Blogger Appreciation Award – Mental Well-Being With A Mental Illness

Blogger Appreciation Award

I have just received the blogger appreciation award from  Nash Christmas (link).

Nash is an author who believes in self expression, and he writes about all things human but especially relationships. He is a Serbian national who writes his blog in English.

guidelines for the Blogger Appreciation Award

1.Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their site.
2.Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself.
3.Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish.
4.Use the Blogger Appreciation Award image.

Something Positive About Me.

What is mental health?

Often when people think about mental health they think of mental illness rather than being mentally healthy. My slant for today is that it is possible to have a mental illness and still be in good shape mentally.

I am diagnosed with several mental illnesses, and life has certainly had its ups, downs and hospital admissions. However, I do my best to live a lifestyle that is positive for my mental well-being.

Mediation and trying to live mindfully are the mainstay of my health. I meditate for an hour each day. Living mindfully takes a while to get used to. Mindfullness – paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment, non-judgementally. This way of life is teaching me to just let circumstances be. Allow my feelings and thoughts to be there, without trying to chase them away with distractions, behaviours or addictions. Whats the worst that can happen if I’m feeling paranoid, having a panic attack, feeling depressed? The only way it can affect me is that I don’t like how I feel, or what I am thinking, and that I feel disturbed.

There are times that I sit watching a movie with my hand resting on my heart, this releases oxytocin, which has two effects, it’s a happy hormone, and it lowers the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenalin. I write five things down in my gratitude diary, things that have happened or that I have achieved during the day. It may be as simple as having hoovered my flat, spoken to a friend, or completed a bit if study. Making sure that I have breaks, and rest are important to me, as is being involved in my community. My community is my friends, my fellow students, and fellow bloggers. Giving back is also a vital component of my life. Giving back doesn’t have to be a big demonstration, holding a door open for someone, speaking to a homeless person, commenting upon someones blog, these create a sense of value and belonging.

Having a mental illness and being mentally well is not an either/or situation.

The bloggers who I am nominating are.

Jade from Crescent Raven


misschauhan from Shoot Me With A Camera

Cinnamon Buns and Roses

Old Boy from Movies From the Silent Era



Review – Eadweard Muybridge

Brief:- Images in Sequence. What defines a sequence, as opposed to a series, is the connectivity of the images in time or concept. Make sure that you are clear about the difference between a series and sequence. Photographers have used sequences of images in many different ways.

Eadweard Muybridge 1830 – 1904

Considered to be the father of motion pictures, due to his pioneering use of rapid motion photography.

The Horse in Motion 1882Fig. 1. The Horse in Motion 1882

Initial Thoughts – Film strip showing the progression of a horse in the process of galloping. This sequence is a time lapsed and is not conceptual. The sequence is presented in a grid format that reads from top left to bottom right.

Muybridge is considered to be the father of motion pictures, due to his pioneering use of rapid motion photography. For The Horse in Motion he set up a sequence of glass plate cameras that were triggered by string across the track which the horse would then touch during its gallop. Although this sequence is shown as a grid, Muybridge developed a technique called Zoöpraxography (WikiSource, 2018)which allowed the negatives to be viewed as a continuous sequence, which was the beginning of motion film. (Wildscreen, 2008, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 2018)

Leland Stanford had hired Muybridge to photograph on of his horses in motion in order to see if all four of the horses hooves left the ground at any one point whilst the horse was in motion. This groundwork was the foundation of Muybride’s Animal Locomotion series which contained 781 series of animals photographed in motion. (Johnson et al, 2016; 293-301)

Muybridge began his studies of motion using the single plate negative technique that was similar to that of Etienne-Jules Marey before developing his multiple camera technique. (Hacking, 2014; 142-145)



Figure 1; Mubridge, E; The Horse in Motion [wet collodion]; AT: (accessed on 21/02/2018)


Hacking, J; 2014; Photography the Whole Story; London; Thames and Hudson

Johnson, WS, Rice M, Williams C; 2016; A History of Photography; Cologne; Taschen GmbH;

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; 2018; Eadweard Muybridge; Online AT: (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Wikisource, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; 2018; Descriptive Zoopraxography; Online AT: (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Wildscreen; 2008; Eadweard Muybridge; Online AT: (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine blogger award

I have been peer nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Penchantress, She is one of my many Indian followers (yay). I follow her because I enjoy her writing style and enthusiasm, and she writes about society and sociology, but in a very gentle and personal way. She is an Indian woman who is stepping into her power in a country where this is not societally accepted to do so, and where woman still face extreme violence and oppression.

