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…


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)….


Circular Photographs

I have soooo many photographs on my flickr account that I had to figure out a new way to show them off. So I went with ‘circular’. It helps that my most recent photographs are of Christmas lanterns, light globes and buckets — yes, all very circular objects.

So here goes: Here are 12 photos of things from our home and backyard. They are from the last 7 years of photographs on my flickr account — but only those with a circular appearance.

Power Experiment COOPERS

Six Days Growth Modern Plug

Singapore Silk #6 Test Shot with Home Made Snoot - Apples on White

One Huge Spider Web Apple of StickyNotes

Wood Stack Broken Orange Globe

Red Christmas Ball Green Christmas Ball

Watch out for my next post of a similar style but of a different shaped photographs!

More of Me, Myself, and I

I have dug up a few photographs of myself in better times. Ah, how I miss those times. There is a link within each image that takes you to a bigger version. See you if you can find the splicing faults!

This first one is from when we renovated the backyard. For about 3 months we carefully dug up about one third of the yard. It looked like an archaeological site! I found the complete skeleton (with skull, teeth, and tail intact) of what must have been a pet mouse or rat.

See that tree over the fence? It had roots growing right across our yard, some of them as thick as my leg. We chopped back all the roots as far as the fence, then approached the neighbours about having it removed completely. Thankfully they agreed. We then put a 12 foot STRATCO fence up between them and us.

Whilst all the workings were happening, I often took opportunities to shoot silly photographs of myself in action! This is my favourite…

Me, Myself and I

This next one was created around the same time that cloning was suddenly made popular on Flickr. I had to attempt the technique. I’m not saying this was a great attempt, but it was fun to wear all my Redbubble tshirts during the shoot.

Whilst some might say “But you have no shadow!”, I simply say, “That’s the price you pay for cloning with inferior software.” It was fun to shoot and edit, and it got the cloning-bug out of my system!

My Four Clone Brothers

That’s all. Just wanted to put that out there.

Photograph of the Day: Red Tulip

My favourite photograph to date has now been uploaded to my FineArtAmerica gallery.
I hope you like it as much:

Red Tulip, by Stephen Mitchell, on FineArtAmerica

This single flower is one of a bunch purchased for the elderly matriarch within my wife’s family. This lovely woman is nearing 92 years old. Whilst age is taking her hearing and eyesight, her wit and laugh are still strong.

If you should like this photograph displayed in your home, consider these options:

As is the image above, you can have this as an acrylic print.
The biggest size available measures 48″ x 32″ (122cm x 81.3cm), price at $552.
At its smallest size – 14″ x 9.38″ (35.5 cm x 24cm) – you only pay $96.

Understandably, that is possibly a tad pricey for some lovers of this image.
That’s OK, it is also available upon a card with either a black or white back-side at only $6 each. When you buy 10, they are reduced to $3.20 per card. When you buy 25 cards, they drop to an astonishingly low price of $2.64 per card!

For the record, every artist on FineArtAmerica sets their own mark-up.
I would imagine some artists increase their mark-up up by stupendous amounts in the belief that high price equates to high value.  I like to think that my art is good, but that is only because I like what I find and photograph.  I also like to believe that my mark-up is fair and in line with the quality of the products that FineArtAmerica produces and distributes world-wide. 

So whilst some might balk at the price on this artwork, most do not. 

 Please take the time to peruse my work, choose that which you like, leave a comment,
and if you like it enough – buy it for yourself or a friend.

Better Beach Photography

Beach House A friend on Facebook has a whole series of beach shots, and in one of them she asked how to add more light to a scene. She had photographed the female model facing away from the sun, with the shallow water in the background where small waves were rolling in.

She was so close to getting the photos to look so good, but clearly had one element missing: An external flash.

In a heart-beat, I had determined what I would do, plus had a few other ideas in mind. But because most of my skill has been learnt from trial and error, not from any online nor institutional training, I couldn’t explain easily.

Instead, I went googling for articles that would give a better overall explanation of how to add more light to a beach photograph. The following articles and videos are some of the best I could find at short notice. I do hope they explain it for you.

The biggest tip/trick these video’s teach is how to use umbrella’s, diffusers and your external flash to your advantage. Mostly they say don’t aim the flash at the model – aim at the umbrella or diffuser. The sun becomes your secondary or ambient-light. The sun gives you the golden-colour, whereas your external flash pumps up the brightness. Here is another one…

2012, Year of the Baby Photographer

Here is my first post of the 2012, and it’s simply to say:

I am using 2012 to refind my writing-mojo, get back on track and to get creative with my articles. I am determined to read and write a lot more about photographic subjects.

Throughout 2012 my wordpress blog is going to return to the main point of focus, and be filled with stories about my photographic ideas, lens and camera comparisions, plus my thoughts on many related accessories.

Why the sudden importance on this?

There’s going to be a baby in our house in 5 months time (thus the interesting title to this first post), so I want the newest addition to our clan to know that Daddy is more than the blob on the computer!

I have realised that since being introduced to various social networking sites, and you know the ones I mean, I have spent more time glued to my computer reading other people’s lives rather than investigating or doing the stuff that interests me most!

I have also realised how important it is to keep my mind active, my body fit and my creativity flowing: I want to be able to think fast, stay on my toes (both physically and metaphorically), and to be able to tackle any situation that comes before me quickly and efficiently. I’m told kids are hard work, so I want to be ready.

I hope my kid catches my bug for photography, creativity, action and entrepreneurialism early. I’d like them to be selling lemonade on the street corner before the age of 10!

Watch it, there’s more coming your way….!

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