Journey through pictures

By @thethreeshot. You can support him through the RAW event, Sydney.

A little over a year ago, I laid out my photography process on this post. My approach was simple; when I run into moments, I whip out my iPhone and take the shot. As far as post-processing goes, I would simply apply an Instagram filter and share.

I can no longer live by that process.

I now look to run into moments and not just wait for them. I now also have a mirrorless camera and post process with gusto.

The change in process and gear has pushed me to explore more and has given me confidence to collaborate with a few people.

The results are better than before:

 

The BIG difference between iPhone and a serious camera

Quality is the obvious difference. But I found that psychology is just as important. Let me explain.

When I take the Fujifilm with me, I tend to look for the big headline grabbing shots. In stark contrast, when I don’t have it with me, I tend to take simpler life moments with the iPhone as it’s always with me.

On the flip side, having the mirrorless has made me explore more. I can now go out and shoot during low light situations for example and have the confidence that the shot will turn out fine.

I have also been able to collaborate more with my mirrorless as the other person will tend to take you more seriously. Admittedly, I felt a little bit embarrassed when I first went for a shoot with someone with just the iPhone.

iPhone

Phone

iPhone 7+ 

Karlee and crown.jpg

Camera

Fujifilm X-A3 on 18mm

 

Perception is a killer and although I was fine with the iPhone, I really felt that others did not share my view. I know I shouldn’t have given in to peer pressure, but at the same time, I really haven’t looked back.

Post processing

I approximately take 15–30 mins to post process a photo, which isn’t that bad considering some of my peers can take days.

I use a combination of Affinity photo and apps to post-process as follows.

Affinity

I take the shots straight from the camera and do minor tweaks with white balance, highlights, curves and the other usual suspects. On the odd occasion, I would completely change the colour of an object.

After the edits, I export the result and do a few more edits with a few apps.

Total time spent: 5 mins.

Prime

Prime is my go to for applying styles. Like other applications, Prime allows me to select my style/preset and adjust it even more to my taste, then I am able to save that style as a fave.

There is a plethora of great styles to choose from and selecting one is an easy process.

Total time spent: ~1 minute.

Retouch

This app is my go to for getting rid of unwanted objects. There are several apps that do this, including Affinity and Snapseed, but Retouch makes the process easy.

I find the results to be more accurate than its peers which saves a lot of time.

Total time spent: ~1 minute.

Snapseed

This is my go-to post processing app. It is feature-rich from the Selective feature (adjust specific area), to Lens Blur and to other more generic tools like alignment, curve adjustment and more.

It’s an all-in-one app that mirrors the essentials of big post applications like Affinity and Lightroom, with simplicity which like most of the above, saves time.

Total time spent: 10 minutes.

After post processing the apps, I send the final image to the Mac for that final check before posting the shot.

Collaborating with others

I started off taking shots of my surroundings and myself. Pretty soon I realised that I really wanted to capture portraits of other people to grow as a photographer.

And I really got bored of myself.

Approach

Finding people to collaborate with is tough to begin with particularly when I had no portrait shots of others in my portfolio.

I started off taking self-portraits and graduated by asking a few friends to do photoshoots. Then I asked my friends to see if they had any other contacts who were interested.

image.JPEG

 

Reaching out to the active and local Instagram community was easier once I had a few shots of others. The response rate increased and the portfolio started to grow.

Vibe

Capturing others is a big challenge and to help make it easier, I try to ensure that I capture their raw energy and overall vibe.

Before going on a photoshoot, I scan the Instagram profile of the individual and determine their ‘type’. Are they an outdoor individual? Do they like street/urban feel? Are they a hipster and so on.

It’s then a process of letting the other person know what you have in mind in terms of location, outfit and accessories — always keeping in mind that the shoot had to remain consistent with the individual’s vibe. This achieves 2 things: (1) it makes sure that the other person is comfortable and as a result (2) it makes the shoot easier.

The only exception to this process is when the person comes forward and says that they have a particular idea (mood, location) in mind, in which case I mix it up.

Equipment

Now for some boring small details:

  • Fujifilm X-A3 and X-T20. I absolutely adore my Fujis. These days, I’m using the T20 but the good thing about both is that the end result makes the post process easy (whereas others can spend hours on a photo, I generally take minutes).
  • 23mm f2 and 18–55mm f2.8–4 lens. The 23mm is my go-to when taking portraits and mid-range street shots. The quality is superb even during low light situations. The 18–55mm is one that I pull out when I know in advance that Ill be taking shots from a distance, like taking shots of other from a far away cliff (as I do).
  • iPhone 7+. I still use the iPhone simply because it’s always with me. Although the quality is not as good as a mirrorless, they still look great particularly after edits.
  • Joby stick. I rely heavily on my Joby when doing self portraits or when I want a part of myself in the scene (along with the Fujifilm app for control). No branch is tricky enough for the Joby to wrap it’s tentacles around!
  • iPhone tripod. I use the tripod like the Joby and together with remote control, I use the tripod when I want to get myself in the scene somewhere.
  • Other accessories. I have a slew of other accessories ranging from lights (sparkle, torches) to smoke bombs and masks among others. I even have my GoPro Hero 4 in my bag at all times. Admittedly, these only come out when the location and mood calls which unfortunately is not often enough, but they’re there.

