Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Cinder and Smoke

On the 5th November, Britain celebrates Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night, for a man named Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament (He was pretty unhappy with the Monarchy and government) 400 years ago. He was caught however and executed for treason. Nowadays we mark this anniversary by having a fireworks display and burning things. A lot of the time I forget whether we celebrate because he failed or because he nearly succeeded! I’m clearly an anarchist, haha.

This year I went to a fireworks display in a huge park with hundreds of other people, and my friends Natalie, John and John’s friend Matt who stayed in Leeds for the night. It didn’t seem the same to me though, as I never seem to have my own perfect bonfire night. I miss the ones I went to when I was younger, where you’d sit on hay bales on a muddy farm, eating burgers or jacket potatoes in front of the fire. I do remember being very bored on those nights though, as I had no one to talk to and for some reason we stayed there for hours.

I very recently discovered my copy of Photoshop has RAW editing which is so exciting! I haven’t used RAW in years. If you don’t know what RAW is, it’s just an editing program/file type that allows you to do advanced editing without changing the original file at all, so you don’t lose it through editing. I love it, it’s so easy to use and enhances pictures further and quicker than just editing in Photoshop. 

L x 

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Tropical World, Leeds

Last month I went to Leeds for a few days to visit my friends Natalie and John for the first time since we finished university. We went to the Trinity shopping centre and I ate the most amazing spinach and lentil veggie burger at the Handmade Burger Co. (Natalie had the chicken), and even better, they had like 8 vegetarian burger options??? I usually completely flee burger places since they rarely cater for vegetarians, but I am definitely coming back here. We also went for a walk in Roundhay Park, went to a bar/club called Carpe Diem for drinks one night and a place called Tropical World. Tropical world holds butterflies, birds, exotic plants, meerkats, a reptile room, aquariums, bats, sugar gliders and so many more. Definitely go check it out if you're in the Leeds area, it's opening a cafe soon so you might be lucky and get lunch there too!

It's very hot and humid though and my lens kept fogging up :( Also photographing butterflies was so difficult as they were so fast and I couldn't get my camera settings right - I stuck to auto in the end.

It was so much fun, I love animals and really liked the opportunity to photograph them, even if they were in enclosures/behind glass. It was good practice for next time. I only brought the /1.4 so I have some very short-focus shots, like the fish, so I'll try the standard lens and see how that holds up. I'd like to mix artistic styles with nature photography though, so this was my first experience with that. 

L x. 
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Summer in Scarbs II

I moved away from Scarborough about a month ago now, and there are many things I didn't like about it. The seagulls, the weather, the neighbours, the lack of clothing shops. But now that I am not going back, I'm missing a lot, such as the sea and my old GP and living near my friends and being within walking distance to everything I needed. On the brighter side, I'll be able to live somewhere else near these things again some day. 

Bye, Scarbs thanks for the degree 

L x 

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Summer in Scarbs I

Some photos I don't know what to do with. All taken in Scarborough this spring/summer. I didn't feel like uploading them to flickr. Let me know if you think I should though or if you like them :) 

Sunrise in July.  The seagulls woke me up one morning and I decided to get up. I wasn't disappointed.

Hayley's chicken noodles.


L x.

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Monday, 25 August 2014

Summer's Ending

I graduated university in July, which was both fun and upsetting. I said goodbye to my friends, and to the town I called home for 3 years. My university experience wasn't really the crazy social life that most people have, I was one of those boring sensible types who had mental breakdowns in the uni library when I had 3 essays due in one week (seriously we all nearly died). Even though I didn't go to many parties I did make some really good friends, friends I miss a lot now we've all left the little seaside town we spent university in. I learnt how to do so many things, such as cook and use a washing machine, go to appointments on time and live on my own. I gained confidence and skills I might not have otherwise, and made so many mistakes I couldn't even count them! (Maybe I'll share some with you one time...)

I stayed in Scarborough for the rest of my flat tenancy and then moved back down south to my brother's house, as he's let me stay with him a few months. My parents house wasn't really an option.

Right now, it's been raining all day and I can see the drops splashing on the patio. The shrubs in the garden are so green, so lush, so obviously English. I'm moving abroad. In six weeks I'll be in Lanzarote, working as a photographer for a hotel. Me! In the Canary Islands! As a photographer!

Wish me luck!

