Adam Rowney

The Rise, Decline, and Rise of Social Media

fabulous_website

The last few years in social media have become a whole lot more cynical, but it wasn’t always like that.

In the beginning, people added themselves where they could, using horrible glittery basic html for the likes of Myspace, Geocities and other social media and website forefathers. It was fun, it was stupid, and it was pretty carefree. But it was a rising industry. Myspace sold for $580million. It was big business. Then Facebook starting steamrolling the industry, creating a massive leap in social media, helping push other social media platforms up along with it. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc.

online_communities

These platforms have proven to have been really useful to the photographer sector and other creative industries. Being able to advertise and spread our global footprint has allowed for many creatives to gain business, and create new contacts that would have otherwise been unlikely to have ever been created. From personal experience, I have had my online content reach over 120 countries. I have worked with people from all over the world, either through my travels, or from people traveling to me. As always, we first got in contact via social media. I could not have done this without an online presence.

Although with the rise of social media, also came the rise of people questioning it. Is it wasting my time? What are they able to do with my data, can they sell it? Why do they want access to my images? And why do they keep changing the damn design of the website? These questions have been most commonly asked with regards to Facebook and Instagram, and the laws of what can and can’t be done with someones data is commonly talked about and debated. The super paranoid suggest all of our lives will be sold off, and our images be used for a thousand and one adverts around the world. While Facebook does need to create revenue, it’s not going to sift through your baby pictures, badly composed food images, and drunk and blurry nights. The super chilled probably don’t even question, care, or even know their data might be used. As in most cases, the truth probably lies somewhere in-between. Just like Google, and many other websites, they will tailor their adverts to you by what they know about you.

toms_myspace_burn

 

Whatever the truth is, people are fed up, and looking elsewhere. Some have suggested that Facebook is even committing fraud, or at the very least, being incredibly misleading with it’s advertising numbers, as posted by Veritasium here and here, and by booooooom.com. Researchers at Princeton University have even compiled a paper on their prediction that Facebook will lose 80% of it’s users by 2017.

So, will Facebook die? It seems every website that has its day, will also have its end. To the average person, it’s another website, come and gone, but to a photographer, it’s another tool that is becoming less useful. So what I’m curious about is what will be the next big contender?

Working for Red Creative

red_creative_office

I recently started working for a fashion company by the name of Red Creative. The team photographs commercial fashion / ecommerce for companies all over the world. The company was started by George Davies, the creator of Next, so as well as shooting outsourced work for other companies, we also work on his brands. I work on three sets, differently designed for model shots, mannequin cutouts, and product overheads. I’ve done a lot of retouching for similar companies, and think that having experience in both retouching and photography should be really useful for the future!

RED_Studio_4

 

RED_Studio_3

Shooting for Maharishi

maharishi_front_logo

I recently spent time working with Maharishi. The fashion label has a peaceful ethos, stating themselves as Pacifist Military Design. The creator of Maharishi is a designer by the name of Hardy Blechman, who recycles surplus military clothing to create his brand. The clothing is taken apart and redesigned to fit the brands aesthetic. The designs that do not use the surplus military clothing are made from natural fibres like hemp.

maharishi_trousors

I was hired to shoot some of their more recent designs for their website. The work I was doing was a mix of model shots (as seen above and below) and product overheads. One of the interesting aspects of shooting with Maharishi is that the studio is based within their store on the lower level, allowing the customer to see the shoot if they so wish.

maharishi_back

When Megapixels Do Matter

adamrowney_selfie

Since digital photography began, there has been one marketing cliché that has been constantly thrown around in a bid to win customers. The Importance of Megapixels. The more you have, the better your camera. More megapixels means better images! This is pretty much bullshit, and people have started to realise this. Cramming so many pixels into a sensor just means the images end up with digital artifacts like noise occurring, especially in low light situations.

Quality > Quantity

This may be true, although sensor design has caught up with these early on problems, and cameras are able to get away with cramming a lot more, high quality, pixels into small er sensors. But are they needed, or is this just more of the same marketing myth as before. To the average user, it is simply marketing still. While the higher resolutions images are considerably stronger, the resolution isn’t needed. You can still get decent quality A4 prints from as little as 6MP. But as an industry tool, a higher resolution can still be extremely important. It allows the individual to shoot for clients that want either large scale prints, for advertising or other commercial means. Billboard for example are often shot using medium or large format cameras, as they can offer not only better quality, but also higher resolutions that are essential. In the case of ecommerce, it allows for  multiple tight crops to be created from one shot, saving time, and time is money. And artists will often look towards cameras that would allow for large scale printing.

So what does this mean? That depends entirely on the individual and on their needs. To put myself as an example, I would never use a fast shooting camera suitable for sports, like the Canon 1D X, I just do not need the speed. I need a high quality workhorse for studio shooting. Yet the Nikon D800E wouldn’t be suitable for my needs either. The resolution in this case is too damn high. The files would be slow and cumbersome to work on, and my hard drive wouldn’t forgive me for it. So while the megapixel myth is a myth with regards to quality, it does not mean that in some cases it can be of importance. Quantity can have a quality in itself.

Interview With Artistas Sean Unidos

adamrowney_artistas_sean_unidos_

For any Spanish speakers out there, I was interviewed for Artistas Sean Unidos in April. ASU is an Argentinian based website dedicated to independent artists, emerging designers, musicians, artists, etc. You can find the interview here. Muffin is indeed one of my favourites words of all time <3