Friday, 30 December 2016

reflecting on 2016

Exactly a year ago, I posted "reflecting on 2015" which included some of the tweaks I would be making in 2016 in light of hindsight. In a blink of an eye, here we are again, another year gone.

This year, I'm even more grateful to be here than I was last year. There have been definitive instances when I could have been taken from this planet. One I probably will never forget was a split decision I made not to cross the road at a traffic light despite it being in pedestrian crossing mode ("green man"). For whatever reason, I didn't cross. I just didn't. I don't know why not, but boy am I glad I didn't. At the point when I would have been right in the middle of the road, a woman that appeared to be having a heated conversation on her mobile phone sped through the red light. She would have turned me into Flatman - the dead superhero. She of course was non the wiser as she zoomed obliviously along a residential road at motorway speeds. So yes, I am grateful to be alive today.

Ok. So how did I do in 2016? Was I victorious at the tweaks or no?

1. Grow closer to family than ever before:  The simple answer is yes. In 2016, for me, family has been everything. Onwards to 2017, I hope to make this even more so.

2. Make more money than ever before:  Hmmm. This one was tricky.  I did make more money than the previous year, but it wasn't "more than ever before". However, there are signs that 2017 will be the year when the money machine finally kicks in big. I believe I have finally arrived at an understanding of what needs to be done, and do it I shall.

3. Care less about money than ever before:  Yes. I have achieved this in 2016 for sure. I think my attitude towards money has changed for good as a result.

4. Take more photos of myself:  Oh yes. Not just that, I've also allowed other people to take photos of me. Normally when the occasion arrises I'd take control of the camera, or control would be handed to me. Either way, it would be me taking photos of everyone, and no one taking photos of me. That's changed a bit in 2016. More can be done though.

5. Be more consistent with everything I do:  Yes. Yes. I have been consistent with many things and I have seen the benefits of consistency.  A good example is my YouTube channel - Old Cameras. Consistency has grown the audience from around 300 to over 4000 subs this year. I could be even more consistent though, so I am going to do just that in 2017

6. Finish things:  50%. This is a big one for me.  Yes, I have gotten a lot better in 2016 at finishing things, but a lot of work still remains to be done here. A significant amount of my energy, both mental and physical, will be dedicated to this in 2017.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

before instagram

La Bodeguita Del Medio | Havana, Cuba

Isn't it funny? Now that technology has overcome most of the technical difficulties that were so hated back in the days of film and analogue cameras - e.g., vignetting, lens barrel distortion, scratches, e.t.c., technology has also given us ways to re-ruin the photos to make them look like 'back in the day'.

Every year around about this time, I usually do some digital housekeeping. That involves cleaning out hard drives and consolidating photos from various locations.

This was when I stumbled upon some photos taken 'way back'. No, these are not film photographs, but rather digital ones taken on my first iPhone - the iPhone 3 GS. I was hit by a cold wave of nostalgia tantamount to looking through an old box of photo prints discovered in an attic. I kid you not.

Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba

Not only were these photos quite lo-fi, thanks to the 3 Megapixel camera and tiny sensor, but I took them using the Hipstamatic app.  This was when the app first came out, so it was very primitive. And then, there was no Instagram in sight. [ I tell you, Instagram stole Hipstamatic's lunch]

So Instagram is like Elvis Presley.  Hipstermatic is like that starving artist that performed his/her song in a little bar down the road where Presley's agent first heard it. This was probably why I initially disregarded Instagram as a copycat pretender. Well, that was a big mistake wasn't it? I could've become an "Influencer" and quit my day job to sip lemonade in the Seychelles.

Frozen canal | Amsterdam, Holland

I get it. If you're old enough to have actually shot film, then perhaps you get this 'feeling' from actual old film photographs. Perhaps also using an app like Hipstermatic makes you think of the good old days. If, however, you were born after the digital revolution, what 'feeling' are you getting? Why were Instagram filters so appealing?

Piccadilly Line | London Underground

I think it has to do with romanticising the past, like we all do.  Making an otherwise cold, near-perfect snapshot one step closer to the classics.