I guarantee every single person attending South by Southwest 2012 will bring at least one camera with them. (If they don’t, then they’re consciously going technology-free at the event — I’m not sure why anyone would do that though.) Hence, these tips aren’t just for people that consider themselves photographers; everyone will benefit from these.
As with all devices you take to SxSW, you’ll want to bring extra batteries and/or portable battery chargers. If you’re smartphone is your main camera, then I recommend any of these Duracell USB chargers (they can charge any USB device).
US Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 11th at 2:00 a.m. Austin, Texas, is in the CST (GMT -6) timezone. After Sunday, it will be CDT (GMT -5). – You want to make sure you have an accurate date/time on your camera(s). Many SxSW attendees will be traveling across multiple states and one, two, or more timezones. Most smartphones will automatically adjust their date/time as soon as you have a connection in the new timezone. Many of the latest standalone cameras will have some kind of timezone support. This will not automatically adjust unless the camera has GPS. I recommend changing the time (and date, if necessary) as soon as possible. If that’s now, then go for it. Personally, I change mine when the airline flight attendant says “prepare for landing”.
These days it’s rare that even the most snap-happy people will fill up their camera’s memory card in a single day. That is, unless you’re shooting RAW and/or HD video. Even if you only take 10 photos in one day, I recommend offloading those photos to your computer or external hard drive (if you brought either of those). Additionally, if you don’t have any backup devices (computer, hard drive) with you, then upload those photos to Flickr, Picasa, Smugmug, Picplz, Twitpic, and/or all of the above as soon as possible (at the latest, every evening in your hotel room).
Follow these tips above for a jolly relaxing and fun time at SxSW. If you enjoy photography, then join me and many others for Trey Ratcliff’s Schemer PhotoWalk at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 10th, 2012.
I’ll tweet and add more tips to this post if I discover more during the event.
UPDATE (4 February,2012): I gather Instagram is “much better” than when I first wrote this post. However, when taking a photo with Instagram (not importing from Camera Roll) the only EXIF data stored on the original image (not the image Instragram crops to a square and posts in your feed; two images are saved in your Camera Roll) is the orientation, location data (if you have geolocation enabled in Instagram), colour space, and the compression type (JPEG). No time/date created timestamp, nor device used. Yup, Instagram is still horrible from a photographers/geeks perspective.
Recently, I have noticed many of my high school friends and other acquaintances using Instagram. (Though, not as many as the amount of Facebook friends signing up for Pinterest though—holy cow!) Hence, I’ve begun following them and checking Instagram more often because — for some — that’s the only place they post photos.
PSA: Path is not the same as Instagram. Even though Path has similar filters (I recently coined these filters as “Instafilters”), it is not Instagram.
If you’d like to read my EXACT feelings about both Instagram and Dailybooth, then read Laurie Voss’ post entitled “Why I really, really hate Instagram“.
I’m just going to add a short addendum to his post with regards to technical data.
One thing that infuriates me more than anything with photography and photographs is when they don’t contain accurate metadata (read: EXIF). Mobile applications such as Instagram, Dailybooth, and even Gowalla (though I hope Gowalla fixes this soon — UPDATE (4 February, 2012): They did fix this in 2011, but Gowalla was bought by Facebook and decommissioned as an app) strip the EXIF data (date, time, exposure, location, etc.) from the photograph. This fundamentally turns a highly informative digital photo into a photograph taken with film/polaroid (no data).
I understand if professional photographers decide to strip out exposure data because it’s no longer accurate after editing, but removing date, time, camera type, and location (if you share location) is absolutely amateur.
Both Instagram and Dailybooth are single-function services and (as said many times in Laurie’s post) they absolutely destroy your photographs. It’s just as simple to use other free services like Flickr, picplz, or Twitpic — which keep your photos in their original form.
Stop deliberately destroying your own memories. Stop using the filters on Instagram.
I have several paid and free camera applications on my iPhone, but the app I use most (at this point in time) for taking photos is — funnily enough — Gowalla.
(Side note: If you want to add a photo to a location on Gowalla, then you must use Gowalla to take the image (you can’t choose a previously taken image from the iPhones ‘Camera Roll’). I like this feature because it means you HAVE to be at the location; no faking. Update (23rd December, 2010): In Gowalla version 3.0 it’s now possible to upload from the camera roll. It’s nice that I can now upload panoramas to locations, but I reckon a lot of users are going to game this feature.)
Other than that I use the default iPhone camera app.
I decided to by the app at its “Introductory Price” of US$2.99, and test it out. In the App Store the description said “BUY NOW BEFORE THE PRICE INCREASE”. (That may not be word-for-word, but you get the idea.)
A week later it was available for US$0.99. I was infuriated. I was lied to. All of my peers — many of which also bought the app — were just as ticked off!
In a time when transparency equates to trust I just don’t understand why they would have blatantly lied to make more money. I care less about the extra money I paid than I do being lied too. Rah!
Back to the app.
When I first downloaded it I used it once, then never again. It just didn’t fit into my workflow.
There was an update or two since its launch, but the extra filters and support for iOS4 didn’t really matter to me.
That is, until the latest update (version 1.2) when they added the double touch feature (tap tap tap refers to it as ‘Touch Exposure’). Watch this video to see how amazing this feature is:
Should you buy this app? Only if you regularly use your iPhone as a camera — rather than a point-and-shoot or SLR.
If you do decide to purchase it, then you may want to wait until Thanksgiving/Black Friday or Christmas; when many apps go on sale. It currently sells for US$1.99 (AUD$2.49) on the App Store — this is apparently “60% OFF FOR A LIMITED TIME”.
On Saturday (less than two days from now) I’ll be the photographer for one of my best friends’ wedding. I took some great casual photos at her older sister’s wedding a few years ago, but now I’m the photographer.
Last night was the rehearsal — heh, it’s like an acting job — and I feel fairly confident in the area. Especially after I was told I can roam around and do whatever I want. Another person at the rehearsal jokingly told me he’d give me a Freddo Frog for every person I stop on. I told him “you’re on!” 😉
I’ve been studying the art of wedding photography through many different websites, and I feel as prepared as I can be. Though, I think I’m going to hire a Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens for some wide perspectives.
Here’s my list of equipment:
Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi)
Canon EOS 450D (Rebel XSi)
Canon 50mm f/1.8 II lens
Canon EFS 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens
Canon EFS 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens
Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS lens
Canon Speedlite 430EX
Moreover, I feel I’m covered for all focal lengths. I’ll use the 50mm f/1.8 on one camera and alternate between the 55-250mm f/4-5.6 and the 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 on the other camera. I’ll probably keep the flash on the second camera because the 50mm f/1.8 will be fine for the available light.
Here’s a bunch of fantastic sources I’ve found for wedding photography ideas:
– 21 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers
– Wedding Photography Sydney Directory (tips and locations for wedding photography in Sydney)
– Taylor-Made Photography (Trudi was my photography teacher at college and marked gave me full marks for my final assessment.)
– Ryan Brenizer’s Amazon Blog (NYC Wedding Photographer)
— Ryan Brenizer’s amazing slide show for a fun wedding (which I found from his Flickr)
Do you have any further tips for me?