Degrees of Seperation

My social media efforts are average at best. And of the many options available, Facebook is where I still have my roots firmly planted. It’s both the most frustrating to use but still the one that offers the best connections. That’s party my fault for never visiting the other networks but maybe also because Facebook is not dominated primarily with only photographers.

For page owners, Facebook offers two statistics. Post Reach and Post Engagement. The reach is the number of people who were supposedly shown the post and the engagement is a measurement of likes and comments. It’s that engagement measurement (formerly known as EdgeRank) that contributes to a score on how interesting the content may be and who should see it.

So I tried a small experiment this weekend and specifically asked for people to ‘like’ or comment on an image if they saw it. I would then compare that number to the reported reach (unique impressions). From the 1500 people who are subscribed to my timeline and after 12 hours, Facebook reports that 9400 users had seen it. From that number, 319 people acknowledged they saw the post by ‘liking’ and 173 comments were left. Who the other 9000+ users are… I have no idea.

If there was anything to learn from this, a post really needs to get traction quickly to gain steady momentum. Without those comments (because friends see where friends of friends comment) to snowball, it quickly disappears and the reach dramatically shortens.

Fall Colours

I’m Doing the Best I Can

Branded as the biggest thing David Suzuki has ever done, the Blue Dot Tour is quite likely David’s last cross-country project in one final effort to encourage change. Now 78, Suzuki’s message to his grandchildren is: “I’m doing the best I can”.

On Sept 29th 2014, the tour stopped in PEI with a clear and emotional message to encourage change. A change to ensure Canadians have a clean environment to live. And a change in laws at all levels of government to force responsible development. If we completely depend on clean air, clean water and clean food… why do we not value it as our top priority?

While the tour was in PEI, I offered my time and camera as part of the volunteer team.

Blue Dot Tour - David Suzuki

David Suzuki – Blue Dot Tour

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My Little Assistant

Dad with a camera

Learning to work with less camera gear can be beneficial because my newest camera backpack giggles and pulls hair.

She’s quick to let me know if I’ve been in the same place too long but failed to mention that I was still at 3200iso from the event I photographed the night before.

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My Biggest Weakness

I believe that one of my biggest weakness is a lack of patience for gear. Like many others, I lust over that new shiny piece of plastic, but my desire to add more tools is simply wishful thinking.

If I’m being truly honest with myself, I still only use the first lens I purchased 8 years ago. I have certainly added more since then and those tools can be very useful in some situations, but yet I’m sure that 80% of my work still comes from that original 17-40mm lens.

The fact is that I detest changing lenses. Why can’t I have a camera that fits in my pocket, has a range of 8 to 800mm and is super clean at 6400iso with 10-stops of image stabilization?

Several times last month, the camera bag has stayed home and I went with the basics. One lens, tripod and a bag of filters. It has been great.

Bellevue Cove

Too Many Sharing Platforms

It’s easy to judge the interest level of social sharing sites relative to those who are already using it. Starting over with a new service is boring if you are in the room all alone. It’s a reason why Facebook and Twitter has staying power.

But over time, seeing what your internet friends are doing is hijacked by marketers and companies trying to sell product. It becomes a constant stream of revenue driven posts that we grow tired of.

I have been very resistant to the idea of Instagram because of its mobile only limitation. The restriction to only sharing photos from your iPhone was a deal breaker and painfully frustrating to use. But more and more friends have migrated to that platform and has encouraged giving it a chance for a fair review.

I’m very late to this party but my first impression is pleasantly peaceful, calm and still having the pure feeling Facebook and Twitter once had. There are no inline ads and there is little marketing. It’s simply a stream of images with little text and without resharing or linking out. The content starts and ends with Instagram.

So here I am, launching the start of my Instagram account and a growing acceptance of the square format and funky auto filters. If you have one, share your Instagram link below.

instagram.com/stephendesroches

Brackley Beach Bay

Today’s Image – Before the Rain

Chasing storm clouds has never been my strong point. It can be infuriating at just how terrible I really am but on the rare occasion, I’ll find myself in a decent location at the right time.