GO BEYOND YOUR LIMITS! (10 Years on Youtube)

Of all the YouTube channels I subscribe to, there is only one that I return to over and over again – Casey Neistat.

A recent vlog is now watched repeatedly. This one is a gentle yet constant reminder what I want to achieve on my own channel. I have watched it 5 times. It blows my mind. Which is it? Wait, it will be the last video I show in this list.

I have had a Youtube channel since 2007 – again, another 10 years with one channel – yet it’s not the longest! I digress. Back on track…

MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL HISTORY

For the longest time I did almost nothing on YouTube. I remember saying to someone in 2008“It’s just a fad, it won’t last.” Oh dear, how wrong was I! Mostly I liked and categorized videos, probably like a lot of people did. I had a U2 collection, plus some series of cartoons that intrigued me. But YouTube kept changing the privacy on stuff, and then deleted channels that somehow violated their terms – yet nobody could see why.

In early 2012, whilst working on a Government ITC Help Desk, I worked with a young guy who said “Instead of playing PS/Xbox/Wii games, I just watch their YouTube channels – it’s cheaper!” Within a month I was hooked on a few youtube gamer channels whose style was consistent, crazy-funny, and catching worldwide attention. You may know who I mean.

Late 2015, thanks to a friend on Facebook, I was advised to check out Casey Neistat Apple batteries vlog . Then he started vlogging daily. Vlogging became a word.

Early 2016 I revamped my YouTube channel, removing all the Liked videos and vlogs, and uploaded a dozen videos shot by my wife – using them to show off her honey business on Kangaroo Island, planning to use them on our GoFundMe page. The funding didn’t pan out as imagined, so that also needs a revamp! Yet I still love the bee vlogs I created…

Then I started vlogging our weekly visits to Cleland Wildlife Park … so all our Australian-Zoo visits also got uploaded!

In mid 2016, after a very long hiatus being the Dead Reds Wine Group photographer, I decided to vlog the night’s drinking – and everyone who went appreciated it. Actually, vlogging made it all the more fun – people spoke to their camera!

I found finances to buy a very decent movie editor program: Movavi. Windows Movie Maker was insufficient! Movavi has been great for creating eclectic music to go over wind-filled footage, converting and compressing, then uploading to YouTube without any problems.

Then in July 2016, I twisted my right knee so much that my vlogging took a backseat until I recovered sufficiently to get around without pain. I still shot a lot, but I was getting so tired from the exercise needed that tonnes of footage sits incomplete.

In early 2017 we moved to Kangaroo Island. Within a month I uploaded a short vlog that received 200 views in a few days – which blew my mind and reminded me of my journey. I was back on track!

Then Casey added his “DO WHAT YOU CAN’T” vlog. Wow. It was like a smack in the face for me.

It brings me back to his channel once a week to remind myself of what I am aiming to achieve.
Yet I say it is probably not the best mantra.

I prefer to say “GO BEYOND YOUR LIMITS”.

It’s true, a lot of people set limits on their goals, consequently limiting their potential. Ashamed to say I have done the same, and possibly still do on some issues.

Some people have budgetary constraints, some have fear of success or failure limits, and many put limits on themselves because they don’t believe in their ability – even though they have never had a go!

Whenever I think I have limits, I imagine living in a 3rd-world country where there is no money, life is all hand-outs from foreign aid, and living is day-to-day. You and I have a far better life than that: We have a roof over our head, a bed each night, and we know where your next meal is coming from – and it’s three times a day!

So what is your limit? Probably next to nothing by comparison!
I am not going to lie: When I had money, I bought things that I knew I would utilise and would last a long time. Good camera gear, particularly the accessories. What I didn’t forsee is how I would use them.

The planets have recently realigned for me.
Expect more vlogs over the next few months.
What will they be about now? Well, I have to thank my Radio show for revitalizing my self-confidence, particularly my speaking and writing skills. So I have a few ideas in mind. Now to create them with almost no budget!

Let’s see what I do next (week)….

The Basic Updates to HTML over the last 15 Years

First let me say that I STILL design my sites using CSS elements and HTML tags and attributes to give my websites improved function and form. I won’t deny that sometimes they are not pretty – but I design to suit my needs now, not for anyone else.

Whilst many other designers are now using purchased templates, I enjoy writing the background code. I enjoy that little yippee-moment when the CSS works.

I remember the first time I built a sprite based header navigation in blogger.com way back in 2004! Because blogger enabled users to modify the HTML and CSS, I spent many an evening tinkering, learning, applying, reapplying, until I had a site I liked. It was also at that time that I started creating graphics for sprites.

This morning I wanted to write an explanation of what I have enjoyed over the last 15 years of coding CSS, yet felt I couldn’t easily put it into words. Thankfully I found Casadaro Shearrod’s simplified yet succinct list displaying the basic differences/upgrades of HTML over the last 20 years.