L x
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Friday, 15 August 2014

Let's Talk About: Mental Health

I spend far too much time on tumblr so here are some tags/triggers so you can go on reading safely - contains: #suicide, #depression, #self-harm mention, #anxiety 

So, as you probably are already aware, Robin Williams passed away recently (suspected suicide) and it really shocked and upset myself and many of my friends, as it has Williams' family, friends, colleagues, and admirers. I, for one, was unaware of Robin Williams depression, as were many, and it really highlights how "invisible" an illness depression is. Robin Williams was a great part of my childhood, playing in Mrs Doubtfire, Hook, Flubber, Dead Poets Society and many other favourites. The perhaps fortunate thing to have come from the media coverage of this is that it's triggered a surge in conversation about mental health (yes, I am also aware of how the media has wondered whether covering suicide somehow glorifies it, but I'm not getting into that today). 

My friend Faith has written a very insightful article on the situation and depression in general, and puts many of my own thoughts more succinctly than I would have written them. To add to that, depression is often a chemical imbalance of the brain, meaning that outside circumstances have no effect whatsoever on that person's wellbeing or perspective. From the NHS health website: "Some people still think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They're wrong. Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, and it's not a sign of weakness or something you can "snap out of" by "pulling yourself together"."

This in particular, has made me consider my own mental health, as I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (Winter Depression), and anxiety. I have had SAD (What a beautiful acronym, right?) for about 5 years, but I've only had treatment for it in the last three. Depression is very very horrible, and since I suffer it most in the winter, I particularly dread the run-up to Autumn since I know it'll be coming. I have it to the point that even in the summer months, if the weather is bad, I'll find it hard to get out of bed. 
Before I was diagnosed with it, I heard a lot of nasty comments about my behaviour, from calling me lazy for not getting out of bed or doing anything; antisocial and moody for not interacting with people or activities, and I know I got people down by struggling to be positive or even smile. People would say, "you can't be depressed, you're laughing now" and I would question it myself. I would google seasonal affective disorder in my school breaks and be convinced I had it (self diagnosis does work sometimes!) yet nobody would take me seriously. When I did finally go to the doctors about it, I got turned away from several, muttering, "Well you do have the symptoms of depression, but we don't think you have it, because you don't seem to." 
Stigmatisation of depression extends to when you're on medication for it as well. I constantly get tutters and 'advice' such as "Anti-depressants are bad for you, you shouldn't be on them, take vitamins instead." If I were to get out of bed each morning, brush my hair and walk out my door without them, don't you think I would be doing that? Do you think I chose this?? Do you think Robin Williams chose this? 
Thankfully, thank God, I have never been anywhere near suicidal, or self-harmed, but I know people personally who have, or have attempted either, and it is heart-breaking. If you or someone you know feels like this, PLEASE TELL SOMEONE. Someone will always be able to help you, from a friend or family member or doctor/therapist/counselor or teacher. 

My photography archives, interestingly, don't go back past 2011 (What a shame. I had my pictures from 2009-2011 on my college harddrive and I forgot to take them off the system when I left so they were wiped :c), so here are some photos I've taken in the past which were about depression.  

2011: While I was doing my A-Levels, when my depression was particularly bad. I got an A* for this piece in my photography class, because it conveyed "so much emotion."

2012: When I got diagnosed with SAD. Wilted.

2012: The alternate edit is on my Flickr, named "Winter Kind of Washes Me Out."

2013: This autumn coincided with a break-up from a long term relationship. Everything suffered.

2013: I tried experimenting with a technique here (sort of failed oops). I couldn't think or speak that winter. 

2013: Probably my most visual expression? I drew and painted a personification for depression and scanned him into the photo. A lot of people were upset and exasperated with me, but I think after this photo they kind of understood without my having to say anything (I couldn't say anything.)

EXCLUSIVE! >>> Unpublished photo I did 2014. Named "rainy day". I tend to think of depressed days as "blue" or "rainy days". I like to use pixelation to convey wrongness or anxiety/sadness. I didn't upload it to flickr because people I previewed it to didn't like it.

L x.

[Sorry this is so rushed, I've been so so busy recently and I have to go out tonight, so apologies! This has been on my mind for a couple of days but I only just got time to sit down and write it! xxx]
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Monday, 21 July 2014

Art Imitates Life?

