Photography tips for SXSW

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.

List of Links: 001 – Human-powered Dogma

What are all these links for? Find out here.

Top 10 Ways Your Brain Is Sabotaging You (and How to Beat It) by Lifehacker
This is a great overall post for anybody. It takes many aspects of daily human (middle class) life and explains how our brain is attempting to sabotage potential good decisions. Most of the brief ten steps contain links which explain the step in more detail. If you ever wanted to take more control of your actions, then this is a good place to start thinking about it.

The video below is in step 4 of the above link, but I figure I can tempt you to go to that link by letting you watch it here:

Products and People Over Process and Dogma by Photofocus
If you’re an experienced photographer, then you know photography isn’t about what camera/lens you have or whether or not you edit your photographs — it’s about you (the photographer). This post will be helpful for photographers to ‘get over themselves’ — or, rather, their equipment. Scott Bourne explains why the end product — the photograph — is all most people care about. Even if you’re not a photographer you might enjoy the humbleness of this post.

British Man Walks Entire Amazon River In 2 Years by NPR
The title of this post is very self-explanatory. A British man and his friend left on a quest to walk the entire Amazon River over two-and-a-half years ago. Along the way they experienced all kinds of interesting people and hardships. I think this story is interesting because it inspires me to go on a similar adventure (and get away from computers). Similar stories of people climbing Mount Everest also inspire me.

‘Human-Electric’ Hybrid Car Goes 30 MPH Uphill by Discovery News
When we think of alternative forms of energy we generally think of solar, wind, and hydro. There’s one we forget about: Human power. Sure, the whole reason cars and other technologies are invented are to make a human’s life easier and more efficient.

We all need to exercise regularly to stay healthy. We usually do so by riding a bike, running around the block, or using the Stair Master at the local gym. Personally, I think gyms are a huge waste of money considering you can do 80% of the same exercise in your own home or neighbourhood.

A human-powered car would be more efficient than anything we’ve seen before because we exercise our muscles to use it and it will still be able to do many of the functions of a regular car sans drifting.
Moreover, don’t laugh when you read this article. It could be more realistic of an idea than you think!

6 Steps to Organizing Your Digital Photos by The Nest
This could fit into the uncluttering section of my first link in this post. While digital clutter isn’t as visible as physical (real life) clutter it can still have the same stressful and overwhelming effects as the latter. Photos (and videos) are usually ranked number one or two in the most important things people own in their home (the things you grab if there’s a fire or a flood).

Now that the majority of our photos are on our computers it is important that we store and label them logically so we can find them in a hurry. Once that is done you need to backup, backup, backup. This article will share six easy (if you stick to them) ways to keep your photos organised.

Location-based check-in data on its way to becoming a commodity by Pelago
It’s no secret that we’re just starting to see the potential of location-based applications in our everyday lives. First, they were just a bit of fun, but now apps like Whrrl and Foursquare can recommend ideas to us when we arrive at a particular place. This is only the beginning!

Jeff Holden, cofounder and CEO of Pelago (creator of Whrrl), gives his insights into the future of geolocation as a commodity — not just fun.

Were you utterly enthralled by this list of links I curated? Well, then I’m sure you’d enjoy subscribing (in your chosen feed reader) to my List of Links category on this blog.

Or, perhaps, this wasn’t enough and you’d like to know everything I read. Well, never fear, my Delicious bookmarks will assist you with that.

Broken link? If you ever read one of my List of Links posts and a link doesn’t work, then I’d really appreciate it if you e-mail me and tell me which link in which post (put ‘Broken link in LoL [###]’ in the Subject).

Thoughts on Camera+ from @taptaptap

Update (23rd December, 2010): Camera+ 2.0 was just released. Yes, it’s back in the App Store. However, it won’t appear as an update in iTunes; it will act as a new app. Hence, you have to pay for it again. That’s correct, everything below — including the “sale” — is happening all over again.

When Lisa Bettany started tweeting (and blogging) about an iPhone camera application she had created I had very little interest.

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.

As I saw reviews and videos of Camera+ in the wild I began to notice it’s potential and value. Plus, I discovered that the company tap tap tap actually created the app; they’ve made some great apps.

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 apparently60% OFF FOR A LIMITED TIME”.