There are people who inspire us in all sorts of ways. Whether it be to be a better person in general or to achieve a particular goal, they usually go unrecognised. Tonight though, I will name a few people who inspire me to do more and try more with my photography. They are to thank for getting me out of countless creative funks and their blogs and galleries provide countless procrastination opportunities. Hopefully this will generate a little more traffic for them as well 😉

You may notice that the likes of Chase Jarvis and Dave Hobby do not take up any of the spots in my list. For all they do provide some inspiration for me, they aren’t the people I turn to when I’m flat out of ideas or just want to see some truly great photos. Besides, they get enough traffic as it is and I would rather promote the local talent that I honestly think is far better than the ‘main stream’ guys…

Firstly, we have Todd Norbury. I had my first encounter with Todd through the OCAU Photography forums (as is the case with most of those on this list) a couple of years ago and through his posts, I found the link to his Flickr stream. Liking what I saw, I added him as a contact and proceeded to follow his postings over the following months. One of his photos that always managed to stick in my mind was one he took at a horse racing event in Nowra towards the end of 2007. It taught me a few things, the 5D can keep up with sport, horse racing photography is way more interesting than I first thought and that I would kill to get a photo with as much pop as that one. Of course, when it came to being my turn to photograph a bush race meet, I had to check Todd’s shots before heading out to make sure that I had half a clue about what I was doing.

Then towards the end of August last year, I noticed a great set of photos start to appear on his Flickr stream. These were from what appears to be an annual road trip for him. Each time I saw there were new uploads, I had to check to see what interesting places he had been and what amazing photos he had taken while there. Looking over this set always leaves me feeling motivated and I am dying to get out there and make a similar trip of my own (end of semester holidays are looking like a good time so far). His eye for the details is definitely the thing that I keep going back for. I can spend hours looking over his photos and after wards, never feel like I have wasted a second of my time. If there is someone who drives me to get out and explore, it is Todd.

Next, we have my go to guy for portrait inspiration. Known to OCAU’ers as ya3, to Flickr’ers solely as Yakub and to the rest of the world, Yakub Erogul, he first caught my attention with his talent of creating these remarkable portrait sets with some very minimal gear. The next thing that drew me in was his unique post processing style. The colours he manages to get really set his work apart from pretty much everything I have seen before and mix this with his already keen eye and uncapped imagination, great results are sure to follow. One shoot of his that has always stood out above the rest for me has to be one of the ones he did with the wonderful Jessica. The locations, the mix of styles, the processing, the lighting and the raw creativity all combine to create a shoot that I can’t help but keep going back to and flicking through.

Lastly (for now anyway) is Chris Young, another fellow OCAU ‘tog (seeing a trend here?) who has provided me with vast amounts of inspiration over the last few months. He started tackling a 365 days of self portraits project not long before I decided to give the 52 weeks of self portraits thing a try and before I let it fall by the wayside Chris was pretty much always there to provide encouragement in one form or another for me. Apart from the comments on my photos, his own project helped me keep pushing through mine. It was great to see someone get so creative each day with photos of themselves. The mix of serious, not so serious, down right crazy and locational self portraits gave me a tonne of ideas for my own project as well as providing me with excellent procrastination material. And after having pretty much no interest at all to visit England, the photos from his recent trip there have made me want to run out and book the flights straight away. His eye for patterns, lines and the odd bit of serenity among the chaos keeps me checking his gallery at least once a day and I would kill to have just a little bit of the talent that Chris has. All of his holiday ‘snaps’ are travel magazine worthy.

So there we go, its taken three months to finish this thing. But trust me, it won’t be the last post like this that I make. It will probably take me another three months, but you can expect to see names such as David De Groot, Jonathan Yeo and Clarence Tang in the next installment.

New Monitor, Good and Bad

Last weekend I bit the bullet and got myself a replacement screen as an upgrade from the venerable Viewsonic 17″ 4:3 LCD I have had for years. Being a poor student who isn’t all that fussed about a completely colour accurate screen, I got myself an affordable Acer 23″ HD widescreen LCD (x233Ha to be exact). The extra real estate is lovely, I must admit and the colour doesnt seem too off.

Now, two days after I bought it I noticed a bright red stuck pixel. Oh no, I thought. Of all the colours, it had to be red, which sticks out like anything when watching movies or playing the XBOX 360 through it (another reason I got the HD screen). So I make contact with the store I got it from who said to get in touch with Acer and see what their warranty policy is with stuck pixels. Long story short, no one wants to know about it with only one and Acer won’t take it back unless there are more than 5. Not good enough for a less than week old screen in my opinion. Oh well, at least it doesn’t stick out too much when using Lightroom…