Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Saturday, October 14, 2017

London, We Love You!




I'm lucky to have one of those careers where I don't know what's going to happen next so when I was offered a day in London to go to play with the latest iPhones by Three I didn't pause before accepting, especially as Looby was also included in the offer.

I'd say that Thursday was a gift, it was one of those rare magical days when the planets align to create near perfection, we had a plan to go to Harrods, and then the event at the Three discovery centre in Islington followed by a swift trip to Hamleys at Looby's request.

We travelled down at 8am and got home at 11pm exhausted because we'd also managed so squeeze in a trip to Buckingham Palace, Looby noticed an open window and concluded The Queen must have been looking for us, the same as she had when we'd had a trip to London when Looby was just 4 years old.

I think there's something magical about London, perhaps because I don't have to live there on a daily basis, I know my way around from all of the time I've spent there in another life and I'm pretty good at negotiating The Tube though I will say £18.50 for an off peak day ticket for Looby and I, we're used to just over £5 on the metro!!




So we began our trip at one of the most magical places of all, the Harrods Christmas department, you'll know from previous articles that I have a big of a love of department stores but Harrods is something else, I mean where else could you purchase a reed diffuser for £22,000 or a Suitcase with internal desk for £99,500?  Luckily all Looby wanted was this years Harrods Christmas bear which at £19.95 I think was a bargain and they don't even charge you for the carrier bags.

Yes, Harrods is the place where dreams can come true and when I win the lottery I shall be heading straight there for a celebratory shopping spree, Looby hadn't been there before and loved it, let loose with spare cash I think she could have come away laden with goodies.

Our main event of the day was of course going to Three for a session on the new iPhones, and iOS11, being an Apple fan girl by my own admission I was thrilled to have some time to test out the new iPhone8 plus, I will say that the camera on it is amazing


This is with the 7Plus my current phone which I love


This is using studio lighting mode on the iPhone8 Plus, now if you're me and you're a photographer you'll notice the difference straight away, the shadows alone with the even lighting are amazing, especially when it was shot indoors under artificial lighting, it should be that my outdoor late afternoon light is better but there's just no contest!  If I was going to upgrade right now I would without question however, what I'm holding out for is the iPhone X, that's going to have completely different and revolutionary new ways to take photos and it's going to be more intuitive, have better lenses and modes, I just hope I can pre-order one on the 27th October and have it in time for Christmas, there are rumours afoot that we may not actually see them in reality until early next year.  I also managed to pick up some new tips about Live Photos, did you know you can change the type of photo, it's a bit like having Boomerang but within the camera.

I thought I knew most of the new features of iOS11 but there were some hidden gems, and if you have never played with augmented reality yet, I'd suggest you check out one of the apps, I think AR is at the very beginning of it's creation and it's only going to get better and better, it's certainly got me excited.


After the event we knew we had enough time to go to Buckingham Palace so we had the loveliest wander through St James Park before finally visiting The Queen, it's a total highlight for me and Looby couldn't remember her visit when she was small except for the fact that she'd seen The Queen waving out of the window at her and she looked like granny, who knows if it actually happened but I've always believed it was possible!


She was definitely at home as the Royal Standard was flying this time around, could she have been looking for us too I wonder?  Looby did get a photo standing next to her this time, even if she was slightly more square than I remembered, definitely her though, I mean, look, she's even got a corgi!


Funny that she seems to live in Hamleys though!  I should mention at this point that I thought that Hamleys was actually hell on earth, it was noisy, crowded, they charged us £5 for a reusable carrier bag when Looby bought a London themed jigsaw, I was wholly unimpressed though she loved it and that's all that mattered.

For me, I got a walk in the royal park, I got to watch the pelicans and I got to spend some time soaking in the atmosphere at the palace, Looby said she wished we could have spent more time at the palace but sadly time was not on our side.  London is so vast that you really can't see much in day but I hope we'll get back down there soon through work or leisure, wouldn't it be amazing if I got more work there?  It's more probable than the train tickets perpetually costing half a months rent.

Thanks to Three for facilitating our trip and inviting us to their fabulous Apple event, they did not sponsor this post and all of my opinions are that of my own, I remain a fan of all things Apple and most things London.





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