The Sunday Snap 29

My phone was flooded with messages about Kite Surfers getting big air at my local beach and photographic opportunities were being missed. I grabbed my gear and headed to the beach, found a good spot to capture some action shots however the camera had other ideas.

Its hard to explain what was happening but I’ve put it down to the batteries being really low and the camera couldn’t decide between where to provide power, to the lens or the body. As kite surfers are fast moving I was shooting in Mode S (Shutter-Priority Auto) to capture the action. This leaves the camera to decide the Aperture for the best results but all but one of the shots was either over or underexposed and the camera wouldn’t focus nor allow me to press the shutter button.

I persevered (what I really mean is that I wrestled with the camera whilst muttering under my breath WTF is wrong this camera) for over an hour before I headed back to the car knowing one photo might be salvageable however but the rest would end up in the trash as they were useless.

At some stage in our careers as photographers, pro or amateur we will experience equipment failing and nothing we try to do to rectify the issue doesn’t work, and it seemed it was my turn. Some times its best to pack it in and come back tomorrow for another go.

Until next time, happy shooting.

Would you pay $108 for Social Media?

The search to share my photography on a suitable social media platform has been ongoing for some time and along the way I discovered some unusual platforms like Vero and MeWe, only to realise they were either clunky or didn’t suit me or my needs. There are the usual suspects such as Instagram and Facebook but due to the ever-present privacy issues surrounding Facebook reminded me why I’ll never go back to Facebook.

Storage here on WordPress is also starting to become a problem where I will either need to upgrade my account or find alternatives such as cloud storage or share directly from social media accounts. Neither of these options interested me due to likely ongoing associated costs, quality control etc. It was about the same time that I learnt of the open letter from Don MacAskill, Flickr CEO about their financial situation.

Prompted by Don’s open letter to take a look at Flickr left me wondering why I originally left. Was there something else that was (perceived to be) better come along or was it because all of my family and friends were on platforms like Facebook, without any real answer I signed up for a free account.

Screen Shot 2020-06-07 at 2.50.30 pm

This solved the storage problem and Flickr is a pretty good alternative to Facebook, not to mention the perks associated with a pro account like discounted Adobe products, camera bags and 50% off SmuMug Subscription so after a week or so, I signed up for a Pro account.

And I didn’t want to see a social media company such as Flickr fall only to leave Facebook owned platforms. That would be boring and quite frankly horrible.

But I have one gripe which hits me in the wallet, the true cost of a Flickr Pro account.

For reference, costs for a Flickr Pro account have been taken directly from Flickr’s pricing FAQ

  •  The USA – The price for an annual subscription is USD $59.99, plus tax
  •  International – (where the countries currency is not yet supported) is USD $71.88, tax inclusive.

However what is not considered in the pricing structure is the exchange rate and for Australia, an annual subscription cost is normally over $100. When I signed up In February this year the cost was just over $108.00. At the time of writing, the cost of a Flickr Pro at $103.18.

I also know the folks at Flickr have as much influence over the exchange rate as I do but we live in a global online community where we should be all charged the same amount to sign up regardless of where you live.

Now before you go jumping on your keyboard sending me all sorts of angry comments, let’s look back to the past. For e.g. Adobe charged more for software (Photoshop) that was digitally downloaded. A considerable amount more which resulted in Australians becoming well known for pirating the required software and licenses. Thankfully, for the most part, this has changed as companies adopted a subscription business model.

So I would like to ask Don MacAskill, Flickr CEO to take a similar approach to Adobe, Nextflix and Spotify to consider charging the same amount regardless of where we live in the world. The result may be more people becoming a Flickr Pro members if we all pay the same ultimately saving the company.

Would love to know your thoughts so drop us comment below

Until next time


How much Social Media is to much ?

And you thought this blog was just about photography didn’t you, well  I have noticed a disturbing trend and that Social media platforms are increasing and its starting to become overwhelming. I am constantly thinking about the responsibilities of social media while I sit in traffic and now I am dreaming about it which is now becoming a large distraction from my photography.

The responsibilities of social media sucks up quite a substantial amount of your waking hours, especially when you start counting up the forms of social media that I currently have. But, and there is always a but, as a photographer social media is a necessary evil. Its a way to share the images that you have captured, communicate with like minded individuals or groups, provide a glimpse of the images that have been taken from a particular shoot etc

I seem to have quite a lot of social media accounts, so I recently started to add it all up and then delete some accounts but before I hit the delete button on quite a few of them lets have a look at what I actually have and I wouldn’t be surprised if you have something similar to what is listed below or a lot more:

  • Personal Facebook Profile
  • Business Facebook Profile
  • Google Plus Personal account
  • Google Plus Business page
  • Twitter account
  • LinkdIn account (something I have never grasped how to use)
  • This blog
  • Flickr account (no longer in use)
  • RedBubble Account (about to be deleted)

and now I have been introduced to another form of social media and its called Empire or something like that. Not that I will be using it but rather deleting the account. Now some people may argue that sites such as RedBubble are not Social Media, it may not be in its true form however there is a thriving community that is sharing, providing advice etc which is the same as Flickr and I believe that it is a form of social media. However many people would argue that social media is really just sites such as Facebook or Google Plus but I beg to differ, Blogging was really the first and probably the original form of social media because you could share your thoughts and ideas and engage people, then come along sites such as MySpace which was quickly followed by Facebook, and that’s where the downhill slope started.

The question I have to ask, is really how much Social Media is to much? but the questions don’t stop there either. You have to sit down and ask yourself the following:

  • How many Social Media accounts do you actually have.
  • Do you have access to it at work?
  • Do you have access to it on a mobile device everywhere?
  • How much time do you spend on Social Media?
  • do you have notifications on your phone to it, and are you guilty of waking up when they go off at night?
  • Or do you wake up in the morning and check it to see what has been posted online?
  • and ultimately how do you manage your time on all of these Social Media platforms?

To add to all of that I receive updates from blogs that I read on a regular basis and one that appeared in my inbox today sparked my interest. The blog is written by Gem Nicholls who is a very Tech Savvy person, younger than I am and I would say that she is well and truly across social media because people Gem’s age have learned how to use it effectively where people my age didn’t grasp it as quickly.

Gem has made a valid point in her blog post Social Media is the Devil…..and I’m getting old ! and that is how do you turn it off to achieve the things that need to be achieved in your life. Just where do you draw the line in the sand and then not crossing that line in the sand. Gem managed to draw that line to achieve getting her assignments completed on time and she didn’t cross that line she had drawn in the sand either. The problem Gem had was that she had a lot of outside input from social media platforms which created large amounts of frustration and equally, distractions. I must admit I know how she feels, this blog post has taken me over three months to write because I was getting distracted by social media platforms.

So, I believe that I will have to put some rules in place to manage all of my social media accounts or commitments to be able to effectively achieve what I need to get done every day in life. I am really curious to see how everyone else manages their social media, what rules people have in place to  be able to achieve goals or tasks.

Oh, well off to check Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and LinkdIn, RedBubble, Flickr and Empire to see what I have missed ………

Happy Shooting