The four images were all photographs I had made as part of my ongoing reportage on the COVID 19 lockdown in 2020.
Three of the images were made using the Panasonic Lumix S1 and the fourth (Of opera singer Julieth Lozano) was made on a Panasonic Lumix S1R. The lenses were all Lumix S Pro lenses (16-35mm f4.0, 70-200 f4.0 and 70-200mm f2.8). The raw files were edited and processed in LightRoom Classic and finished in Exposure Software’s X6 plugin.
I had an idea for this post several years ago, but kept putting it off as I constantly thought that users, especially new users, will soon catch on and this post would be redundant. Well, as I keep seeing the same major mistake over and over again, thought it best to write a helpful, short post.
Firstly, if you’re on Instagram purely to look at photographs and won’t be posting anything, or have no interest in building up a network with followers, friends, possible clients or colleagues, this post won’t apply. If you do want to build up a following and network, then please read on.
The major mistake many new users to Instagram make is not setting up their page properly first. Some rough text, a nickname, no real picture of themselves, no photos of their work and then they’ll set out to start following a load of people.
This first step, is a great opportunity to have some of these people follow you back, so before you follow a single person, please follow the list below.
1) Use your real name, in full.
2) Use a real photograph of yourself.
3) Use the biography area wisely, so it’s clear who you are and what you do.
4) Post around 6 photographs, before following anyone.
5) Put a link to your website, Flickr, blog or Twitter. This gives people the opportunity to get to know you a little better and will attract followers or clients, depending on your objectives.
6) Don’t set up as a private account, thinking later you’ll switch to open. As you follow people, they won’t follow you back if your account is private (unless you’re closely acquainted).
These simple steps will ensure that when you pop up as a new follower, it’s clear that your account is real and who you are. I’ve had people I personally know follow me and then comment on not getting a follow back. Well, with an online nickname, no real photograph of themselves, none of their work posted, it’s impossible to know who you are! These people, never get a follow back from me.
With each picture, write out a simple, accurate caption, explaining what’s happening in the shot and where it it. A few proper hashtags (#) and tags (@), will bring up your post when users are searching for these and the tags will allow brands whom you want to see your work, have a higher probability of seeing it. You should be wary of spelling anyway, but especially with tags and hashtags, otherwise you post will not show up when searched for.
As a safety measure, I always put a watermark on my work before publishing. I personally use either Lightroom Classic from my Mac, or Snapseed on my iPhone for this. This cuts down on honest misunderstandings if someone inadvertently tries to steal you work, but most importantly, gives you evidence of intent of theft, if the perpetrator of this theft, has then cloned out the watermark (which leaves traces).
As we get into the new year, sadly with most of us in lock down, perhaps this is a good opportunity to start looking at your data backup strategy. It’s important to realise that you have to see it as a strategy.
As well as local backups and off-site backups, it’s crucial to have a Cloud backup. The more locations your data is in, the safer it will be. The number of times I’ve heard from desperate colleagues who have had a drive fail on them, with no backups and in that desperation are willing to lose in the high hundreds if not thousands of pounds, in the hope that a data specialist might be able to rescue some data, is dreadful. Invest a little, create a strategy and have peace of mind and security for your personal and professional work. Remember, family ‘snaps’ will become probably your most important and treasured archive as time passes, so treat both as equally important.
This offer may be of interest to anyone who hasn’t got Cloud backup yet or hasn’t tried Backblaze before. After much research, I chose them for my backup. One huge reason being that you can backup attached external drives (RAID boxes etc) too. Have a read through their website for more info on all their system does.
I use Backblaze to backup my computer and close to a million photographs, with almost 24Tb backed up on their servers.
As the judges of the prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year competition, currently choose the winners for the main competition from the announced shortlist, the organisers have now opened the public vote segment for the People’s Choice award – the winner of which is chosen purely by visitors voting for their one favourite image. The winner will be announced in January together with all of the judged results of the awards.
There is some truly phenomenal photography in this segment and I’m thrilled that one of my images appears on the People’s Vote page. Please have a look and vote for your favourite shot. Should you choose image number 45, I will of course be most grateful!!
Voting is open until 21st January 2021.
The photograph was made when I was shooting a project for the L Mount Alliance, using a Sigma fp and a Leica 50mm APO-Summicron SL lens. The raw file was processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic and finished off in Exposure Software’s X6.
Many thanks and wishes for a much deserved happy new year for us all. Keep safe, keep well.
Observer picture editor Greg Whitmore, who is leaving the newspaper, looks back at the photos that made the news during his quarter century at the helm of the picture desk.
Absolutely honoured to have my work featured in this gallery of images, spanning 25 years of our modern history. The honour is even more amplified when I look at the phenomenally powerful work from talented and devoted colleagues with whom I’m sharing the page, but also by the fact that the gallery was curated by such an extremely well respected and talented picture editor with true Fleet Street heritage.
You can see the gallery here and also read about the legendary Greg Whitmore’s experiences at The Observer here, covering his near 30 years at the paper.
You can read more about London’s darkest hour in recent history and my experiences on that day, here. The same photograph from this awful day was called one of the world’s most iconic photographs by the Daily Mirror.