RAW Sydney

After 300 photo’s, I’ve been approached by the guys at Raw to take part in their exhibition on Nov 30.

I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea who they were. But after having a look at their site and the diverse collection of participating artists, I am glad to state that there is a match!

If you’re a Sydney local, or if you so happen to be around town in Nov 30, come down and support this local Raw artist.

You can grab the tickets from this link. I’m always open and happy to exchange more details of my journey so far.

And you can always follow me on Instagram here.


EndNote

Photography and being a creative feels quite natural to me. The process of designing a product and imagining the next shot triggers the same creative juices.

The only difference being, developing software takes a wee bit more time.

Upcoming photo exhibition on 9th Nov

We're thrilled to be holding our first photography exhibition in the inner west of Sydney, Australia at the Blacksheep Bar in Newtown.

We’re thrilled to be holding our first photography exhibition in the inner west of Sydney, Australia at the Blacksheep Bar in Newtown.

Blacksheep isn’t simply the name of the venue but also a fair descriptor of the show itself: four individuals, distinct from their native flocks, coming together as a collective to showcase their idiosyncratic styles, unified in purpose by that which makes them stand apart.

Most people tend to think of exhibitions as genteel daylight affairs confined to lofty galleries and other quarantined art-spaces. We choose to see it differently. We believe that photography exhibitions are a perfect and natural fit for multiuse places like bars, where conversation flows and people can just kick back and relax.

Moreover, we love Newtown - our equivalent of Williamsburg in New York or Shoreditch in London - where the streets are vibrant, the people are diverse and open-minded, and the bars are hip cool, none more than the Blacksheep. We'll see you there.

So who are the featured photographers?

@patches_mcgee

@patches_mcgee

@aiddy81

@aiddy81

@helloperryc

@helloperryc

@in_cog

@in_cog

And what kind of photos should we expect to see?

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 4.58.22 AM.png

What are the specifics?

The exhibition opens on Wednesday the 9th of November and will be running until sometime in December. 

The bar itself is quite easy to find. It’s a licensed bar in the evening which means no kids allowed – sorry. 

Anything else we need to know?

Spread the word, we’d love to see as many people as possible down there.

Just drop us a line if you have any Q's.

 

Old fashioned viral

We hopefully will stand up a physical shop in the local markets to meet as many passers-by as we can, in a bid to present, and hopefully, sell a few of our products. Going online viral is one thing — and it takes a considerable amount of effort to convert the casual visitor into sales.

But our strength in the CN community means that we can greet people with the good old fashioned handshake with a “hello, how are you”. This will hopefully be the difference in connecting with people; we want to grow viral locally first — then branch out.

Here’s what we’ll have.

Them Pups

Top of the list will be our dog design range of shirts, hoodies and caps. These adorable pups will not only make you feel comfortable and make you look hip, but they will also make you feel good knowing that sale proceeds will go to RSPCA NSW (yes, we are accredited).

We’ll have stock on site but we’ll also have a sign-up form to capture orders just in case.

CN Range

On the side we also have our own range of CN shirts and cap. Now the proceeds of these will go to the blood, sweat and tears of our own designers to fund any future initiatives.

 

What future initiatives? We have 2 of them already in development.

Photo exhibition

Our creative group actually started as an Instagram meetup and there are a few of us who enjoy taking pictures (some professionally).

Here’s a range of what we do:

 

We plan to have some of these snaps on display in the markets with a signup form, so we can alert everyone to our upcoming exhibition.

Startup Ipsum

Building software is no joke. It takes a ton of time and numerous iterations to find and work around all those kinks around the software. It makes it even harder when life takes majority of your time.

With all said, we are progressing through our Startup Ipsum initiative — which allows users to create their own content (copy and design) for their future website.

Tech

 

Note: We’ve redesigned the application. More details to follow.

We’ll also use the markets to spread the news by word of mouth, with alerts sent by email to those that have signed up.

Say hello to the crew

If you’re in Newtown area this Saturday, come down and say hello to the Collective Network crew. We’ll be more than happy to give you a high five and have a chat.

 

n.b. we’ll hopefully be receiving confirmation that we’re good to go for this Saturday by Wednesday. We’re excited!

