Upcoming changes to this site

For a long time, I’ve kept 2 websites with semi-regular updates on both. This site has been exclusively for my photography, while disturbancesinthewash.net is where I write about “everything else” that interests me, namely technology, Apple stuff, marketing.

Over the course of this year, I’ve noticed the topics have tended to merge a bit and I haven’t been sure where to post certain articles since they seemed to be relevant to both sites. For example, I wrote about my backup strategy that involved how I backup my Aperture library. I also wrote about issues with the intergration between Aperture and Pixelmator. Or how about a mini review of Pixelmator?

All of the above could’ve been posted here as well and, I think, would’ve been relevant. Unfortunately I had to choose only one place to publish them and the readers here missed out.

So, from today, I’m consolidating all my writing and photography over at Disturbances in the Wash. I’ll slowly move the content from this site over there and all new articles and links will be published there.

Please head over to disturbancesinthewash.net and subscribe.

Those that have subscribed to receive email updates will be migrated automatically. I hope you stick around, but if you’re not happy with this every email I send has an easy unsubscribe link. No hard feelings if you decide to click on it.

Another reason I’m consolidating is focus. I just don’t want to split my time and brain power more than necessary.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with this site in the future. I’m thinking it’ll be an entry point to other places where I’m hanging around online, but not sure yet. For the short term, it’ll stay up as is while I transition the content across.

If you want to get in touch with me, send me a message on Twitter or emails me through the Contact form in Disturbances in the Wash.

New website. Now on Squarespace 6

Today I finally migrated the site over to Squarespace 6. It’s now responsive and looks pretty good on iPads and mobile phones, although there are still a lot of bits I still need to work on. It’ll slowly get better as I find time.

Everything that made the transition should work fine, but please let me know if there’s anything I need to address. The RSS feed should’ve transitioned across, although you might’ve gotten 10 or so previous entries re-posted. Sorry about that.

Squarespace is awesome. This site has been hosted with them for about 2 or 3 years and I’ve always been happy with everything. I’d been on version 5 since the beginning and was reluctant to switch to version 6 because the site was working fine. But the fact that it didn’t have a mobile version was seriously annoying me. The new version added a lot of very cool stuff, and although they did remove a few things I liked, it’s overall really nice.

Hipoflex – A cool iPhone accessory

The Hipoflex:

The Hipoflex™ is an accessory for the iPhone 4 to take pictures and record videos in a more natural position. It simply snaps onto the iPhone in either portrait or landscape mode. You can also use the Hipoflex™ as a stand for hands-free watching or recording videos, FaceTiming, surfing the web…etc

This looks like a great idea. It’s a project on Kickstarter and I really hope it gets made. There’s a video on the Kickstarter page that explains it better than I could with words. If you use your iPhone 4 for photography or video it’s definitely worth a look.

I’m pledging $20 to get one.

via Jorge Quinteros

Landscape panorama in Black & White

A few months ago I wrote a bit of a rant on my thoughts about sharing everything you do versus only showing either your absolute very best photographs, or only what’s in line with what you want to shoot in the future.

In that post, I wrote the following:

I’ve been struggling with this for a while. As I said at the beginning, I love photography and have a bunch of stuff on a number of genres, all very different. Should I share it all? Should I hide most and only show what I want to be known for?
I still don’t know.

Well, I’m not sure today either, but what the hell. I’ve got a bunch of stuff that I just don’t want to fade away in a box or in some forgotten folder in my computer, so I’ll be sharing different styles that I enjoy shooting. Here’s the first.

For a long time I’ve been doing a series of landscapes in black & white. This one was shot in New Zealand in 2005 using a 5 megapixel Canon G5. It’s a panorama stitched out of 6 photographs if I remember correctly. Click on the photograph for a larger image. More to come soon.

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Jess shot with my new Panasonic GF1

A couple of weeks ago I received my new Panasonic GF1 with the beautiful 20mm f1.7 pancake lens. I’ve been playing around with the camera trying to figure out all the controls and settings, but I hadn’t really done any proper shooting with it until a few days ago when had the opportunity to photograph Jess.

The light was pretty low so I decided to give the GF1 a try. I left it wide open at f1.7, set the ISO to 400 and got a decent exposure at 1/160th of a second.

I have to say, I love this camera. I sold my LX3 in order to get this one and I don’t regret it one bit (yes, it’s 3x more expensive, but totally worth it). I wasn’t too sure about the micro 4/3 format at the beginning, but I have to admit this is an amazing little camera and the 20mm lens is beautiful.

More images to come soon.

