Where to Start when Starting in Photography: 3 Cameras to Use

You’ve been bitten by the photography bug. Sure, just like anyone else you’ve got a camera on your phone, and have been known to snap a good selfie or two. But now; it something more.

You find yourself taking longer to get the right shot at a party, stopping midway through your day to snap a pretty vista – and you are making no friends by critiquing the lighting and framing of pics on your Facebook wall – it is now time to get serious about your photography love.

Yet, when you decide to make a start in the field it can quickly leave you uncertain. You know you want to snap pictures around where you live (and maybe around the globe in one of the world’s great citiesbut all the options on offer leaves you feeling overwhelmed. If this sounds like you may the following be as a useful guide for making a start in photography.Click to continue reading

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Video games that are Art: the Arcades and Handhelds (Part 3)

Landmark games can certainly boast rich visuals. Undoubtedly, they can have a story that inspires or harrows the heart. So too though, are great games focal points of conversation. Just like the noted mid-70’s pet rock gimmick, beyond aesthetics of purpose alone a good game that grows discussion in pop culture is assuredly a standout.

So, the indie hits have been examined, and the epics detailed; now here are 7 games in the vein of ‘easy start’ and ‘pick up and play’ that have nonetheless held a huge impact on video games and pop culture beyond it.

Another World

Any game that begins with a genius physicist driving underground to a lab in his classic Ferrari is unlikely to be one that’ll end up in the ‘so-so’ pile. First released in 1991 and now available for smartphone, Another World finds protagonist Lester Knight Chaykin teleported from his otherwise happy Ferrari-driving existence into a barren and lonely planet.

How he got there is clear – particle accelerators are temperamental things – but how he gets out is a whole new matter entirely. Thus, the stage for  this iconic side-scroller. Beyond gameplay and story alone though, the cinematic and rich visualisations … Click to continue reading

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Email newsletters are vital to startups and small business: but where to start?

Too often a startup, small business (or revamped established business) set on building their presence online feels the first edition of their new email newsletter need be one for the ages. Rather than being a good but otherwise simple and direct avenue for communication with customers it can instead turn into a saga.

For old hands at email marketing it may be straightforward, but a newbie can find a new venture as complex as a SpaceX mission. This can amount to a launch failure all around as many startups and small businesses consign a email newsletter into the ‘do later’ pile and never get around to it.

Sure, a good email newsletter does require good fundamentals – and it’s important you look to build it actively – but those who promise instant success overnight are likely to also say ‘but there’s more’ and promise you things only Australian ad man Tim Shaw should when promoting a Pizza Hut Lunch deal.

SO, being prepared to roll up the shirtsleeves long term is essential. This said, just like that big textbook you know need read or that tax return you know is due soon- deciding to begin and knowing where … Click to continue reading

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Coding is popular but complex, explain it to me: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (Part 1)

From slick Shopify websites to fun iOS and Android apps, to websites that have a gorgeous visual flair and design you’d love your businesses online brand to have – you know coding is how to get it done. Yet, by very virtue of the term ‘coding’ learning to code sounds pretty daunting.

Rather than presenting itself as a straightforward and transactional process just like a college degree where you’ll learn first year subjects, second year subjects, and then go on to learn the harder content in your third (and fourth) years, coding can conjure up mental images of those World War 2 spying, tech gurus sitting in dark basements, and NASA launching rockets into orbit.

Spy ingenuity, workaholic technicians, and space exploration may provide remarkable showings of human ability, but this image of coding can be confronting for a blogger or eCommerce store owner sitting at home and thinking about how they can better build their enterprise.

Accordingly, this often leads to varied answers when asking ‘where do I start coding?’ – And this can be made all the harder by tricky terminology. Let’s point you in the right direction with plain language then. Click to continue reading

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21 Video Games that are Art (Part 2): The Epics

In the earliest decades of video games it was often the case the box art would tell a bigger story than the game. While games like Vanguard and Steel Empire may have been limited in gameplay, their box art told the tales of grand struggles (and also some skilled graphic designers in the lab).

Yet, just the same as some studios were able to create truly epic stories out of merely single digit pixels, so too as technology developed did the potential for games to serve as a genuine vehicle for rich visual storytelling and art. The following 7 are all epics that did this especially well.

PS. Missed Part 1? Quickly, go catch up here before reading on!

Red Dead Redemption

Given the widespread popularity of cowboy movies and stories in pop culture it is somewhat surprising it took until 2010 for a game of such scale and acclaim to depict the world of the Wild West. Nonetheless, RDR proved testament to the old saying ‘good things come to those who wait’ with its tale of former outlaw John Marsden’s pursuit of his old gang.

Doing away with the classic good guy vs bad guy depictions often seen Click to continue reading

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21 Video Games that are Art (Part 1)

As of 2016, the value of the gaming industry is almost 2 trillion globally. Further, while a generation or two ago games may have been regarded largely as the domain of young kids spending their summer nerding up, playing a Game Boy at the back of the bus – or even challenging someone (anyone!) to beat their high score at Donkey Kong in the arcade – with the 18-35 year old demographic now the largest group of gamers, the popularity and accompanying purchasing power of video game’s largest demographic affirms it’s staying power in pop culture.

Just as the old adage goes ‘when did car racing begin? When the second car rolled off the line!’ so too has this growth of video games increasingly seen a shift in the way they are appraised, and this has led to the ‘video games are art’

Art is subjective. One person’s masterpiece hanging from a gallery wall is another person’s ‘that is so overrated – let’s go home now!’. Yet, with popularity of video games today, the contention held by many that videogames are and can indeed be art is altogether credible. This is especially so as the statistics on video game use … Click to continue reading

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7 CES products that showcase the promise of 2016

Sunday January 18 2015

CES Las Vegas has wrapped and many products indicate an exciting 2016 ahead.

The Consumer Technology Association’s Las Vegas event this year was looked upon with an extra-keen eye. Entering into the second half of the 10’s, the globe has seen at the edges of mass market some ‘game changing’ products in VR, drone flight, 3D printing and more for some time now.

This means an extra sense of ‘oomph’ was sought from this Nevada event to establish how close we are to getting some long desired futuristic gadgets. Let’s examine where and how it delivered.

Oculus Rift VR headset

The Oculus Rift VR headset. Image: www.oculus.com/

The Oculus Rift VR headset. Image: www.oculus.com/

Virtual reality has long been a feature of futuristic Hollywood films and predictions about the future but 2016 appears set to be the year VR is firmly moved into mainstream use. While brief flourishes and flirtations with the technology and mainstream adoption have occurred before – most notably during the mid-1990’s – the variety of VR featured at CES affirms this time it has the real potential for long term staying power.

From the entry level Google Cardboard all the way up to the Oculus Rift the diversity Click to continue reading

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