Going With GoPro

Having seen and read a lot about the GoPro Hero cameras I took the plunge and bought myself a Black Edition. Of course this is an action camera, something mostly used for sport and selfies. However my main use is to capture the actions of our newborn. His first swim, first walk, first interactions with his environment and so on.

Yet, it’s early days for the little fella. He has just turned three months so we could not go to the pool until he had all his injections. So in the meantime I’m using the opportunity to learn how this little box works best. So first up I stuck it to the car window and captured some wide angle stills.

My GoPro Images

Obviously not the most exciting use of this excellent camera, still a lot to learn to get the most out of it. However, I have now discovered the various mounts, brackets and even quadcopters available. So this is only the beginning of my new relationship with GoPro. Come back and see how Atticus and I are getting on in future posts.

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What Makes A Picture Popular On Flickr

Through The Coffee Cup

Playing with my Fuji X20 in Starbucks coffee shop

It still amazes me that some images are way more popular than others, despite sometimes having very little thought put into the concept. While other images clearly have taken much more effort, yet much less views or likes. Take for example the image above. I shot this the very first day I got my Fuji X20. While unboxing it in the local Starbucks I began playing around with it and happened to capture this shot of fellow customer pondering the meaning of life.

Yesterday - #FlickrFriday No.24

Starbucks, yesterday and today through the Fuji X20

 

Here is another image that I enjoyed taking, again in Starbucks to capture the retro style of the shop and again see what my new Fuji X20 could do. Again this was very well received on Flickr and even was ‘Explored’. I can not explain the popularity, although I do like it myself. However, many other images that I might have expected to get more attention did not make much of an impact on the Flickr community.

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Just the two of us

 

Take for example the picture above of two lovely teddy bears out on a date. One might have expected there to be some activity in number of views or comments. Yet not so much.

Life is like a box of chocolates

Life is like a box of chocolates

Another image that I thought was quite interesting or at the very least thought provoking was this image I shot of a take on the movie Forrest Gump. Again there was interest, but nothing like the two images above. Then again there have been images that surpassed my understanding of why they are my most popular images of all time.

The fab four has received over 20,000 views in only a few months on Flickr

The fab four has received over 20,000 views in only a few months on Flickr

London Calling is my second most popular image on Flickr.

London Calling is my second most popular image on Flickr.

I would love to hear what other Flickr users think. What type of images do you usually find are grab attention or cause people to comment? Do you find that it is not the image concept that is interesting but when you upload the picture or have you found certain themes are big hits (like sunsets)?

Anyway, feel free to check out the images on Flickr by clicking on the images and if you are part of the Flickr community do connect. I love to see what others are doing and get inspired by their work.

 

Finding The Right Travel Camera

One of the most difficult things about taking pictures while on the move in developing countries, is finding the right camera as a travel buddy. If like me you want a camera that’s discreet, light, easy to carry, feature rich and takes a great image, well it’s not easy on an affordable budget. In the past I have used a Panasonic ZX-100, which is fine outdoors (like the shot above) but not much use in low light conditions. So I have been exploring the current options before I head to Rwanda again in August. There are quite a few options between waterproof compacts to enthusiast compact cameras, but it is hard to find one the gives you the type of manual controls of a SDLR and yet in a size to fix your pocket.

I have checked various websites, blogs, forums and the opinions are vastly divided. Some are fiercely loyal to brand, others keen on changeable lens or crazy about the sensor size. Yet many are split over what actually constitutes a travel camera. However, I have narrowed it down to three cameras in my budget between the Nikon P7700, Canon G15 or Fuji X20. All great choices for various reasons, but after much debate I think I’m settling on the X20. It looks great, has a brilliant viewfinder, good size sensor, quick, easy to carry and takes a great image even in low light.

Check out this fantastic photo blog on the X20.

Update: Picked camera up today and here is a few snaps in Starbucks

http://www.flickr.com/photos/derekhall/sets/72157634516023080