I have always enjoyed travelling, whether it’s keeping it simple and visiting local destinations, different cities or countries I find going somewhere new exciting. Some places are huge tourist hotspots and known for certain attractions and locations, but I try not get caught up in taken those sort of photos, instead I look for photos that will be able to show the vibe and creativity of a place.
When I was getting ready to leave Manchester and was heading back to the car, I happened to see this building tucked away down a side road. Taken with a 18-55mm, I decided to give the photo a slightly dull tone to it and enhance the colours of the bird. This was due to the artworks surroundings, the building itself looked old, tired and worn, not to mention the grey stained build to the left of it. I felt that the dull effect suited the environment more as it made the artwork standout more and become the prime focus.
This photo of the bird on the side of the building was surprisingly a photo that I almost didn’t take, this wasn’t because I had second thoughts or anything, I just simply didn’t see it. Walking through the busy streets of Manchester, you’ll find many different forms of street art scattered about, be that on shop shutters, recycling bins or just on the side of buildings. Manchester is so much more than the usual hotspots like Old Trafford, The National Football Museum, The Etihad and The Trafford Centre. It’s a place that is full of creative artwork that brightens up the city with is presence.
Thank you for once again for taking the time to read my post, remember to leave a like and follow 😉
This post is going to be a little different to the others that I normally post, that’s because this post represents a special occasion as it marks my 25th birthday. This may or may not come as a surprise to some of my readers, but photography was not always a passion or interest of mine. It was about 9 years ago when I first picked up a camera (Panasonic DMC-LZ20) and showed any sort of interest in photography.
I remember going out with friends on a sunny Saturday afternoon with my camera, messing around taking photos just having a nice day out. I remember one photo that I had taken, of a friend, holding a tennis ball close to his face, the reason why I liked this photo at the time was because of how the camera had focused on the tennis ball and had the words “Slazenger Wimbledon ultra” clearly written and had him slightly blurred in the background. At the time I had no real idea what I was doing, I was just pointing and shooting, changing the settings and that was about it. I knew nothing about camera angles or the technical language of photography. At the time I just wanted to be able to capture moments with friends and then look back at them and smile. This was short-lived however because at the time I was unsure about what I wanted to do, go to university, get a job, do an apprenticeship all options that played on my mind and took my focus off photography.
My interest in photography eventually came back when I went to university and got to my second year. This was mostly due to the fact that I was studying Media & Communications and got the chance to work with a number of high-tech cameras, adobe software and other equipment.
I remember doing the Middle Kid photoshoot (see previous blog post)and once again becoming fascinated with being out taking photos, using the different modes on the camera and putting the vision that I had into a reality, making content that would be engaging. I loved every minute of this project, the planning, the photoshoot and the editing. It helped me to rediscover my love for photography, this time though it felt different, this time it felt like I was learning things for the first time and wasn’t just purely pointing and shooting.
It was at university when I started to learn how to edit photos and use different forms of editing software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. At the time most of my edits consisted of cropping, sharpening, blurring and the removal of small objects, so it was a big thing when I finally learnt how to change the background to black & white while keeping the main subject in colour. After this, a lot of my edits started to incorporate this effect, over time I managed to develop and expand my skills and knowledge in photography from what I had learnt at university in particular third year when I was doing my dissertation, I started to think about camera angles, lighting positioning and colours being used.
After leaving university my interest in photography had grown significantly, unfortunately for me though, I no longer had the access to the high-tech camera equipment that the university used to provide me with. Furthermore, the Panasonic DMC-LZ20 camera that I very first used I no longer had. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t without a camera for long as a was gifted with a new camera for my 21st birthday, a Panasonic Lumix TZ 60.
It was this camera that helped start ExpressCreativity0121and that’s because the camera was small and compact it meant that I was able to travel to different cities across the country taking photos and exploring without having to worry about it being stolen or broken. This photo was taken in London and it is of the London eye, with this photo I wanted to try put all the knowledge, skill and experience that I had got from university and experiment a little. I wanted to do two things with this photo, one is making it look old and the other to make it look like a painting instead of a photo.
