The Perfect Camera

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I got my beloved little Canon EOS M10 camera over a year ago now and I’ve used it for assignments, photography, YouTube videos and it comes with my everywhere I go (mostly because I’m weekly vlogging now, but also in case I want to snap a picture!).

Obviously, when I say the ‘perfect’ camera, I don’t mean explicitly – every person who takes photos wants different things from a camera but I’ve recommended this camera to a lot of people and as a bridge-to-DSLR and very portable and convenient camera, I can recommend it for a variety of reasons.

For one, the camera quality itself is really good – I usually use it on auto just because I find that the time it saves me is really worth it but the depth of field is great, the auto-exposure is pretty decent and I find the colour vibrancy in the pictures is really beautiful. The auto focus isn’t always great but when it works it works really well.

The detachable EF-Mini lenses really do make the camera feel that bit more high quality – to the degree that I took the camera to a concert once and it was taken off me and I had to collect it at the end because it was ‘too professional’. It’s nice to have the freedom and choice to change the lenses. I personally don’t have any other lenses because I’m a student on a budget but I have longingly trawled through Canon’s website and the variety of lenses is incredible. Particularly for bloggers if you were shooting photos on the go and you had more lenses to choice from you’d be less restricted in what you can shoot. It’s always great when you have less work to do in post.

One of my personal favourite things about this camera is the app that comes with it called Camera Connect – the camera has internet connectivity potential and once your phone is connected (which is super easy, by the by) you can download and edit the photos you’ve taken. You can even use your phone as a live view and change the camera settings on the go. I find it really useful if I’m taking pictures that I want to share quickly or if I’m using my camera on a news day and need to send photos back to the editorial team as soon as I can. The app makes it so simple and it’s something that I didn’t even know I wanted till I had it (nor did I know the camera was capable of it until after I got it).

The perk of it not being a big DSLR camera is that it fits in basically every handbag I own. The fact it’s a lens that doesn’t actually fold away like a point and shoot would makes it a little bulkier but I find it still fits in most hand bags – personally I carry a backpack with me everywhere I go but if you were struggling to fit it in, you could either just wear it round your neck with the strap or if that feels a bit too unsafe (depends on where you’re going I guess!) then you could always detach the lens and that’ll make it a bit more compact. I don’t find the size to be a problem though.

One of my favourite features and a big factor in why I chose this camera is the hinged LED screen – I can flip it up to see when I’m vlogging, which makes the lack of focus issue not so much of an issue because I can see when the focus goes out. I find it’s also really useful when I’m taking blog photos on a tripod because I can put the screen to whatever angle is easiest to not crane my neck. It just makes everything a bit simpler, which is all I really want from life.

It’s a great platform camera to learn a bit more about photography and videography and build on the skills of a point and shoot camera before potentially stepping up again to a DSLR camera. In terms of videography I think the M10 is great for vlogging because you have more control with the specific settings but it’s not the size or the weight of a DSLR. Then the connectivity with the app and how it makes photos instantly sharable and they can go straight on Instagram or maybe in a news story – it’s really practical and handy for a blogger, a journalist or just anyone who is making a lot of content and needs a camera that can keep up with it.

Wouldn’t it be great if this post was sponsored by Canon? It’s not, but I have always thoroughly enjoyed Canon cameras and feel like I get amazing results with them.

Is there anything else you’d like to know about the equipment I use? If you have any questions about the Canon EOS M10 please do leave them in the comments, tweet me, dm me on Instagram – whatever you fancy!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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2016: In Review

2016, lifestyle

Hello!

This year has been a really monumental year for me – it’s had it’s ups and downs, both personally and globally, but I thought now is definitely the best time and review the year month by month, looking back on a year in the life of the girl behind Sophie Counts Clouds.

Now that sounded pretentious, I’ll roll with it.

01-january

January: photography deadlines and Lucas’s birthday

Photography took up a lot of my thinking space in January and I did produce two of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken in these shoots. I also got to see Panic! At The Disco for the first time and it was my first concert with my boyfriend, Lucas.

02-february

February: Channel 4 work experience and dance competitions

My first ever Valentine’s Day in a relationship (I still love that elephant globe with all my heart), getting to spend a week in London with Channel 4 was incredible but I vividly remember the week full of really early starts in London then getting home Friday night, unpacking my suitcase and repacking for a weekend staying off in Birmingham for a dance competition. But I loved being so busy.

