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)….

Decluttering is Liberating

Whilst discussing the issue of cleaning and clearing our home to the point that I feel comfortable to transport all that remains to our new home on Kangaroo Island, I found was defining my true self.

Lisa said “Enjoy the process [of decluttering] and be kind to yourself – watch the minimalists.” At first I thought she was calling a group of people ‘Minimalists’. But the ‘the’ made me think there was a movie. There is… The Minimalists !

Here’s are my quotes:


If you ever get a chance – empty your house of everything you own, remove all the clutter, then see what is left. It’s incredibly liberating.


We all seem to collect dust collectors, stationery, trinkets, copious amounts of clothing, pillows and towels.


Thankfully I am not a materialist. Better yet I refuse to have a credit card. Everything I own is because I wanted it AND because I can afford it outright. Some of my camera gear has taken me YEARS to buy.


Wow. Whilst responding to a statement, I defined myself. Ultimately I am a minimalist. But only in my own mind. Unfortunately my house is rarely representative on my mind.

My next post will explain how my this post and the one previous don’t conflict. Because I can see how you think they might.

Big News – Discounts on TShirts!

That’s right, with Christmas just around the corner, Redbubble are offering more and more discounts at this time of the year.

This is awesome for everyone – better deals on your Xmas presents for friends and family.

With my wide variety of kids tshirts – ranging from food to patterns to parenting quotes – both you and your kids will be very happy this year.

Check them all out on my tshirt shop.

Why mention this?

There’s a special deal coming up!
Take 20% off every purchase, across the site, with code SPOOKY20.
This deal is available only on the 17th & 18th October.

Take a look, choose what you like, then enter the code SPOOKY20 when you buy them.

Remember, don’t be a naughty animal, ask your mummy or daddy permission before buying anything online!

Looking forward to seeing photos of my friend’s kids on twitter and facebook wearing their new tshirts! ;)

Throw in the Towels, The State is Rain-Soaked!

Turn Hard Left There was a massive storm over South Australia this afternoon. The morning was blue skies, but we watched clouds travel across the sky throughout the day.

I’ve always wanted to sit and watch a storm, so I turned our round lounge around, got it facing the front windows – then invited both my young sons to sit with me to watch the lightning and rain-storm hit.

It did hit hard, and all three of us boys watched lightning and thunder, cuddling when it was a frightening, then tickling the tears away.

Finally the power went out around 4pm. Didn’t know for about 30mins that the entire state of South Australia also lost power!

Weirdest thing to ever happen. So we lit every available candle, cooked dinner on our gas stove, read books to the boys by candle light and put them to bed. Actually, there was a lot more to it than that. If you are connected to me on Facebook, you know what else happened.

Anyhow, after the power came back on at 7.30pm for us, everyone in South Australia went straight to Twitter and Facebook to determine the outcome, express their opinions, and tell the classic joke that there will be a baby boom in June 2017!

[SEGUE] I have a varied group of online friends, in many works-of-life. Some are radio personalities, others are house-keepers (I don’t say house-wives, nobody is married to their house!), and a few are poets and writers.

My good friend Martin Christmas wrote a poem about his experience this afternoon with the weather, so I felt the urge to write a poem also. This poem took about 30mins once I realised the direction I was taking it.

Anyhow, they are just words. But they are mine.

poetry in progress
WINDED

Never to be outdone,
Mother nature
threw us another
bucket of tears
all over the state
of South Australia.

With a wild
back-hander,
she hit us hard
where it hurt:
She wiped out
our power and heat,
she blackened our eyes
with candle light,
and for many,
she repelled all
online connectivity.

Mum decided
when enough was enough:
Her knuckles barely wet,
she abated momentarily
before resuming
her barrage,
blowing trees around,
driving my wheelie bins
down the street,
filling the gutters with spent leaves.

This pummeling may not end
before morning,
the torrential tornado
may find new strength
in the night.

So sandbag your castles,
nail batons over doors,
Let not the glass door
be broken,
and find strength in the
knowledge that
this too shall pass.

Why I Create Graphic Art

Written for linkage to my graphic art page on my website.

#46 Clothing Combo'
I first started producing really simple graphics early in my internet days, around 1998.

It was quite by accident, yet I have always been the creative type. It turned out to be a good idea because at that time I had a fairly boring day-job, so being able to be creative in the evenings made up for the monotony. [I left that job in 2012, so I can say that now.]

The night 9/11 happened, I downloaded a freebie GIF-maker and made a dozen images that basically said how I was thinking about that whole event. [The images have since dissappeared into the archives].

Shortly after I discovered GIMP [“a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition”], bought a bible-width reference book – and haven’t stopped creating or editing images.

With some amazing scripts (eg: saving all layers individually), I taught myself basic graphic-design – and now produce awesome tshirt designs AND manipulate my photographs similar to photoshop.

Wait, what did I say? Use GIMP instead of Photoshop:
Yep, For about eight years now I have been using GIMP for manipulating my photographs. Yeah, not many people realise that. Whilst everyone was raving about Photoshop, I kept learning GIMP. And I freely admit I still don’t know half of what is capable of doing. But it did teach me how to be creative.