There were a few adjustments that I made to make this possible, firstly I changed the photo to black & white because old photos used to always come out in black & white naturally. The second adjustment that I made was changing the contrast of the clouds and the river, I made both of them brighter by doing this it meant that you could see the ripples in the river and bumps in the clouds more clearly. The final adjustment that I made was blurring parts of the photo, I did this to give a paintbrush effect of slight smudging details and natural errors that you would expect from a painter to make when painting.
While I didn’t think that much of this photo and edit and I know that there was a lot more that I need to do and learn, it did get the ball rolling in the terms of being creative with my edits and wanting to go out and take more photos and continue expressing myself and creativity through photography.
It was about a year later when I brought my first camera a Canon 700D. For many people, when you buy your first camera all you want to do is go out and take photos, however, this wasn’t entirely true for me. I was nervous it had been a while since I had last used a DSLR camera and wanted to get my confidence back, so I read photography books messed around with modes just trying to be as prepared and confident as I could be before I went out to take photos.
Over the following years, my photography interest changed, when I first got a camera taking photos of nature and wildlife were my main interests. One of the reasons why I took photos of this nature was because the subjects didn’t move, there were no complaints and no deadlines. This meant that it was perfect for me to practise my skills without any pressure.
After the interest in nature and wildlife, it began to move to street art and graffiti. I loved seeing the creativity of other people and still do love seeing it. Street art graffiti has taken me to so many different cities across the country and to other countries. It’s never the same, each city has its own take on street art, this shouldn’t come as a surprise though as creativity is unique to each individual which is what makes it so special. It also helped me with inspiration, yes street art isn’t photography however the use of colours and shading are all something that has to be admired this is why I try and incorporate or consider these details into my photos when editing them.
My interest have always been constantly changing, but I do this to improve my skills and knowledge. Over the past few months, my interest has been in Landscape photography and most recently night-time photography. Landscape photography has always been a huge success on social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest, while it is also one of the main types of photo genres that are sold.
We are now brought up to date to the year 2021, I still feel like I have so much to learn with night-time photography as there are many more photos I want to take and experiment with and I’ll continue learning and developing my skills in all areas of photography. I have my eyes set on improving in Portrait photography and also buying new lenses like a Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens for my travel photography or a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens. I’m also looking to get a new camera however I haven’t quite decided on what camera to get just yet but if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.
Thank you for once again taking the time to read my blog post this one in particular, has been long so thank you for sticking with it, I wish you all the best. I’m now off to celebrate as best I can, turning 25 in lockdown.
ExpressCreativity0121 is known for its photography, artwork, appreciation of other creatives and enjoying the everyday creative wonders that we take for granted. This post still does that while also raising awareness on a serious issue, (no not covid). I know last year and this year haven’t been great, and as I take your focus off the pandemic we are living in, I move it towards an issue that is constantly growing.
This particular piece of artwork (PENALTY By Mandy Baker) a British photographer who is mostly known for her work with marine plastic debris. Found in the National Football Museum as Manchester is known for its rich football history. I decided to take this photo for the huge contrast potential it had. The colour of the footballs and the black background and black border, allowed for a more brighter standout photo. This photo has been cropped to focus on the pure mass of footballs and contrast enhanced to make it more eye catching. The artwork itself raises an important issue about the marine pollution of footballs that have been in the sea and on the shoreline, hopefully will reach a wider audience due to the love people have for football around the world. I therefore decided to also put this picture up on the ExpressCreativity0121 Instagram page to also help raise awareness.
Thank you for once again taking the time to read this post.
Normally around this time of the year, we would have already started to get more and more into the Christmas spirit, take the city of Birmingham, United Kingdom, for example, last year walking through the city centre during November & December we see normal streetlights on every road turned into festive decoration pieces as the city is turned into a magical atmosphere. While this year still sees such decorations it doesn’t give us the same warm Christmas magical feeling as it did last year, because of the pandemic and restrictions that have been put in place now.