The Sunshine Blogger award is given by bloggers to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community.

I would not particularly say that my blog inspires positivity or creativity, although I am creative and so is my blog. If it inspires some people then that’s an added bonus.

RULES (directions or guidance would be preferable)

  1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you for the blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

(please note that if I have nominated you, you are under no obligation to complete the task – we all have time constraints, but personally I enjoy the task and I am aware that it does bring new followers, and lead me to follow others that I would not have come across.)

What is your Native language?(I’m really curious about this one!)

Rubbish – I talk rubbish fluently, and I speak it in English.

In what profession are you? If you are a student then, what is your field of study?

I’m a photography student.

Who is your favourite author and why?

J R R Tolkein. I have read The Lord of the Rings repeatedly since being a child. It has become a source of comfort, a place of safety and familiarity, and an escape from a world which I can find quite challenging.

What inspired you to start blogging?

I enrolled on Foundations in Photography with The Open College of the Arts. They offer distance leaning degrees and foundation courses within the field of the creative arts. They accept applications from adults from around the world. One of the requirements is to submit our coursework and assignments via a blog, and that’s the reason that I started to blog, however I also wanted to include poetry which I write from time to time, and photo essays that I write. I also include a gallery of photos that I take that are for my own enjoyment, which includes birds, nature, macro and events.

Do you publicize your Blog or Just use it as your personal space?

I publicise my blog. Although it is my student blog, I also use it to promote my photography, and I enjoy the connection with other photographers and poets.

Do you really read the blogs of the Bloggers you follow?

I follow 400 blogs, and for some reason over 200 bloggers follow me (which I find quite surprising). I read as many posts from the people who I follow as I can. Sometimes this is more than others, but I do enjoy reading other peoples blogs. I cannot learn something new by my own thoughts, learning is a mutual process of sharing and receiving.

What other hobbies do you indulge in?

I love to read. I read every day. It has become an important part of my daily routine, and that helps my mental health. Although I read a lot of novels, I also like factual books. I am currently reading “Enemies and Neighbours; Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917 – 2017” by Ian Black. If I don’t understand something then I like to find out, discover and explore.

Do you stand up for what’s right all the time even if it invites a lot of debate Or do you just go with the flow and try to stay safe?

My mental health is not great, and because of this I have to exercise caution when it comes to issues that would pre-occupy me or disturb me. I cannot afford to feel too angry nor self-righteous. These are both feelings that can be quite disturbing for me.

Who is the biggest inspiration in your life?

Rupert Spira. He teaches spirituality in the form of non-duality (there is no separate self, we are all simply experiences of infinite consciousness/awareness). The link I have attached is one of his YouTube clips that I watched yesterday.

Tell us one incident when you laughed your heart out while people thought you had gone mad.

My cousin and I have a connection that is very strange. There was one time that we were amongst a whole group of family members, and we both started to laugh at the same time. We had the exact same thoughts (about something not relating to the circumstances around us) and shared a joke via our minds. I love that connection.

Say, you’ve been through a really bad time, how crazy could you get to pick yourself up? (If you haven’t been through any, then you can talk about the craziest thing you’ve ever done in your life).

My craziness tends to be self-destructive and happens during the times when my mental health is poor. The picking myself up is the hard part, and that’s where the photography comes in. Photography has turned my life around. I wasnt capable of leaving the home 18 months ago due to anxiety and paranoia. I got to the point where I couldn’t cope any more. Having a camera got me to gradually be able to leave my home, has developed my mindfulness practice, and i now interact with people to a small degree.


