Adventure Brown

Im Lew - A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I'm doing it anyway - expect all sorts of randomness.

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Welcome to my #challengephotography Link up.

Gear I use:

Sony A6000
Sony 55-200mm
Samyang 85mm f1.4
Samyang 12mm f2
Velbon ultra Tripod 
Manfrotto 055 Tripod
Tripod head
Nisi V5 Pro
Lee 10 stop



This week you can post what ever theme you want, post a recent or past post you wish to share.

Next week will be a set theme, and the theme will be Water, I am fortunate enough to live 10 minute drive to my North East coast line which offer a vast amount of opportunity to get some amazing images. One good thing about living in the North East is we get some brilliant sunrise images. This theme can be anything you want, as long as it includes Water – whether that be river, lake, sea, the choice is yours.

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I took this image before I bough my filters, however i did use a cheap 3 stop I bought from eBay, just to help slow the shutter speed down a little. The settings I did use here was F16, I used this to help with the long exposure as well getting as much in focus as I could, This was shot at 24mm at 1.3 seconds, ISO100. Sometimes it is easy to shoot long exposures to long, I wanted it long enough to blur the water, But if I shot this at 30 seconds then the sky would have too much movement with the fast rising sun. So getting that balance is paramount. Not all images at the sea has to taken as a long exposure, and not all images has to be a seascape, maybe try and capture the waves with a long exposure, a portrait with the sea behind, seabirds, seaweed, water and rocks, the images you can get are endless at the sea.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing all your images.


 

Adventure Brown


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Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

Follow:
Adventure Brown

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

 

Apart from getting excited about the Easter Bunny visiting, oh and mini eggs, what else do you think of when it comes to Easter? Well for me it has to be traditional Hot Cross Buns!

That sweet flavour of cinnamon and fruit mixed together with a good cup of tea is amazing!  So when I was asked to try make my own by Yutaka, the same company that brought you the Yutaka Noodles, I jumped at the chance. I was told they would be a little different from the normal variation we were so used to as the recipe and ingredients I was kindly given uses Yutaka Yuzu citrus.

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Ive never actually made my own bread before, other than Naan breads which i make regularly. So lets just say i was aware of the method but i havent perfected the art just yet!

The recipe was easy enough to follow but it requires patience. After kneeding the dough you need to wait until it doubles in size, kneed again and wait a further hour or so, separate into balls then leave again for an hour. So it is by no means a quick recipe, but its worth it.

 

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I must admit I do love the shop bought varienty, but seriously, nothing beats homemade does it? They may not look pretty (but remember this was my first time) but they did taste amazing.

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Heres the recipe – give it a try – just in time for the Easter Weekend!

 

Yuzu & Honey Hot Cross Buns

Makes 15-20

 

Ingredients

For the buns:

  • 575g strong bread flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 7g quick working yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250ml milk
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1½ tbsp. Yutaka Yuzu
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 50g butter
  • 2 eggs beaten

For the cross:

75g plain flour

For the glaze:

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp water

 

Method

 

Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk, honey, yuzu, water, lemon zest and butter stirring constantly until butter has melted. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes then pour into a well in the centre of the flour mix.

Combine using a wooden spoon then use your hands until the ingredients are all combined. Tip out onto a floured surface and knead for around 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and stretchy.

Place your dough in a greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size. Then add your sultanas and mixed peel whilst still in the bowl, knead to combine all the ingredients and leave once again to rise for about an hour. Make sure the cling film is also greased to avoid a crust forming on your dough.

Once the dough has risen again, divide into 15-20 pieces and roll into smooth balls. Line them up on parchment-lined baking trays allowing enough space for them to once again expand. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave for a further hour.

Preheat oven to 220c or gas mark seven. Mix the flour for the cross with some water to make a basic dough. Place in piping bag and pipe one line across each bun then repeat to form the cross.

You can brush buns beaten egg to give a glaze.

Bake for around 20 mins or until buns are golden brown on top. Remove pan from the oven and let buns cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

Mix the caster sugar with boiling water and, once buns have cooled a little, brush with glaze.

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DIY Daddy

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

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Adventure Brown

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

Travelling with your family is fantastic. It’s a great chance to bond and create shared memories; it means you’ve always got someone there next to you and it’s wonderfully good fun. Travelling with young children is different, but in many ways better. Children see the world through such innocent adventurous eyes; they just want to rush around and get stuck into everything. They can teach us a lot, and very much show us the way. But, there’s also a lot to be said for travelling alone, and if you’re not currently in a position to travel in a group or with a loved one, you certainly shouldn’t be put off. Here are some of the benefits of travelling alone.

 

It’s Enlightening

 

Perhaps the best reason to travel alone, at least once in your life, is to, forgive the cliché, find yourself. It’s your time to discover more about yourself, learn how well you cope in new situations, find things that you enjoy, things that you are great at and things that you didn’t know about yourself. This can make you more confident, more resourceful and surer of what you want from life. Read Can I Travel Alone For Umrah? To see some of the advantages of completing a religious pilgrimage on your own.

 

You Can Do What You Want

 

No matter how close you are to someone else, or how in tune you are with each other, you’ll always have things that you want to do that they don’t. There’s always an element of compromise or taking someone else’s feelings and needs into consideration. Travel alone, and you can go where you want when you want. It’ll truly be your trip.

 

You’ll Learn How to Rely on Yourself

 

When you are alone, you have to do things for yourself. You have to plan, you have to deal with tricky situations, you have to negotiate and speak to people and you have to make decisions. It teaches you to rely on yourself and to trust your own judgement. This is a great skill to have in life.

 

It’s Cheaper

 

It’s often much easier to stick to a budget if you are on your own. And, if you do need to save money, you can happily stay in cheaper accommodation or make other cutbacks without worrying about what your companion might think. You could even spend some time working to earn extra cash.