I've been thinking a lot about which direction to take my photography in... and to be honest, I'm still a little lost. I want to be one of those photographers who take beautiful, imaginary scenes that have been made through creativity and photoshop. Something from a dream, perhaps, or a fairytale. I get ideas of such photos, sometimes I even write it down, but I never go ahead and achieve it. It just stays in my notebook, just an idea. I'll marvel at people's art work, because no-one can deny that it is art, beautiful photographic fine art. For example, these beautiful pieces: 
Rachel Baran
Sarah Stewart
Gina Vasquez
But then, I don't create that kind of photo. My heart makes me take pictures of things around me, of places and people and little things. I take too many pictures of food and flowers and my duvet. Sometimes I'll take a picture purely because of the colours, or the aesthetic. I fall in love with film photography, even though it is getting more expensive and more difficult to print. I fall in love with bokeh, and clothes, and people's smiles. I like photos which make something seemingly ordinary look beautiful. Photos which show life as beautiful, because really, everything can be beautiful.  
However, life isn't really beautiful. I've been a hazard lately, so busy with everything, missing appointments and saying goodbye to friends and filling in government forms and crying late at night about how much a mess everything has been. I look at art every day but I haven't made much in weeks. I'm slowly coming round. I will make something out of nothing. 
I know this is probably stupid, but I worry that my photography isn't art? I mean, of course, I consider it such, but others might think I'm just taking pictures of things, that anyone could do. 
You know those Modern Art museums which most people (including myself sometimes, guiltily) think, "I could do that"? That red circle on a blank canvas? "I could do that". The sculpture of a bin full of rubbish? "That's not special, I could have done that." etc etc. Isn't that what everybody is afraid of? Doing something that someone else could replicate, or worse, have done before? Being cliche or unoriginal? Well, I worry about that a lot. I forget who, but somebody said, 
"You could have done that? Yeah, but did you? No." 
in response to Modern Art. I think it applies to any art really. It should be remembered. 
Even though I love imaginary pictures, I tend to leave my escapism for books and films and the internet! My photographs are more of a exaggerated diary, to show people how I feel and what I see and experience. Exaggerated because I only show what I want to, really. Pictures speak louder than words they say.  
. Sin Titulo  
Some recent photos of mine, since I haven't been able to put them up on my blog. What do you think? Do you prefer digital manipulation or simple pictures? Let me know in the comments. I love both, but I think I might be veering towards the simple pleasures.  
L x. 

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Featured Monday: Rona Keller

Featured Monday is back! #4

Rona Keller is twenty-three years of age and currently living in the South of Germany, where she is also originally from. She met fame in 2009/2010 with her "52 weeks" project on DeviantArt and Flickr, and has since done lots of projects, worked and travelled in France, England and Germany. Her work is varied, from self-portraiture to still life and nature. 

"After finishing school in 2010, I spent five months in France, worked a little and then took up my studies in Visual Communication. Memories of what I have done and felt during all that time have become extremely important to me, and taking photographs wherever I go allows me to remember all that means something to me — whether it ends up staying in that special place in my heart or not. The photos I take are my diary, full of experiences, people I love, places I went to and my everyday feelings."

Q .What inspires you? 
"My answer to this question is always quite simple: Life. As mentioned above, I really just take photos of whatever I find worth remembering and thus want to capture and express in a visual form."

(All images used with permission :)) 
Q. Who inspires you? 
"Lately I have been falling in love with lots of film photos that inspire me on a daily basis, here are a few people who took them: Danielle Hughson, Daniel Farò, Millie Clinton, Megan Corkill, Joe Curtin, Cassoday Harder (those last three are my long-time favourites)."

Q. What advice would you give beginners?
"Whatever it is that makes you happy about taking photographs (or any other art or form of living), go for it!"

Rona can be found on Flickr, Instagram, her blog, her website, and Deviant Art

L x. 
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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Early Bird Film

Sorry for my absence, but I've just finished university and had a lot of issues to deal with this month. So yeah, I now have a degree in English language and literature, although I don't know the grade yet. Recently I had the pleasure of discovering Amamak photography and have been completely inspired. I love the combination of fashion and vintage in their work. I decided to have a go with my old Holga 135, but sadly, 3/4 of the pictures I took didn't come out. I'm still new to film, although I was able to sort out my composition a lot better than last time thanks to an old flickr thread explaining that you should aim higher than what you actually want to photograph. Which seems very wrong at first, but it appears to have worked. 

I took indoor photos, which didn't work at all, and a few others didn't turn out either. However, I managed to scan these success stories and upload them here:

(These photos have been retouched in Photoshop to match their original, more accurate colours, but otherwise are unedited)

These are my last photos from the Holga, since it's temperamental nature isn't very cost effective. Hopefully I'll be able to invest in a Polaroid instax 210 next!

What do you think? Hope you're all having lovely summers (or winter!).

L x.  