All of the streetlight pictures were taken with a 75-300mm, what really makes this first picture to me, is the amount of light that is involved, not only is there the streetlight but we also have the light of the decoration itself and then the lights of the buildings behind it that are slightly blurred, I put more importance on the lights due to the picture being taken at night.
These next two pictures were taken on the same street, the first picture shows one of the streetlights and the decoration on it close up. This gives a different perspective and one of the reasons for this is that you see more of how the streetlight itself looks, instead of seeing it from afar, I felt that due to its old-style it should be looked at more closely. This type of look was made more visible due to the light coming from the Christmas decoration. Combining this late eighteenth-century style street light and this ribbon style decoration that goes around it gives off enough light to display more of the lamppost design while the light from the lamppost returns the favour from the light it gives off by clearly displaying the design of the decoration.
I decided not to post this picture with all the street lights lined up going down the road. While it shows a lovely view of a street filled with Christmas decorations, there were several elements that to me would have slightly taken some of the attention off the streetlight decorations. Therefore this picture wasn’t posted onto the ExpressCreativity0121 Instagram page. This doesn’t however, mean that I didn’t like the photo or think it wasn’t a good picture because I do like how the photo looks with the line of decorative lights, I just had a certain vision of what I wanted this collection to look like and this particular photo wasn’t suited to that vision.
One other photo that never managed to make it to the Instagram page was this one, with Christmas only being a day away there was a need to get a photo with a Christmas tree in it. “Don’t ask why, I just wanted one” This was actually the last photo I had taken that day after thinking I would never find one, taken in the freezing cold night with not a soul around, stands this Christmas tree and in the distance street decorations. The tree being slightly to the side in the picture was to help show the festiveness of the city, Christmas tree up, streets with festive decorations in the distance as well. You may then ask the question, why wasn’t it posted, if I had been looking for a Christmas tree? The truth is that this was among other pictures that were going to be part of an end of the year collection, showcasing a number of different photos that I had taken throughout the year, these ranged from photos of events to street art photos and photos abroad. However, I never managed to finish the collection in time because I had a number of other things that I had to put first, and had given myself such a small amount of time to finish this project, therefore there are some pictures that sadly we will never see on this Instagram page 😦 Unless I come up with an idea for another collection.
When I first wrote this blog post it was before the days of lockdowns, restrictions, social distancing and covid. The post was initially written with the intention of offering a nice magical experience where one could go and take photos, go on a date or even visit with friends & family. However due to the festival being cancelled this year, this post will instead be of me sharing my experience with you of when I visited the festival.
By now most people are probably aware of the German market normally comes to Birmingham City centre every year, but many of you might not be aware of the Magic Lantern Festival that has recently started coming to Birmingham Botanical Garden. These next few photos are just a taste of what to expect, for those that are interested in going and want to know what the Magic Lantern Festival has in store for them.
As the main attraction are the lanterns, that’s what I focused on however the festival does have a wide range of food and drink that you can buy on the path that they layout for you to follow. All of these photos were taken with a 18-55mm. To give you some sort of idea how big some of these lanterns were, the picture with the two unicorns can give you some sort of suggestion. This is one of the first lanterns that you see, the almost symmetrical lantern is darker on the right side than it is on the left and therefore did make for a semi difficult photo because it was hard to get the right balance of light on both sides.
I decided to take this picture at a slightly low angle to make the presence of this lantern even greater, and it makes for a good opening photo. There are some changes that I would have liked to have made, for instance remove the metal fencing, the lantern and also the stalls that stand behind it. Majority of the lantern photos haven’t been edited due to the fact that I wanted them to look as real as possible and not deceive anyone that looks at these pictures or has an interest in going to the festival.
What I liked most about this is festival is that there is no theme to the lanterns, it has a variety of creative designs so each year there can be new and old lanterns. The next two picture are an example of the different creative designs, one of a lotus flower, this being one of my favourite lanterns and although there is not much going on in terms of being a complicated design like the lantern with the unicorns. I like the contrast between the dark and the strong red tones alongside the white and purple lights.
