Beads and Bokeh

Although I am a born arachnophobic, wet spider webs are one of my favoured things to photograph. The water was my doing, though. I gently splashed the spider webs with water to get these faeryish effects I absolutely adore. The occupants of the webs were grateful as it was a hot hot day. One of the spiders kept coming out and enjoy the water. 🙂

And here it is, the happy freaking monster.

Kitty Ears

My Maya aka Punkie Pie. I bought her the kitty ears when she was 3.

Now she is 9 but she still loves them and still wears them. In public. I love her so much. She is an odd mix of a big baby and independent young woman.

Also, her long, thick, black eyelashes; the first thing I noticed about her when I first saw her. ❤ Lucky little minx, she’ll never need mascara.

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Phoneography – How To Take Great Shots With Your Phone

Phoneography is the act of creating photos with your camera phone, instead of a regular camera. (iPhoneography is its branch and is the act of creating photos with an iPhone, obviously 🙂 )

I remember how things were like 10 years ago. I was an active member on deviantART, and sometimes some silly newbie would upload a phone photo into the Photography section… Man, it was not pretty. It was painful to see. Phone photos were crappy because the phone cameras were crappy (this doesn’t mean the camera makes you a great photographer, but it helps). But not anymore. Now you can make art with your phone. You can take quality photos and edit them right away. It’s fast, it’s fun.

But like I said, a great camera doesn’t make you a great photographer. The social media is still full of crappy, low-quality, filter-abused pictures. In this tutorial I am going to give some general advice on how to take really good, eye-candy photos. In the upcoming tutorials I am going to talk about composition and editing.

You can find a lot of lists such as this one, but this list is mine and everything here is based on my own experience.

1. Turn off the flash. Use natural light

Disable the darn thing, it’s your enemy, not your friend. Are you in the movie theater with your friends, waiting for the new awesome movie to begin and wanna take a selfie to show the world? Well, don’t. 😀

2. Keep the phone still when you shoot

Remember to always, always keep the phone still when you press the button to take the shot. You know, to avoid blurry shots. Even after you took the photo, open it and zoom it to its full size, to see if it’s not blurred or too soft. If it’s not good, delete it. I know, I know it’s hard. I’ve been there. But it’s for the best. You’ll get used to it. Quality over quantity should become your new quote. 😉 Also, keep clean your phone camera too – phones are one the dirtiest things so you should clean it every day. With disinfectant.

3. Learn about photography composition rules

I did a lot of reading in my early days as a hobbyist photographer and I still do. I taught myself everything I needed to know about photography. After years of experience though, I’ve come to realise that the Rule of Thirds and other photography composition rules are mere guidelines, as a perfect photograph (technically speaking) may be empty and not send any emotion to the viewer. I will get back to this in an upcoming tutorial.

4. Use negative space

The negative space is the space around the subject of an image. If the space behind and around your subject is crowded, the photo will look really bad, like a cheap, ordinary snapshot.

On the other hand, modern phones have the depth effect option that blurres the background, creating a professional looking effect (the Portrait option in iPhones. Newest Samsung cameras have this option too). This was something only DSLR cameras could achieve. Here’s an example of a photo taken without and with the depth effect. Huge difference.

5. Use external lenses

I bought a set of cheap, universal phone lenses set because they were out of the quality ones, made especially for iPhones. The fish-eye lens was useless, but luckily, I got really great results with the macro lens. So, if you buy additional lenses, I suggest you get original ones. They are a lot more expensive but they are quality and worth it.

6. Experiment with compositing

A composite image is a picture that is made from the combination of two or more images. For this kind of editing I upload the photos in my Mac and use Photoshop, but I saw that some apps allow you to create composites. I never tried any so I can’t say for sure if they’re good.

7. Edit wisely

Think of editing as make-up for photos. You want to keep things natural and fresh, so don’t abuse those filters. I will focus on editing phone photos in an upcoming tutorial.

