January 2018 / Charley Lucy



Want exclusive downloads, blogger tips and beauty tricks sent straight to your inbox? Sign up to the Charley Lucy newsletter.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

2018 - 50 Books Reading Challenge

2018 50 Books Reading Challenge

This year, I've decided to set myself the challenge of reading 50 books - that's 1.04 a week, every week for the entire year.

But, why not 52? As a self-confessed perfectionist, I put a lot of pressure on myself to reach my goals and trying to read a book a week sounds tough. I just know I'd get behind, worry, rush through novels and try and pick the slimmest books on my shelf just to meet the big 52, which is not what I want this challenge to be about. Reading just two books less gives me some breathing room. See, 2018 is going to be a great year, I'm already growing as a person...

Why am I doing this? As it teenager, it was rare for me to be without permanent possession of a paperback. But, since graduating university I've gradually read less and less physical books and turned to audiobooks and podcasts for my literary fix. Of late I seem to be stuck in the same routine of my weekly dose of My Favorite Murder and Dear Hank and John - the two podcasts I listen to on their release date without exception - plus a good helping of that month's Audible purchase. I don't branch out and rarely pick up new paperbacks because, as far as my brain is concerned I've already checked the box next to my monthly reading duties. Sound familiar?

By starting this reading challenge, I'm actively encouraging myself to learn new things, visit new places and indulge in works from authours that would have taken me years to discover. My first step in my is to consolidate the number of books I'm reading - some started in late 2017 - into just two:

2018 Reads:
  1. The Little Book of Lykke
  2. The Life Changing Magic of not Giving a Fuck (re-read)
  3. Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries
  4. Reasons to Stay Alive (re-read)
  5. They Both Die at the End
  6. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying
  7. Breaking Mad: The Insiders Guide to Conquering Anxiety
  8. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
  9. The Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women
  10. Get your Shit Together
  11. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
  12. My Friend Fear: Finding Magic in the Unknown
  13. You do You: (A No Fucks Given Guide)
  14. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
  15. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  16. A Collection of Short Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper, The Rocking-Chair, Old Water
  17. The Men who Stare at Goats
  18. Short stories: The Collectors - Philip Pullman & The Ghost Walk - Matt Haig
  19. One of us is Lying
  20. Final Girls
  21. Serial Killers
  22. The One Memory of Flora Banks
  23. Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe
  24. History is All you Left Me
  25. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
  26. To All the Boys I've Loved Before
  27. P.S I Still Love You
  28. Always and Forever Lara-Jean

... I'll make sure to add to this list throughout 2018 so you can check my progress!

What books will you be reading in 2018? Are you doing a reading challenge too? I certainly need some book recommendations in the comments!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Recreating the Brandon Woelfel look with A Colour Story

Brandon Woelfel Fairy Lights Colour Dark Light Instagram Tutorial Panasonic 3
Brandon Woelfel Fairy Lights Colour Dark Light Instagram Tutorial Panasonic 1Brandon Woelfel Fairy Lights Colour Dark Light Instagram Tutorial Panasonic 2
Brandon Woelfel Fairy Lights Colour Dark Light Instagram Tutorial Panasonic 3
This post features sponsored content from Panasonic.

Lately, I’ve been spotting no end of Tumblr-esque fairy-light portraits on Instagram. You know the ones I’m talking about with the effortless, messy hair, hipster glasses and a neon sign or two. One of my favourite Instagram photographers has this set-up down to a fine art. His name is Brandon Woelfel and I began to follow him after seeing whimsical shots of larger Youtubers started popping up on my Instagram feed.

So, I set myself a challenge to recreate these almost-magical scenes without a photographer or budget to splurge on props, using my DSLR, tripod, remote and string of copper fairy lights from the pound shop - I actually ended up using mason-light jars, hence the gold lid.

After a little trial and error, the best method I found when shooting this alone was to set my camera up as normal in a dimly lit room, get the lights into position and then tape them to the camera before shooting using a high shutter speed, or night setting. As you can see above, with a little tweaking the photo turned out fairly well, considering the low level of light.

Thankfully the rest of the magic here lies in the editing; for which I forwent my go-to Lightroom and Photoshop in favour of something more accessible. Having already completed basic lighting and colour tweaks on the photo so my features were nicely visible, I started to play around with the filters on one of my favourite photo editing apps, A Colour Story. On the dark background, I found the ‘Flare 8’ and ‘Flare 9’ effects from the Flare & Bokeh Effects pack were the most effective at creating colourful bursts. There are plenty of different lighting effects to choose from.

All in all, the entire process took around an hour which, I would argue, is far too long for me to spend for the sake of an Instagram post. However, shooting in such low light was a good learning experience for me and, I had a lot of fun playing around with the lighting effects too!

Panasonic* also have some great ideas on how to spice up your photos with bursts of light and colour with this incredible steel wool spinning technique by Visual Matrix. Please leave this one to the professionals and stay safe!

What creative techniques and photo editors do you use to liven up your Instagram photos?
© Charley Lucy • Theme by Maira G.