From a lotus designed lantern to lanterns of unusual looking cats, the designs are unique and graceful. These lanterns make for some great pictures due the natural dark background of the night sky, the lanterns really stood out more as they are the only thing that can really be seen, making for a great picture. And although the lanterns in the background are not part of this display, their presence and variety in colour gives a nice balance to the darkness so it doesn’t look too plain.
You really don’t know what to expect when you’re there. I could have posted a lot more photos on Instagram than I did. However I didn’t want to spoil it for anyone that is interested in going, and wanted to see it for themselves.
I really enjoyed going to this festival and would recommend it. Hopefully next year things will at least look close to normal again and hopefully the Magic Lantern Festival will be up and running with more impressive lanterns. It’s a shame they won’t be able to do it this year it was something that I was looking forward to, be on the lookout for it next year I might see you there.
Street art can be found any and everywhere. I visited Lisbon around this time in 2018, I was meant to go the previous year, unfortunately I was in a car accident and had to undergo physiotherapy for 2 and a half months, which was the same time I was meant to fly over for a project that explored Lisbon as the creative city.
I was determined to travel to Lisbon, so luckily the following year I did, and from the research that I had done the previous year there was one place that I wanted to go to more than anything else and that was the LX Factory.
Street art is not the only thing that you can expect to find at the LX Factory, it has bars, cafes, restaurants, vintage shops and much more, however I focused on the art and how creative the area is.
Walking through we had shops on both sides of us, hanging above us are these flamingos. I assume they’re meant to be flamingos as they were pink they might have just been normal birds but pink, they were designed to make it appear like they’re flying. It was a great effect because this wasn’t throughout the area so was a surprise when we turned the corner.
Both of these pictures display the birds however I wanted to add a black & white effect that focused solely on the birds and the man made hole in the wall that had a plant in. Having this effect with the birds flying gave the picture a more dramatic feel to it, generating a sense of peacefulness and tranquility to it, when compared to the other picture that had more colour and more things going on. I posted both pictures instead of just the black & white one because I felt that the entire story needed to be told of this street. Its liveliness, colour and creativeness all needed to be shared and then have the birds on their own showing another side to the story.
Almost everywhere I looked I found street art of different sizes and in different positions, some almost going unnoticed because we’d be walking looking at one and not realise that there is another one on the back of a building we had walked past. Even when looking for a place to eat I came across one restaurant that had an outdoor area and on the outdoor wall was a beautiful piece of artwork, with a quote reading “Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, tambiéne” which loosely translates to “for every evil, there’s mescal, (a drink) and for every good, also”. One thing that I liked in particular about this artwork was how the artist had made the eyes on the skulls reflect, which gave a feeling of emptiness to them, like there’s no afterlife, their souls and personalities just gone, however the fact that no skull was the same meant there was still something there.
It should come as no surprise, that the last picture I took in the LX Factory, would be one of an abstract street art piece, there’s something that draws me to abstract art. It could be the fact that there are no limits, and because of, this in my opinion, allows the artist to express their creativity more.
On the outside wall of a cafe was an amazing piece of creative street art, what I liked about this piece, wasn’t just the range of colour that was involved but the use of colour, how they blended into each other, yellows to oranges to reds. The artist Misterpiro a Spanish painter is known for using water based techniques where the colours in his artwork blend into each other. Amongst the blends of different colours in this particular piece was a face, making an abstract fragment portrait art piece. In the original picture the colours weren’t as strong however to really impose the detail and have the majority of the focus on the face, I decided to make the colours slightly darker, I believe this made for a more striking picture as the emphasis was pinpointed to one element.
Lisbon was such a great place to visit, and the LX Factory was even better then I could have imagined, it was full of creativity and different forms of art. It’s definitely a place that I would go to again because there were some areas of the LX factory that I didn’t get a chanced to go to. I think exploring and finding out the different creative styles that different countries have, is important. I can’t wait to see where my next adventure takes me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post see you again soon.
From the last post, you should know that ExpressCreativity0121 isn’t just about focusing on photography, it focus on all forms of art. One of my personal favourite forms of artwork is street art, and during my time in London I came across a number of pieces, here are just a few.
