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]



Photographers. Not Terrorists. But...

I was going along to "I'm a Photographer, not a Terrorist" in London's Trafalgar Square tomorrow, but I've decided that it's not the right thing to do...

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't go or that you're fuelling the fire by turning up, but I can't help but feel that this is only going to make things worse.

Why? Well, I look after a forum and there was a thread about a guy in the U.K. being a bit miffed at being stopped by Police and asked stuff.. Well, the thread went on and people offered opinions etc - and then one of our members, an ex policeman from the US (Or Canada, I can't recall) offered an opinion... And all of this got me thinking... Why would a cop stop you? He needs to think you're doing something wrong etc and yes, I know in a lot of cases the Police / Specials / Security Guards that stop us are not quite up with what we're allowed to photograph and not... But I can't help thinking that if we were a bit more polite and less stand-offish to start with, that the conversation would last about a minute and then both parties would be on their sweet way...The last time I was stopped and asked what I was doing I was immediately on the attack and was sure as hell that I was in the right!

I also think that as a result of all the coverage that this debacle has received, at least here in the UK, has created a heightened sense of "Well, I'm going to go out of my way to prove my point" and this is on the side of both the photographer and the policeman... And we both know where that ends up! with both parties trying to "one up" the other.

So tomorrow with you all turning up in Trafalgar Sq, and power to you, I can't help but think that it's just going to step this big back and forth joke up some more and that if we all started treating each other with a bit more old school "human'ness" that we'd get along a lot better...Why don't we as photographers invite the Police to come to Trafalgar Sq and do a huge portrait shoot and BBQ instead!..

I've no reason / proof for my theory other than what's going on in my head, but the next time I get stopped I'm not going to be a complete tool, I'm going to be a human being and treat the man or woman that stops me with some common decency and see if it gets me anywhere... If I get battoned and locked up for the night, we'll all know I was wrong... (Unless it's by one of those "special police women..nudge nudge, wink wink!" )


All I need is a punch in the face

Went along to York Hall tonight in London's East end... There were six fights, the one we went to film / shoot included our man St. George Groves - Out of Hammersmith, George is the key man, or, one of two key men on the website - Groves V DeGale George was lined up to fight Matthew Barr who apparently pulled out with a broken hand. Well, from Rock to Sock (him in the face!) Here's what I came away with. George-Groves



Paul Oakenfold - Brixton 2009 Not realllly my cup of tea (or coffee) but Paul played to the Lenny Kravitz crowd as a warmer upper and they seemed to enjoy it. I read a funny interview with Paul today, he said, when asked if he'd play a 12yo's birthday party "They'd probably tell me to f*&^ off" I'd not had the pleasure of hearing Paul spin it before, but I did like what he did - he uses Pioneer decks and keeps it real - I was chatting with his photog (from Pioneer) before the gig... Whay can't I have a job working as a music shooter for a company? ...Anyway - Paul Oakenfold, ladies and gentlemans... Nice one Paul

Paul Oakenfold

You might find extra images in the GALLERY

peace - sime x

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim

So, Some most exciting news for me! A friend is PM'ing the HD MTV feed and was asked to provide a stills photographer for the duration of the festival. I will be shooting for her - Stills to go out in the breaks on MTV and for the organizers as well. I have to say, with a line up like the one below... I'm pretty flamin' stoked peeps! PRETTY FLAMIN' STOKED!... Lineup as follows! Festival Internacional de Benicàssim