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]



HTC comes through day one on form..

image image








You know I thought the little (big!) HTC was going to be tough to get along with..

Day one, I wanted to be able to be able to take some photographs and upload them to my blog.. The combo of an above average camera, a half decent and fun set of 'as standard' filters and this MASSIVE screen make it a very pleasing experience... That and the fact that this thing is actually as responsive as all hell! Fast? You better believe it.... Anyway, you know I don't say much on instagram, so let's get on with the images shall we?

Most of these are GTV9 (rather than one!) Focussed, as I live right by the old studios that are being torn down... Sad but true...

So, these are all images directly from the Telstra HTC Sensation's camera, some using the built in effects.

Tomorrow we take a little look at some Android camera apps..


Six | Around the block

Six images taken within a block of your house. Go. Inspired by a lovely new friend of mine, Katie Kolenberg, awesome photographer and quality camera bag user.. Here are six from around my block - there are a couple of skips as I had my shutter advance set to 'take lots' and stupidly took a couple of doubles.. alas, six arrive, straight from the block around my parent's house in Toormina, Australia.



Blog Action Day | Black&White

Blog Action Day in Black & White I was sitting thinking "How does Blog Action Day" translate into my world... Sure, I could go down the turn your PC off route, but no, not today... I was thinking of what it means in relation to me, and how climate change, global warming and etc are related to power consumption and the way we use the planet. What does that all have to do with me as a concert photographer? What is the first thing you think of when you go to a big concert (no, after the music.. no, not the hot dogs outside... no, not the cute security guards...) that's right, well done, the lights... the seven MILLION watt lights that are trying to set the band on fire (Unless you're shooting / visiting Scala in London where the lights would be bettered if a candle were lit and placed in the middle of the stage!!) and the transport, yep.. and what about the fans and their transport? all costs our planet a lot more than we probably think about...

Did you know that it takes U2 a convoy of about 50 trucks carrying stage components, lighting, TV screens and sound equipment to get from gig to gig?

Did you know that Radiohead on their last tour encouraged car pooling, chose urban venues with strong transport links that were easy to get to on public transport, used low emission LED lighting, chose a tour itinerary that kept air freight to a minimum, recycled all food and drink packaging.

So, I've popped together a collection of black and white images that show "Light use" at some of the concerts I have photographed in the last couple of years... Maybe we need to find a more responsible way to light / power these rolling monoliths... and don't forget, there are the concerts with the lights and the power and the noise, but think about all the things related to those concerts?... transport, venues heating or cooling all the way down to the power taken to print the tickets... why not give everyone a secret number! quote the number, get a pass! :: Yep, 2:09am and I'm in need of sleep, so without further ado, here's a set of images that in my opinion spell "entertainment wastage"except for Alice in Chains, they only used ONE light... grrrr (Didn't matter, I was singing baby!) :: Hope you've enjoyed my take on Blog Action Day as it applies to me.


Dave Matthews Band

The Prodigy


Benicassim 2009

Counting Crows

Alice in Chains

Linkin Park

Linkin Park


Bullet For my Valentine


Nine Inch Nails

Avenged Seven Fold

gtvone - what does it mean?

gtvoneThere's much speculation surrounding "gtvone" and what it actually means. Let's start with how to pronounce it, shall we? It's not "gt-vone" it's "gtv-one" that sounds a lot like got it? say it back to yourself... gtv ONE that's it. So, now that you can say it, what's it mean? Well - Let's speculate and say that it is a fictional character from space, but it's not true now, is it... GTVone is with reference to my first love... A 1978 Alfa Romeo GTV - I'm not a sports lover "as such" in that I don't like football all that much, Tennis bores me and Cricket? Give me the sandwiches... you can keep the rest! Motorsports, I like motorsports... WRC, F1, V8's and Bikes... Love it - something fast and (usually!) controllable is where it's at for me... So, that's got absolutely nothing to do with gtvone, but it's great that you know, now... I only have one photo of gtvone - "back then" I didn't see the need for pictures of her, she was in my back yard and always around some place... whereas now, she's dead, gone...

I hear you saying - what's all this got to do with music photography? well, largely nothing... But it's a commonly asked question (according to my google analytics) so, here's the answer.