social photography

Waterstone's, Cambridge. Tomorrow. Meet Daniela.

social photography cover Between 11:00 and 15:00 I shall be on the second floor of Waterstone's in Cambridge, offering smartphone photography demonstrations, one-to-one advice, and signing copies of my books if anyone wants to buy them.

If you're in or around Cambridge, please do drop by. I'd love to see you!

In or around Cambridge on 8 November? Come meet Daniela in Waterstone's!

One of the questions that people ask me when a new book comes out is 'Are you going to have a launch party?' Once or twice I've even been asked if I'll do a tour. The answer is, for both, sadly, 'No.' That's not so much because I'm a miserable and dyspeptic misanthrope, but more because I'm not exactly Clare Balding or Tom Holland. However, (I do love a good however) in November I'm getting a one-date gig at the gorgeous Waterstone's branch in Cambridge that sort-of maybe perhaps passes for either of these events.

Daniela does smartphone photography at Waterstone's, Cambridge.

Yes, I'm rather excited about it.

That's Daniela. Alleged star of this particular show.

On Saturday 8 November you'll find me loitering on the second floor of Waterstone's, Cambridge, not far from the coffee shop, possibly ensconced in a fortress constructed of copies of Social Photography, extolling the virtues of smartphone photography. At 11:00 and 14:30 I'll be offering a free-for-all 'How to get the best out of your smartphone' session, while in-between-time I shall be on-hand to offer one-to-one advice for anyone with more specific questions or for those whose schedules conflict with the talks. And if you want a copy of Social, I can sign it for you, too.

Social Photo in my hand

Even if you're not that fussed by smartphone photography, do drop by if you happen to be in the vicinity: I'd love to meet you.

Salient details: Saturday 8 November 2014, 11:00 to about 15:00; Waterstone's, Sidney Street, Cambridge; me and quite a few copies of Social Photography.

Social Photography on sale in the US!

I've heard a rumour that my newest—and possibly prettiest—book, Social Photography is now on sale in the US! Naturally I'm incredibly biased (although my father probably wins the prize for most enthusiastic cheerleader), but I am very proud of it. In a nutshell, it's a guide to making the most out of your smartphone, from taking better pictures to sharing them astutely. social photo cover

You can go into a bricks-and-mortar store to purchase it, use your preferred online retailer, or download it as an ebook.

For people in the UK wanting to lay their hands on a physical copy, they'll be here next month. Of course I'll be sure to tell you when! That would be now! Woohoo!

'Social Photography' now available to download!

If you can't wait until next month* to lay your hands on a paper copy of my newest and shiniest book, Social Photography, it's available right this very moment for download as an e-book from the Ilex Instant site! social photo cover

It'll cost you £5.99 and comes in PDF, so that you can read it on your desktop, laptop, or tablet of any flavour, and there are more formats on their way.

Of course, if you'd prefer to wait for a hard copy, you can always put in a pre-order now. It'll be £9.99 in the UK and $16 in the US.

black&white spread

Naturally, I'm incredibly biased, but it is a terribly handsome book and if you're looking to get more out of your smartphone and your social networks, a fabulous companion!

* Oh the excitement! A very large order of copies of Social Photography has been placed by a well-known US retailer, to go on sale by the end of April. The UK release is being delayed a little to cover this, but it should be on these shores by the end of May. If you can't wait that long, you know what to do!

After the competition, here's how the cover of Social Photography looks

In November last year we ran a competition, together with the Ilex Press, to find a photo to add to the front cover mosaic of my forthcoming book, Social Photography. So many fantastic entries were submitted to the pool that we found ourselves selecting two winners, who were announced in December. After a little rearrangement by Kate the Designer, there's now a gorgeous final version of the cover! social photography cover

In case you're wondering, Elisa's photo is in the top left corner, the very first image on the cover; Ben's is the third image down in the fifth column across. It's definitely worth checking out their Flickr streams, too!

And the winner of the Social Photography cover competition is...