Now its my time to nominate people

Studying with OCA (Sarah’s Blog)

Exposure Empire (Lightroom hints and Tips)

Crow on the Wire (Poetry and Pictures)

Thom Lang (Photography)

Jack Shalom (Thought to ponder and humour)

Twenty Four (Photography, Haiku, random facts and thoughts)

Terra Spectra (Thoughts and feelings from a leftwing, feminist)

J C Street (Street Photography)

The Lazy Goth (Feminist, photographer, photography model)

Your Personal Motivator (Uses the Human Design approach to living in a manner that makes the most out of you as an individual)

If I have nominated to you please be assured that you are under no obligation to complete the tasks as set out in the guidance. I have nominated you because I enjoy your blog. However if you do choose to accept the nomination and complete the task then I am giving you the same questions that I was set. Best Wishes

  1. What is your Native language?(I’m really curious about this one!)
  2. In what profession are you? If you are a student then, what is your field of study?
  3. Who is your favourite author and why?
  4. What inspired you to start blogging?
  5. Do you publicize your Blog or Just use it as your personal space?
  6. Do you really read the blogs of the Bloggers you follow?
  7. What other hobbies do you indulge in?
  8. Do you stand up for what’s right all the time even if it invites a lot of debate Or do you just go with the flow and try to stay safe?
  9. Who is the biggest inspiration in your life?
  10. Tell us one incident when you laughed your heart out while people thought you had gone mad.
  11. Say, you’ve been through a really bad time, how crazy could you get to pick yourself up? (If you haven’t been through any, then you can talk about the craziest thing you’ve ever done in your life).



The Liebster Award 2018


The Liebster award is a peer nominated way of discovering new blogs and bloggers, increasing traffic to your own and other bloggers sites, and potentially a marketing tool as well. I have been nominated by The Everyday Alternative (Janine). The everyday alternative is a gothic journalism student, with a fascinating taste in heavy rock and metal. She is gothic, it’s in her blood, it’s a significant part of who she is, and therefore lives the lifestyle, rather than being a “hobbyist”.

My blog has developed because of my study with The Open College of the Arts. I study photography online with them, and they ask students to set up a blog as a way of keeping track of coursework and to submit assignments. As well as making use of my blog for these purposes, I have a personal photo gallery and write some poems from time to time, with recovery from poor mental health featuring heavily.

I have an interest in people, sociology and society. If I find something that I would like to learn about, then I research and write photo essays, either alone or in collaboration with others, so there are a couple of photo essays on my site as well.

Anyhow, enough about me and more about The Leibster Award. After the Leibster rules I will answer the questions that The Everyday Alternative has set for me.

So for those who don’t know about the Liebster Award, here are the rules:

  1. Give some recognition and promotion to the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Create a post about the award on your blog.
  3. Give a reason you are passionate about blog posting.
  4. Answer the 10 questions you were asked.
  5. Nominate 5-11 other blogs.
  6. Inform those bloggers you nominated them.
  7. Make sure you put these rules on your post so everyone else knows what to do!

So here are the 10 questions I have been asked:

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

I will not go to the one place in the world that I want to go to. The Galapagos Islands. I choose not to go because of the impact of tourism on the natural environment and wildlife. Carole Cadwalladr wrote an article for the Guardian about this in 2012. I would love to go, however I will stick to documentaries.

2. If you could visit a fantasy land from one of your favourite films, TV shows or books where would you pick?

Middle Earth from J.R.R.Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. I cannot say how many times I have read the books from being a youngster until the last time just under three years ago. It is a retreat, a place of safety in a crazy world.

What food do you crave most often?

Ummm… this changes so often. Chocolate, jam roly poly, Dime Bar cake (still frozen not thawed).

What job would you be absolutely terrible at?

I couldn’t work on the bins or down the sewers, massive respect to those of you that do, thank you for the service that you provide us.

What is your favourite ice cream flavour?

Lemon Curd. The CO-OP (UK supermarket) make their own brand. Its yummy.

What would you do in a zombie apocalypse?

Become a zombie (death would be an awfully big adventure). I can’t run, I get paranoid about my own reflection, I’m prone to anxiety, panic and tears. Lets face it – I am zombie meat.

What song would you pay money to never hear again?

