Oh, Bike. A contemporary display of waste.

A ten minute walk in most directions around Richmond will reveal many of the new silver / yellow peril that has bestowed upon the streets (gardens / rivers) of Richmond. oBike, a way for people to not own their own bikes and to pay a deposit and then ride about with their soy double decaf half skinny in the front basket (needs cane and flowers, imo) I'm not against oBike, not at all, though I do think the rollout could have had a little more finesse. 

This will be an ongoing series called "Oh, bike" Shot on Sony a6500 and 50mm f/1.8

If you spot a wayward oBike, message me so I can photograph it, or call these guys: 

My Sony lenses and a lesson in tethering...

I had to drag my old Canon 30D out of the archives today, I had to do some work for a client (Tamron Aus) who only had EF mount lenses to go, so I spent the day using the old beast, and while it has many happy memories, it made me realise exactly why I love my Sony cameras and lenses... Connectivity, flexibility, size and weight to a point.. Anyways, I thought I'd share my lens lineup for those of you here on this bloggin' journey...

Oh, and there's no "lesson in tethering" that was for me! It was the first time I used CaptureOne Pro 10 to tether and DAMN it's easy... "plug.. plug.. oh, a Sony a7rmk2, sure.. click done" - SO good. More on this soon. #MyCaptureOneJourney

On with the lens-fest

Inexorably lit by the Aputure COB 120D with a 7" Grid on't front.. 

Sony FE 16 - 35mm f/4.0

Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA

Sony E 50mm f/1.8 APS-C

Sony FE 55mm f/1.8

Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro

Sony FE 70-200mm f/4.0

That's my quiver of lenses, they do pretty much all I need right now. I find myself most typically wandering about with the 35 1.4 or the 55 1.8 on the Sony a7RMk2 or the 50 or 55 on the Sony a6500, it's a crop camera, so they're about 80mmish... 

So, tomorrow we'll have a look at these lenses individually, so if lenses really bore the whatsit out of you... Maybe go wash the car instead? We shall look at what photos these are good at taking (As long as the person holding the camera knows what to do)


Fin and I went for a wander today, here's a photograph of him in his favourite hiding spot, which also reminds me of 'A Clockwork Orange' ...he just needs a crazy looking knife. 

More soon... (Join my newsletter, it's epic... *click here*)

A little help, please?

While chatting to a couple of people in a photography group that I manage, I realised that they're doing what I was doing ten years ago and that it was really interesting to listen to them and hear myself as a photographer starting to find my direction. 



The main theme that was repeated throughout the conversation was that they needed more gear, something new to do a specific task, a new lens because they couldn't possibly get any photography work with the lens they had, an extra set of memory cards or perhaps a monopod... 

I'm not going to bluff the facts, I wanted those things too, and for the most part, I got them - but the reality is that all I did was spend money on gear, didn't get anymore work as a result, and so I'd just cost myself cash and not made any - that's a fail, if you're trying to start some sort of (even an "on the side") photography business. 

So I'm sitting here with maybe ten tips for you to have a think about, to see if they will help you get through that sticky first "I really want to do this" photographer stage. 

1. One critical friend is better than all the super-supporting family members when it comes to doing good stuff in photography. 

2. You 'only have a kit lens' Great! Learn how to use it properly, let it teach you the shortcomings of a kit lens and then, and only then, upgrade in the direction you need to go.

3. A 50mm lens is the 'must have' in many people's opinion. Mine too. But maybe not the ideal starting point of you're looking to primarily photograph landscapes or sports or... point being, not everything every forum of Facebook group says is going to help you.

4. Digital photographs, despite what people say, are not free! (And I don't mean in the "I Googled it, so I can use it?" sense) I mean, each time you make an exposure on a digital camera there is a nominal cost - storage, camera wear, your time, etc... Don't just spray and pray when you're learning, wait until you know what you're doing to machine-gun your subjects at 1/1000th

5. You want to learn to lighting but you don't have a model to practice on? Look in the mirror. Now buy a cheap trigger and go wild. 

6. You don't need the most expensive lighting gear in the world to get started. One good 'less expensive' flash I'm using is the Godox v860 (I use the Sony version, it's very good and the trigger works well, too) 

7. Maybe it's important to know what you want to specialise in when you start, not sure who to, but maybe it is... Try lots of stuff and see what makes you 'tick' the most... What excites you? Landscapes? Food? Portraiture? Weddings? 

8. If you're going to photograph things that involve people that pay you, make sure you know what you're doing. Not just with your camera, but how to deal with people, how to manage your files, how to structure an invoice, tax, backups... Yes, it can be overwhelming! point is : learn it first, don't just start and then fail because you didn't plan.

9. Forums for photography, for whatever damn stupid reason, can be brutal - everyone is an expert from behind a computer keyboard... Take advice, don't be disheartened... 

10. Be inspired by people doing great work, make a list of favourites, here's one I started a while ago... Inspiration on Pinterest

11. Don't be afraid to always try to do a little more, if you do what you always did, you get what you always got. An extra image, an extra call, an extra social share, and extra assist.

You're encouraged to comment below!

Because we all know you gotta have a $2k light to shoot your coffee!

Because we all know you gotta have a $2k light to shoot your coffee!

Next post we'll start looking at how you can help get the word out once you've nailed down the photo side of things - has anyone ever really nailed down that side of things? 

More to come...

Spiffy Gear Launches Spekular Modular LED Light

Spekular has arrived! See it here - http://spiffygear.com/spekular/

Here's what it does. 

Here's a short "Behind The Scenes" of a product shoot I did for a friend. 

Here are some photos of, or made with Spekular

One less Facebook page

Most of you know that I manage social media accounts for a living, and while that sounds fun - sometimes it can be stressful, you see everything, need to keep tabs on everything - and so I've closed my 'Simon's photography page' and will be continuing to post, but I'll be posting here and I'll be bringing back to life my little email newsletter... It feels a little bit more personal. Not signed up? sign up below...

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Recently, I've not been photographing a lot, I have been waiting for a couple of shoots to fall into place but they're taking time - it's not my full time gig, so I don't pursue it like I could, would or should. But, it's a love, so I'm still at it... 

Meanwhile, i've had a few new camera bags come in this week that I'm a bit excited about, one is the new Think Tank streetwalker HD-R (I'm calling it the HD-R as it's the Streetwalker, but in a full time rolling format for when you have steps or sand or mud or.... you get me) 

Chris and his Streetwalker HD-R in Vegas, baby...

Chris and his Streetwalker HD-R in Vegas, baby...

Anyways, this ain't no advertising forum, but I mention the Streetwalker as it was the first backpack I had from Think Tank back in the day - I still have and use that bag.