HTML 1 – linked documents
HTML 2 – linked documents with stylized text and tables.
HTML 3 – more of 1 and 2 with some Browser specific features.
HTML 4 – a re-evaluation of 3 to removes some clutter that arrived in 2 and 3.
HTML 5 – pretty much the same as 1 with the ability to specify document structures and multimedia element.

His last line below is the #1  reason I stopped designing for others. 

Knowing HTML5 in practice means we know HTML and CSS. We can do what used to be done with HTML 1,2, and 3, but we can do those things more effectively, with greater efficiency, and on a larger scale. This is what gave birth to the Web application and server side programing and scripting but, that’s a whole different talk.

HTML and CSS are not difficult to learn, but it is time consuming to both unlearn and learn as updates occur. I chose to stop. I achieved what I set out to do, so was able to tick it off my bucket list of achievements, then move onto new ventures.

And that is where I choose to end this article. Does this mean I no longer code? Are you kidding?! Reading some of the URL‘s linked above gets me fired up and interested again … so I am already pondering my website revamp!

Tool Board

Quotes from What are the differences among HTML2.x HTML3.x and HTML4.x?, written 7.Nov.2014 by Casadaro Shearrod.

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We Have Moved to Kangaroo Island

This time last year we made a BIG decision: To move our family to Kangaroo Island.

Explaining the benefits to each of our families actually didn’t take a lot, but there are a few who have not yet been there.

Yesterday morning I videoed some of my morning walk. Because of the tranquillity of Kingscote, it required very little editing before upload!

The resulting vlog shows one of the BEST reasons for our family relocation:

My morning walks will now be regular, particularly since I don’t have a 24/7 gym available. I had hoped for daily vlogs, but, well, kids.

So Much To Do, So Little Time!

Ice on Sound Card There’s no denying it, I get bored and fidgety if I am not thinking, designing, writing, and creating just about anything art-related. I refuse negativity so I am always looking for a new ways to stay positive whilst being a great parent.

Many people would know me as a photographer, but I lost my ‘photomojo’ in early 2016.

Thankfully, around the same time, I was introduced to Casey Neistat and a bunch of vloggers doing their thing. After a dozen videos watched, particularly those showing the camera-gear most vloggers utilise, I decided it could make me happy!

So I created vlogs all year long (in 2016) as time permitted. Many have not made it to Youtube, those with family in them – yet I have a few still in composition that will be online in February/March  2017.

Late in 2016 I started my new project = The 365 Challenge: Producing 1 vlog per day all year long!

Well, I won’t make one every day, but I will try. They will be created on mostly on my Canon EOS-M because I have a compact tripod for it.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Check out the final edit of video ONE in the 365 Challenge.

In about three weeks I will be creating video TWO – from our new home on Kangaroo Island!

Aha, better days are coming because I am not lazy and like to dream big and work hard .

How about you? Are you a cool dad , is your bucket list filled with great projects? If not, get on your bike!

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20 Reasons Why I Love Being A Photographer

Being a casual enthusiastic semi-professional photographer has been good for me. I truly enjoy any moment I have a camera in my hand. My family has gotten used to it over the years. I often arrive at weekend events with at least one camera. It is getting more common to hear my oldest say “Daddy, look at me, photograph this/me!”

So I have listed all the great reasons to keep doing what I do when I hold a camera. If lists bore you, this one won’t – because this is aimed at you everyone! Whether you shoot with a smartphone or an expensive DSLR, you will either get some inspiration – or you’ll nod in total agreement.


1. Creative Outlet
There’s no doubt about it, photography is a great way to express your creative thoughts easily. You know that moment when you see something that you believe would look great framed – or used in combination with another photograph to create a whole new image. That’s always a great moment.

2. Capture ‘forever’ memories
Over the years I have photographed moments which not only have looked great through the camera, thee final image is also etched on my mind. That’s the sign of a great shot. When we capture moments in our lives that reminds us how how we felt, or what we tasted or smelled, that truly is a photograph worth keeping.

20170114_114201 3. Brings Families Together
Ever noticed that when you bring your camera out at families events, some people run for the hills … but they are happy to hold a child for a photo? In our combined families, there are currently NINE kids under five years old! Boy, do we get some great smiles and cuddles.

4. Take Better Family Portraits Than You Had
Sorry, had to say it. I see a lot of people shooting downwards with smartphones in portrait mode – who then ask me how I got such an amazing shot. Usually I explain how they can do it better, but too often they don’t want to know and say “Oh, it’s just to email family.” That may be so, but don’t you want to show them a semi-decent photo with no red-eye and all limbs in frame?

