Shooting for the Big Times: Kickstarter, Instagram and a Road Trip to New Mexico!

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This week, I travel to New Mexico with several opportunities to shoot photos of various landscapes using micro four thirds cameras. The photo above is one of my recent travels to Area 51 in the Nevada desert! Off in the distance is the little town of Rachel, Nevada on the border of a secret military base. The trip to New Mexico is one of many that I have planned for 2013 and this one will be a Kickstarter photo project that has yet to be made public. We are keeping it a secret because it is such a good idea! This is going to be great, because I’m taking nothing but a bunch of manual focus lenses and a few autofocus lenses for backup. I’ll clue you in, the photo project has something to do with zombies and their homeland. The bulk of the work will begin later this July. My brother, Joe already has a successful Kickstarter under his belt to mass produce indestructible ocarinas. They are also known as a flutes designed to fit perfectly into your pocket while withstanding the most rigorous abuse. A little over six months ago my brother, Joseph Cowlishaw quit his day job to follow this dream to become an entrepreneur and master flute-maker. He’s been doing clay and ceramics since high school but started making flutes back in 2003 and has never stopped. You can check out his startup company called Wowflutes.

For the last six months, we have been combining our creative efforts to form a collaborative. My company is Talking Tree Photo and we started networking and marketing on most of the major visual social networks. Instagram has worked very well for both of us, and my brother had one of his images featured on the main Instagram feed on Sunday, June 30th, 2013. Check out this last screen capture of his image at the Meteor Crater in Arizona.

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We were surprised that they chose his image and it gave him quite a bit exposure. We both have pretty good followings on there and we are working to reach out to those who have been showing support for our efforts. My feed got popular, because some of my photos reminded fellow instagrammers of the Coen Brother’s film; No Country for Old Men. Later, fans from the AMC TV shows; Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, began comparing my images to scenes from both shows. This prompted me to become familiar with both series and compare their styles with my own; the similarities were quite revealing. I really enjoy the specific cinematography of Breaking Bad by Michael Slovis.

New Mexico is definitely one of the most photogenic places in the Desert Southwest, and probably my favorite state right now. I’m looking forward to my trip there this week and will document the details of my trip here on the blog. My brother and I keep comparing notes about the Coen Brothers, and they are an inspiration to me. Their work has influenced my vision about the Desert Southwest as I create a portrait of what America is all about in the post-modern era. I look forward to the future and what these creative ventures will yield. Life is short but adventure is always out there, waiting. You’ve just gotta believe in yourself!

The Tale of Two Social Networks: Instagram & Flickr

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For the passed six months I’ve poured my interest into Instagram when I got my first iPhone last Septempter. I quickly upgraded from the 4s to the 64 GB iPhone 5. It became my go to resource for everything photography when I fell in love with the art of mobile photography. The iPhone changed the way I did photography forever. The diverse variety of photography apps readily and cheaply available for the IOS platform caused me to quickly abandon Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. I have become a photographer with an outlook similar to a mobile photojournalist and began pouring all my efforts into Intagram community, and began building my own hub starting in September of 2012. Right now, my community is over 50,000 people strong and I’ve decided that this trend in social networking has replaced the old realm of photoblogging!

This domain was once an established photo-blog, and I still reminiscence on those old days but I have a much bigger vision; I want to build a community on a blog that provides a resource. If it works on Instagram, it can work here. Not too long ago, I started putting similar efforts into a Tumblr blog and that community is growing as well! Then Yahoo acquired Tumblr and then I started rethinking Flickr. Like the photoblogging community, Flickr sounds archaic or something that has gone extinct, yet it survives. Yahoo is now trying to breath life back into that good ol’ social network. I’m interested in these moves by Yahoo and I’m going to bank on these two social networks because they can really enable an emerging artist!

Is Flickr better than Instagram? In some ways, yes. I see it more as a strong photography resource for professionals and advanced amateurs. Despite Flickr being seen by many as dead horse, there is actually a very strong and vibrant photography community that lives in the photo groups on Flickr… and I think it’s a social network that is more than worthy of a serious come-back. I support Yahoo’s efforts to really take initiative with Flickr and revamp it. So, I’m going to put my marketing experience and time into Flickr and find a new way to light up this old flame!

Will I give up on Instagram…? No I will not, I love IG more than ever. I think both Flickr and Instagram are worthy of your love. Invest in both if you have a passion for photography and ignore all the Talking Heads!

Hipstamatic & Iphoneography

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I’m still at a loss for words about my newly acquired addiction to taking photos with a phone. I’ve got the iPhone 4S and it’s addicting. The apps from iTunes are great. Some of them over-process the images though but I’m really liking Hipstamatic. I’m just trying to figure out how to incorporate this photographic portability into my main workflow. This is something I’m taking seriously after hearing stories about photo-journalists using mobile devices to capture important moments. You’re going to start seeing mobile shots on here. It’s apart of the technological evolution of photography!