8. Practice

Because practice makes perfect. If you are really into photography, then invest some time in it. I usually photograph something from different angles and perspectives and then keep only the photos that I like best (wich are 1, 2 or 3 tops).

In photography you need the skills but you also need the eye. You need to be able to see something, not just look at it. You have your phone with you at all times (I can bet on that 😁) so use it to capture that perfect sunset or an unexpected moment in your life, wich will take you back to it every time you look at the photo. And that is why I love photography so much. ❤

8. Do it for your soul, not for the likes

Being famous on Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly. It’s nice to get likes, but it should not be the thing that drives you.

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{Throwback Thursday} Marble Beach

We visited Marble Beach in Thassos island, Greece. It is an amazing place! It’s indeed made of marble pebbles and the water is crystal clear. The only problem? Too many people! We arrived at noon so no chance of sunbeds for us. It didn’t matter, though. We still enjoyed our stay, because in spite of the crowd, the beach and the water were clean and the people were polite. Plus, the water was not crazy crowded (altough I had to Photoshop out a few people from the photos), so I swam until I got tired and my hands and feet hurt. 😀

Bear Lake

Somewhere in the middle of Romania, there is a lake where you can swim with ducks. It’s a special heliothermal lake, unique in Europe. The water at the surface is cold but at the bottom it gets warmer, because of the salt. This is why swimming is allowed only a few hours a day, with a couple of hours resting break in the middle of the day, so the water can settle down.

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Up Close

Quality macro photography is quite hard to achieve without a tripod. It’s so hard to stay crouched in the grass and keeping the camera still at the same time. I could have done better. I did a little better when I photographed the butterflies, it was raining lightly, the air was fresh, it was overcast but there was still enough light. But I failed to shoot a decent photo of the bug with long antennae because it was sunny and hot outside and the sun and I aren’t best buddies.

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The Pretty Yellow Flowers

This little boy loves flowers. Roses are his favourites but he said these yellow flowers were pretty too. By the way, can anyone tell me their name? (Note to self: buy that app that tells you the name of all plants)

Also from the garden: water for bees, greenery and a yellow leaf. It’s full of yellow leaves in the garden, courtesy of the cherry trees, who were the first to offer their fruit and now took a well deserved break. Until next spring, cherries.

We call this beautiful white flower Queen of the Night, because it blooms in the evening. It has a very lovely fragrance too.

Have a lovely weekend, y’all! ❤

The Baby Chicks

The baby chicks are actually tweens now. They get along well with Abi and Abi is always so excited to be able to pick them up all by himself. Until a while ago, little Abi wanted to be a cat, always meowing and acting like a kitty – I loved it. But ever since the baby chicks, Abi wants to be a baby chick. Oh, well. I hope the kitty phase comes back eventually…


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{Throwback Thursday} Giola Lagoon

Giola is a natural rocky pool on Thassos Island, in Greece. We went there a few years back and it was an amazing experience. It is also called the mermaids’ pool. It’s quite deep but the water is emerald green, crystal clear and calm.

It’s not a place for little kids though. The road to get there is long. You travel by car then you have to descend a small mountain by foot. And there is no ladder to get in and out of the pool – you need to climb the rocks. You have to be extra careful. Also, there are no facilities whatsoever. Meaning, no toilets. You need to bring your own water because there are no stores nearby.

And that’s awesome, of course. It’s just good, clean, Greek fun – water, sun and salty sea breeze. Even better, actually – green water in the pool, blue water of the sea, untouched nature all around you and the immensity of the sky.

It is one of our best memories. We would love to go back, but there are other Greek islands waiting for us to explore them.


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Procrastinating

I have so many things to do. Among many others, a few projects to finish…

I also need to declutter a few areas of my house because we are going to move in a few months. But it’s like my brain and my hands froze. I can’t focus on anything. Anything! So many things to do and I just lost this day reading a novel, chilling in the garden and browsing Guinea pigs videos on Instagram.

At least the cats are happy because I did not vacuum today either. ´͈◡ `͈




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