Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My life as it is now

I've been into photography for quite a long time now, but I have never ever shown my pictures here in my personal blog. I don't know why. I thought about starting a photography blog once, but then I realized that I already have too many blogs... and that is hard to maintain even just one. But now that I have this thing going on again, I can share my pictures here!

I'm not going to show any old pictures, or older pictures than these, because past is past. I want to blog about my life as it is right now. I took some pictures when we were visiting Viiala and I like how some of them turned out:

We danced and then it was winter

If you look hard enough you can still hear the music

I think photography is nowadays easier for me because I have developed a style of my own... sort of. I like these kind of dreamy and eery pictures. And pictures like these are actually quite easy to achieve. I use the widest possible aperture, which is ƒ/2.8 in my lens to get the blurry background with shapes and shadows. It's not really a must, but it really makes the pictures look more dreamy. After taking the pictures I edit them using Lightroom. I make them have that black&white look with the blue-ish tint. I usually do the colors first, because they really set the feeling of the picture. And then I do the final trick: negative value in clarity. It's like magic that makes these pictures alive. It's funny how in other pictures I always increase the clarity, but with these kind of pictures it's all about decreasing it.

I don't play around with my camera often though. I do photograph every week (because me and my friend always have a photography challenge going on), but I don't give it the 100% like I should. It's not the same as going out with the camera and photographing for hours, just to get that one great shot. That's just hard for someone as lazy as I am. I always promise myself that I'd try harder or concentrate more on the challenges but yeah. Never gonna happen. But when I do photograph... I love it. I guess that's the only thing that matters in the end.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Running socks

About a weeks ago I didn't have any running socks. No I have not one but four pairs. How did this happen?

I watched some video on YouTube about how running socks are the most important gear after running shoes. I beg to disagree though. If you're a girl, the second most important thing is a proper sports bra. I think it might be even more important than running shoes because boobs are forever but you can always stop running. The video still managed to make me curious about running socks so I decided to get a pair. Socks can't be that expensive, right?

But they can, and they are. In the first store all the prices started from twenty euros. That's quite a lot money for one pair of socks. But they were all fancy, fancy indeed. I decided to keep looking. I found cheaper SOC socks from Stadium. They were so cheap that I decided to get them even though they weren't as fancy as the socks in the first store. The package contained two pair of socks and they cost about ten euros. I chose a package that contained one pink pair and one purple pair:

SOC running socks in pink and purple
Since these SOC socks where cheaper I decided to invest on a fancier pair too, mostly because I wanted to know if there's a difference between cheaper ones and more expensive ones. I picked a pair of X-Socks Run Fast socks from InterSport for about 20 euros. They have a two year warranty.. .and you have to register them online. Madness! But at least they seem pretty impressive and they had a long list of all kind of technical qualities.And they are nice to look at too:

X-Socks running socks
These X-Socks socks are ankle lenght, which is something I like especially now when the weather is still pretty cold when it gets dark. They are not as warm as SOC socks, they are rather thin but they feel much more firm. After these purchases I already had three pairs of running socks... but then I found even cheaper running socks from Lidl. I think the brand is called Crivit or something. They cost only three euros. I bought them... because I wanted to know if there's a difference between the SOC running socks and these super cheap ones.

Crest running socks
They are both the same size but as you can see frem the image, the SOC sock (pink) looks more fitted. They do feel the same though when I wear them. They are both pretty short but warm. I think the Crivit ones may have more cushioning than the SOC ones. But quality-wise... they do feel and look pretty much same.

SOC and Crest running sock comparison
I have tested all the socks now and here's my verdict: I think there's not much difference between SOC socks and Crest socks. I think the SOC ones maybe fit slightly better and they are prettier... I think I'd invest the extra two euros per pair just because of the pretty bright color but there is nothing wrong with the Crivit socks either.

X-Socks are on the next level, at least in my opinion. I liked them the best. I tried them together with regular cotton socks and with Crivit running socks and I think there was a difference. They just felt nicer and the fit was superb. Though I am not sure if they felt nicer because I knew they were more fancier and more expensive than the other socks I tried. It was not a blind test after all. My opinion may be biased... But will I keep using running socks instead of regular cotton socks? Most definitely. Are they the second most important things after running shoes? Not for me, definitely not for me. One should not underestimate the value fo a good sports bra.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New era, same blog?

Today I went to a library to get a book they ended up not even having. Don't you just hate when they keep English titles when they translate the book? It's so misleading! I thought they had the English version of the book I wanted but instead they had one in Swedish. Anyway. On my way home I got this idea.

I have been wanting a running log for quite some time now. A little place where I could write down my thoughts about running. I actually already created a Tumblr blog because I thought it would be fun to reblog motivational running posters and that kind of stuff. But I then found out that the office I work in has blocked Tumblr blog posting. I can access Tumblr, I can login, I can write posts... But when I try to actually publish the posts, it gives me an error. The company has pretty much blocked all the social media sites it's actually surprising I can access Tumblr in the first place.

But on my way home I realized I do have this nice place already. My personal blog that has served me for years. There has been many different eras in this blog. I think I started this blog when I was getting eaten by an eating disorder. When I was sad, in a miserable relationship (though you really have to read between the lines to figure that out) and depressed. Blogging helped me to organize my thoughts and to go on.

And then... I guess I wrote more nerdy stuff. And book reviews. And movie reviews. I wrote a lot about music too. I think I was in a happier place in my life. After that era I got into knitting and crocheting. It was a big thing for me for years and I even started a yarny blog together with my then-boyfriend-now-husband J.R.

And then it was all about the dogs. My precious little pups. I wrote so much about then that I altered my blog name to be "It's About Amoena and the Dogs". That was an era too. I wrote about their health mostly, since they both have health issues. Anyway.

This story is getting too long. I just realized that I have so many different eras in my life already and this blog has served them all. So why not used this space again, for this new era of my life. I love this blog because it's all mine and it doesn't really have a niche. I can write what ever I want. I can write about running again (I used to write about running long, long time ago when all I ever wanted was to disapper), I can write reviews again... I can. Because I can. Ha!

But I think I need to chance my banner at least. This is about me again, about Amoena.