Because producing parts of a graphic often meant asking yourself [Q1] “With the little I know, how can it be done?” For one example, I taught myself how to create (often B-grade) shadows for trees that had been manipulated from another photo and stuck into the current photo. Yeah, (hangs head in shame), I do that. But you wouldn’t spot it, and I am not going to show you where. (Smiles gleefully).

#43 I'm Crazier than Almost Everybody Here
Then in 2012 my tshirt sales started making some series G’s … per annum. Not a lot, but it got me thinking … and I decided [Q2] diversity was the key to success. I now have two Redbubble accounts – stephentrepreneur is photography, ezcreative is tshirts – and I market them like crazy.

Gotta be honest, [Q3] marketing is the key to success in any game, and particulary online. It doesn’t mean whoring your wares: It means seriously spruiking via social media to your full advantage. It works. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, I am there, showing off my skills.

In 2015, sales started ramping up. The monthly balances were not going to make me a millionaire, but my creative side was impressing my corporate side no end.

It is now 2016 and I am trying new ideas. A series of about 30 graphics are in production as we speak; They are based on observation of what sells most in my creative collection. [Q4] Never let your best work stand alone, use the experience to your advantage.

These days I spend a few hours each night drawing my ‘brain-farts’ onto paper, selecting the best, then determining how I can create them with GIMP. It isn’t easy, I don’t deny it, but it is fun.

Someone said I should do tutorials, but I now have two beautiful children who need more Daddy time, so I won’t be spending much more computer time than is neccessary. But that doesn’t mean I won’t ever do a tute.

That says enough, I am quite sure, but I plan to post some related articles in the next few weeks.

Oh, you’re probably asking what is with all the [Q]’s in this post? I have discovered that I really can write some seriously awesome quotes. So I have marked them for reference. I may add id-links soon so they can be tweeted. Noice.

Anyhow, nothing else to say other – except: Check out my tshirt collection here and here – and buy a cup, mug, tshirt, doona cover, and/or phone cover. Buy one of each! All purchases help to fund our next big project.

Six Days of Photography and Celebration

Originally published March 4th 2008 on my Redbubble photography blog. Reposted here on WordPress for easy reading.

For those who haven’t noticed, we have returned from six days in upper New South Wales (NSW) and some parts of Queensland (QLD), Australia.

It was a lot of fun, and my wife and I were able to escape the hot weather of Adelaide to enjoy the wet yet humid days of the East side of Australia. Primarily it was to attend my grandfather’s 21st birthday (before you ask “What the…?”, think about what year it is and what date it was at the end of February), but I was able to spend some time photographing some amazing locations.

Out of the chosen 125, I uploaded around 25-50. It’s always the way, you think a shot is terrific – but the truth comes out when carefully scrutinising the final result.

Here are all the locations we were able to visit: Bleekers Arboretum . This was a great location with amazing foliage and flowers. I don’t think I saw the whole place, we only stayed a few hours. I hope to return within the next 12-18months. 
Read more about all three images in consecutive manipulation
Crystal Castle ( Crystalight )

We got a little lost trying to locate this mesmorizing tourist attraction so I had a few short opportunities to shoot local architecture, street signs, letter boxes, and other features. We crossed a concrete bridge that had water shooting out one side, but you couldn’t see where it came from on the other … really weird.

On the return journey we found a wide part of the one-lane road to stop to capture some creative angles of this wooden garage door . Expect to see some more images of this that certainly step outside my usual style!

Casino Royal Revolving Restaurant, QLD (for Opa’s birthday).  I shot some amazing photographs from the 26th floor, but I’m undecided on uploading to Redbubble.

Plus various beaches, cliffs, peninsula’s and other geographical locations around Lismore, Fingal Head, Broken Head Beach and Minyon Falls , all in Upper NSW.

The irony of it all is the contrast of weather patterns. We rarely saw sunlight on the Sunshine Coast, whereas Adelaide’s usually grey-days were stinking hot. (And I’ve come back to a 34 degrees celsius day. Joy of Joys.)

BTW, The World is Getting Too Small!

1. Whilst visiting an open garden in upper NSW last week, I was asked by a guy at the gate if I put my work on Redbubble.com. I laughed and wrote my pseudonym in the visitors book. I have now met a Redbubbler in the flesh.

2. On the flight back to Adelaide I purchased Volume 30 Edition 8 (Feb 28-April 2 2008) of BRW. Redbubble.com is mentioned on page 58 as part of an article entitled “Caught in the Web 2.0″. Actually quite an informative and interesting article.

3. Ten minutes ago (around 1.30pm, 4th March 2008) a representative from a roof-sealing company knocked on the door. After discussing a few options, I agreed for him to have my name to call back in 12 months time, saying “It’s OK, I’ll be famous soon.” (Said with tongue-in-cheek and a hearty laugh). He asked why. I said I am a photographer, I sell my work on the internet. He asked “Redbubble?” …. Needless to say, we had a good laugh.

The world is getting far too small… Or Redbubble is getting very very popular?