#letsgo #helloworld #homeofcreatives

5 minutes with Carol from Mimpy and Co.

This will be the first in a series of interviews that drills into the people behind the Collective Network.

In our first edition of "5 minutes with.." we catch-up with Carol, our resident graphic designer from Mimpy and Co. In our 5 minutes, we get to know more about Carol's past, her present and her prediction for tomorrow!

Let's hear it from the lovely Carol.


What are the earliest memories you had as a child?

Mmm, one memory that comes to mind was when my foot got stuck while climbing a tree. Of course, I started freaking out and my parents ended up having to call the fire department to come down and cut the branch to free me. I swore to never climb a tree again haha.

Oh haha. Hella funny. Sorry to hear that! 

So, is one of your parents a designer? Or did you have a close family member that introduced you to designing?

Neither of my parents is into design and no one in my family is within the creative line of work.

But my mother was always a fashionista, I think her sense of fashion and style had an influence on my creative side. My father is a headstrong man who served over 20 years in the military. So looks like I’m the only one in my family within the design industry.

And were you good in art as a kid? Drawing, sketching, craftwork etc?

I don’t know if I was any good, but I always looked forward to art class. It was one of the classes I’ve always enjoyed and really concentrated in.  

And let's now fast forward a bit. What was your first job?

My first job within the industry was working for a design studio in Perth. My boss was nice enough to hire me and give me the experience I needed to move forward in my career.

Working in the design studio I learned things that have helped me become the designer I am today.   

Invaluable experience! And if you did not have to create a product or any work for a client, what would you be designing?

If I’m not doing design work for a client I usually work on my own marketing content, for example, Instagram posts, Facebook posts and updating my website.

But I’m currently brainstorming a series of prints to design for my online shop.  

When you look back at the breadth of your work, what is the most common style / theme that constantly comes up?

My style has slowly evolved over the past years and is still being refined.

At this moment I aim for my style to be clean and simple, focusing around minimal colours with the strong contrast of black and white. 

And can I just add that minimal black and white is working out quite well!

Why thank you.

And so what is your design process? How do you start and what are the steps to completion?

My design process consists of doing lots of research (online, magazines, books, asking people questions, etc.), then going to the drawing board sketching as many ideas and concepts as I can.

Once I’m happy with the sketches, I pick the designs that stand out and extend and continue working on them.

Then I’ll have a few concepts that I’m happy with and can present to my client.

From there I work with the client on improving and finalizing the design.  

Nicely broken down there.

What happens if you are lacking inspiration. What do you do to spark creativity?

I try to change the scenery by getting out of the office. I’ll go for a walk and get some fresh air, grab a coffee at a local café, I’ll try and go to creative workshops, or if I’m feeling stuck I’ll catch up with like minded people and bounce ideas off of them to help get me motivated. 

Do you dabble in music? Is music part of your design process?

When it comes to working alone in the office, Spotify is my best friend. I’ve always got it playing in the background and the playlists they offer are fantastic and keeps me from wasting time on picking tracks. It helps me get motivated and gets me in a positive headspace. Great for getting in the creative zone.

Good stuff.

And outside your work, are you into photography? Is there a particular subject that you like taking?

Photography has always been an interest to me and it comes hand in hand with design. It’s hard because all the photos I end up taking are for work.

But lately my photos all consist of my pug, she’s my new obsession and every moment needs to be captured with her because she’s so adorable.  

She is very cute indeed :)

 

So who inspires you? Who should we follow?

@furrylittlepeach is definitely at the top of my list. She has a major talent for illustrating and has a bubbly personality it seems - love her work.

@seekerloverdreamer Zoe Weldon, is a social media ninja with a vibrant personality, she’s great to follow because she’s fun and quirky, which I love!

We'll definitely check those 2 out based on your recommendation.

Would you do anything else if you were not designing?

Since elementary school, I’ve always been drawn to being creative. Nothing else stood out to me, whether it was what I was wearing, to the layout of my bedroom, to DIY projects, I have always been creative at heart. I can’t imagine doing anything else, it’s definitely a part of who I am as a person.

Where do you see yourself in 3 - 5 years time?

I would like to expand Mimpy and Co. and have a team on board, along with running my own monthly publication focussing on creatives and their own businesses. 

All achievable before that time! 

Yes, haha.

And the final question: What gets you out of bed?

Lately, it has been my puppy, Mona Lisa, she wakes up bright and early at 6 every morning wanting to play. So the first thing we do is go for a walk to start our day.

Should've seen that one coming :)


We would like to thank Carol for all her contributions to the #dogtee initiative. We are over the moon with her incredible designs and very impressed with her collaborative spirit! More power to you Carol!  

We'll see you shortly in our next 5 minutes.

Collective Network