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Busy as busy is.

Just over 2 months ago I started a new job, I knew it was going to be tough but I live for the challenge and the satisfaction of the results, what I did not expect was a job that would require my entire attention and energy. Don’t get me wrong I love what I am doing, it’s just that everything else has taken a back seat and is being put on hold…
My plan at this time is to do 1 review a month, where it will be published, I can’t say but I will publish the location here.
Further than that I can’t promise anything, I had big plans for this site but I doubt I’ll have time this year.
Photograph details:
Camera: Sony Alpha NEX-6
Lens: Sony E 55-210mmm f/4.5-6.3 OSS
Settings: f/6.3, ISO100, 1/400sec, 210mm
Edited in Lightroom and Topaz Details 2 from RAW

The year is dead, long live the new year

Photographers shooting a Johannesburg sunset.
Photographers shooting a Johannesburg sunset from Melville Koppies.

This year was one of mixed feelings; I started a podcast and had to say goodbye to it for a while. It will be back in a new format, when I cannot say, I am still working on that. I also started to review more photography related equipment, enjoyed every minute of it, and I will do more but not as frequently as I did in 2013.

You may ask, and I have been asked, what happened? In short, life happened, in November I took a new position at a company called Global Payment Technologies as a software architect, little did I know how much work there was to be done. I am enjoying the challenge thoroughly but that also meant that other aspects of my life would suffer since I derive no income from this blog, in fact, it costs me to host and review, it had to take a back seat.

I am also studying, as with everything else, it takes time, a lot of it in fact. However, I am happy to be able to say that I passed my project management theory with a distinction [shameless plug]. I will be starting my practical and diploma next year.

For the developers, I will be reviving my other blog The ASP.NET Guy early next year.

The big news is sometimes after March, I should ease into things and get back to reviews and photography on a more regular basis, with a massive announcement, I hope.

I want to thank you all for supporting me and reading my gibberish and wish you a fantastic festive season and a great new year.

Reviews to look forward to:

  1. Samsung Galaxy 4 Zoom (Here are the photos)
  2. Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS

PS: If you have a SONY Alpha NEX, I have been using the Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS and it’s a pearl, if you are hesitating, don’t. The only issue I encountered is the auto focus is sometimes slow.

Social media fatigue and misgivings

We live in the golden age of social media thanks to Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, 500px, Flickr and Twitter.
All these social platforms, I use to various degrees but I am having doubts and misgivings about its true usefulness or rather it’s usage by its users.

I use social media to gauge my work and try to improve on it but also to advertise my site and my work, in return I do the same for others. Let me elaborate on that last point as I think it has merit, then I will come back to the former.

When it comes to photography, as well as other entries, but mostly photography this is my rules on all platforms:

  1. Open – The photograph peaked my interest, therefore I opened it, you get a view.
  2. Like (or equivalent)  – The photograph intrigued me, it has a quality or effort I wish to recognize, you get a like.
  3. Comment –  The photograph is worth more than a “Like” it is worth an extra mention.
  4. Share (or equivalent) – My ultimate compliment to the photograph.
  5. Follow (or equivalent) – I like the photographer’s work it inspires me.

You’ll notice that I talk of the photograph as opposed to the photographer, this is because I feel that each photograph should be criticized blindly I do nor read others comments or look at the photographer at that time. If I hit like I often also look at the photographers other work, particularly on 500px and Flickr. I feel this is the best way to encourage and recognize the work done.

Onto what I see being done, Facebook has become a dumping ground, There is still a lot of good and inspiring work but it is also full of nonsensical comments, I have no interest in you going to shower, seriously. What I am interested in is your works what ever it may be. Google +, I cannot figure out, worst yet, it does not play nice with others. LinkedIn, great platform concept, completely misused, apparently I am a SQL guru, with 18 endorsement including from some people who would not know my skill set, I am good but no guru. The problem with LinkedIn is that it give the wrong idea. Twitter is a broadcasting platform nothing more, nothing less and there lies it’s strength and future weakness.

Lastly the 2 others, specialized platforms. Firstly, 500px, probably my favorite of the lot, it’s an equal opportunity platform by nature, unfortunately also getting crowded and expensive. That is also where I apply my 1 to 5 the most. The problem with both 500px and Flickr is the opportunists that leave messages like “…come an see my work…”, well just because you did, I wont. I would have if you had not. I actually rather be able to delete such comment and not have any.

In short, it’s not the platforms that are wrong but rather how we use them.

Originally posted on LivDigital Independent on the 07 May 2013, see  http://www.livdigital.co.za/1140469/

Random tip: Skype for Windows 8

How many of you, like me, have upgraded to Windows 8? And then off we went to the new Windows Store and promptly installed Skype for Windows 8. This was most probably my most disappointing part of the upgrade.  In my opinion, Skype for Windows 8 was built for touch devices such as tablets a far cry from my daily usage of the application.

But fear not here is a little tip, go to www.skype.com, you will be greeted with the obligatory download Skype for Windows 8 App, ignore it, scroll down until you see Skype for Windows Desktop, click on it. Make sure you have uninstalled the App before you download and install the desktop version some conflicts may happen.

And there it is, the old Skype we all know and love is back.                                             

Here is the link: http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-windows/downloading/