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To share or not to share

I love photography. In fact, I truly enjoy pretty much every aspect of it, from planning to shooting to post-processing to finding an outlet for my work. I love it so much that I spend a lot of time just playing with it. Not really creating super cool art necessarily, but just plain having fun.

For example, I’m doing a lot of photographs with my iPhone and even started a Project 365 where I’m only doing black and white photographs taken, edited, and uploaded from the iPhone. But I also like people and I enjoy portraiture, that’s why I started the People of the Globe project. And I also enjoy the outdoors and although I don’t do traditional landscape photography, I do like shooting landscapes.I’m also fond of street photography and like going out on shooting days in the city to see what I can find.

So, what does this mean? Does it mean I don’t have a style and I must pick one thing and stick with it?

I was reading a post by Zack Ariaswhere he suggested you show not just your best work only, but only the work you want to be known for and do in the future. He says “Let your work determine your clients. Don’t let your clients determine your work“.I get it, and I do agree with him. But I don’t think I like it.

Why do we have to get pigeon-holed? I follow the work of a lot of photographers and see this happening all the time. They produce a unique series and they’re suddenly known just for that. It becomes their look. Their signature. And when they start producing other work that’s too far away from their look, people think they’re going crazy. I remember listening to Dave Hill in a podcast (can’t remember which) where he said he’s tried to present different treatments to his clients and they respond with something like “can you make it look more Dave Hill-ish?”.

But why? I get that clients are after a certain look for a specific ad, but to pigeon hole the artist just because he’s managed to produce a very unique look is not the way it should be.Have you seen Dave Hill’s black and white work? It’s beautiful, and very different than his signature series.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and yesterday I read a post by Chase Jarvis where he basically says just go out there and do something, share it with the world, and see what happens. He calls it Create>Share>Sustain. Meaning do whatever you need to do to sustain your art (wait tables, keep your day job, whatever), but keep creating and sharing as you go along. It doesn’t matter if it’s crap. You’ll learn and grow until it sustains itself. I like this. He’s an inspirational guy.

But here we have 2 different ways of thinking, and I get them both. Two different opinions from very good photographers I highly respect and follow their blogs. Zack is saying, if you want to be a successful photographer, pick your niche, perfect it, and only show stuff that’s about that niche. Yep, it makes sense. But it’s limiting. On the other hand, there’s Chase saying, just do whatever you feel like, be creative, don’t be afraid to mess up.

I’ve been struggling with this for a while. As I said at the beginning, I love photography and have a bunch of stuff on a number of genres, all very different. Should I share it all? Should I hide most and only show what I want to be known for?

I still don’t know.

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Too much editing to do

Monique; Sydney, Australia; 2009 ©Gabriel PonzanelliI’m so far behind on my editing that I’m feeling a bit anxious. I just never seem to find the time to sit down at the computer for a significant amount of time in one single session and just plough through stuff. Today I sort of did that, but I’ve also been thinking about this whole editing thing. I think I just don’t enjoy it as much as I did. What I really enjoy is the planning a shoot and being out there shooting, then coming back and importing my files. I like seeing them in the big screen for the first time and I actually like sorting through them and rating them. But when it comes to actual Photoshop time, it’s so time consuming sometimes that it’s a pain. I’m pretty happy working on the first 2 or 3 photographs from a shoot, but once I open the 4th my brain gets bored and I with they were all done. I think a lesson from this is to shoot less. I don’t mean go out less, I mean shoot less photographs in each shoot. All I really want is 2 or 3 great shots from each, so why get trigger happy? Anyway, just a thought.

Won a photography prize at the Australian Centre for Photography

Adhit; Sydney, Australia; 2009 ©Gabriel Ponzanelli

Just a quick note to get it out there that a few weeks ago I was awarded a prize for a student exhibition at the Australian Centre for Photography. I enrolled in a 5 week course called Skin taught by Sydney-based photographer Hamish Ta-mé. The course was really good and we did 2 shoots, one with Adhit (the photograph above) and one with Eugenia (I posted it earlier before I knew about the prize, but it’s below again). Both of them were really cool, especially given they were photographed nude, which isn’t easy. We had Adhit jumping in the studio and shot Eugenia out in the open using only harsh daylight.

Anyway, I submitted both photographs to the student exhibition and was lucky enough to have been chosen for an award. I really like how both turned out and I think they look especially good together. It creates a nice juxtaposition: one on a dark background, one on an almost white one; one of a man, one of a woman; one in action showing movement, one sitting calmly.

Special thanks have to go to both of the models and to Hamish for his mentoring.

Eugenia; Sydney, Australia; 2009 ©Gabriel Ponzanelli