This Isn’t Spam

I have come to the conclusion that Facebook is now just a tool for promotion.

Be this promotion of the self or promotion of a product or event. Maybe that is something cynical to say – but am I on point on this? If you think so then please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

I am trying to minimise my impact on my friend’s FB feeds by sticking to this blog. I have stopped the auto-publish to FB so that people will have to come to my blog, Ijo Pona, to find out what I am up to and I am not spamming up their feed’s.

This could be be seen as shooting myself in the foot, some people only use their computer to go on FB. However, traffic could dip and lull in getting people this site, but I need to re-evaluate why I blog.

The reason I blog is to keep a tab of what I have been up to – what with my memory and such, keeping tabs on what I have been up to over the past five years that I have been blogging would prove some what elusive. So, why do I need to promote it to FB? Wouldn’t I be compounding the theory that FB is just used for promotion? If I was trying to recruit FB’rs to visit this blog would that very act be ‘promotion’?

In days of yore, people used to post up pictures of drunken nights out and even what they were eating, photos of friends vomiting and cats – now FB has become a marketing tool to ‘further your reach.’ So, I am taking a break from FB (he says) to stick to Blogging a bit more – one of the things I am conscious of is that there is a whole internet lying out there ready to explore and I just stick to a few sites a day, on a loop.

Essentially, the blogging renaissance starts now: Blogging, for when you’re tired of Facebook dramas.

So, what else have I been up to other than thinking of funny things to write about Facebook?

The Weekend

This weekend has been a bit of a conundrum – Friday was spent with Ms Backhouse – we just chilled and pottered around the flat.

Saturday was on Hiatus for me as I had not slept the night in between. Kathryn had a wale of a time as she took her Girl Guide group to Bradford to go to the Media Museum and then ice-skating. She came home tired but satisfied around five in the afternoon to a warm reception from me. I just sulked all day and realised it is best for me to stay from semi-religious children’s units. With my interest in The Occult I really doubt people will let me in a Church.

Sunday has been great so far – I woke up nice and early at eight in the morning after a refreshing 10 hour’s sleep. The birds were tweeting and the sun was shining. A few cups of tea later and I was ready to lounge. I managed to listen to a repeat of Stewart’s Sound Of Wonder on the internet.

I then had a go at recording my own show. Here it is –

It is quite a relaxed show – if it wasn’t for the crap links I do then it will be near a decent production – well, I like the music – although it is not to everyone’s taste.

In other news I spent a good while on Friday eyeing up cheap digital, toy cameras.

Digital Toy Camera

Worry not, parents – this camera would cost US$9.12 on eBay – it has similar (ish) results to my Lomo cameras – as in saturated colours, inherent unpredictability and general awesomeness – but it only costs the price of a roll of film and that film’s development to buy the whole camera. It is very tempting to get it – everyone needs a hobby.

To ask if it is just as good as my DSLR is the wrong question – they are different sports, not different leagues. A completely different concept. With my DSLR I am after resolute documentation and fine images. With this Digital Toy Camera I am hoping for blurry, saturated, off-kilter shots that ooze fun. I think I know which one I would rather take with me to a gig and I think I know which one will get the majority of use – the toy camera, in all honesty.

At US$9.12 is is throw-away cheap – and at ¬£13 to ¬£16 to purchase a film and procure it’s development it really is a no-brainer.

First port of call when checking out a new camera is always Flickr. I am a Flickr Pro and I love that site – I can easily spend hours a day just sat there either curating or browsing – you get to see the world through other people’s microcosms – their little patch of Earth and all the particulars therein – it is a joy to behold. The point of interest is the group “Toy Digital” for this weekend – it has a whole load of images that drew my eye and made me think of digital toy cameras – plus the saving on the money front that going digital would reap.

So, food for though – but not thought for food (I imagine it would taste of Spleen).

Getty Images

I am delighted to announce that I have been invited to contribute images and videos to the Getty Images database.

Getty are one of (if not the) biggest image license market places on Planet Earth for stills and videos – I am absolutely over the moon. The fact I am now with Getty means there is a bigger opportunity to have my work in the press and on advert boards. Getty distribute the photographs for me and I get paid – and hold on to the copyright of the video / still. I really is a win / win situation for me and I can hardly contain myself.

Yes, it is approaching 2am on a Tuesday morning but I aim to be out tomorrow with my lens. This has made me feel like a pro.

Why Am I Obsessed With Editing Photos Beyond Reality?

