the best birthday trip

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Last week for my birthday I went to Geneva with my favourite human and have been thoroughly out of the real world loop, so while I sink back into the world here is a short post of my holiday snaps.

Going off the last post about mobile photography, all of the below images were taken and edited on my iPhone, on location. The simplicity and immediacy of capturing and sharing moments is something that really draws me to using my phone more for photography. I posted these images and more in a thread on my twitter (@nucosi), which is where I actually share most of my work.

Hope you like the photos below. More posts about books and cameras and stuff on the way soon.

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phone photography

Over the last few months I have been getting infinitely more joy, photography wise, from my phone than I have from my actual camera. This is mostly because I have primarily been working lately, and lugging a DSLR to work and back every day on the off chance I see something cool is a pain.

This is why the camera in my pocket has become my go-to recently. With the help of a few different apps I am creating work I am super proud of, all from this little device that I’m even writing this blog on.

The main app I use is Lightroom Mobile because it is exceptional. The power this app packs in phenomenal, allowing incredibly detailed editing of your mobile photos. If you’ve never used it and take a lot of photos on your phone, I can not recommend it enough. It takes a little getting used to but the results will surpass any instagram filter, every time.

I also use HUJI, the app everyone is using right now. I love the punchy contrast, the light leaks and the vintage date aesthetic of the HUJI camera, it is a lot of fun, but the colours generally aren’t the best. Anything I shoot in HUJI immediately gets edited in Lightroom after.

Lastly I have started using Lens Distortions for adding those extra layer touches when appropriate; an additional flare or some subtle bokeh can really improve the atmosphere of an image. Here are a few before and afters to show you.

So, if you shoot on your phone a lot, why not do a little investigating into some apps and camera abilities see what else you can do. As well as the aforementioned, I have experimented widely, taking shots with inbuilt app cameras like messenger and instagram, used the Hipstamatic apps ability for double exposures, and used clip on lenses, all in search of wider control and experimentation.

Are there any things you do or have tried but failed in the past?

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Been a little busier again recently so here’s another round up of stuff I liked/did/read/ etc.

1 • finally upgraded my phone this week so I have a slightly more powerful and exciting phone camera to play with. Here are some images from the last couple days.

2 • Tricot have an Audiotree session now! I absolutely adore this band, finally seeing them live last year was incredible and this live session is fantastic! Watch it here.

3 • Alto’s Odessey, I have been hooked on this game all week. It’s so fun and beautifully made.

4 • Childish Gambino dropped a couple of new tracks with Summer Pack and coupled with the weather we’ve been having in England, they are giving me life.

5 • I finished reading The Storm Keeper’s Island which was fantastic! I wrote a review of it here if you haven’t seen already.

Book Review · The Storm Keeper’s Island

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The Storm Keeper’s Island

by Catherine Doyle


Yes I was seduced by another beautiful cover. What can I say? I have yet to be steered wrong by good design work, and this book his beautifully designed. This is also the Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month for July, a title that always warrants looking into and not just because it is my job.

The Storm Keeper’s Island, I’ll put this out there now, is one of the most exciting magical adventure stories I’ve read since Harry Potter. I am aware that is a bold claim, and one that has been branded upon the cover of many middle grade magical themed books in the past, but this one really stands out.

We follow Fionn and Tara Boyle as they spend a summer on Arranmore Island with their eccentric Grandfather, known locally as The Storm Keeper. As the story progresses it becomes clear that their Grandfather is not the only eccentric personality on the island, the island itself is alive and a character in its own right.

I don’t want to go too much into the plot because it would be so much better for you to discover it on your own. What I will say is that this book is full of family drama, laughs, peril and mysteries, all perfectly pitched with fluid prose. Simple lines like ‘the island inhaled’ covered me in goosebumps and anticipation. Doyle gives us just enough for your imagination to grab ahold and run, like the small flame of a candle that illuminates a dark room.

Fionn has quickly become one of my favourite characters. He is nervous, scared and shy but also incredibly brave, adventurous and funny. The bickering with his sister and one liner comebacks to the bully Bartley made me genuinely laugh out loud, while his internal thoughts full of sadness and self doubt made him incredibly relatable.

I cannot recommend this book enough, nor can I wait for the next instalment.

homework every day for the rest of your life

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As a creative human, with innumerable projects that at any given moment I am either working on or hoping to work on, there is a little voice in the back of my head that is constantly saying ‘You should be working.’ This can become quite overwhelming at times, especially when I already have a day job 40 hours a week. On my days off from the day job I am still working, as is evident by this blog post existing.

Now, I should say I don’t consider everything I do outside of work ‘working’ or even really ‘homework’ because I love doing it. My problem is that there is simply not enough time to do everything I want to, or even a fraction if I am honest, so the idea of taking a day off on my day off is a hard one.

I find it hard to sit still at the best of times because my brain is always thinking, inventing, wishing, planning, and while I cannot imagine a version of myself without my creative outlets, it can be exhausting.

I have had days where I have unintentionally done nothing all day and then come evening the guilt kicks in and my brain goes into overdrive and it just makes everything worse.

However, over the weekend I took a day off, from more or less everything. I took a cab out to the forest and walked around a wildlife centre with my favourite human. We climbed on trees and played on swings and saw animals and bugs and it was just incredible. Being out there in nature, shutting off from everything did more to inspire me and fill my brain with ideas than if I had sat at my desk all day writing.

This is why I’m trying to remind myself, sometimes it is okay to take a day off. Yes, maybe that chapter won’t get finished as quickly, maybe those photos will stay unedited and maybe you won’t accomplish anything creative that day, but it is worth it.

Take a day off.