I genuinely do not have an answer. I have an eclectic taste in music:-  House of the Rising Sun by Five Finger Death Punch (heavy metal), True Friends by Bring me the Horizon (Rock, Death Metal), Holy Driver by Killswitch Engage (metalcore), Beethoven VS Chemical Brothers – Symphony Number 5 VS Galvanise by DJ’s from Mars (Electrodance, mash), Dark and Long Train by Underworld (Electronic), Jump by Girls Aloud (girl group, pop), Walk This Way by Elle and the Pocket Belles (a capella), Potiphar by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (musical theatre), The most haunting symphony that takes me on an emotional rollercoaster (if you want me to cry play the whole of this to me) Dvorak’s 9th “New world” symphony, played here by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra (classical). I could go on forever.

Is there a quote you strive to live by?

Not a quote, but I do believe that we are all human, no matter where in the world we live, or what our gender, class, ethnicity, status, wealth, poverty – We are all human, from earth, deal with it and stop fighting, tear down the barricades that we all use to be special and different, to protect whats “mine”. It’s not “mine” it never has been, never will be, it’s all “ours”. Rant over. I also believe that we are all capable of making grave mistakes, of gettings things badly wrong, and being able to move beyond and back into our strengths.

Would you rather be able to fly or turn invisible?

Fly. I love birds. I could be a black basa, a yellow wagtail, a greater racket tailed drongo, a blue footed booby, an Indian Roller, an ostrich or a firecrest.

If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?

Existentially there is no past or future. They are memories or dreams, either way they are imagined. They don’t exist. Quantum physics supports this, although I dont have the space to write about that. What is self? Is it what I think I am? what you think I am? Conditioning and memory? I believe that “Self” is a construct and also has no basis in reality. However, I will play the game. Too my future self – “How soon will it be before I am free to die?”


I have to make my nominations now and create 10 questions. Please be assured that you do not have to accept the award or answer the questions if you don’t want to.

My nominees are:-








Tanya Keane


Archna Singh

Your Questions – should you choose to accept them:-

1 – If you could walk in someone else’s shoes for the day, so that you could understand their outlook on life, who would it be and why?

2 – A genie grants you three wishes. What would you wish for?

3 – What does “mental well-being” mean to you?

4 – Name three things that happened today that you are grateful for?

5 – If you could achieve one important thing during the course of the year, that would make you proud, what would it be?

6 – You are granted a superpower (like batman, not the cold war), what do you choose?

7 – If you could be told the answer to any of your deepest questions, what question would you ask?

8 – Your given the ability to play a musical instrument fluently, what do you choose and why?

9 – If you had the time to write a book what would you write about?

10 – If a photon travels at the speed of light, and the laws of special relativity mean that time stops when travelling at the speed of light, how much time has passed for the photon, compared to the time since the big bang?

Whether you choose to accept this award or decline it, I know that you are amazing.

For more information about the Liebster Award, check the webpage here.

Need help?

Marcus is my favourite current street photographer, and he was recently voted 30th in wordpress’ most important street photography blogs. His Web site has a help Centre so that you can learn to improve your photography. He also welcomes questions and comments. Marcus travels around the world regularly with his job, and he makes great photography wherever he goes. There is always a story accompanying his photos. Well worth following.

Streets of Nuremberg

Calling for Help Calling for Help | Portland | 2017

Have you checked the tips and inspirations in my Learning Center? Are you looking for specific photography related advice? Anything out of the realms of Street- and travel photography you want me to write about? Let me know in the comments section!

Have a great Wednesday!


Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip (6)

Finding your photographic style

Some thoughts on monochrome shooting

Instant Inspiration (11) – Change of Perspective

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Assignment Two – Final Photos

I love the photography and the accompanying poem for Chloes second assignment. In fact I find this to be incredible.


I keep re writing the process for Assignment Two, how I choose the images, what happened on the shoot but I realised that it was important to feature the assignment here without the words. I want the viewer to take their own meaning from the images without being swayed by any of my writing. Of course, I shall post the written work after this.

