Simon's 'stuff of the year' Christmas fiasco!

Everyone else is doing it, I thought I'd write you up a quick post, letting you know what I've used this year and what worked well...

Here's a picture of the *real santa in a mountain cave in Cuba... True story!

I will say up front that the links are AMAZON affiliate links, and i'll tell you what I do with any Amazon affiliate cash ($14 in the last six months, I thank you!) ....I buy more disk space for my steadily growing habit image library... So, if you buy something through one of my links, you're entitled to a high res digital file of any image I've taken that a. won't get me locked up or b. won't get someone else locked up OR c. won't get me slapped by a bride I've photographed (unless she's uber hot... then I might still give you the file)

Right... Stuff! This year has been filled with random "stuff" and some of it has been awesome, some of it less awesome!

1. I think my favourite camera bag of the year (I work for thinkTank, but I use their stuff as a photographer) is the Retrospective 40 - I can pop my 13" MacBook Air in and my 5DMKIII with the grip on - a couple of lenses (including a 70-200 f/2.8) and loads of other stuff.

2. The Evo 2 tripod system from 3 Legged Thing has just hit the market, even here in Aus, and is simply brilliant - I've had 3 Legged Thing gear since the very first version of 'Brian' and I have to say that this Evo 2 gear is 'the mutts'

3. I've swapped to a little MacBook Air 13" (2012 model) for a lot of my 'on the go' social media work and when I'm not wanting to be tied to my desk with this, the 'big' computer.. SSD makes everything amazing - SO fast, small, battery life like a 65 year old with a can of viagra..

I got an iPhone 5, it's boring...

4. The Sony RX100 is not only the best compact camera I've used this year, it's the best compact camera I've ever had - it is simply awesome. My favourite feature, aside from really very nice raw image output, is the little flash - you can bend it backwards and fill your subject by bouncing light, rather than killing them with a laser beam.

5. Audio this year was brought to you by the RODE PodcasterFor a USB mic that most people use for simply talking into, the RODE is sweet enough to record your favourite hits, trust me.. I tried it... I take requests!

BUT, it's not all about expensive bits of camera and non-camera tech, oh no, the second five are dedicated to things you could simply click and buy RIGHT NOW without having to speak to your 'bank manager' first....

6. Nice Industries, the same people that brought you the wildly awesome 'Aviator Travel Jib' also produced a little wonder called the "Nice Clip" and it's super awesome.... You wait until you have seven cables you want to keep handy on the edge of your desk...

7. The best $35 you'll spend, a Lexar USB 3.0 CF / SD reader has made my 'ingest' soooo much faster, but only on my Mac Air as it's the only thing I have with USB 3.0... Next Amazon purchase is a G-Tech USB 3.0 external drive.... Oh yes....

8. Another recent love is the Capture Clip System from Peak Design - I use it on almost every shoot with my ProSpeed Belt - a sweet combo - saves shoulders, mental state, cameras etc.... try it, you might just wanna kiss me for the suggestion... ewww...

9. This year we got NASTY.... Nasty Clamps have change my life.... I can pretty much attach anything to anything else anywhere. For that, Nasty Clamps, I salute you.

10. ....speaking of rugged and portable, the drive of the year award goes to the ioSafe Rugged Portable... It's rugged and portable! I have a FW800 500gb version, and it's a toss up (only based on price) between the G-Tech and ioSafe for next drive to arrive.. The ioSafe is a great drive for those of you with just ONE external backup - it has lots of 'peace of mind' attached to it. Included recovery and the ability to withstand the crushing grip of Chuck Norris....

There you have it, 10 things you could blow some cash on... These are things I've actually used and STILL use - not some list of crap purely designed to make you click so I get PAID.... [Though, enough to buy a large clock with a gold chain to hang around my neck would be good, ta]

 

 

Shoot a wedding on an iPhone?

Well, you can't... well, you can, but it's going to be pretty low-fi ya know... Yeah, you could do it if that's all you had... You can print 6x4's You can make yourself a wedding album on instagram. You could print a little book for all your guests as a mementos...

But that's not what this post is about... This post is about the attitude attached.

I was driving out to Healsville sanctuary yesterday with the family, Seb was asleep and M and I were talking about photography, I was trying to work out if I should get a certain type of camera - we eventually managed to get to talking about how photographers are an opinionated bunch, me included, and we are... You know, if someone posted "I can only get someone with an iPhone to take my photos" in one of the professional forums on the internet, that person would be laughed off, escorted out, ridiculed... But why? If that's all they could afford / if that's all they wanted... if that's all... then who are we to judge? I used to be one of those people - so worried about my gear / the gear people used to define their work that I was missing the point... Generally it ain't the 'professionals' that are all about the gear, it's the fauxfessionals or the amateurs with a 9 to 5 and a serious hobby / gear addiction. I'm the first to admit, I love tech, I love gadgets and I love my iPhone... I'll get a 5 as soon as I've got the moolah. But we have to remember, it ain't the gear that defines us, its what we create with whatever we have...

The only reason I can think of that there's all this worry and talking down to people doing the best with what they can is that, people with nice gear and more experience are going to lose work to this army of iPhone equipped photographer types? If you're worried, work harder, set yourself apart from someone with a phone camera or a point and shoot (does anyone bother with a point & shoot anymore?)

If that's not the reason, then what is?

This is a creative industry, why then are our collective creative brains so against people using different ways to create their art? 90% of the population can't tell what your photo, 600px wide on a blog or Facebook was created with... Yes, if you're printing a sweet wedding album, then you're going to notice... If you're printing large, then you're probably going to notice... well, the pixel peepers amongst us will... I had a friend in my office recently, he picked up a print I'd done on my Canon Pixma, it was a 5x7 of a coffee photograph I'd taken with my iPhone... when I told him what I'd shot it on, he was blown away...

Attitude, Snobbery and Hate, there's no place for it...