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

On My Shelf

Inspired by this video by 'booktuber' Sanne (original here, second one of Sanne's here):

I thought I would do a blog post version of this! I know this is VERY different to what I usually post, but I wanted to inject some life into an otherwise badly neglected blog. I've been absent for quite some time unfortunately, but I've almost finished university (gasp, shock/horror) so my schedule has freed up a little. If you didn't already know, I really love reading, I own a fair amount of books, but have hardly any bookshelves! Which is pretty lame, right? If you want to know what I'm reading, you can follow me on twitter or goodreads. Hope you enjoy this post, and let me know if you would like any more like this! 

Bookshelf 2 - 5 = The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

If you're interested I have a very emotional book review of THG on my Goodreads (Be warned, only read if you've read the book! Spoilers!) so I shall give you a spoiler-FREE description of it. 
I have the series in these pretty covers (the second editions or something?) which I adore. THG book was raved about immediately back in 2009/2010, although I didn't get round to reading it until 2012. 
The Hunger Games, in case you don't know (really? you haven't seen the film yet?), is about a dystopian America wherein there are 12 districts which are controlled by the first, called the Capitol. They lead a competition named The Hunger Games, where two candidates from each district must compete to the death. The protagonist is Katniss, who is unfortunately, rolled into it all. It's quite a good series, although the writing in the first one really does my head in, it's quite bad. 

Bookshelf 1 - 9 = The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks 

Where would any nerd/zombie killer/worrier be without their trusty Zombie Survival Guide? I got the regular-book sized version, although there's probably a big and pocket version too! There are many different editions of these two! 
This fun (scarily hypothetical) handbook covers how to survive from shelter, weapons to use, how to travel and what to wear to survive a viral zombie attack (the book also covers different types of zombies, so don't fret if the world is subject to a 'The Last of Us' endemic!). It is the sister book to World War Z (which I also have a copy of), which is well worth a look if you fancy it. 

Book shelf 1 - 5 = Hamlet by William Shakespeare 

Ah, Hamlet. Everybody has heard of this play, but probably not read it. My edition is part of the Penguin Classics beautiful collection of blue illustrations on white. 

Basically Hamlet's dad, the King of Denmark, dies, and Hamlet (questionably) sees his father's spirit who claims that his brother killed him. Driven almost to insanity, Hamlet spends the majority of the play wondering whether to believe him or not. 
I would definitely recommend, or if you would rather see David Tennant's pretty face enact the play, watch the RSC play on youtube. 

Book shelf 2 - 8 = Les Miserables by Victor Hugo 

I can't really review this book since I haven't got round to reading the BRICK that is 900 pages long! But I absolutely adore the 2012 film and the 25th Anniversary live musical versions, so I can't wait to read this. 

Bookshelf  4 - 5 = Dracula by Bram Stoker 

Can you tell I like Gothic/fantasy fiction yet? Haha. The best vampire novel of all time, probably. I have a terrible cheap edition of this novel (lovingly eyes up the Penguin Hardbacks version), I'll have to update it sometime. 
The beginning of the novel is a bit slow, but once you get past that it is really exciting. Much better than film adaptions, even if you feel like you know the story, check out the novel anyway! 

And I'm going to tag Natalie's Book Blog to do the same! Your numbers are 1 - 7 /3 - 6 / 2 - 2 / 4 - 10 / 3 - 8 

L x 
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Get To Know Me: Liebster Award Nomination

written 3rd March 2014. published 21st May 2014. 

Oh wow, I got nominated for a Liebster Award. I've seen this floating around people's blogs and never thought I would get one, so thank you. I was tagged by Natalie at Broke Student Fashion (who you should really check out if you're into making your own clothes/fashion and beauty). I'm not one for tagging on this blog, but I've been convinced, haha, so here goes: 
How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?

Erm, depends on what you define as "blogging." Informal blogging I've been doing for about four years, but this blog I started last summer. I decided to start this one because I wanted another platform to show my photographs and stuff that wasn't the necessarily finished work that's on Flickr. I'm still branching out, experimenting with what goes on this blog so we'll see.  
What is your alcoholic beverage of choice?

Haha well, I am very partial to fruit cocktails - mojitos, daiquris, bellini, you name it. I also like Rose/White wine, fruit ciders, and alcopops. Basically anything fruity and sweet. Anything.  
What is your favourite pet - cats, dogs or something else?
Bunnies and cats. Forever and forever. I can never decide on whether to get an indoor Netherland dwarf/lop rabbit OR a fluffy kitty such as a Ragdoll or Munchkin! I really like rodent pets though, so hamsters, chinchillas, rabbits, we're good. 