 

You’ll Make New Friends

 

You’re much more likely to speak to other travellers and locals if you’ve got no one else to talk to. You’ll make friends, take part in group activities and perhaps even make some friends for life.

 

It’ll Take You Out of Your Comfort Zone

 

Many people are put off solo travel because it’s scary. The first time can be, very. But, that’s exactly why you should do it. It’s a risk, that will help you grow and give you fantastic memories and experiences to learn from. In no time at all, you’ll be happy, confident, doing things and speaking with people you wouldn’t usually, and all that fear will be left behind.

 

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

Follow:
Adventure Brown

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

Living in the North East of England offers so many opportunities for days out, camping trips and best of all photography opportunities. I have a collection of images that I dont always share right away and await for the right time to share them, usually when I feel like I need a boost to remind me of the amazing places we have on our doorstep to explore.

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If your a big Countryfile viewer like us then you may have seen the episode a couple of weeks ago showing Kielder Water. It was a good episode showing just how amazing the area is and the beauty it withholds. One thing it didn’t mention, unless I missed it below the noise my children create, is that Kielder is actually one of the UKs dark sky locations for star gazers and photographers. It even has its very own observatory. There are many dark sky locations around the UK, but having one so close to home is amazing.

 

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Late last year me and my family took a trip out to Kielder for the day . Our plan was to spend all day walking and exploring, grab some tea and then stay until night to try and see the stars. And obviously to get some photos.

We had our picnic for the day and the stove for much needed hot drinks as temperatures were around 2c maximum. Zachs favourite part of the day is always his picnic and now we have a stove in the car – he loves to make hot chocolate with marshmallows. We have took Zach out on our adventures from him being very small and so he knows no different now and rather than asking to go to some god awful soft play centre he usually asks to go for an adventure and a picnic.

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The idea of our day was to explore new areas of the forest and water that we havent been to before. As Kielder is a very large area and it is impossible to see everything in one go, so every so often we like to take a trip up and explore somewhere different.

This time we explored part of the forest near Butteryhaugh. This walk didn’t offer great views of the water but it did give us the chance to make our way through the woodland trying to spot any wildlife with Zach and Marley enjoyed the good walk with no others around for miles. We also got up onto the Kielder viaduct and we spent some time watching the various water birds.

After a good few hours walk, it was time to make our way back to car and head down into Bellingham to grab some tea and warm through whilst it grew dark outside. Then we headed back up to the water and waited for the dark sky to rise above us and oh boy did the skies put on a good display.  We have stayed with Wild Northumbrian a few times and have experienced the breathtaking skies before, but each time you see them is just as good as the first. Zach loves to sit and try and spot pictures in the stars with his hot chocolate in hand. If you havent been to a dark skies area yet and stargazed – you best get it on your bucket list. Its incredible – not every day do you get to see the milky way through the naked eye.

Sony a6000 | Samyang 12mm | 30 secs | iso 3200 | F2

How I shoot the image

So what happens if your wanting to take images like this if you were to visit a dark sky location? Well firstly lets talk gear, as this is the most important part.

I use the Sony A6000 and a Samyang 12mm F2. By having a lens that can go wide open it means you can get as much light to the sensor as you can. you can still achieve decent images without this feature but if you want good night images then a good low F number is a must.



Another thing to consider if your wanting to shoot night night images is a good sturdy tripod, I have 2 different ones for different things, I have a travel tripod which is brilliant for folding down small and carrying it in your bag, My other is a super sturdy tripod and a must in a anyones camera equipment.

If you have a new moon(no mood) and clear skies then this is the best time to go out and shoot stars, I use a lot of different apps Storm for weather and Photopills for stars. sometimes when your out the milky way isn’t visible to the eye but its there, so using an app like Photopills will help you locate it then you can frame your shot perfectly. But the core of the Milky way isn’t always available, there are good times throughout the year to shoot this so depending on where you are living will depend what your seeing.

Once you are set and your camera is on a tripod you can use these setting as a guide.

For all the shots in this post the setting were near identical. ISO 3200 | F2 | 25 seconds | 12mm

By using a high iso you help the camera gather as much light as it can, accompany this with the right shutter speed and aperture then you should be ok. It is always best to switch your camera to manual and remove noise reduction as this will stop your camera hunting for a focal point.

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Photalife

 

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

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Adventure Brown

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

Ever heard of Sock Ons? They were designed to go over babies feet to keep their socks in place. Well the same designers have now released Twiddle Ons using the same concept but with foot finding toys attached to them.

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We were gifted these just at the perfect time for Elijah who has just started to roll and lift his legs up to find his feet. Chewing at his own toes has become somewhat of a new pass time to him! So i was eager to get these onto his feet to see what he thought. As you can see from the photos they have gone down a storm with him and he now chews the fish rather than his own toes.

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twiddle ones, feet play, baby toys, stimulation toys,

The toys attached are black and white fish for visual stimulation and also have brightly coloured ribbons and materials attached for sensory play. Each fish has a rattle inside, and the fins are “crunchy” which Elijahs enjoys.

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Please ingnore the stain on his sleepsuit – the missus was eating strawberries as she fed him. Poor kid!

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The Twiddle Ons have kept Elijah entertained for good periods of time. And we keep them on his feet most of the day so he’s always got something to entertain him.

The design itself is brilliant as the strap that goes around the foot doesn’t obstruct the toes so the baby still has all the movement needed in the feet.

Overall I’m happy with the design and would give it a 5/5 well done and keep up the good work.

Website: https://sockons.co.uk/

twiddle ones, feet play, baby toys, stimulation toys,

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

Follow:
Adventure Brown

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.