Category Archives: Photography

LinkedIn Learning is a life-changer – or was, for me

This unsolicited post will argue that you should take out a trial subscription to LinkedIn Learning to rivet those joints: yours and/or your employees

Photography has featured strongly in much of my working career in education (photographic clubs, school magazines, newspapers, newsletters, websites, press releases and social media), so I reckon I knew something about how to shoot a reasonable image.

However, mine was always just-in-time learning based on a lifetime of hands-on, manuals, physical courses, YouTube and Adobe Support videos.

In short: Heath Robinson.

So my scaffolding has taken some strain over the years and, then, a short while ago, it collapsed (well kinda – I know I’m dramatizing, but it certainly felt that way) on a photoshoot suggested by long-time friend, Ken Barris, of the Swartberg Pass to Prince Albert where, throughout, I had enormous difficulty coaxing the kind of images I wanted from my Nikon D800E and two prime lenses, whereas Ken was in his element (refer the photo above and the credit below).

Since then, defeated and depressed, my camera mostly remained in its bag.

In the meantime, however, I had an upcoming commission by Peter Baker – who, with Darryl David, put together the annual Booktown Richmond in the Northern Cape, South Africa – to shoot and report on another chapter of Bookbedonnerd. That, and encouragement by conversations with Ken, convinced me to take the financial plunge, and I purchased a 24-85mm medium zoom.

Additionally I signed up for a monthly LinkedIn Learning subscription (which enticingly comes with a free one-month introduction and the option to cancel anytime). After providing my payment details I logged in, listed my training needs (Photography, Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, WordPress, and Premier Elements) and was presented with abundance: hundreds, if not thousands of full-length courses to choose from.

I followed their recommendation which was tutoring by Ben Long, and selected his Photography Foundations: Exposure, Photography Foundations: Lenses and Nikon D800 Essential Training. Additionally I worked my way through Morten Rand-Hendriksen’s WordPress Essential Training and WordPress Themes: Twenty Fourteen.

I was blown away at how professional, comprehensive, accessible and helpful all the courses were.

My modus operandi was to work through each course – not skipping a single lesson – even though I thought I knew something about the topic in question, and I’m glad I did it that way because I was then able to rebuild from the ground up thus trading Heath Robinson for solidity and elegance.

I don’t in this post wish to run myself down completely because I do suspect I’m not the only one depending on rickety scaffolding. My sense is successful people mostly play to their strengths. In fact a colleague, Alixe Lowenherz, once suggested that most everybody in IT in those early days was flying by the seat of their pants.

And it’s because I suspect I’m not unique, and that we’re all a little rusty or rickety that I’m recommending you, too, sign up to LinkedIn Learning.

LinkedIn Learning is a professional, polished and comprehensive LMS (learning management system) with courses on every topic under the sun – it seems, so if you own a business or are responsible for training in your company I would like to make one further suggestion: their staff option. It’ll return dividends.

Bookbedonnerd? Didn’t make it. My car broke down. But I do have some nice goat pics.

Goats ‘oor die rivier’ (across the river) from Suurbraak

Photo credit: feature image at the head of this post of me not getting it together on the Swartberg Pass was shot by Ken Barris who was in top form

Barrydale and books go together

When you conjure Barrydale do you think of literature? If you do then you’ve discovered The House of Books.

Anton in the atrium to his House of Books, Barrydale

Situated in Van Riebeeck Street near to ABSA and the OK, one enters through a garden into an atrium of books. On entry turn to the room on your left: books, the passageway: books, in every nook except the bathroom: books. Additionally you’ll find thousands of CDs and DVDs in the hallway and elsewhere.

I live in Suurbraak, and whenever it’s time to fill my jerrycans with drinking water from the Tradouw Pass I extend my journey, order two double espressos from Diesel & Crème, draw some money from the ABSA ATM and then visit Anton.

As I’m interested in unravelling the history of this area and South Africa in general – particularly with the view to trying to understand the early conflicts between Bushmen, Khoi Khoi, Bantu and European – I tend to gravitate to the room at the end of the passageway which houses Africana. More recently I’ve invested, because it is an investment, in four volumes of Theal’s History of South Africa before 1505 until 1872, Jan H. Hofmeyr’s South Africa, Spilhaus’s The first South Africans and the laws that governed them and Vulliamy’s Outlanders.

I’ve also purchased a number of excellent CDs to listen towhile doing the pass.

Anton’s a photographer and you’ll see his work on display throughout. Quirky, gritty, angled – almost every image spoke directly to me. See if you agree:

Image, copyrighted to Anton, House of Books, Barrydale
Image, copyrighted to Anton, House of Books, Barrydale
Image, copyrighted to Anton, House of Books, Barrydale
Image, copyrighted to Anton, House of Books, Barrydale

So if you value books, enjoy CDs and/or want to expose yourself to some stunning images then visit House of Books next time in Barrydale, and if you’re lucky Anton might be at hand to enrich your visit with suggestions and ruminations on his stock, Barrydale and the meaning of life.