03-march

March: uni got busy and editing my monthly vlog was slow

March was when I fell a bit behind – editing my ‘February’ vlog was taking a really long time and assignments overwhelmed me a little bit. But I also became part of a couple who bought 70 creme eggs and I felt really good about my body – so a pretty good month all in all!

04-april

April: first year ending and Nick’s birthday

My sister turned my boyfriend into Deadpool, my best friend infinite ever turned 19 and Lucas and I went on our first proper date for a day out in Bournemouth and I wanted lots of cute photos with the beach huts. I then learnt that Lucas doesn’t like being my photographer.

05-may

May: got a job and first MCM ComicCon

A family visit with lots of pictures taken, fun trips to the pub with my friends and meeting the YouTubers I love at ComicCon – May was the start of what hoped to be a really incredible summer. I got my dream job at my favourite stationery store which I then got fired from in September. So we won’t talk too much about that.

06-june

June: first summer away from home and Nan’s birthday

I decided to stay in Southampton over the summer because coming home would be difficult for personal reasons and I wanted to spend time with my boyfriend. Each had their pros and cons and the summer was quite emotional time for me, but June was when I had my favourite galaxy hair, I surprised my Nan by being home for her birthday and I went on a Centre Parcs holiday with some of my family.

07-july

July: worked my first festival and really struggled with my money

I got to work at my first music festival! It wasn’t a festival I’d ever attend but it was the most fun work experience I’ve had this year. I also moved into a proper studio apartment with my boyfriend (which, again, had it’s pros and cons) and felt very independent and grown up… still not decided if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

08-august

August: Summer in the City and lots of creativity

I got to go to my second YouTube convention and it was so inspiring – August was when things started looking up personally and when I started feeling really uncomfortable and stressed at work. The release of Pokemon Go meant I also spent a lot of the summer outside and walking around which did help my mental health a little bit too!

09-september

September: first birthday away from home and second year

Lucas, Nick and I moved into our flat for the next academic year and I officially became old (i.e. not a teenager). September involved a lot of seeing my friends for the first time in months and feeling the stress and anxiety of summer slip away as I became happier and happier.

10-october

October: deadlines and dancing

I really started to enjoy uni at this point because I was really organised and I went to an independent cafe at 9am and did lots of work and became the most annoying hipster in the world. Unfortunately my granddad passed away in October, but it made me think about how wonderful his life was before he got ill and I was supported by my amazing friends – those I refer to as ‘my boys’ are featured on the left.

11-november

November: stress and positive feedback

A lot happened in November, from left to right; my family visited, I presented a TV bulletin, I got to see ‘The Wind in The Willows’ as press and write a review, I got to act a little bit in a friends assignment filming, I met Hazel Hayes and Jack Howard at my second Panic! At The Disco concert of the year and I did a package on the Busted signing in HMV Southampton and both Busted and HMV liked it on twitter. Assignment had ins were high (I think it was four in this month?) but I did get a couple of really great marks back, so a mixed bag.

12-december

December: busy but social, full of festivity, friends and family

With my last deadlines approaching and my organised approach to university falling to pieces, I somehow made it through the last deadlines of my first semester and from there on out it was socialising and Christmas festivities. I had the most amazing party with my Southampton friends, I got to see my friends from Ecuador for the first time in over a year (twice in one week!), everything was full of Christmas cheer at my favourite time of year, I’ve found a hair colour that I really love and I got to have a good old catch up with my oldest and dearest friend Katy.

In hindsight, 2016 has been incredible. The year ended on an incredible high and whilst it had it’s dips and my mental health has been more of a challenge this year than ever before, I’m really ready for 2017.

Please tell me all about your 2016 in the comments! Bring on the new year!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Pokemon Sun and Moon Release Day!

2016

Hello!

Sorry this post is late and potentially full of errors – I’m writing it on my phone because I’ve been playing Pokemon Moon all day and I’m now playing dungeons and dragons with my friends so I’m writing on my phone! 

My boyfriend has been counting down to this day for literally months, every update video that comes out has been very important and the five days where the game was out elsewhere in the world and not in Europe were agony. 

So this game has been a big build up – I’m a new Pokemon fan, I got into the game because of Pokemon Go because I was totally obsessed with the app over the summer. I learnt the original 151 Pokemon in a matter of weeks and I walked so far to play this game. 

From there, Lucas (the boyf) let me play his copy of Pokemon Y to get used to the game and I played that a lot outside of assignment work and deadlines. I didn’t get to finish the game because uni is super busy and I somewhat have priorities, but I was still super excited to play this game when it came out.