Back at my parents we have a lot of pets, but currently they have my cat (She's all old at 12 years now bless her), four chickens and two dogs.  
Do you wear makeup every day?
Not at all! I only actually started wearing make up AT ALL last year? So I'm still at that terrible experimental stage that most people go through at 14. If I had the time and patience I would wear make-up daily, but sadly it's not yet.  
Where would your dream holiday destination be?
Well, St Lucia Wetland Park in South Africa is my paradise. I went there two years ago and it was the most relaxing, amazingly hot and interesting place I've ever been. It's got beach, animals, restaurants and free wifi, what more could you want? 

More generally though, I prefer places with sun and cultural interest, so I can spend mornings site-seeing or visiting museums and the afternoon tanning!  
Have you ever tried vlogging? If not, would you ever?
I'm very hesitant to admit I have, and it is a lot, lot harder than I imagined it would be. I've only done 2 videos. Ideally I would like to revisit filming and actually vlog on youtube. Maybe later this year.  
What is something that scares you?
I'm scared of being out of control.  
Where do you see yourself in five years time, both personally and professionally?
Well, I would be 26... which sounds awfully old to me, right now (apologies for my friends and relatives who are that age and older haha!). Personally I would like to have a stable income, at last! I would like a proper house or apartment full of my own things. I would hope to have made some progress with my photography and maybe not be alone? I really don't have high expectations, wow.  
How would you describe your clothing style?
Hmm, well I seem to swing from "girl-who-likes-indie-folk-music-and-takes-pictures-of-her-food" look to the "girl-who-wants-to-look-edgy-and-girly-at-the-same-time-but-lacks-the-funds" look. I like florals, pastels, black, interesting leggings, over-sized knitwear and flat shoes. I do try and express myself through my clothing, so it tends to change with my mood!  
What book have you read and enjoyed recently? 
I haven't had much time for reading lately, but I'm enjoying A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin :) 

I'm unfortunately not in much of a blogging community since I hardly ever blog (:/) but I really recommend these photography blogs (a teeny sample of the ones I read!):

L x 

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Monday, 21 April 2014

Print Giveaway!


I'm doing a print giveaway on facebook and and Flickr, where you can win up to three prints of your choosing from this selection: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leilapeach/sets/72157644231151273

I ship internationally, and there'll be THREE winners:) I'll contact those winners by facebook or email. Prizes are:-
winner: one 10"x8" print and two 6"x4" prints of their choosing.
runner up one: three 6"x4" prints of their choosing.
runner up two: two 6"x4" prints of their choosing.

The winners will be chosen by a random number generator so the more you do the more likely you'll win!
1. Leave a comment on flickr (HERE:https://www.flickr.com/photos/leilapeach/13952822451/) on which ones you'd like to win
2. Like my facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leigh-Anne-Peach-Photography/489960371052716) and tell me you have done so
3. Leave a comment on my facebook page letting me know which ones you'd like to win.

Giveaway ends 4TH MAY 2014 - GOOD LUCK!!! xxx
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Monday, 14 April 2014


Natalie and I went into the woods by the cliffs and did a silly little fashion shoot which involved many more stupid outtakes than actual usable photographs! I was kind of going for fairies with eyeliner freckles but I'm not really sure how successful it was.

I've also been spending my time studying for university, with my boyfriend and friends hanging out, and of course taking photographs. It's strange because looking through my folders, spring is my least documented season. Perhaps it's because I'm always busy in March/April, or lack inspiration (winter does that to me). I mean how many photos can you really take of blossom trees?

(Garden flowers)  

(Canada Geese at the pond) 

(The cake I baked Neil for his 21st Birthday) 

(Natalie looking up at the trees) 

On reflection, this winter has been particularly turbulent for me, as I had to deal with a lot of my problems myself. I don't mean no one would help me, I have wonderfully supportive friends, but rather I was the only person who could deal with the problems. Things like sorting out relationships with people, maintaining my health, keeping up with university work and managing the household chores. Standard daily activities are hard when the days are so short and dark. But! April brings the arrival of spring, finally.

Spring and autumn are seasons of change, and spring in particular is a precursor to change in the academic calendar. All students know this. And this spring, is my final spring as a student. Being in a slump lately has seriously damaged my work ethic, but with the bright, windy days of this month, I've brightened up considerably. Although I'm not particularly religious, I've always liked Easter. It's nice to celebrate fertility and spring, rebirth, a fresh start; lambs and chicks are born, the daffodils and crocuses come out, and the days get longer, and of course, all that chocolate!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter and/or break (if you're still in school/college)!

L x
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