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Travel in Taiwan: September 2018


Excerpt: “After having been an avid photography buff for many years, one day not so long ago, I decided to join Photowalkers Taiwan, a Taipei-based group that organizes walks for photography enthusiasts…”

Three Photography Lessons: My Travel Log” published in Travel in Taiwan, September, 2018. Text and Pictures. pg 31.

Vanity Metrics: Don’t buy followers… seriously!

Are you tempted to take shortcuts to boost your follower numbers on Twitter or Instagram? Is it really worth it? I don’t know but here is what I found out when I started digging…

A certain Twitterer did buy Twitter followers: I’m not sure how many because I only got to sample of 9% of their followers… but the account creation date/times of over 2/3rds were within 30 minutes or so for them. If 2/3rds across his entire account, that’d be around 800 followers.

I can also confirm that an IG photographer also bought IG followers last year. I can’t find any posts around those dates with exceptionally large favoriting going on. With 10000 new followers you’d expect a few posts with hundreds, possibly even thousands of favorites. The weird thing is that his account was growing quickly anyway, it’s quite likely he’d have reached a similar metric anyway if he hadn’t done anything. But the purchases seemed to have cooled the new followers. Perhaps IG has limited the reach of his account now or have noticed the slowly dropping IG follower numbers.

The number of followers is only a vanity metric. If you’re putting out stuff that is good, that should be enough! Right? Engagement provides insight into the amount of involvement your audience have, so it’s important to remember that if you have thousands of followers but only a low number of likes or comments per post/tweet… your engagement is really low. Engagement either supports or undermines the headline numbers!

A Personal Statement: Should you work for free?

Recently members of Photowalkers were asked for selected photos to be republished on a media company’s website and FB feed. The members of Photowalkers range from amateurs using mobile phones to professionals with high-end cameras; but we all enjoy photography and sharing our time, knowledge and photographs.

Organisers devote time and energy for no financial gain whatsoever, so that Photowalkers events can happen. We get a kick out of what we do! You enjoy taking photographs, whether done in your time or on Photowalks; doubtless you share them on your website, social media accounts, either publicly or privately. I believe you should value the photographs that you take, in whatever terms value means to you.

I also believe that photographers should not be exploited by demands for free content from profit-making organisations. Whatever status a photographer you are, your photographs are yours. You own the rights to those works you have created. At some point, you will be asked if you’d like to contribute your works for publication for exposure only. You do not have to consent to these requests, if you don’t want to. If you do consent, you should make sure that you agree to an equitable set of terms first.

Not everyone is a photographer for the same reasons, so having your work featured in a publication/website without payment is ultimately your own choice. Should you feel that is appropriate for you, then I say do it! But don’t feel obliged to do it. That is your choice!

Photowalkers Group is not a marketplace for free photography for organisations to exploit; there are plenty of sites on the Internet doing that already. Photowalkers Group is our place for planning events, getting together, having photowalks, networking, making friendships and learning from each other. That is our raison d’etre. So we warmly welcome all photographers to join us on any of our events or walks.

Shopping List for Camera: It gets longer

So once I purchased my new camera, the D3000; I noted a few things that needed to be upgraded.

  • Eyepiece
  • New battery
  • Lens Brush + Lens Cloth
  • New Dry Box and Bags
  • Remote Clicker
  • Camera Bag
  • 18mm~55mm Kit Lens
  • Replacement ND Filter
  • SD Card Reader for Android
  • Extra Lens Bag
  • Dummies Guide to D3000* (new add)

I already had a shorter tripod. Though I purchased a 2nd hand camera, I felt that I didn’t want to skimp on additional equipment to make the most of the device.

It wasn’t without problems; my Toshiba FlashAir Card isn’t compatible with the D3000 so I’m not able to use it with this camera, though it should work with later models; and the SD Card Reader turned out to be a little ropey, (the device works well, but the connector to the mobile phone – USB to mini-USB – isn’t solid).

Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash


Read the F**king Manual: How many times have I been told?

So there I am, out on the streets of Yingge snapping away! And a fine trip it was, thanks to Chenbl & TC Lin. But for the umpteenth time, I found that I had set my ISO to 3200 just as an upper limit only to find that I’d shot dozens of photos IN ISO3200. Now, if you’re using a decent camera, you wouldn’t probably face this issue… but the Nikon D3000 has a lot of noise at 400ISO and upwards, esp. when the light drops below a minimum. So I end up with a raft of shots that aren’t ideal, and need a bit of LR magic which sometimes works out, and sometimes doesn’t.

As described to Kenny: “I shot a whole batch with ISO at 3200… now how blonde is that?… if you know the D3000 you’d care. If you’re using a MODERN camera, you’d not even notice… The D3000 @ ISO3200 works well in bright light… but when things get murky, it turns really pixelated…”

Alicia was with me, when I mentioned this problem… she looked at me and said, “You read the manual, right?” Hah! I think the only manual I ever read back to back was the four page wonder I got with my last phone: page 1 picture, page 2 list of buttons, page 3 how to turn it on and charge it, and page 4 warranty information. “Eh… No!” I said hopefully.

Somehow I’ve managed to take nearly 7000 photos (a large percentage of duds) without ever really reading the manual in-depth so I haven’t grasped the finer points of my Nikon D3000. OK! Here goes!

See… I am reading the manual! I learned a couple of things too

A post shared by lookthrough2018 (@lookthrough2018) on

So now you know, when you bitch about the camera or any equipment, the first thing you hear is: RTFM. And it’s true! You should. I should! I will… but I might skip a little if I can! Anyway, thanks to fellow photowalkers, like Kenny, Alicia, Josh, Craig, Filipe, Patrique, … they all keep me on the right settings – EVENTUALLY!