Playing Photographer

I’ve always had a fascination with photography.  I can’t say whether it comes from my Dad taking pictures all the time while we were growing up, or if it’s just something I’m drawn to.  But it’s a thing I like to dabble in.

I’m limited by the equipment that I have, for the most part.  But I feel like I have a good eye for composing a nice shot.  The featured image is one that I really like.  I really wish I had the money for a nice camera, but photography can be an expensive hobby that I just don’t want to put money into.  So I do my research and read about how to take a good photo, using the equipment that I have.  Which right now is a Sony Cybershot DSC-H300, and my Samsung Galaxy S7 edge smartphone.

dsc00941
The Moon – I think this is the best I’ve ever captured the moon on camera.

I don’t think one camera is necessarily better than the other.  They certainly excel in different situations.  If I have the time to stop and compose a shot, the Sony DSC is my number one choice.  However, the S7 edge is way more portable, and is certainly capable of composing some great photos.  So most of my pictures are taken from my S7 edge.

The main difference is that the S7 edge provides a lot of tools to make good shots for you. For example, there are numerous plugins you can download for the Samsung Camera, including the awesome “Selective Focus” or “Portrait”.   Whereas with the Sony DSC-H300, I have to think about what I’m doing and make setting changes with a little more thought behind it.

I like to have the option to do both.  Like I said, my phone is inherently more portable than the Sony camera, and I almost always have it on me.  And I’ve taken some great pictures with it – the Pro mode is amazing.  But if I plan for it, I love playing with the Sony Cybershot.

20161126_140432
Woodpecker – I would never have captured this guy if not for my smartphone.

My favourite subject is always going to be the Moon.  Since learning how to manipulate the camera settings I’ve been getting better and better pictures of it.  One day…I’ll figure out shot composition and playing around with photoshop, etc. to make an amazing shot.

What’s your best photo / photo subject?

Advertisements

Podcasts For 2017

I consider podcasts to be one of my areas of expertise.  I’ve been listening to them for over 10 years, and have hosted one for almost as long.  I listen to podcasts almost every day, and subscribe to a lot of them – so I’m always adding or subtracting from my active subscriptions.

Here are three recommendations for 2017 – some of these are older and have been around for a while, and others are a little more recent.  I’m 99% sure that most of these will NOT show up in your typical Buzzfeed list of “most popular podcasts”.

  • The Night Time Podcast – This is a Canadian-produced show based on mysteries and other strange occurrences, mainly in Atlantic Canada, but also stories across the country.  Host Jordan Bonaparte has strong focus on The Curse of Oak Island and Emma Fillipoff and gets some good guests for discussion.  If you were ever a fan of ABC’s Unsolved Mysteries, you’ll like this one.  Can be rough around the edges but Jordan is growing into his hosting duties.
  • Harry Potter & The Sacred Text – OK, this one might show up in one of those “top 10 podcast” lists as it’s been gaining a lot of momentum since it launched sometime in 2016.  The hosts of this show aim to analyze and discuss the Harry Potter book as they would a religious text.  The result is some different view points while reading through the book that I may not have considered before.
  • Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast – This is one that ends up on my lists all the time.  The mission statement is simple: the hosts watch each and every episode of Star Trek (including the animated series – they’re on TNG Season 5 right now), and discuss the morals, meanings, and messages presented.  You don’t need to watch the episodes alongside – they do a great recap – but I highly recommend it, because I know I’ve missed a lot of things I hadn’t noticed before when watching casually.

I subscribe to many more, but a lot of them are even more niche than the ones I recommended above.  If you want some more good ones, ask in the comments!

The No Format Blog

This is the No Format Blog. It draws direct inspiration from the (unfortunately) now-defunct No Format Podcast.

This is the No Format Blog.  It draws direct inspiration from the (unfortunately) now-defunct No Format Podcast.  What I liked about that podcast was that they felt free to explore whatever topic they wanted to discuss – movies, photography, technology – they weren’t limited to one single topic.

While that concept is hardly a novelty, there weren’t really very many podcasts like it when the show was updating regularly.  Still, they pulled off the concept a lot better than most “guys-around-a-mic” podcasts do in 2017.

But enough about them.  My name is Stephen (you can call me Steve too, I won’t complain).  I needed a place to just write about anything that interests me.  I’m not doing this for money or popularity; in fact my only hope is that people read it and interact.  If only 5 people do just that I’ll be happy.  But there isn’t one single topic that I want to focus on, so creating a blank slate was really helpful.

I’ve blogged before – in fact, I technically already have a blog space that I can do this with.  But I wanted to start fresh and try to build an audience without any preconceptions.

So what’s in store if you stick around and read my blog?  I have a wide variety of interests, but I bet the predominant topics will end up being about media in general (with an emphasis on podcasts, TV, and film), a little bit of photography, writing, Android-related stuff…that’s all that comes to mind off the top of my head.  There will probably be other things popping up.  I definitely want to throw in personal bias and experience in wherever possible.

But at the same time I recognize that I’m not a celebrity.  A random reader probably doesn’t care who I am or what I’m eating for breakfast – so you’re not likely to see that unless I really want to share a recipe with you.

Please be honest and feel free to criticize any writing I post here.  Challenge my views.  Or agree with me 100%.  All good.  As long as whoever is reading this gets some kind of satisfaction after doing so.

Thank you!

 


Steve