Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Want to take photos like this?



I took this photo on my phone.

Do you take photos on your phone and wonder why they don’t always look as good as you’d hoped? Have you seen some incredible photography and wondered if you could do that? YOU CAN!

I’m running a photography workshop on Saturday August 22nd in Northampton Town Centre where you can learn what goes into making a great photograph and how phone apps can make all the difference transforming the OK into the incredible!

I have captured some of my best photographs on my camera phone. It’s always with me. While others are playing Candy Crush or checking Facebook, I’m snapping. There’s not always time to set up the perfect shot, placing everything you need in the perfect frame position, but hey there’s no need to worry … there’s an app for that!

There are so many apps available – many of them free of charge – that are able to produce the same effects as using as fancy DSLR camera. You can capture a shallow depth of field*, adjust the lighting, add filters and even change the sky in the background!

Once you get used to realising you have the perfect tool to capture magical moments with you all the time you’ll wonder why you never used it this way before. It’s not just about snapping your child with ice cream dribbling down their chin – it’s also very much about seeing differently, capturing emotion and memory. It’s so you can remember not just the scene but how it made you feel.
Your camera phone is incredibly easy to use, unobtrusive and best of all the sky is the limit when it comes to the effects you can achieve using the hundreds of apps available.

This workshop will empower you with the techniques and tricks you need to take stunning, memorable photographs using just your phone. It’s easy when you know how – and I can teach you!

* and yes – I’ll explain what this means too!

We'll meet at 11am in the Education Room at NN (the contemporary art building on Guildhall Road).

Our first session will cover what makes a great photograph - how to better frame your shot before you click; how to see things differently; learning what the rules are and how to break them!

Then, we'll go out on a shoot around town.

Over lunch in the NN Cafe we'll review our work then return to the work space to learn how using different apps can transform your shot.

I'll show you how to take shots like this:


and turn them into this:


All this for just £20 per person (excluding lunch).

If you would like to sign up, drop me a line at lisa@the-wright-stuff.co.uk

With just 12 spaces available this is sure to fill to up fast so confirm your booking now!

(You don't need an iPhone - the apps I will use are suitable for android too).

Some more before n afters:











Friday, 26 June 2015

Cinderella the coy



Cinders is looking a little coy. Little minx knows she's impressed Mr Charming but thought she might pretend for a while that she hadn't noticed him yet - keep him keen you know. Plus she's still figuring out how to dance in shoes made of glass so for now she's content to just swish her skirts about a bit.

She'd better not leave it too long though - I'm at the ball too and have my eye on that Prince for myself. He's pretty easy on the eye it has to be said, got a touch of the Ross Poldark's about him...

Cinderella is for Summer of Colour - this week we're using a palette of two shades of purple and a yellow. I'm wearing lime green. I think the Prince prefers it, for now it seems he has forgotten the girl with the blonde hair, lilac dress and uncomfortable footwear and is heading in my direction!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Pretty dancing Columbine


It's funny how the names for these girls just pop into my head. It's almost like they whisper them to me.

The title for this post is a line from a poem I can still remember learning when I was a little girl. By Cicely Mary Barker it tells the story of the flower fairy who loved to dance in her pretty little dress.
I learnt so many of those poems off by heart!

Well, anyway, here is my entry for the second week of Summer of Colour - pinks and orange. This particular Columbine has arrived at the ball with bouquet of flowers for her beau. He will probably bring her beer - they are a thoroughly modern couple!




Wednesday, 10 June 2015

I'm playing!



I have been going through a crisis of confidence lately. I lost my flow. Words, paint, even emotions - everything was blocked. A niggling voice buried in the depths of me kept trying to convince me to just start something, to get my fingers working, but I refused to listen. Instead, I've been burying my head in books, sleeping too much and time-wasting on Facebook (you know the kind of thing... quizzes to see what bird you were in a previous life or your hippy name...).

Something shifted in the last week or so though and I braved a few blog posts, then I picked up a paintbrush. I'd been reading a book on watercolour techniques (this one) and I was ready to play.

I started painting a series of girls which, if you clicked on the link to see the book, might surprise you since it was about how to paint landscapes! Each one requires a great deal of drying time in between layers so I have ended up with around half a dozen of them on the go. Then, on Instagram I spotted a post from Kristin announcing the start of the 2015 Summer of Colour and I knew I had to be in! So, I grabbed a couple of blues and a green and painted this one. She's my favourite so far!

I've named her Flo - because she helped me find my own flow again. Thanks Flo and thanks Kristin!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Getting my ducks in a row


I feel on the verge of something but feel the need to get my ducks in a row before I start. Normally I'm much more a plunge right in kind of gal, those ducks can just race along any way they like as long as they get there eventually, but something is holding this little baby back.

The symptom is clearly procrastination but the source I think may be called Fear.

There's just so much I want to do in my career but it all involves stepping outside of the cosy snuggle of a comfort blanket. Trouble is the blanket is old, threadbare and a bit scratchy - time to throw it into the wind!


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

How to be popular - there's an app for that...

As my Instagram account crawls its way to a 300 follower milestone, I wondered how I could promote it a bit better and reach a wider audience. I mean I'm not saying I'm an incredible photographer, but I've got ambitions and I've seen some accounts with thousands of followers and likes and wondered, with I admit a jealous heart, how on earth they did it.

