This evening we had a little family scoot around our town, with a very special mission in mind.

My beautiful friend @gembro82 has started off a very long and colourful snake. The idea is you decorate a rock and add it to the snake. 🐍 Over the past 2 weeks its grown to over 400 rocks.

We loved it. It’s quite moving seeing all of these rocks, #rainbow themed or character themed. It shows just how many children are sitting at home missing their friends and that interaction.

It also demonstrates how we can support each other and work together through these daunting times.

Do you have a #SnakeRock near you? Or, do you have something similar?

#mummyphotoaday

This evening we had a...

Would you believe me when I tell you this was this morning? It was. It was directly in-between 2 rather scary looking rain clouds that unleashed their power!

The kiddies didn’t mind. They loved splashing around in the river, despite us warning them the weather would be changing very soon. Thankfully the blustery rain showers were short, albeit powerful.

The kiddies love this spot. They’ve asked to go every single day since they discovered it. I see it being a popular choice over the Summer.

This was taken with my phone. I am completely in #love with the camera on this phone. I love the fact I can take clear, vibrant and detailed photos whenever I have my phone with me.

Have you got a favourite spot that you visit more frequently than before lockdown?

#mummyphotoaday

Would you believe me when...

A great way to spend some time whilst waiting for the best delivery of your life! It was fun watching the kiddies play this game; daddy had to find the kiddies on the trampoline. I love how vibrant the colours are in this photo. Especially the #orange opening.

It seems easy but it’s quite disorienting. The kids love it. I love the anticipation of when Daddy will get them!

Our big delivery was our garden furniture. I’ll post some photos when it’s not quite so windy. The wind blew the cushions all over the place this afternoon. Our rather large patio is looking like a cosy spot to spend the summer now!

I’m hoping we’ll get in some chill time this weekend, enjoy our garden and just be safe at home.

What are you up to this weekend?

#mummyphotoaday

A great way to spend...

We are very excited to announce a fabulous competition with @toysforapound_ - they are giving away 2 bundles of 25 toys for 2 of my followers.

The kiddies had fun going through all the toys, there is a great choice of toys too. Something for everyone: including little ones. Or even the grown ups.

Enter on the blog, link in bio or check out my competition stories. You’ve got to be in to win it!

#Quicktip if you want to impress the kids this summer order a bundle of toys from @toysforapound_ - they were amazed with the amount of goodies in the box!

If you want a 10% discount code, please use CONSTANT10, this will work once per customer!

Good luck! #mummyphotoaday

We are very excited to...

I had precisely 30 minutes of sunshine this evening to test out my new iPhone camera. I absolutely love it.

The photos I have taken are stunning. The quality of the colour and the light, the fun angles of the new lens. I took this photo by accident, I adore it.

It’s world #bee day today and when I was taking this photo all of a sudden I noticed 5 or 6 buzzing around me collecting the pollen. 🐝 They fascinate me.

I can see I am going to have a lot of fun with this new phone... Anyone else have any cool tips for the new iPhone?

#mummyphotoaday

I had precisely 30 minutes...

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, this week, and the topic is KINDNESS. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing, but the effects of being kind to someone can have many benefits. I would definitely say cost vs value, value wins every time! 🤣 I think that kindness is more important at the moment as everyone needs that extra lift to make them smile.

Smiling releases hormones, endorphins, which makes us feel happy and also helps to reduce stress. So, it’s a good circle: be kind to someone - make them smile - make yourself feel happy in the process.

On Sunday Hubby showed me kindness when he took the kiddies out for a bike ride and gave me some time on my own. I needed the headspace as I’ve felt frazzled over the last 2 months. He knew that, subconsciously, and knew that taking the kiddies out would make a difference to my day. It did.

I smiled. I painted. I chilled. I felt happier.

In honour of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek - I want to spread a little kindness in my teeny square part of the world!

Comment on this photo and I will reply to you with kind words, which will hopefully make you smile.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

#kindessmatters

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week,...

I find I spend most of my days, at the moment, just watching these 2. When they are friends, they are the best of friends. They have the most bizarre conversations and talk about the most random things. But I love listening to that!

One of my #projects over this lockdown period is to get our garden into tip top shape for Summer and another is to take more photos. I love taking photos, it’s my favourite hobby and I’m looking forward to trying out the new iPhone 11 camera at the end of the week.

This photo was taken with my iPhone 8 Plus. I think it takes amazing photos. So I can only imagine the 11 will be better! 💛 Have you seen my iPhoneography tips on the blog?

Do you have any Summer, lockdown, projects?

#mummyphotoaday

I find I spend most...

We’ve been busy little bees 🐝 today! The kiddies got through 95% of their schoolwork, yes that’s right! I was gobsmacked when I finished work. They get set weekly tasks on a Monday, then new Maths & English tasks each day. Is tomorrow they have 1 weekly task left, then it’s just Maths & English. I am so impressed. They’ve completely smashed it!

I had a productive day too, I had 2 new starters at work and had to ensure they are settled in their roles. It was different via Teams but I’m hoping I can still manage effectively remotely. It’s so hard not sitting next to people, as you just don’t know how quickly they work or how they work. I’ve got to learn to talk a bit more! I’m so happy we have a full team though! 🥂

Another 2 reasons why I’m feeling happy today: our outdoor furniture is being delivered this week (2 weeks earlier than I thought) Whoop Whoop and my iPhone upgrade is due this week. I can’t believe I’ve had my iPhone 8 Plus for 2 years! It’s the best iPhone I’ve had to date.

