I am jinxed

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 25 - 2010

The never-ending camera saga continues.

I buy a camera nearly 2 weeks ago.  It’s in stock and ready for next day delivery.  Except of course it freaking isn’t.  Cos that kind of sharp practice is the norm these day, us consumers are clearly mugs.

So… I wait… and I wait…

The expected delivery day passes, and I give them one more day on top of that before I contact them again.

“We didn’t get stock as expected but will contact Canon and inform you within 2-3 days whether or not we can expect more.”

Firstly…

Why didn’t you TELL ME when the stock didn’t come in instead of letting me stalk the postman for 5 days like an expectant father and secondly, 2-3 days to find out if you’re EVEN GONNA GET THE BLOODY CAMERA that I ordered 2 weeks ago?

On your bike.

Then it gets funnier.

I ask for a refund and get told it will take 7-10 working days to process.  I don’t speak for a moment because I’m too busy trying to lift my chin off the floor.

.

I phone and get cross, they promise to process it within 3 working days.  I should fucking think so.  Though I’m still waiting…

3 days ago… I go somewhere else.

Bear in mind that this camera is now getting increasingly hard to find in stock because it’s just been superseded (hence me being able to afford the bugger!).  I need to get a wiggle on if I’m gonna be able to source one.

But source one I do.  Live stock update – 8 in stock.  Great.  Sold to the lady with the overused Paypal account.

I log on to Twitter and moan about my camera troubles but delight in the fact that I’ve finally got it sorted.

I follow a couple of great photographers on Twitter who by some strange photographer sixth sense (or maybe just a shared shite experience) BOTH basically (without ANY prompting) reply that they wonder if my previous experiences were with a company based on the I.O.M called S***** E********** who are apparently complete scum bags.

“No”…. says I as my head simultaneously hits the desk.

Why does my head hit the desk then?

BECAUSE THAT’S WHO I’VE JUST GONE AND BLOODY RE-ORDERED THE SODDING CAMERA WITH!

Are you still with me?  This rant has basically turned into a stream of consciousness and I apologise for the lack of grammar and fragmented sentences.

So, here I am…. 2 weeks down the line.  One failed attempt at getting a camera (and still no refund).  2nd attempt currently underway with a company that has a reputation for being completely crap and not holding stock when they say they do.

I phone them and try to squeeze the info out of them.  “You do actually have physical stock right?”… They answer in the affirmative-ish… but are more keen to keep repeating the line that stock was ‘allocated’ to me when I placed my order.  I’m not fully convinced.

And then…..

This afternoon, I get a phonecall.

“Hello, Lloyds TSB Fraud Prevention Department here.  We’ve declined your payment of £689.90 to S***** E**********.  Please confirm that you made this order.”  I confirm, but that doesn’t change the fact that the payment’s still been declined and needs to be made again.  It’s Saturday.  Can’t do it.

I’m on holiday tomorrow and GOD KNOWS how I’m going to be able to sort this mess out and re-order with what is (possibly) a completely shiteous company anyway on Monday.

I think I need a desk to strap to my head permanently.


Little camera update…

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 15 - 2010

I bought one!  I gots me a shiny new camera!

Look…

Not my hands, not my camera.  My nails are prettier and slightly more feminininine looking.

However, my 50D should be with me next Tuesday.  I’m counting down the hours, minutes and seconds.

I know…. who cares right?

But I wanted to say thanks for all the lovely melodramatic hand-wringing you did with me on Monday.  It was much appreciated mi amigos!

It’s a dark, dark day.

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 13 - 2010

I am bereft.

I scrimped, I saved and I ignored my student loan to save all my pennies for my baby Canon back in 2007.

And on Saturday it went to the great big Crumpler  in the sky.

.

I’m moping.  The skies are grey and the birds aren’t singing.  My shoulders are struggling to support the weight of my big fat, miserable head and Winter feels closer now than it ever has before.  I could catch beach balls on the shelf that my bottom lip has become and I’ve discovered the wonder of the monosyllable.

And yanowot really pisses me off?  These bloody cameras cost MORE now than they did 4 years ago!

*kicks something* (not a small child incase you had your phonebook open at Social Services).

.

Um… So uh, how was your weekend?  Don’t tell me it was ggggggreat, ‘cos I don’t give a flying fstop.

Today is a GOOD day.

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 22 - 2010

So this afternoon… I was eating my lunch, sipping at my diet coke and doing my usual blog tour… checking out all my fav blogs when I nearly choked on my cheese and pickle sandwich.

Clicking over to Kiss&Makeup.tv, I did a double take when I read their latest post:

I have great tips!  It was a perfect opportunity for a typo… but tips are fab too.

Please excuse this obscene display of self-indulgence, as a long-time stalker of Kiss&Makeup.tv… I feel like I’ve been featured on Oprah.

How’s your day going?

For my fellow bloggers, because you asked (lots!)

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 25 - 2010

_MG_4246

My camera is a Canon 30D DSLR.  It’s a bit old now… I’d love to look into upgrading, but can’t really use ‘taking photos of my makeup’ as a justification for purchase *blush*.  I own 3 wonderful lenses, but mostly use my Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 for blog photos.

I shoot in manual mode because it gives me the greatest flexibility.

Photography was my first love and I’ve spent 4 years learning and trying to get a good grasp of the technical side of the hobby.  My ultimate goal was to be confident and never need to rely on P mode again, shooting in manual gives you control of the image, not just the camera.

I’m frequently asked how to take better FOTD photos, and my answer has nothing to do with the camera and everything to do with the lighting.

If you’re outdoors, open shade is lovely.  Beware of trees, dappled sunlight is no good.  One of my absolute favourite places to shoot portraits are in open doorways. Try it.

Stand at the entrance to your garage or open your front door.  You get a lovely amount of soft, directional light.  Flat lighting is fine but light that moulds around your features casting soft shadows and highlights is better!  Try turning slightly and see how the light falls.  I always hold my hand out and just watch how the light falls on it, tilting, angling and moving until I see a sweet spot.  Then I go and stand in it.

If you have to take photos in the evening under artificial light, your biggest obstacle will be avoiding that “rabbit caught in headlights” look caused by the flash on your camera.  Camera flashes are not kind to us ladies, they make shiny patches practically glow and accentuate any flaws whilst simultaneously washing out the great EOTD you’ve just spent the best part of twenty minutes creating.

The problem stems from the fact that the light in your image is coming from a very small physical source.  Your objective is to take that small source (the flash bulb) and make it larger.  This will diffuse the light and decrease the specular highlights and harsh shadows in your photographs.  The easiest way to do this (if your camera allows it) is to angle your flash so that the light first hits a bigger surface (like the ceiling or a white wall/cupboard door) before reflecting back on your face.

See the diagram below:

Can you see the harsh shadows behind the object on the direct flash diagram?

If you don’t have the flexibility of a flash head you can angle, you could try one of the many pop up flash diffuser options available on eBay.  I haven’t personally tried any of them so I can’t recommend anything specific I’m afraid.

Anyway, that’s a very basic lighting 101 for taking self-portraits, I hope it helps all those who have asked in the past.

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