So, with the power of a quick google search I discovered that they probably aren't as popular as they seem. In fact, there are many tools out there to create illusions of grandeur. Take LikePotion for example. You just hop on there, like a few random photos that come up, earn points and then spend those points in getting likes for your own photos. In a few minutes a bunch of people who don't even really look at what you are sharing click 'like' and Bob's your uncle - you are super successful.

But what's the point? Surely a 'like' earned from someone who appreciates what you have created is the only one of value? Why are all these people craving fake popularity? How can it make you feel like you've achieved something when it is essentially meaningless? It's like buying a degree. You can't use it to become a brain surgeon without the lessons and learning to get you there.

Why are we not content with what and who we are? Without wishing to sound too melodramatic, it seems to me that not being happy with yourself and seeking to essentially buy popularity only takes you down one road - and that's to depression. There's an interesting article on the subject here.

On that cheerful note, I think I'll stick with my organic growth (much healthier)!

However.... if you'd like to follow me and like all of my photos and make me super popular you can find me on Instagram here @lisawrightstuff!! Tee Hee!!


Monday, 1 June 2015

An Artist's Date



An hour or so to kill why I kept my fingers crossed hoping my car passed its MOT, so I took myself off on an Artist's Date.

This isn't your normal dress up nice, flirt over dinner and try not to drink too much wine kind of date. Your 'date' is inspiration - wherever you can find it. Inspiration is a funny companion. They have a tendency to pop out when you're least expecting it, or sneak off to the loo and try and climb out of the window.

Today though, Inspiration was good company and shared with me some secrets to be found in the unlikeliest of places.



I walked through a small park by the river hemmed in all all sides by Northampton's urban interests. The railway, road and industrial sites framed the water lilies and wildflowers. Normally, I'm drawn to nature, but today was more about harder lines, the urban edge.

To thank my companion for guiding me towards such interesting photographic compositions, I took them to Starbucks for a beverage and we dived into my plethora of photo apps on the iPhone.


iPhoneography is my latest obsession - I'm two-timing on this date with inspiration! I haven't painted properly for weeks - it's all about photography...

(also on Instagram - https://instagram.com/lisawrightstuff/)

Thursday, 26 March 2015

I can write (or at least I think I can)

It has been so long. It's like when you leave off dealing with a problem until it's way too late, the opportunity has passed.

I seem to have lost my confidence when it comes to writing, something shut up inside and threw away the key.

Baby steps needed.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The end of another Magical Journal Journey

Madrigal

I can't believe that we've reached the end of our third year of journal swapping. Me and my little tribe of artist friends have been creating our books, devising our themes and passing them round the globe.

This year's theme was Inspired by Artists. We chose such a wide selection from old Masters like Matisse (my choice) to modern surrealist artists like Duy Huynh - Tammy's choice, whose journal I have just sent flying back across the ocean.

Huynh paints surreal portraits and landscapes often inspired by stories. So that's exactly where I took my creative thinking. I've been reading a series of books by Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy. The main characters are a girl with blue hair and a chimera - half woman, half deer. Sounded pretty perfect to me and the best thing was I got to create them exactly how they appeared in my imagination.

Madrigal came first - in a scene in the book, her lover magically 'weaves' a cloak of hummingbird moths to cover her shoulders when her dress is ripped. Then Karou's streams of blue hair came cascading from my paintbrush!



The second set of pages feature a little paper doll performing acrobatics at the circus - in day and at night. She unclips and moves from scene to scene!



 Finally, we collaborated on the back cover of the journal - I am not sure where the cat and the fiddle came from to be honest. One minute it was a half-finished canvas and then suddenly a moggie was playing a merry jig! I added a few clouds too just for the hell of it (and to distract from the contorted paw holding the neck of the violin... maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that!)

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Rehearsal


Life is not a rehearsal. How many times have I heard that? Of course it’s still a true story and, as I romp through my 44th year, it has become an ever-louder nagging voice increasingly making its message known from the back of my subconscious.

My half-formed characters are screaming at me from the scrappy drafts that languish in the pits of my hard drive. If I don’t do something with them soon, they will be packing up their meagre possessions, escaping their stifled dungeon and setting off an adventure of their own choosing. Their fate was in my hands but there are many other writers’ imaginations out there, perhaps they will find their place through another pen.

Then there’s paint and colour and pattern and paper... Every time I pick up a paintbrush or look at a fellow artist’s piece of work, I feel this yearning deep within my soul to place art firmly in my working life. Why have I listened to the voices that would tell me I’m not good enough for so long? Perhaps they are the ones that deserve to be banished to a corrupted computer file.

But all is not lost for this particular biopic. The winds of change are finally wrapping their tendrils into my lethargy and pushing me forward into a new Act. Last month seemed like an awakening in many senses – most of all my intuition. I have focused more attention on my writing, rediscovering the joy of paragraphs that don’t require the corporate spin that pays my wages and the art-related business my friend and I have been slowly planning is almost ready for her debut performance.

I realised that I’ve turned up, learnt the script by heart, practiced and honed and even danced the boards in a series of dress rehearsals. It’s time to take centre stage and have my moment as the leading lady that I know I can become. Watch this space!
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