Leaves, Laura Marie HowellBecause who doesn’t love doing this?

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2015Happy New Year! 2014 flew past in what now seems like quite a blur; it was a year full of highs and lows but I’m excited to see what 2015 brings. I hope the new year is full of adventure, inspiration and achievements. One of my biggest resolutions is to blog more, as I still have like a bazillion things from last year that I never showed a soul, even more shockingly I haven’t even looked at my photos from Istanbul (a trip I took in May!!!) oopssss. So in the new year I aim to be more organised and actually put my work out there; and maybe aim to empty my memory cards a little more often (or ever). Also I would just like to add that this photo was actually supposed to be made with a sparkler, but when said sparkler fails to light come midnight on the most important and documented night of the year one has to improvise!

As staircases go the one in City Hall, London is fairly impressive. Its understated, simplistic curves and never ending spirals make for one aesthetically pleasing piece of architecture. Residing on the banks of the Thames, near to Tower Bridge the building is most well known for housing Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London among other city officials. Starting from the top I indulged in the view, which unfortunately wasn’t much further than Tower Bridge in all its grandeur (at a squint I could just about make out Canary Wharf in the murky distance). However I was far more taken with the view coming down, it was a slow meandering process that involved stopping at every other step;  but that staircase just doesn’t have a bad angle! I visited City Hall as part of Open House London and I am very tempted to visit again next year as this Norman Foster designed building is possibly one of my favourites!

The Leadenhall BuildingThe Leadenhall BuildingThe Leadenhall BuildingThe Leadenhall Building, View from the 40th Floor40th Floor, The Leadenhall BuildingI’m a sucker for a good view, so last month I diligently waited in line to be whisked up to the 40th floor of The Leadenhall Building in London. Once a year Open House London lets the general public roam around some of the most architecturally intriguing buildings across the city, which is great if you don’t mind a bit of queuing. This distinctive design by Rogers Stirk Harbour Partners was finished earlier this year and is currently the tallest building within the City of London. Visiting the Leadenhall Building was a slight anticlimax. After waiting over an hour to get in (crazy I know) and experiencing a stomach lurching, ear popping assent over The Gherkin (fastest lifts in Europe); all to be rushed around the 40th floor as quickly as possible it was just a bit disappointing. Unfortunately London was being its usual miserable self weatherwise, with zero visibility the skyline was cloaked in a thick cloud of fog.

I made a hyperlapse of the jaw-dropping descent, going down at 8 metres per second it was pretty quick!

Sensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesIf you have an interest in all things that flutter then you may like me have visited the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London. Upon entering the tent you are transported into a sickly sweet paradise (aka a greenhouse) filled with a variety of different species flying overhead. It was interesting to see the evolution of these delicate insects, from caterpillar to chrysalis, to their final form. The chrysalises are flown in from all over the world to create this little tropical home filled with sweet smelling flowers to attract the butterflies; and it really was filled to the brim with these wonderful creatures in all stages of their very brief lives.

 

 

 

Summer in SouthwoldSummer in SouthwoldSummer in SouthwoldSummer in SouthwoldSouthwold in SummerSummer in SouthwoldSouthwold in SummerSummer has been and gone and autumn is already making its presence known here in England. Endless cloud cover and a drizzling of rain is becoming the norm. So I’m hiding inside today, cocooned under my duvet with a plethora of hot tea to keep me warm; wishing I could back to a sunny day. I took these photos in Southwold, a quaint Suffolk town a few weeks ago when the sun was shining brightly and it was acceptable and warm enough to eat ice creams on the beach. Its one of my favourite places to amble around, indulging in treats and just exploring all the cute shops. Whilst there I shot a few photos for my sister’s blog, which you can find here.

Above is a montage of all my favourite iPhone shots, many of which are on my Instagram.

 

 

Leadenhall MarketLeadenhall MarketLeadenhall MarketLeadenhall MarketLeadenhall MarketLeadenhall MarketI’ve walked down Leadenhall Street many times, but never have I managed to stumble my way into this charming indoor market. Dating back from the 14th century Leadenhall Market is one of the oldest in London, and the mix of ornate architecture and decor instantly transports you to diagon alley a time of colonialism and British rule. Unfortunately my accidental visit was early on a sunday morning and most of the shops were still closed, but there were a couple of stalls open selling some wonderful handmade items.

 

HoltIn my opinion a birthday can’t be celebrated or even acknowledged without a cake and the blowing of candles/ birthday chanting charade that comes with every passing year. You squeeze your eyes shut and blow with all the muster you have, like you life depends on it. All whilst making that crucial wish of course. It’s not official until you can smell the waft of burnt candles – marking that realization that another year has sped by. As the cake is clearly the most important element of the day, me and my best friend decided to make a little field trip to get one. We headed up the coast to our destination of Holt in North Norfolk, wherein lies Byfords; the most charming english cafe/ store/ B&B you may ever come across. After seeing the menu, neither of us needed much convincing. Katy ordered the eggs arlington and I got the posh fish finger sandwich which was incredibly yummy. After brunch I chose my cake (a classic victoria sponge- sold in the store) and spent the afternoon pottering about Holt, dashing between the cute shops whilst hiding from the ever lurking rain.

For more photos and daily updates you can follow along through Instagram.

 

 

EPOTY ExhibitionEPOTY ExhibitionEPOTY ExhibitionEPOTY ExhibitionTidal Surge, Laura Howell A couple of months ago I received some very exciting news – one of my photos had been shortlisted for the Environmental Photographer of the Year exhibition. I was beyond shocked, considering I had entered on the day of deadline, with approximately an hour to explain my work and make sure every last box was filled out correctly (my forte in life – I’m seriously not capable of doing anything in a timely fashion). If I could choose to have my work selected for anything, then I think this would be the one, I’m literally obsessed with landscapes and if I can find an environmental element then my mind kind of goes into creative overdrive. Over 10,000 images were submitted from all corners of the planet, so I feel very lucky to have my work included. All of the images selected show environmental and social issues that both encourage awareness and show the consequences of climate change. Some of the the issues examined were poverty, natural disasters, population growth and innovation. The exhibition was recently being shown at the Royal Geographical Society in London, but its now travelled to Cumbria and will be on show at Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre until the 2nd of November. My shortlisted image shows the after effects of the tidal surge that hit the east coast of England in December 2013. In Hemsby, Norfolk the cliff face gave way to the sheer power of the sea and the damage caused was phenomenal, with many homes left unsalvageable.