Author: Lainey

Student of photography.

More Photoshop Practice


Cherished Blogfest 2017


This post is part of the annual Cherished Blogfest which you can read about by clicking on the picture above.  Joining is simple but finishes tomorrow.  The list of participants can be found here. 

Post about an item and visit the others posts,  if you don’t have time this year, follow the blog ready for next year 🙂


My little guys…

In 2000, before we were off on the trip of a lifetime to see friends in Malaysia,  we bought the Rough Guide to Malaysia.  We wanted to get an idea of what we wanted to see and try to get a plan together for the trip.  In the end we pretty much left it to our friends to show us places because it felt like too much country and too little time!  Our friends had  been there a while and knew all the amazing places to visit.

There was however one place that I’d highlighted in the guide.  The Batu Caves. One of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India.

At the time I was feeling mentally, and spiritually tired and was starting to get interested in Eastern philosophies and especially Hinduism.  So the caves were the one place I needed to see.

A couple of pages on from the caves was a really cute little picture of these little monk type of souvenirs.  There were several designs of the figures and the picture was simply called  “Market stall.  Jalan Petaling.”  I took quite a shine to those little guys and was determined to find some on our trip.

Could not find them anywhere.

We visited the caves, which are incredible.  And surrounded by the views, the statues, artwork, and the little Macaque monkeys,  I had a sort of spiritual epiphany, lol.  The weight of internal struggles fell away and started  me on the path to Pantheism.

We then headed over to get a drink and there were my little guys.  To the disgust of my friends and maybe even the stall holder, I didn’t haggle.  I just got them on the spot!

A reminder of a beautiful place, a great holiday and the start of a (slightly!) more peaceful heart.

Lainey x


This post is part of  the Cherished Blogfest. The blogfest is hosted by Damyanti BiswasDan AntionCheryl Pennington,  Peter NenaSharukh Bamboat, Mary Giese, and Kate PowellPaul Ruddockit is open to anyone who wants to tell the world about something or someone they cherish. If you want to join us, click here. The blogfest is open until Midnight Sunday.



Cherished Blogfest 2017

I took part in the Cherished Blogfest in it’s first year and it was one of the loveliest things I’ve ever done on the internet.

Not only does it spark your own imagination and gratitude for some things and the people in your life, it introduces you to new blogs.

New blogs, new stories, other lives.

I wrote about my dog stuffed toy “Pooh” who has been with me since I was two weeks old.  (He’s not that white anymore!)

You may notice the dates have passed.  Lucky for some of us the Blogfest has been extended to the 22nd October.  It’s not too late to join in.  Click on the picture, follow the blog and then pick your cherished item.  The blog itself has information on all the hosts and links to last years blogs.

Obviously once you’ve posted, add your name to the list and start reading!

I’ll be joining in over the weekend, maybe I’ll see you there,

Lainey x

Review ~ Mini Studio Lightbox

Not really sure I will be doing many reviews, but I thought I’d give it a go!


This is my first attempt at a review and contains affiliate links.

(Disclaimer ~ I’ve had an Amazon affiliate account for  several years and never actually linked anything to it!)

This is what I bought – 16 inches portable mini studio with LED lights and four backgrounds from Amazon. Currently £24.99

First off, this is a nightmare to put up.  It did not come with instructions and putting it up should be easy.  The theory is  – connect all the press studs.  Trouble is that once you have one side done up and you move to the other side, it collapses.  It took me several attempts to get both sides up at the same time.  Even when it is assembled, the sides cave in.  One reviewer on Amazon has a great solution though – simply get a ruler and using pegs, attach it to the side and it reinforces it.  Clever.

I’d recommend getting the larger size.  This was the biggest of the portable boxes and once you’ve set up the area you have to work  in seems small.  Maybe a pair of shoes is the biggest item you could get in.

Fully assembled ~ also works as a cat magnet!

The backgrounds seem like a great idea but they are made of a foam type of material and mark really easily.  By the time I’d put them in the box they had scuffs on them which the LED light beautifully highlights…

There is a USB cable supplied (no charger)  I plugged mine into my computer at the side of the box, the cable is not very long approx 30″ (77cm)

Onto the photographs.  Just a side note ~ just because you have lots of lovely vintage things in your house does not mean they make great subjects.  I think the art of choosing what to photograph is almost as impressive as the art of taking the photographs.

I photographed my music box with three of the backgrounds for contrast.  Playing with backgrounds is as intriguing as playing with the light.  I used a “soften” filter just because I liked the look of it and these pictures were just to see the effect of the different backgrounds.

The rest of the photographs haven’t been edited in any way, apart from being cropped.  The backgrounds do help to crisp up the images and the LED light strip is handy but results can be a bit hit and miss.  The white background looks over exposed and the picture of the bunny was taken without the light on as the light hit the glaze and made it super shiny.

On the whole this would be a great piece of kit for online sellers taking product pictures.  That being said, you can take a piece off the top of the box and shoot from above which is  how I got the flower shot on my last post.  That worked really well and  is probably how I will continue to use this.

Should I give marks?  6/10

In hindsight I would probably buy it again.  It’s perfect for products to sell online and great for small items.

The cat highly recommends it!


Lainey x


Still Life Preview


I have just bought a portable light box with LED light strip and four backgrounds.  A cheap solution to having lots of kit.  First impressions are only ok but I will be having a play with it all over the weekend.

Review to follow next week!

Have a great weekend.

Lainey x

Eye of the Beholder


This is a picture I took of my little sister in the 1970’s.

It’s blurry and a bit rubbish really but it was a pivotal creative moment for me.  I think I was about 11 or 12 when I took this.  Do you remember the days of not seeing your photo’s until they came back from being developed?!

I remember being gutted at how bad this photo was.  However, it opened a whole new door for me creatively.

The photo was developed at a local corner shop and the chap who ran the shop was a keen photographer himself.  Mr Milner was his name and I believe he was also a member of a local camera club.  He was quite taken with this one.  I don’t know if he felt sorry for me looking disappointed or if it was genuine interest but he gave me an insight into what photography could achieve.  It could become art.  He loved the fact that we only saw a bit of my sisters face, the close up of her eye could represent so much.  She’s not smiling, why?  What was she thinking about and how did she make us feel?

He made me think beyond holiday snaps and I’ve carried that with me ever since.

Lainey x

Collecting Tips

It’s been a really long time since I properly used Pinterest.  It changed about so much it became a less and less enjoyable experience.

A few years ago it was fun to create boards, share ideas, meet some really amazing people, and get inspired!  But between promoted pins and “picked for you pins”  my home feed just became dull.  I learnt you can go to settings now and switch off the “picked for you” pins but I still get promoted pins.  They’ve also stopped showing who has pinned the pins you are seeing in order for you to click through.  It’s all got tedious.

So I’ve gone back to using it just for bookmarking.  I now that was the original idea of it but it was fun and sociable for a time.  Anyway – I seem to be a woman in a constant state of brain fog at the moment.  Reading is a massive challenge at the moment,  I have the attention span of a….whatever it is that has a short attention span!

I’ve always been a visual learner (wish I’d known that at school!) so Pinterest is perfect for me.  I’m collecting very visual pins with great, short bursts of information and plenty of pictures – hopefully some of this info will stick this time.

They don’t get better than this…



I’ll keep adding tips – maybe you’ll find some helpful too 🙂


Lainey x