Is Vero a Good Platform for Photographers?

October 22nd, 2022

It surprised me to learn that Vero was officially released way back in 2015. I must admit, I have only been aware of it in the last year or so. In case you’re also not familiar, it is a social media platform that markets itself as “ad-free & algorithm-free”.

It’s also pleasantly surprising to find that these two things (at the time of writing) appear to be true. The latter means that, unlike competitors, a user’s newsfeed isn’t currated by a set of code instructions. You may not even know it, but when using platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you don’t see everything that is posted by the accounts you follow. Only what the algorithms deem to be relevant is shown to you. They also feature lots of sponsored posts and advertisements which many people find frustrating.

By contrast, Vero shows you all the content posted by those you follow in a chronological feed. If you leave the app and come back to it, you will see the last thing you were looking at, and then be able to start scrolling up, through the new content posted since then. It’s a good to way to ensure you don’t miss anything. The company also boast that you won’t see ads because they “don’t use your personal data to make money”.

Another good thing about the app is how it shows photographic content. Large images can be uploaded and it’s possible to zoom in and easily see the finer detail. This is a marked improvement over Instagram, where enlarged images automatically snap back to their smaller size when the user releases their fingers from the screen. Not being able to upload images directly from a desktop computer was one critisism previously aimed at Vero. This has now, however, been addressed, with dedicated applications for both Mac and Windows.

Overall, Vero seems pretty good, and there’s very little to find fault with. Some people have expressed scepticism about the company’s policy on data protection, believing the policy does not implicitly state that data will not be sold on and that the app could be monetised in the future. The platform is also missing some of the features of its competitors, such as Facebook’s events system or business pages, and the stories feature present on many social media platforms these days. The latter points, however, will probably be of little concern to photographers who just want an environment in which to share their images.

Perhaps the main drawback of Vero is the relatively small user base. To date, I’ve only been able to connect with 8 other people on the platform, so if you would like to help me increase that figure, you can find my own account here:

So in conclusion, I’d say yes! Vero seems like a fairly good platform for photographers. Hopefully the company maintains the best features of the app as the user numbers continue to grow.

The Best Spots to Photograph the Golden Gate Bridge

September 18th, 2022

I’m back from my recent trip to California and my most recent video features a shoot at San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. I got some epic conditions for the shoot, with atmospheric fog blowing infront of the bridge and a glorious sunset lighting it up from behind.

My initial choice of location was from the Fort Point Overlook, listed as “Postcard Viewpoint” on Google Maps. Here’s one I got from that location when scouting for spots.


Free Infrared Lightroom Preset

July 19th, 2022

I’ve been doing a lot of infrared photography recently and it has been great fun. In my most recent video, you can see how I edited my infrared images.

The first stage is all in Lightroom and you can see my step by step process in the video. To make things quicker, I’m also giving away a preset of all the settings for this first stage. Just download the file with the link below.

After that you’ll need to take the file into Photoshop to complete the next stage. All the information is in the video though.

Infrared photography is a perfect genre for the harsh light of the summer months, so get out there and have some fun with it. Remember to stay cool though!

Setting up the Nikon D500 for Bird Photography

June 27th, 2022

The Nikon D500 has long been regarded as one of the best cameras around for bird and wildlife photography. Although it was released all the way back in 2016, it’s still the best Nikon DSLR for this genre of photography.

In my recent video I was at Bempton Cliffs, photographing seabirds such as Gannets, Herring Gulls, Razerbills and Puffins. Along the way I shared all of the settings I use when photographing birds with this camera.

You can watch the video above, and for clarity I’ve also included all of the settings below.


Sunrise or Sunset for Landscape Photography?

May 19th, 2022
Winnats Pass at sunrise by Robert Bishop

If you’re a landscape photographer, you probably already know that the best time to get out and shoot is during golden hour – the hour just after and just before the sun rises and sets. This is the time when the sun is low in the sky, lighting up our scene with warm, soft light and often creating spectacular colours in the sky.

As we move into the summer months, days become longer and waking up early to get out for some sunrise landscape photography can become more difficult! So should we just forget about sunrise during summer and concentrate on sunsets? Is there a difference between golden hour in the morning and in the evening? Here are my thoughts on sunrise vs sunset for landscape photography.

Why Are Sunrises Better for Landscape Photography?

One of the main benefits of getting up when it’s dark and trekking out to your location is that there will be fewer people around. Most people don’t want a 4am start and a walk up a mountain in the dark, so a lot of the time you’ll have your location all to yourself. This is particularly helpful at popular or touristy spots. If you’ve got a really early start and there isn’t much moonlight, a head torch can be handy to light up the way while keeping your hands free.

Another benefit of getting your shot in the morning is that there is more chance of fog and mist. This can add a lot of atmosphere to your photos and take an image from good to great!

Remember, some locations have to be shot at sunrise in order to get the optimal direction of light. The sun always rises in the east, so make sure you plan ahead to find out what direction the sunlight will be landing on your scene. Apps like PhotoPills and The Photographer’s Ephemeris can help with this.

Why Are Sunsets Better for Landscape Photography?

Getting your shot later in the day can be better when you need to scout out your location first, or if you have a big hike to get there. Don’t forget though, you will need to return in the dark, so either plan to camp at your destination, or make sure you have a torch and enough warm clothing and food/drink for your return journey. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’re going.

If you’re facing west to get your photo, sunset will often be better than sunrise. Again, plan ahead and check the exact direction of the sun at the time you want to get your shot.

Finally, you can have a bit longer in bed!

Try to Keep a Good Balance

Good light is a fundamental part of landscape photography and a scene will look different in the morning compared to evening and at different times of the year. Personally I recommend mixing it up and capturing your photo at both sunrise and sunset throughout the year. You can learn a lot about a location by seeing it in different light and this will help you to perfect your image.

Of course it’s more difficult to wake up early, and if you really need the sleep, this might make sunset the right time for you. I always find sunrises more rewarding though, and once I’ve made that effort to get up and out, I’m usually more motivated to get my shot.

It’s also much easier to make a video when I have a location to myself! Here are a couple of videos; one at sunrise and one at sunset.

Video captured at sunrise
Video captured at sunset