Courtney Smith, LA Make-Up Academy (both organised by Style Soc), and a photography workshop in the studio, with Erica Coburn.

I missed the first two speakers because I had to make an appearance at the mentorship programme's introductory event (more on that in another post). I hear that it all went very well though! I did get the chance to see all of Erica's slot, and I can tell you that it was excellent! She began by telling us a bit about her background, and how she got into photography... She's only in sixth year, don't you know?

After a quick Q&A, we went up to the studio and Erica took some photos of Megan, the gorgeous model, who had been made up during the LA Make-Up Academy demonstration. Erica invited others to come up and have a go at taking photos. The image below is from Erica's her Photo A Day series, and she took it before our eyes in the studio.

Image credit: Erica Coburn

I've been admiring Erica's photos for some time now, so it was a treat to find out that she'd be gracing DCU with her presence. And there is talk of more photographic hook-ups in the future! Below I included some of Erica's images that I love, they are inspiring...

My Favourite Erica Coburn Pics:

Amazing aren't they? Like her Facebook page to keep up to date as she continues Project 365.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Best Of: Our Radio Show

At 5 O'Clock on Thursday, I found my inner radio voice and introduced our new show, presented by myself, Helen, Eileen and Alan, on the student radio station, DCUfm. The working title for our movie chat show is Best Of: Film, and this week we focused on the theme of RomComs.

This first few seconds of the show went spectacularly. It was somewhere after 1 minute when the whole thing fell to pieces. I was introducing the show and the presenters, when music suddenly started playing in my ear. Naturally, all heads turn to the sound desk, where Eileen looks just as confused as us. Thank goodness for the more experienced radio heads dwelling in the studio who could help us out. We realised that the station manager was fixing some issues on the system, and had to override our control of the airwaves while it was being sorted out. So the few people that were listening would have thought that we completely messed up, when in reality it was out of our control!

Myself and Alan on air in the DCUfm studio.
Image source:

However, we must take some of the blame for our shaky first show, as the technical difficulties were cleared up within 15 minutes. After that we chatted on air about our chosen films (Crazy, Stupid, Love., When Harry Met Sally, and Bridget Jones's Diary, in case you're interested) and, while there were no more major setbacks, there were awkward, on-air pauses. We will improve on next week though!

We want a few more listeners next week, we'll be asking questions and giving shout outs, so tune in to DCUfm at 5pm on Thursday.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Join Filmsoc

The other day I chatted all about Fotosoc, so today I want to focus on the other society that I'm a committee member of, Filmsoc. The main events that this society organise are simple: We gather together as a group of film-lovers, and watch movies. It's such an easy going society, all you need to do is wander over to where we are screening the film, relax and watch!

At the Clubs and Socs day we signed up over 150 members. If you're interested in finding about the events we're running this year, then keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter.

A poster I made from scratch for the event

The EGM is on Monday, and after it we're putting on Toy Story. A classic childhood film to start off a successful year for Filmsoc!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Join Fotosoc

I'm bracing myself for a ridiculously hectic week, as it's Clubs and Socs week, and it's my duty to promote both Filmsoc and Fotosoc.

I'm gonna use this space to give a bit of a shout out to Fotosoc. Like DCU Fotosoc on Facebook, find us on Twitter, and, perhaps most excitingly, bookmark our stylish, new website! The website will be a platform for users to share the photos they take, and even post their photography tips on the blog.

Fotosoc's Logo

There was a little bit of confusion when I attempted to print off Fotosoc's leaflets today. Fotosoc now have a few hundred leaflets with the logo on but nothing else. I'll admit that the confusion is probably down to a poorly worded email on my part. My bad. I'm making up for it by writing Fotosoc's details on the back of the leaflets in felt tip pens. Hopefully people will appreciate the personal touch!

This is the leaflet that was supposed to print out.

If you're a DCU student and a fan of photography, make sure you join the society this week! We've got loads of events lined up for members, so it'll be €4 well spent!