I picked Litten as my starter because it’s a cat, not an owl with a fringe or a flamboyant sea lion and the game is so interesting so far – it’s very different to other games but it’s a beautifully crafted game and the Hawaii-inspired Alola region is so much fun to play in. 

Do I have time to play this game? No, definitely not. Do I have an assignment due next week? Yes, so I don’t think I’ll finish this game anytime soon but I’m excited regardless. 

I know that Christmas is going to be full on playing Pokemon the entire time. So excited to not have any assignments due!

What are your thoughts on the game so far if you’ve played it? What starter did you pick? 

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Wind in the Willows – Mayflower Theatre

2016, lifestyle, music

Hello!

img_3062The musical version of the popular children’s book Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame had it’s World Premiere at Mayflower Theatre and I was lucky enough to be invited to see to the press showing with @sotonbloggers.

Being back at the theatre was like coming home – I’ve not seen a musical or a show or any form of play in so long and I got surprisingly emotional at parts of the show I really did not expect to get emotional about! I nearly cried at the finale, I was a mess but, anyway!

The whole show was absolutely mind blowing – my mum messaged me before I left and said I should take a notebook so I could jot things down, as a trainee journalist, and I told her I wouldn’t need it because I had my phone. Oh how I was wrong! There were so many amazing bits in the first half alone that I don’t think I possibly could have remembered them all when it got to the interval and I could write them down.

david-birrel-as-badger-thomas-howes-as-ratty-and-fra-fee-as-mole-in-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productionsThe vocals were flawless – the opening number, “Spring”, was an ensemble of incredible singers, wonderful actors and truly beautiful harmonies, it made me remember what I love about musical theatre. The dancing was so much fun (particularly the tap dancing horses and the Otter Ballerinas!), the sets were truly beautiful and intricately designed – the full size train carriage on the stage in the second half was so outstanding!

Costuming is a crucial part of a show like this that has such recognisable characters – there were nods to each of the animals that each character was playing, such as tails, ears and coats of spikes that the Hedgehogs wore, but the astonishing bit about the costumes was that the acting that went with each of the costumes is what really solidified each of the animals within the characters.
rufus-hound-as-mr-toad-in-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productionsToad was eccentric and jumped and leapt around the stage, the rabbits walked on their toes with their bottoms sticking out and the weasels, stokes and foxes were all a little bit creepy and sneaky – it was the phenomenal talent of the cast that brought these beautiful costumes to life.

The music was truly astonishing – I felt a few Les Miserables vibes but the music was so fully orchestral. It was beautiful and all of the songs felt like they could be real classics. They’re definitely songs that I could hear people singing years down the line, particularly “Messing About in a Boat”, “We’re Taking Over the Hall” and “A Friend is Still a Friend”. I’m keeping my eyes out for the soundtrack because I can’t wait to listen to those beautiful vocals all day long!

I also loved the variety of speaking accents, there were some beautiful intonations.

neil-mcdermott-and-the-company-of-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productions-3My favourite dance number was definitely the opening of the second act that accompanied “We’re Taking Over The Hall” because it was so much fun and it really grabbed everyone’s attention after the ice cream and drinks of the interval!

The whole show really reignited my love for theatre – I’ve not been to see a show in so long and when I got home, I went straight on the Mayflower website to have a look at what other shows are coming to Southampton (I’d love to go see the Beauty and the Beast ballet – last time I saw a ballet I was 8 and I fell asleep!).

fra-fee-as-mole-in-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productionsIn terms of cast and characters, Fra Fee was a wonderful and endearing Mole, David Birrell played a wise and father-like Badger and all the dancers were very, very talented. Obviously, have to commend the wonderful Rufus Hound who portrayed the equally annoying and entertaining Toad.

I was expecting Wind in the Willows to be a childish, almost-pantomime like show aimed at the younger members of the audience that would make me roll my eyes even if it was technically good but that really isn’t what it was. Yeah, it was definitely a more child friendly show as opposed to more adult shows like The Book of Mormon or Rent but when the audience laughed, the entire audience laughed. It was an amazing piece of theatre and a very nostalgic tale, enough to make me well up at the curtain call!

And it was very exciting to have ‘press’ written on the ticket, the complimentary drinks at the interval were wonderful.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

img_3084

This post wasn’t sponsored but the ticket was provided by Mayflower Theatre via @sotonbloggers. All photos belong to Mayflower theatre.

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