5. Document Your Family
This is important. Too often we store many photographs on our hard-drive, but never look at them again. With my camera skills, external lighting and reflectors, I capture family photographs that can easily be framed and displayed in your home for visiting family can view every day!

6. Remember Someone Who has Passed Away
It’s always sad when someone in your family passes on. But it’s even sadder when there is no facial-memory for their young children and their grand-kids to remember them by. Always take the moment to capture a photo. You’ll be surprised how many older people are not afraid of the camera. Because they get it.

Another Niece 7. Help People See the Beauty In Themselves
I cannot count the amount of times whilst out shooting a location that I met people who want to be photographed in the scene. With a few pointers (i.e. stand sideways to appear thinner) I show them how any sized person can and does look beautiful. People who say cameras make them look 10pounds heavier are not posing correctly.

8. Witness Love
Nothing is more awesome seeing a happy couple kiss, or when he gets down on bended knee to hand her the ring. Capturing that moment on film or digitally makes it perfect for them.

9. Create Something For Your Kids When They Are Older
Statistics say that we are printing a lot less of our photography . Every decent photograph we shoot of our young kids playing together is printed, laminated and has a magnet stuck to it – then given pride of place on the fridge.

10. Document History
As an architecture buff myself, I recognise that documenting history both in our family and our environment is very important. Always take the chance to photograph when a building is being demolished, take note of the address – and return when the next structure is completed. Progress is important.

Belly Dancer 11. See The Beauty In The Every Day
If nothing else, stop to photograph the roses, new growth, and smiling children. That’s what makes my day complete.

12. Capture An Adventure
We are two weeks from moving our home, lock stock and barrel, all to Kangaroo Island :. It is going to be the biggest adventure of our life. We visit at least 6 times a year. With my wife’s parents over there, plus a new job and her honey business , it’s going to be a lot of fun. So I intend to shoot a LOT more photographs of our surroundings and life. Look out for them on my Flickr , Redbubble , Pixels and Facebook photo pages!

13. Get Close To What You’re Interested In
Always get closer to the subject matter. It’s amazing what else is hidden. I often capture macro shots of bees and ants when shooting flowers – and people notice.

14. Freeze Movement
Knowing how to use your camera properly is important. That way capturing the movement of children and animals will be no longer accidental.

15. Live In The Present
With a camera in hand, eyes and mind are focused on the immediate surroundings and not on the future. Rather than worrying about what didn’t happen or what could be, a photographer’s eye looks for what they can find in the present.

16. Make Art
Art is a word that covers so many points. You imagine art with your mind. Art is also in the eye of the beholder. So make what you perceive as art, refine it to suit a market, then do that consistently – and you may win an audience with the general population, particularly on view in their homes or offices.

Hidden Toy 17. Make Money
It’s true, money can be earnt from you art. Just don’t make it your focus, make it the end result of hard work. Otherwise it will steal from your art.

18. Share Your Perspective
As most photographers will know, or realise over many years, we all see the world different ways. Some of us see the little things, some see the wide-angle, and some focus mostly on eclectic angles. I enjoy all styles, but focus mostly on directions that are unexpected. It may not appeal to everyone, but I am shooting for arts-sake – making my imagery suitable for hanging in almost any location.

19. Help People
This is probably the funniest things about photography. Wherever I am I see tourists trying to shoot selfies as a couple. More often I approach them, but sometimes they ask me to help take the shot. I shot a young couple on Kangaroo Island a few months ago with their smartphone. Then I gave them a few pointers on how to improve their shots (in relation to sun and shadows on face). She then took the phone, spoke to her partner, and they began shooting selfies again – but they changed their whole style. I have no doubt I changed their whole photo collection!

20. Healing. Therapy. Meditation. Forget Your Worries
If only for me. Actually, more often for me. Being able to walk in a quiet landscape, or a windy forest, or listening to waves on a beach, the mind can find and capture moments worth capturing with my camera. Trust me, put a camera in your hand and the world hushes.


So I hope this list helps you to find something that either reminds you why you enjoy photography – or gives you inspiration for your next day out with your camera.

Cheers, Keep shooting, keep it real, and be good to your kids!

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3 Important Life Lessons

​Three important lessons I have learnt in life:

1. Some negative opinions are from people with no self confidence. Some are from people with no imagination. If you have self confidence and can imagine, then their opinions don’t matter.

2. Most negative opinions are from people who cannot imagine you succeeding. That’s their problem, not yours. Stay focused on your success.

3. Don’t let the negative opinions of others inpact on your projects / wants / future – unless they can put up valid reasoning, and practical solutions, or sensible amendments.

Note: There was a numbering error. Odd for so little, but originally it was a longer list. But I condensed to remove duplications.

First posted on my LinkedIn, 23 December 2016