Friday, 27 November 2015

#LightsCameraCurrys- A photography event at Nikon school of photography.

I was recently invited to spend an evening at the Nikon school of photography to learn some tips on food photography. It was  such a wonderful opportunity, that I  jumped at the chance to attend especially as I have a Nikon DSLR camera and it would be great to learn how to use the camera and its functions to its full potential.

As always when we arrived we were fed and watered with some delicious sandwiches, nibbles fruits and cakes and there was plenty of wine and soft drinks to fill us up before the session. 

After a brief intro and talk about ISO, shutter speeds, lighting and light sensitivity we were let loose to get our creative juices flowing . There were four different  food settings with different lighting, we were encouraged to try our hand at capturing the setting using different modes on our cameras.

These were the subjects we were going to photograph.

Best Tip of the Evening:
One of the best tips I picked up from the evening was how to Pre set the white balance prior to taking a photo. Go to menu, select white balance, click on Pre and take a photo of a white area near the place where you are going to take photo.If you don't have a white area photograph a sheet of white paper/ tablecloth. Set the white balance and save it .Now take a photo using this calibration and see what difference it makes to your photos. It made dramatic difference in my photos.

Here are a few of my attempts:

Attempting to get depth of focus by blurring the background.

Trying to capture a closeup of the cut pomegranate.

Capturing photo to show depth of focus.

Capturing photo to show depth of focus,

I had a wonderful time learning about photography. I would like to Thank Nikon and Currys for inviting me to the event.
You can read more about the event here.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

3D Table top Christmas Tree

Christmas does not feel like christmas without a christmas tree up. Many people live in flats or bedsits and there is no where to put up a full size christmas tree and often have to  miss out. This little 3D tree can be made in any size using simple card. It's easy to make but looks great on a table, desk, window ledge or on a shelf.

To make the 3D Christmas Tree you will need:

  • 1 piece of white a4 paper
  • 6 pieces of Green a4 card 
  • Pva Glue (or glue stick)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Gold, silver, red, green decorations such as gems, berries, bells, buttons, stickers.
  • 1 small glittery foam gold star ( or you can cut out a star from gold card)

1. Fold the a4 sheet of paper in half and place the sheet with the folded side to the right in front of you.

2. Draw a Christmas tree shape with a pencil as per picture below.

3.Cut the tree shape out.

3. Using the white paper tree template cut out 6 identical trees from the green card.

4. Fold each green card tree in half. You should have 6 folded trees.

5. Place two trees of the folded sides next to each other and spread glue on one side and stick the two tree halves together.

6. Continue following step 5 until you have all 6 green card trees stuck together like a concertina.

7. Once all six green trees are stuck together, stand the tree up and fan it out to create a 3D tree.

8. Using any decorations of your choice and plenty of imagination decorate your tree as desired. Finally stick a gold star at the top of your tree.

This post is in collaboration with viking direct . I purchased the green card, white paper and glue from Viking Direct who supplied the  equipment in this post.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Restaurant review Mangal 1.1

On a cold october evening, what is more welcoming than a restaurant that has log fire, low beamed ceilings, rustic tables and chairs and a warm ambience. You can find all this at Mangal 1.1  based in Shoreditch at The Comedy Cafe and Bedroom Bar at 68 Rivington St London, Greater London EC2A 3AY

The restaurant serves middle Eastern Cuisine. A variety of kebabs cooked on charcoal grills all served with warm bread and salads are a favorite with non vegetarians. The vegetarians can easily enjoy the fresh Mediterranean salads and vegetarian meze dishes and falafels.

My friend Heidi and I had the opportunity to sample the food at Mangal 1.1.We started off with some juices to wet our appetites and than munched on fresh bread served with Hummus a dip made with chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice, Cacik a dip made with cucumber and yoghurt, Ezme a salad of finely chopped vegetables and herbs and Patlican salad made with grilled aubergine and chopped peppers. 

All the dips with the hot bread were really delicious and a perfect start to the meal. I could have easily munched through another plate of these delicious salads and dips instead of the main course.

For our main course Heidi had the lamb shish, marinated cubes of lamb grilled on skewers served with a green us salad, she said it was delicious. 

Being a vegetarian, there were only two options to choose from; the Falafel deep fried chickpea balls or the Sebzeli Guvec which was a dish made with courgettes, aubergine, potato, green and red peppers with mozzarella cheese.

I was offered the Falafel which was served with salad and Hummus. The falafel were a little dry for my  taste, I guess this was probably from the double frying. 

For dessert we shared a plate of baklava, a sweet nut filling encased in filo pastry and drenched in sugar syrup all washed down with filter coffee. Baklava were delicious and had a very authentic flavour.

Mangal 1.1 is the perfect place to grab a quick meal after work whilst in London.
Heidi and I were invited to the Mangal 1.1 as guests to try out their food, all the views and opinions in this post are of my own experience.