Friday, 29 November 2013

The Pentax #q7weeksofcolour project!

Last week, I got involved with a little project with Pentax (or, PENTAX as it seems to be in all the correspondence, which is odd retro-futuristic to my eyes... PENTAX THE DESTROYER,  robot from outer space), anyway, yes. They wanted me to test drive a little Pentax Q7 - little being the operative word. It is a very small non-SLR camera with interchangeable lenses. Something in between a point-and-shoot and my beloved and very battered Canon.


Look how small!

It's a mirrorless camera, meaning there's no viewfinder - just the LCD screen. It's very light and, importantly for me, very sturdy, falling off a high counter onto a tiled floor just 3 days into my challenge and being absolutely, perfectly fine (unlike my Canon which smashed its expensive lens into bits during a similar mishap).

You can fiddle with the settings like on a normal DSLR - I like to shoot on Av, so I can change the f-stop (the lower the better), although the zoom function on the Q7 changes the f-stop automatically. You can change the ISO and the white balance too. I tend to stick with Auto on those ;)

It even shoots video, though I haven't had a play with that yet.

The challenge was to take a photo every day for a week, each with a different colour scheme. This is something quite fun, requiring one to keep an eye out every minute of the day for a suitable photo opp (and sometimes failing and resorting to what one has in hand). I also took it to Rhythm Riot over the weekend before to test it out. Here are some of the test results (these have not been edited in any way):


Rhythm riot

Rhythm riot

Rhythm Riot 2013

Rhythm Riot 2013

Rhythm Riot 2013

I feel that the unedited photos have a slightly vintage quality - might be to do with my inexpert wielding of the Pentax Q7 and very slight overexposure? I'm not sure. All I know is, it took a lovely photo with an extendable flash that helped in dark conditions. I'll be writing up the Rhythm Riot properly next week by the way, with a few more of these photos and several of other people's too.

And here's the full project! These were all taken on the Q7, emailed to my phone and then put through Instagram, so there are filters added.

Yellow

Red

Paint it #black. Went to Heavy Metal Bowling/BBQ tonight. I'm pretty metal ;) #q7weeksofcolour
Black

Mint Juleps! #green #q7weeksofcolour
Green

Took the little Pentax to town today! Bright #white lights & sparkle! #q7weeksofcolour
White

Details for tomorrow. #lilac #q7weeksofcolour
Lilac

Of all the vintage sparkles I have, most of them are #blue! Last day of #q7weeksofcolour - thanks for watching! #nofilter
Blue

What do you think? This was a super fun little project so thank you to Pentax/Ricoh Imaging for sending me the Pentax Q7. These little babies retail from £369.99 so not at the budget end of the camera scale, but considering its tiny size, portability and image quality, it seems very reasonable. Fits in a vintage handbag, too, as I demonstrated at Rhythm Riot. Plus! You can choose almost any colour combo for the body and trim! My boyfriend is planning to buy a wide-angle lens for it, so that should be fun! 

If you fancy winning a Pentax Q7 for yourself, there's a #Q7weeksofcolour competition running at www.facebook.com/RicohImagingUK - go and enter! 

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Having a Bath

Gooooooood afternoon!

Blimey but I am behind with my posting. I have new job! It's very exciting - I am now officially 'Head of Social Media' at a little digital agency called Digital Binx. It's all very new (two weeks!) so I don't have a huge amount to tell you all yet. Have a look at the site to find out more!

But just before I started, I had the absolute honour of being invited to stay for a night at Bailbrook House in lovely, lovely Bath. It's part of the small, boutique chain of Handpicked Hotels, all known for their beautiful and unique venues. Bailbrook itself seems to have languished for several decades as a conference centre, so the transformation to a fancy hotel is pretty amazing. Here's my little review!



We arrived on a rainy Sunday afternoon and were immediately treated to Afternoon Tea. Now I am a huge fan of afternoon tea as you may well know from reading umpteen other blogs about said teas; but my lovely man Sean is not as au fait with them. It's fair to say he doesn't 'get' afternoon tea and had not, in his recollection, ever had one. He was soon converted.



There were two teas available - savoury and sweet. We chose one of each! The savoury had freshly baked breadsticks, smoked salmon caesar salad, parma ham and some amazing homemade harissa spiced 'hummous' (in inverted commas as it didn't taste at all like hummous but was utterly delicious) and tzaziki, plus olives, tiny prawn vol au vents and croque monsieur. Oh and the finger sandwiches, standard tea offering but not standard in this case with homemade bread in multiple flavours. YUM.


The sweet tea was pretty traditional: sandwiches, scones with fresh clotted cream and jam, but also with tiny strawberry and mint cupcakes, bakewell tarts and a little Peach Schnapps sorbet and madeira cake. Very tasty indeed.



The tea was all Twinings finest, but with a really neat system to choose. A presentation box with loose teas in jars was brought over for us to open and sniff. I chose Earl Grey as I very often do. Mr Tizard chose a smoky one whose name escapes me. They came over with a little timer to get the perfect brew - white, green or black tea!




That evening we explored Bath and had an awesome sleep in the very comfy bed (not to mention a bath in the huuuuge bathroom with TV and waterproof remote. Here's the Tizard, demonstrating.



Unfortunately I forgot to photograph the bed, I got so excited about jumping onto it. So here is a recreation of my first entrance into the room, performed the following morning.



There were lots of cool, quirky vintage pictures everywhere... and the four poster bed was THE most comfortable ever.


The rooms all have grand names like Lord Nelson and Jane Austen. Ours was General James Wolfe, apparently a British army officer who trounced the Canadians at the Battle of Quebec. Soz Canadians.

(civilised official pic)

After all that jumping, there was only one thing for it. Breakfast and the papers. 





The Cloisters restaurant was beautiful and it was delicious.

What about the hotel itself? It was a horrible day when we visited Bailbrook House Hotel. Here's a photo of it looking lovely.



It's truly gorgeous, Georgian; built in the 1790s and used for all sorts (including, as previously mentioned, as a conference centre). The grounds are lovely too. I had to have a pose. In me big troosers.



Billowy.

I had such a lovely night's stay with the great food and super room. A massive, massive thank you to Bailbrook House and Handpicked Hotels for having me. If you are looking for a luxurious mini-break in the wonderful city of Bath, I couldn't recommend it more! I adore Bath so much though. Anyone got any other recommendations? I want to go back soon!

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

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