Photos are intended to support, not supplant, memory, but it seems like we‚Äôve always been pretty set on using them as occasions to reformat history. Benito Mussolini had his horse handler removed out of this photograph, to make him appear more¬†Napoleonic.¬†Although some people are more extreme at it than others, it‚Äôs common practice to edit the truth out of our own, personal images. Any time we dress them up with an Instagram filter, for example, we’re doing it:¬†each filter is meant to imbue new emotions onto the image, shift its color spectrum, or change its focus in a way that mutates the original¬†image‚Äôs imprint. Continue reading →

Review: Sony QX10 For Street Photography

The DSC-QX10 works seamlessly with your smartphone, allowing you to shoot beautiful images, edit them on your phone and then share them online.

 РSony

The above is what SONY have to say about their own product – for more information on what Sony have to say about the QX10, please click here. However, I am going to write this review from my point of view – a hobbyist street photographer living in a Spa Town in the north of England.

SONY QX10

SONY QX10

Well, how does it handle?

Lets get the bad (and there is very little of that) out of the way: the start up time in agonisingly slow. I have it charging up in the kitchen now, as I type, and that does not seem to be helping matters much. So, if you wish to just crank it up and take a quick candid portrait I recommend maybe purchasing a RICOH GR – the start up time on the Ricoh is legendary, yet the Ricoh is 3x the price.

The full spec of the lens is that it is a¬†1/2.3″ type (7.76mm) Exmor R™ CMOS sensor – a real beauty. It shoots in 18.2MP and for a clue as to the finished result, please scroll down to the bottom of this post.¬†My major gripe with this camera is that is only shoots in JPEG – not RAW, losing a lot of data in the compression. However, the lens is fixed and is a SONY G Lens! The G Lens is known for¬†standing shoulder to shoulder with the Carl Zeiss Lens’ – hue and colour were faithfully reproduced thanks to the¬†BIONZ™ image processor.

DSC00015

How is it in action? I unhooked it from its Smartphone mount and walked around my town centre documenting the hubbub. It fits nicely yet loosely in my left hand (no need for a right hand to operate a shutter as the shutter can be pressed with the thumb of my left hand). It really is shooting from the hip Рthere was no way of knowing if the photos would all be headless or blurry РI had it detached from the smartphone screen so there was no way of knowing how the images were composed. Bang, bang, bang Рimage after image. Of course, when I got home the images were all upside down Рbut batch rotating helped that.

The images are stored on a MicroSD card and it is connected to a mac / pc through a Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0), Multi/Micro USB Terminal. There is the option to sync your photos and videos with your smartphone using Wifi, or NFC on the Android platform. PlayMemories is the app that allows you to control the camera (I come down on the side of that this is a bonafide camera with smartphone attachment rather than an attachment for a smartphone).

DSC00011

This is a review for a QX10 inline with Street photography and Candid Portraiture – the 10x Optical Zoom is unnecessary for the majority of street photography – plus with the QX10 the zoom is quite sluggish and not all that. With a fully charged battery I can easily get over 200 shots in a day – meaning a full day out with this camera.

So, as a walking-around-town camera for candid photography I cannot recommend this camera enough. It sits mid way between a GoPro Hero (5MP ūüôĀ ) and a top end RICOH GR. I have heard RICOH GR’s billed as the ultimate street photography camera – I am not here to disagree. Just I motion that the SONY QX10 is an excellent budget candid alternative.

DSC00018

Baffled Geography

Recently I have been pootering about on my computer and sorting stuff out. One of the things I have been sorting out (and inevitably organing) is Baffled Geography. As readers of this blog may be aware, I have been increasingly involved in photographical shenanigans recently. The out put of this is manifold twice – there may be a job for me at Zoso Bar, Harrogate, as the Club Photographer + the other one is the website www.baffledgeography.co.uk.

It is about the website I wish to write about now – it is making progress!

Baffled Geography is a collective of Street Photographers that will eventually put out a physical product Рie a coffee table book of the photographs we have taken. I have recently recruited two big hitters from Leeds, Robert Norbury and Steph Last Рboth well respected Photographers.

Steph is studying Photography at Leeds College Of Art Рshe created the www.surlheure.com website and is all about social interaction with the artwork she so highly regards.

The other one, Bob – I am a big fan of. Bob won a prize last year from the National Portrait Gallery, London, for his Street Photography. He sent over some incredible images for the site. I met both of them (in cyber space) on the Leeds Psychogeography Group on Facebook.

As I say Рit is a not-for-profit venture. I have asked photographers I respect to, hopefully, submit some work. The photos will be on the site (more on that later ….) and available as a print on demand coffee table book. All of this is still a work in progress and we are looking for more submissions, but I am very pleased with how it is turning out. Okay, no-one will buy the book, but it keeps me busy and stops me rattling around my box Рsometimes I go out on photo-walks, just to take photos. It is a cathartic pastime.

The site itself is built using the Stacey Lightweight CMS – it is a bit out of my WordPress comfort zone, but I have had a go at coding and am quite pleased with the results – please, feel free to take a peak at it yourself.