I’d appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

Here you can see the images in the form of a PhotoBook (medium resolution)

Walk with us Book Cover – Come Walk with Us

Assignment Two - One_edited-1 INSIDE COVER Come walk with us they whispered. Leave that dark place in your mind. Come walk with us they beckoned and leave the world behind


Assignment Two - Two They took me on a journey Winding round and round Each corner whispered mystery But answers were not found

Assignment Two - Three For every corner that I passed Another would surely wind There seemed…

View original post 249 more words

Exercise 1.12 Smash – Denis Darzacq


This exercise asks you to choose some suitable small objects that you can break! An old toy, some rotten fruit, a shirt or a balloon filled with water would all work well. The point here is to freeze a fast-moving object in an otherwise still location. You must get the object in sharp focus to reveal the detail of its disintegration and movement. Choose a suitable location where you won’t make too much mess. Aim to frame the object quite close, with the environment around it. You’ll need to frame the object in front of a background that helps to emphasise it visually: that could mean a complementary colour (e.g. red against green) or an opposite tone (light object against dark background or vice versa). Before you start, research the freeze-frame photographs of Denis Darzacq at Do an online search for Harold Edgerton’s experiments. These photographers give you images that would be impossible without the mechanism of the shutter.

Ensembles 1998-2001 – Initial thoughts – Random, candid, unplanned, lines, people in lines, lines on road, lines of railings. Appears to be non specific and non focused, but has frozen movement of all people in the frame, no blur, fast shutter, smaller aperture f11-f16 as a guess – no metadata to check against.

E006Fig 1

Lachute 2005 – 2006 – Initial thoughts, people, lines, frozen movement, staged, no candid, planned and purposeful capture of movement of people performing acrobatics. The freeze of the movement has an ethereal feel and makes people look like they are flying, floating. So the intense movement that’s required to perform the acts, becomes a moment of peace and tranquillity. The use of lines is similar to how an artist uses mark making, but he uses it in a manner that highlights uniformity, solidity, structure to provide a stillness as a counter balance to the movement that he captures.

Hyper 2007 – 2009 – Lines, people being shot (they are not but there movement makes it looks like they have suffered an impact. Completely frozen. Fast shutter speed. F7 or wider, blurred backgrounds, object in focus. Again staged and planned. There is a demonstrable progression in planning, technique and performance from earlier works. “Hyper opposes bodies in movement and the saturated, standardized space of mass distribution outlets. In this totally commercial setting, the body’s leap expresses the freedom and unhampered choice of its movement. It is a clear challenge to the marketing strategies which seek to control our behaviour. Some of the figures, glowing with an aura, impose glory and give off a sense of spirituality in total contrast with the temples of consumption in which they are found.” (Hatt; 2012) I do not see this in the series at all. I do not see unhampered movement or an aura of spirituality, I see forced movement as if the person is being shot, which is a very specific but uninhibited movement.

My view is partially agreed with by Amy Barrett-Lennard in lensculture “Not all these bodies are in calm repose, however. There are those caught as if in the aftermath of a violent act — a punch, a throw, a kick. Darzacq tells me that areas around Rouen have had a bad reputation for youth violence — and so here we see this played out quite dramatically, almost ballet-like in the clinical, normally “safe” environment of the hypermarket.” (Barrett-Lennard; 2008)

Hyper-07-72 2007Fig 2

Hyper 2010 – Lines as marks, bouncy castle, weightlessness, introduction of more vivid colours, fast shutter speed, continuous focus, continuous shooting. These were not captured as single shots. The position of the actors within their movement and jumping evidence this. It would have been impossible to time such perfect shots. I suspect that he took several hundred photos and then chose the best for the series.

HYPER-24 2010Fig 3

Act 2 – 2015 – Further development that shows how he has built upon previous work. He has included actors to perform so that he can freeze the movement in his own unique style, but got them to do so in public as street photography against the back drop of people getting on with their daily living.

Act2_07 2015Fig 4



Fig 1 Darzacq, Denis; 1998; Ensemble 06; Online at (accessed on 20/07/2017)

Fig 2 Darzacq, Denis; 2007; Hyper no 7; Online at

Fig 3 Darzacq, Denis; 2010; Hyper no 24; Online at

Fig 4 Darzac, Denis; 2015; Act 2 – 07 Mickael Lafon; Online at

Barrett-Lennard, Amy; 2008; Hyper – based upon remarks she made for the opening of exhibitions by Denis Darzacq at the Perth Centre for Photography, 5 April 2008.; Online in  at

Hatt, Etienne; 2012; Biographie de Denis Darzacq; Online in at (accessed on 20/07/2017)