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Black & White Koh Lanta

Black & White Koh Lanta

I’ve been in a bit of a photography rut

Given my amazing surrounds of Thailand, that might be a slight surprise, but I never quite anticipated the hangover of my 2016 photo-a-day conquest I forgot it was a leap year – that 366th day really got me. Something about needing to find a subject or scene, every day, that was compelling, interesting, etc… It just got me down a little by the end and resulted in me being a little reluctant to pick up my camera in 2017 (well, so far).

That said, I’m never one to get stuck in a hole and moan. Given that, I thought to myself “what can I do to dig myself out of this”. Rather than picking up my camera, I decided to embrace a principle that I really believe in. Thats is:

Constraints drive creativity

I decided that I was going to try something different, use something different and focus on simplicity. That is, to create a collection of photos that use my mobile phone camera and shoot in black and white. And it’s grown on me.

Most of my photography is amped up. Bright and vibrant. Heaps of detail. But these shots below, there about less. And I’m pretty happy with it. There’s less depth of field, but more focus on contrast. I hope you enjoy them.

As for the how, these were all shot using my ageing Samsung Galaxy S6 using Adobe Lightroom Mobile. The process of shooting in black and white means I’m looking at things with a different lens (well, in my own mind) and the power of raw shooting, full control on a mobile phone is honestly quite remarkable.

 

Week One in Phuket, Thailand

Week One in Phuket, Thailand

Our South East Asia trip started in a really casual manner. First job after getting off our flight ( which was as smooth as you could hope considering we were delayed in Melbourne due to lightning and landed in lightning) was getting to our Airbnb joint. Instructions were a little vague, we were a little tired, but we figured it out. I mean, obviously. Our place was past most of the action of Patong and Karon, down the Southern end of Phuket in a town called Kata. A pretty sweet little find, in hindsight. Continue Reading..

Event Photography, Social Media & Connecting Technology

Event Photography, Social Media & Connecting Technology

Is a picture worth a thousand words on Twitter?
When it comes to Twitter, based on some rough calculations, a picture exceeds the 140 character limit by around 4,850 characters – if a picture is actually worth a thousand words*. The ability to add rich media, or high-end photography can really help serve as the hook to get the attention of your audience when you’re running an event physically and virtually. And this extends to other social platforms (thinking Instagram), too.

I’ve covered a events in varying capacity of photography and social media, where plenty of thought is given to driving engagement and making the physical experience as ‘amplifiable’ as possible online. And that’s the wonderful crossroad of social media and photography.

People love snapping screenshots and being first on Twitter with that amazing insight or graphic. Problem is, many of these environments are poorly lit and getting a great shot isn’t overly simple.

Obviously, photography on mobile phones has greatly advanced in recent years, but so too has the connectivity of modern digital cameras (mirrorless and DSLRs). Here’s me in action (on a pretty standard looking iPhone shot):

You can now shoot a keynote, a presenter, a slide, a room, the guests, an establishment shot – whatever you snap – and using wifi, then sync to your mobile phone allowing you to onward share to the world.

The best part is you can now edit photos on a mobile phone, using some very capable (and free) tools, like Snapseed or VSCOCam. Workflow wise, this can really streamline the ability to get great quality images to the wider world, super fast. It’s almost possible to have professional images, live. For example:

My Experience with Two Social-Photography Scenarios

1) I’m The In-House Social Photographer

I’m able to do it all. I’m shooting, syncing, posting and running the whole show – as in, I’m in the social media team, I’ve got the keys to Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Facebook and so on.

2) I’m The Photographer for Hire

In this instance, I’m not in the social team, so obtaining access to the social accounts wouldn’t be suitable. That said, this is okay. Because I can shoot, sync, edit – and share to someone in the social team.

Live Photo Sharing with the Social Team

Rather than posting to social, I can share to the social team as-i-shoot, providing a stream of high-end pictures which can then be posted from the company Twitter handle. But there are a few ways to make this happen, but you need to be mindful of the shortcomings of each.

DropBox / Google Drive

This is a great solution that allows for a simple sync from my mobile phone to a cloud sharing service. Prior to the event kicking off, I create the folder and share that folder with the social team. Once the social team has access (on their mobile phone or laptop), they have immediate access when I sync.

When to use DropBox or Google Drive?
If the social manager is familiar with either of these platforms, I’ll run with this approach. It’s fast and simple. I find this works best when the social team has a laptop, but can well on mobile too.