These guys are trying #new things in the garden too. Isla got this for her birthday. I used to love a skip ball when I was a child. And a Pogo Ball? Can anyone remember these?

#mummyphotoaday

We’ve been busy little bees...

Photography tips – taking photos on your iPhone

I saw an advert pop up on my Instagram about an iPhone course and I thought, hang on, I am sure I can find out the information without paying for a course. I did, some of the tips I already knew but I did learn a few new functions! So I wanted to share it. For this post I am using my iPhone 8 Plus, it is updated with the most recent iOS update too (currently 12.3.2). So here are my photography tips with an iPhone:

First off – use the grid

The grid is really useful on your iPhone camera as it helps you to line up your photos correctly, using the rule of thirds. It’s probably the only “technical” photography thing I know. The grid is split into 9 equal parts and allows you to align your subject in one of these intersections. It creates more depth, tension and interest than just snapping everything in the centre of the camera. I have always used the grid, it helps me to align my photos properly and make sure I get it right.

Here’s the grid shot using the rule of thirds, I have positioned the camera so the rose (my subject) is in the left hand intersection of the grid:

Here is the same photo using the middle intersection:

The outcome with the rose on the left, I think it looks much more creative (don’t you?), this photo is completely unedited:

To turn the grid on your iPhone, open “settings“, “camera” and slide the “grid” to on.

Whilst we are in settings, lets turn on HDR:

Turn on HDR

HDR is High Dynamic Range. This basically means that it takes a few snaps at the time you press the button, taking before and after moments – it then compresses them to get the best photo. The photos are brighter, the contrast is more vivid and I think they come to life a little more. Here are 2 photos of the same thing, you can see the difference and they are completely unedited.

With HDR:

Without HDR:

To turn on HDR on your iPhone, open “settings“, “camera” and slide the “HDR” to on, you also want to turn “keep original photo” on too.

Tap the subject to focus

Did you know if you tap on the screen of the camera, the camera will focus on where you tapped? Most people probably know this already, it’s quite an intuitive feature of the iPhone camera. You can tell when you have focussed as a little yellow box appears on where you tapped. If you see in the photo below, there’s a yellow box with a sunshine next to it.

Tap and hold to lock on the subject

Now this was a very neat new trick I learnt. I had no idea I could do this with my iPhone camera. I was very excited! If you follow the instructions above, but instead of tapping on what you want to focus on, tap & hold it. You will get the yellow box with the sunshine, but it will also say AE/AF LOCK at the top. This means auto-focus and auto-exposure is locked. The benefit of this is that you can move around a little & adjust the camera whilst keeping your subject in focus. In the photo below I tapped and held on the dogs, so even though they are moving it kept the focus for me.

You can see the closest point to the camera, the dog leads, is out of focus and the dogs are in focus.

Change the exposure

Another “WOW” moment for me was when I learnt I could change the exposure with a swipe of my finger. So, when you have done the tap to focus thing, as above, you see the sunshine around the yellow box. When you see that sunshine, you can basically swipe up the screen or down to make the exposure higher or lower. Swiping up makes the exposure higher, which essentially lightens the photo and to swipe down is makes the exposure lower, therefore making it darker. Try it:

Default photo settings:

High exposure:

Low exposure:

Taking a flat lay

I had no idea my iPhone could do this. I have noticed the little cross hairs before but I had no idea what they did. If you hold your phone above the subject, as to take a flat lay, you will notice a yellow and white cross hair appears. The aim of these is to allow you to merge these together, so you know the iPhone is flat. To get the best photo. It’s like a spirit level for the camera. What an amazing idea and a great addition to the photography tips.

Can you notice the yellow and white crosses in the middle of the screen?

I adjusted the iPhone to be “flatter” (level with the ground) and the yellow and white cross merged. So clever:

Use the Square setting

If you are taking a photo purely for Instagram, use the square setting on the camera. It will help you shape your subject accurately and using the grid you can get the exact composure you want for your photo.

Live photos

Last but not least, using the live photo setting means you can do some fun things with the photos – like make them loop around like a video or a long exposure photo (which makes blurry motion shots). This is a post editing type of photography tip. Now, I didn’t get too creative as it would have been fun to do it with car lights in the dark or a trickling stream. Instead I went with the blustery leaves:

To turn live on your camera settings, simply by making sure the live icon is yellow when you take a photo, this means it is on. The live icon is the two circles surrounded by the dotted circle, on the left hand menu (or top menu depending on rotation), 3rd icon down:

Then, after you have taken a live photo, you can swipe up from the photo gallery to see all the fun options you have for each live photo:

You may already know some of these photography tips, or you might not use them fully. I would love to know if you have any other tips and tricks with an iPhone. I love taking photos and I always have my iPhone on me, so I like to make the most out of iPhoneography!

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3 Comments
  • Susan Mann
    June 23, 2019

    Most of my photos are done on the iPhone camera. Great tips x

  • Jonathan Hunt
    December 12, 2019

    Great tips, unbelievable how many people don’t realise they can focus.

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Photography tips – taking photos on your iPhone

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