If you have never been to London or just have an interest in art and creativity, I suggest you then visit Brick Lane, where you’ll see a mixture of creative fashion, stylish bars and cafes and also some amazing street art. Garage doors turned into masterpieces, fences being used as a canvas to display extraordinary creative artwork, Brick Lane had it all, no wall being left blank, it’s great.
After passing a number of restaurants that were trying to offer us deals to come in and try their amazing food, we eventually got to a part of Brick Lane that just oozed creativeness, and there at the back of a restaurant and next to what looked like some sort of workshop, stood this work of art that is actually one of my favourite pieces of street artwork, the little girl with the key hole in the middle of her head. What I liked about this piece was the detail, the green eyes, the realistic look of the eyelashes adding curls and not just lines. And finally the use of white, used on her glasses and some of the keys to show the reflection of light shinning on them.
Without asking the artist that produced this work, we can never really know for sure as to why they decided to produce this piece of artwork and the meaning behind it. However, if you were to ask me, I would say that the girl being young represents a child like innocence and trust, the use of green in the eyes and light blue for the top can be associated with life, harmony, trust and loyalty traits that we usually seen within children. The little girls eyes appear to be looking slightly upwards as if at an adult someone that a child would considered as someone to trust. The heart shaped glasses are used to represent love and her looking through them with loving eyes. The key hole on her forehead may suggest that her mind is locked, as a child there’re many influences in their life and can have ever lasting impressions on shaping a child’s mind. The keys that fall from above suggest that any one of them could be the key to unlocking her mind and the many potential possibilities of a child.
It is important to remember that the influence we can have on children through are actions and views can shape a child’s mind, therefore it is crucial for us as adults to be ideal role models for them.
This wasn’t the only piece of street art in the area though, in fact right next to the artwork of the little girl was the another piece of street art by a different artist, this one of young female done (by Dreph). As you can see the canvas for this piece was a garage door, but this is what to be expected when walking down Brick Lane, it was almost like no wall was off limits.
Even by restaurants there were massive pieces of street art on the walls or on the side of buildings and on doors. Another one of my personal favourites was of a piece that we saw on what looked like a wooden gate.
What I liked about this particular piece of artwork (by Senzart911) was the amount of colour that it had, the artwork stood out and seemed to brighten up the whole street, which was hard because this street in particular had so many different pieces of artwork everywhere you turned. On the side of walls there was artwork, doors and shops. I liked the unusual abstractness of this particular piece of artwork, the use of the colours and how they used the natural colouring of the gate to play a part, was just a unique way of using their creativity.
Street art is one of my most favourite types of artwork that I like to take photos of, the reason for this is because I love the way it can transform a shop or an entire street into an attraction just by having something nice and different to look at instead of the usual blank walls that you’ll normally find. With artists like Banksy their artwork has become famous around the world and therefore become a protective piece that people will travel from far to see, this potentially can bring tourism and business into the area and have more than just a visual impact.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, hope to see you again soon.
The post today focuses on something other than photography, instead we focus on other forms of art work ranging from sculptures to paintings and pictures, while also taking the time to look at the artists behind the work.
For those of you that don’t know about the Tate Modern Museum in London is that it has a national collection of British artwork from the 15th century to present day of international, modern and contemporary art. ExpressCreativity0121 isn’t just about photography, I respect all forms of art, it’s for that reason why I decided to do something a little different and showcase other peoples artwork.
These four photos are just a small glimpse of the many different forms of artwork that you can expect to see in the museum. All of the pictures have been left unedited, this is because it is important to display and concentrate on the artists work and not our photography work.
The first photo is of the famous German Conceptual artist called Joseph Beuys (Link to Wikipedia) who was born on the 12th May 1921 and died on the 23rd January 1986. One of his most famous pieces of work was in 1974 New York, I Like America and America Likes Me artwork which he did while being locked in a room with a live coyote, that can be seen in the other picture that is on the wall.
While many might think that Joseph Beuys was crazy for locking himself in a room with a coyote, and to be honest no one would blame you for thinking that. Beuys was more than just some crazy Conceptual artist, he was a performance artist, a painter, sculptor, medallist, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist, and pedagogue.