Facebook Moments

Moments is a really simple app that allows for high resolution image sharing between two Facebook ‘friends’. It’s a app that you can only use on a mobile phone. The person in the social team gets notified of a new photo, which is a big tick against the Drive & Dropbox solutions.

When to use Facebook Moments?
If the social team is a Facebook friend and they are roving on their mobile, Moments is perfect. The picture gets received with a notification and they can save and share when ready.

Email

Email’s a bit clunky, but it still serves a purpose. Some of the shortcomings of email are pictures are often resized – it’s sometimes hard to control this. Equally, email inboxes can be a little cluttered and it’s not built-for-purpose, as much as Moments, Drive and Dropbox are.

When to use Email?

When Drive, DropBox and Moments don’t do the trick.

Messenger Services (Facebook / SMS / IM)

These tools are often geared towards general communication, not the transfer of files. That said, they often run over 3/4G technology, so can be the last plan of attack. Pictures can be resized and reduced without any control.

When to use Messenger Services?
When all else fails…

What Next?

You’ve got two options. 1) Give this a go yourself, or 2), if you’re looking for an event photographer with technical and social experience, I’m available for bookings – see regularsteven.com/contact or search for @regularsteven – I’m all over the web 🙂

I’ve got the artistic experience to capture an event in its best light and have the technical and social experience to bring it to life in real-time. I quote fixed costs, with the social aspects included. Costs include delivery of all edited photographs in the following 2 days of the event.

Quick Note: All photography gets the professional editing treatment in post production for a broader gallery. But, the social side is a big value add!

Last up, if there are suitable photos (local landscape, establishment architecture, etc) that align with my broader style of shared photography, I’m happy to share this with my 10,000+ audience across my social channels along with a brand mention of ‘Shooting the <YourBrand+Event>’. This might be a little brand boost that could be a little tick – if you’re looking for a sweetener.

* Based on average of 5 characters per word

Have a little look for some social examples of my work in action…

Cook for Kids with Ben Shewry and Friends

Cook for Kids with Ben Shewry and Friends

60 Guest, at $1,000 per head. This was the entry price for a food extravaganza to support Helping Hoops via the aptly named Cook For Kids with Ben Shewry and Friends. And these friends came from all over the place, bringing their staff too and world class experience. They all donated their time, skills, effort, travel costs, they hustled for food and wine donations. Basically, this night was huge for so many contributors. Continue Reading..

Catching out SEN on Copyright. And getting ham compensation.

Catching out SEN on Copyright. And getting ham compensation.

Sorting out copyright is complex. To say the least. How you approach it, well… There are many strategies, from send an invoice to a legal threat, but you never know how they will respond. And you have to be prepared to follow up, which could be really costly, too.

It turns out that Melbourne radio station SEN were using on of my photos, originally posted on my junkpit.net blog in 2012:

A-Sunset-at-the-MCG-Melbourne-Dusk

as their twitter cover photo, which you can see here:
Screenshot_20160722-161634

In the past, when I’ve hit people up, they just take it down and from there, it’s up to me to pay for and pursue legal action. It’s complicated, costly and time-consuming.

Tonight, I tried to do something different.

I was listening to SEN around 4:20pm today (Jul 22), and they opened up a segment about the Melania Trump plagiarising Michelle Obama’s speech. They said, “call up if you’ve got a rip-off story”. So I did.

I explained I’m a photographer to the producer, and then on-air. Have a listen if you like. Long story shot; I think I’m going to score a ham…


Within a couple hours, they’ve taken it down.
Screenshot_20160722-181421

I’ve taken the plunge & I’m starting a small business…

I've taken the plunge & I'm starting a small business...

I’ve worked for other people and companies all my life. It’s been great. I’ve got almost 15 years experience working in tech companies from small business, start ups to large enterprise. I’ve worked on big client facing projects in both B2B and B2C, as well as back end systems that aren’t directly visible on the outside. In the past 8 or so years though, I’ve diversified with regards to what I’m passionate about. Continue Reading..

Framing Federation Square

Framing Federation Square

Over the space of a few weeks, I was lucky enough to do the first Instagram Takeover of Federation Square. If you’re not aware, Fed Square sits right next to Flinders Street Station, and really is the meeting place of Melbourne. It was great to get some special access of this iconic Melbourne landmark, but equally awesome to get to eat my way around and get to know it a little better. Continue Reading..