Photography, Website & Print Design solutions.

Archive for November, 2015

And so it begins.

I’ve started a unit with the University of Tasmaniain in Photography and Social Media. I intend to use this Journal to post my pictures and thoughts as part of my study.

As part of this unit we are encouraged to explore social media and find people and photos that inspire us.
INSPIRATION Photographers who have inspired me.

Trey Ratcliff (co-founder of mySpace) is perhaps my most inpsirational travel photographer/blogger, I first found him on Google+. He not only takes brilliant images but is happy to share his techniques and has quite a following. He also reviews the camera gear he uses. I’ve learnt a lot from looking through his images and reading his posts.
You can find his online blog here:

Tom Anderson on Google+:
is also a founder of mySpace and an excellent travel photographer.

I’ve followed Peter Schlyter on Flickr for some time:
Scroll down though his pics and have a look at his heavily contrasted mono portraits – I love that they’re stripped back yet retain so much detail.
He’s been the inspiration for a few portraits I’ve done below (not many, I don’t like asking people to “model” for me)


Here are my initial thoughts on some suggested inspiration:

I found Instagram an appealing platform in that initially you are just presented with a wall of images. The GoPro Instagram feed (given as an example) was the most inspiring for me for it’s vast range of content from different photographers, all shot from a common device – the GoPro. It compelled me to keep searching through the images for a small peek into other peoples extraordinary lives.

Who doesn’t love dogs? Seth Casteel has found a creaive way to get a new angle on Man’s best friend, shot with an almost quirky sense of humour and compels you to view more.

One of the Facebook inspiration links supplied was for Steve McCurry:
I have followed Steve’s WordPress page for a few years now and find it engaging and facinating how he captures remarkably diverse images of humans from around the world. I don’t take many portraits myself as I’m shy to approach “strangers” and am curious how he approaches people and engages with them. I much prefer his WordPress layout with the use of a non-distracting dark background than that presented on Facebook, though his Facebook page has over 567,000 likes compared to WordPress’ 36,000 followers.

Though Facebook probably has one of the largest and engaging social media reaches, unfortunately it adds it’s own image compression which can sometimes have a detrimental result on your photos. I did use Google+ for a while, as you can choose to upload your photos without automatic “enhancment”.

Also ownership is a major consideration for me in which “Social media” to share my images on, Facebook’s lack of copyright protection or lack of respect for ownership in the terms of use, meaning your images aren’t protected, unless you watermark them heavily but they can still be used anywhere at Facebook’s discretion – without them asking!

Retaining copyright is one of the main reasons I chose Flickr in the past for sharing my photos as it saves the images EXIF information, as well as it uploading your original or edited photos with no compression. I now limit the size I upload and watermark my images to help protect them.

As this is a Photography and Social Media course, I decided to join the main Social Media sites I wasn’t already a member of to try them out and compare them. I read the terms in regard to copyright before using them to upload my photos. Tumblr and Flickr are now both owned by Yahoo and respect the submitters ownership of content, as does Printerest.
I’ve provided some links below and my thought’s on what I’ve tried to give you an idea as the are all quite different.

I use Facebook but don’t like it’s lack of respect for copyright or it’s rigid layout. It’s ok to catch up with friends but I’m careful which images I post and keep them small. I have thought about starting a page for my photograpy as it probably has the best reach but can compress photos.

I have used Flickr for years, it’s designed especially for photos, they’re large and nicely layed out, not compressed when you upload. You click on each image to view larger with a caption or comments and more information, it saves all EXIF info from the camera. You can sort things into your own albums (and make them private) and share photos in groups. I’ve found the community and inspiration here brilliant, I would highly recommend it!
Flickr is my favourite but to be fair, I’ve been using it for a long time. It does take a while to build up a following and the best way to do that seems to be by liking and following others works and finding good groups to post to.
For me It’s easy to upload to and the only one that seems to show all your camera data, which is great when your looking at others photos to learn how they did something.
The “Explore” section is the best place to find new high quality content and users for inspiration, as well as hunting through groups for your interests.

I have a Google+ account but don’t use it much anymore. I don’t like the layout much, I found it difficult to organise posts and they seem to repeat in your feed when you share to different groups or comment. Could be a setting or something I’ve overlooked. I like the circle of contacts idea to control who sees what but overall I found it … clumsy for want of a better word.

For sharing video and searching for content to learn things.
Part of Google and integrated into Google+. I’m getting more into video production since buying a UAV or “drone” but haven’t uploaded many. One of my video’s was featured by the SouthernCross News and The Mercury and has over 6,000 views.

I have several wordpress sites and have set up quite a few for clients and taught them to take over. It uses templates (free or premium) which can be somewhat restrictive and time consuming to set up. It has the biggest learning curve out of the “Social Media” I’ve tried but if you can use Word you should be right, there’s tutorials and help files. I found the photography and gallery section can be clumsy but the results are good.
Have a look at the two WP sites above, it is quite versatile and powerful with pages as well as a blog roll but can be a bit awkward for quickly uploading images. You can set it up to send emails to post.

I started testing some blogging sites out a few years ago for a project, this is really a personal test blog (2006-2008) that was abandoned – I haven’t used it in some time. Blogger was simpler to use but more restrictive than WordPress.


The original “Social Media”, I was and early adapter and initially thought it was groundbreaking and pretty good. A huge redesign and changes in 2013 meant I lost all my earlier entries and gave up on it.


A friend invited me some time ago and I tried it for a while but found it pretty limiting and a bit “spammy”. My profile is currently set to private and I haven’t used it for a few years.

Here’s my first impressions on some recently joined Social Media, still much to explore with each though:

Warning –  Pinterest is extremely dangerous! It quickly sucks you in to a world of wonderful images and short headlines that gets your head swirling with ideas and befor you know it, an evening has passed. Seems good for sharing images with short grab lines and finding things that inspire you. You can “pin” and organise things in “boards” or categories. I quite like it though the layout is restrictive.

More a diverse blog tool with seperate obvious post types, for fun, personal and celebrity posts rather than serious photography (more time here could prove me wrong). Some cool stuff can be found in “Staff picks”, seems hard to discover new things at first but the layout is customizable to suit you. I expect with more use and time Tumbler may be good, my daughter likes it.

Major drawback – you can only upload photos from Mobile App, can’t add watermark thru app. Nice clean square image layout. I like the manual photo adjustments, easy to use – can you save presets?
This one is good if you just want to use your mobile for images but is clumsy for uploading images from a camera or PC. Perhaps there’s a way around this?

I have a Twitter account but have never really taken a shine to it’s short form posting. Seems to be mostly about celebrity self-promotion or posts pointing to websites but it is a popular platform. Each to their own.

Probably the best idea is to try them out yourself and have a play. You can always delete them if you decide you don’t like them.

There are a few Social Media sites that I haven’t tried:

Vine: for video

Picassa (part of Google)