I get asked a lot what websites I like related to photography. I have tried various forums but never found one I really like and one I want to spend much time on. Perhaps I am not a forum person. I find a lot of them are debating really detailed technical points that I just do not really care about. I have not found a lot of other websites that I really like but I do like and visit Darren Rowse's Digital Photography School fairly regularly. They always have some great tips and tricks on there that are quick to read and really useful. It is especially good if you are getting started in photography as they have a lot of content for beginners as well as advanced shooters. I have been lucky enough to have published a few articles on DPS in the past year as well. While I don't use a lot of websites I have really grown to love social media as a photographer. As you get started in photography you are looking for places to get tips or other photographers work to look at. As you progress your photography, you might want to look for pictures of places you might be going to see how others shot it. Overtime you will want to share your photographs with others and get their feedback or critique of your photos. You might even one day want to share your knowledge with other aspiring photographers.
There are a lot of different social media tools out there; Flickr, 500px, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. I actually use them all. Social media is as it's name implies 'social' so to build effective networks you need to be prepared to spend some time. I have mixed success with different tools but I'll share what I use and why. I would love to hear what sites you like and what works for you... please let a comment and share!
I initially started out using Flickr as most aspiring photographers do. There are a lot of people posting on just about every topic. Lots of images for you to explore. I know a lot of photographers swear by it but I just didn't find it as interactive as I wanted. I mostly use Flickr now for posting images via Instagram I take with my iPhone. I also use it to scope locations. If I am going to go shooting in new (or even old) area, I will search the location on Flickr and see how others have shot it. It usually gives me some really good ideas. You can find me on Flickr HERE.
A new site I have started posting photos on is 500px. I find it similar to Flickr but the image quality seems to be much better and I have found the audience very interactive. You can find me on 500px HERE. I found Facebook and Twitter useful for propagating my blog but I don't do a whole lot else there. I mostly post there to let people know I have published another blog post.
The one I have had the most success with by far is Google+. I think I was lucky as I got in early during the invite only release and have been able to develop quite a following with 236,646 people having me in their 'circles'. I find the photography community there incredibly engaging and interactive. I have about 300 photographers I follow and interact with there. I get lots of inspiration looking at others work and find some amazing locations to shoot. You can find me on Google+ HERE. If you are not using Google+ I would highly recommend trying it. You will be surprised...
OK...now onto some random photos I have taken over the past few weeks but have not gotten a chance to post.
The team from Google+ Photos was in Tokyo a few weeks ago and I was asked to lead a photo walk with them. See, how cool is Google+! It was a ton of fun and we have about 40-50 people at one point during the walk. We all met at Roppongi Hills where the Google offices are as our starting point and then explored Roppongi.
This is Vincent Mo from the Google+ Team...a great guy and a ton of fun to shoot with.
I have had a few late nights at the office recently but I find that always provides great opportunities for photography. It isn't very often you can shoot a virtually empty Shinjuku Station.
This picture actually has an interesting technical mistake I want to point out. I wanted to capture the fact that it was 00:15am but you can see that I didn't completely capture the sign. These signs are actually scrolling LCDs so if you shoot at a quick shutter speed like I did here at 1/750 of a second you will get the signs being cut off. What you need to do is shoot it at something like 1/60 of a second. They all scroll at different speeds so you will need to try a few different shots to make sure you got all of the text.
I got to Shibuya Station about 12:25am and went through the ticket gate to change trains and I notice behind me a mass of people waiting for the board to show which train would be next...
Another thing I love about late night shooting is all of the color characters that are out and about in Tokyo...
I had one night last week that I actually finished work in time for 1st train!
Often in Tokyo, if people are out drinking and they miss last train they will continue their party until 1st train. I am not a morning person so I haven't experienced 1st train before. Wow, what a scene. I can see a photography series coming soon...
Asa-Mac...or Morning McDonald's... the reward for a late night of working!
Shanghai, China... I shot this out of my hotel window. I have gotten into a habit of shooting the views from my hotel and office windows when I travel.
This is the current view out of my office window...
I was standing speaking on the phone with my back to this window and I turned and he was about 2 feet from me! This guy scared the crap out of me...
I try to follow the local ads when I am out and about in Tokyo as it can tell you a lot about the culture of the country... I have no idea what this trying to say.
I went with my wife last weekend to see Mission Impossible... Don't you love what you can get at the movies in Tokyo?
Now this machine is cool. You drive your car in one side onto these tracks...your car is pulled sideways into the garage tower...when you come back it comes out the other side.
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