There was always a bigger picture to what he was doing.
This maybe one of the more unusual looking pieces of artwork out of all the pictures, however personally it’s my favourite in terms of how it looks.
When viewing this abstract sculpture, you’re straight away drawn to the dark blood red colour of the inside. This sculpture absorbs light however also reflects you upside down. I remember every time I got closer to this piece, the inside colour looked different, sometimes looking a dark purple other times looking red and sometimes looking completely black.
Due to there only being five colours in the entire picture and two of them coming from the sculpture its self. I felt that the plain surroundings only helped make this sculpture more striking and abstract.
This next photo is of a picture done by the Indian artist Bhupen Khakhar (Link to Wikipedia) who was a leading artist in Indian contemporary art, born in Bombay 10 March 1934 and died 8 August 2003. This piece of artwork, oil painting on a square canvas is called You Can’t Please All.
Thereare many reasons as to why I decided to take a photo of this picture.
One being the simple fact that, because it is hung on a white wall it stood out a lot more because of the use of colour that the painting has.
Another reason, while it isn’t related to the artwork, is the wall next to the picture that is covered completely in reds, blues and greens also the female that stands in-between both forms of artwork. As the photographer, my position taking the picture, almost mimics the position of the man on the balcony who stands there watching from the outside.
I wanted to show all different forms of artwork that can be found when visiting Tate Modern, an oil canvas picture was a justifiable choice. Not everyone is interested in contemporary artwork, and that’s okay. The beauty of all artwork is that people can look at the same piece and interpret it differently.
Like it or not like it, if it’s not your taste that’s fine.
Finishing off how we started, we look to this last picture, and the artwork done by Beuys, probably one of his most theatrical installations, called the Lightning with Stag in its Glare 1958-85. This piece took up almost the whole room and was incredibly difficult to fit in the photo. The reason why this picture was chosen, was because the artwork here is so creative and expressed in such a way, it would almost be wrong not to pick it.
Let’s give you a little brief insight into what you are looking at exactly, for those that haven’t clicked the link yet.
The “stag” is represented by an ironing board resting on wooden legs. The three-wheeled cart represents a “goat”, the bronze pieces on the floor are prehistoric “creatures”. They are all illuminated by a powerful “lightning bolt” which is the weighty triangular shape that hangs from a beam.
This artwork is so creative and inspiring, it’s amazing, it really is everything that ExpressCreativity0121 stands for.
Here at ExpressCreativity0121 I think that it is really important to acknowledge artists and their work, and show different forms of artwork and an artists creativity. I hope that posts like this one gets people inspired by those artists and want to learn more about the art world and get involved themselves by expressing their creativity.
Thank you once again for taking the time to read one another one of my posts, hope to see you again soon.
Here’s something a little different, this post focuses less on the photo but instead on the edit.
The original picture was taken on a 18-55mm, and has the subject leaning on what is actually the front of a shop wall looking up at the ceiling. I wanted to experiment with this photo, the background was plain and although that would have made a good photo for a portrait, I wanted to expand my photoshop skills. To make use of the shadows on the jumper, meant that the background had to be well lit. and with the subject looking up. This meant he had to have a reason as to you he was looking up. The choice to add stars was because it fit both of these categories, the brightness around him gave reason for the shadows on his jumper while the fact that some of them hung above him gave a reason for him to be looking up.
It’s important to always be learning and always wanting to learn, constantly trying to improve your ability and therefore improve yourself. Being creative means you don’t limit yourself, if you want to be able to express yourself you have to put in the hours and hard work so you can showcase what you have to offer and try new things.
Don’t be afraid to try, be afraid of never trying and never knowing.
This photoshoot was one that was such a blessing for both me and J’rome who founder of the clothing line Middle Kid with his girlfriend Rochelle. The shoot was done during my time at university. This photo shoot, while not compulsory for the module that I was doing, was needed to help with the project that I had chosen, and therefore benefited me. I was in luck because at the same time that I had started my module, J’rome & Rochelle, had recently started up a clothing line and was in need of a photographer to take a few photos which could then be used on their social media pages and also their website.