Actually, that should read 'And the winners are...' We received over 200 submissions to the competition to see one of your photos feature on the front cover of my next book published by the Ilex Press. There were landscapes, portraits, and macros, wildlife, architectural, and street photography shots. Some were in colour, some were in black and white; some people had chosen to apply filters, some hadn't. We were delighted by the number of entries and seriously impressed by their quality. Choosing one winner became such a difficult task that we decided that perhaps two would be a better option. It cut down on the nail-biting and shouty emails. I am very pleased and proud to announce, then, that the two images which will feature on the front cover of Social Photography will be:

Instagram by Ben Denison


Untitled by Elisa Alonso Aller

We chose Ben's photo for its instantly recognisable scene fused with gorgeous colours and great composition. We liked Elisa's for its bold colours and great story. Congratulations, both. We'll be in touch soon to organise the tiresome admin of licences and the rather more exciting receipt of prizes.

Everyone who entered made it a tough job to select a winner; thank you. It really wasn't an easy selection process: you gave us so much to consider. And now Designer Kate has to re-jig the cover design... again!

Your photo on the cover of a book?

Fancy a go? My newest book is due, many-things-but-mostly-the-weather-permitting*, to be published in April next year. Apart from me signing off on the final proofs, its publishers, the Ilex Press, and I have one outstanding task to complete: selecting a final image to include on the book's front cover mosaic. Seeing as the book is dedicated to the phenomenon of social photography, we—or rather Adam, the Associate Publisher at Ilex—couldn't think of a better means of finding the perfect fit than to ask you if you've an image that you would be proud to see gracing the cover of an internationally published book.

As well as having your picture on the front of the book, you'd receive a copy of it (when it's released) as part of your prize. If you're very lucky, Ilex might have something else up its sleeve for you, too.

On a need-to-know basis, you need to know that you have between now and Monday 2 December 2013 to submit an image to the special Ilex Social Photo Flickr pool. The photo must be square format and you must own the copyright to it. The winner will be selected by me and the Ilex Photo team and announced on Friday 6 December 2013. Importantly, you will retain all rights to your image and it will only be used by Ilex on the cover of the Social Photography book and for the purposes of promoting the competition.

If you've any other questions, holler. Otherwise: good luck!

* Delivery of my book Surreal Photography: Creating the Impossible was delayed by a typhoon in the South China Seas earlier this year. More recently, several containers of books were lost to the waves as a result of storms. The loss of books is in no way comparable to the loss of lives, this merely serves to illustrate why we don't have accurate delivery dates.

The 2012 round-up

Oranges in the early morning light. Davis, California - January

If you want 2012 in a sentence, it was all about putting big sensors in smaller cameras and the continued rise of social photography. Nikon and Canon both unveiled smaller-bodied cameras that had full-frame sensors, the D600 and a 6D respectively. It was down to Sony to put a full-frame sensor in a compact: the RX1.

As for social photography, that's gone a lot further than Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. It's gone further than wi-fi enabled cameras, too. We've now got 'smartcameras', thanks to Nikon and Samsung. They won't be the only ones.

I'm not going to say that 2012 was an exciting year for photography. Photography is always exciting. But these are the headlines.


The new year always brings a flurry of photographic announcements when pretty and shiny new toys are announced at CES in Las Vegas. This year was no exception; if the compact camera is supposed to be dead, manufacturers haven't read that memo yet. Fujifilm unveiled 27 (yes, really, 27) new compacts, as well as a gaggle from Olympus, quite a few from Sony, a couple from Canon, and one from Pentax. There was, however, at least one big-hitter, with the Nikon D4 making its appearance, and not forgetting the Canon G1 X and the Fujifilm X-Pro1, either.

Meanwhile, the Intergoogles went dark to protest about the proposed SOPA legislation, Google axed online editing suite Picnik, things looked very grim for Kodak with the prospect of Chapter 11 bunkruptcy proceedings, and we mourned the death of Eve Arnold.


That memo about compact cameras? No, it still hasn't made it to manufacturers: 11 from Canon, ten from Nikon, and two more from Pentax. But, Nikon also brought out the D800, Olympus announced the deliciously retro OM-D, Pentax let the K-01 play in the mirror-less sand-pit, and Canon had some new lenses, too. Oh, and the Japanese authorities made some arrests in the Olympus scandal.


The BBC decided that footage from the Canon C300 makes the grade; Sony re-organised itself to give priority to cameras, and it also annunced the SLT-A57.


Nikon added the D3200 to its entry-level line-up but officially discontinued the D3x; meanwhile Canon brought out the 1D C and the 60Da especially for astro-photography. When it came to mobile photography, Instagram released its much-anticipated Android app and then jumped into bed with Facebook for $1billion a week later, and Triggertrap launched its mobile app.

There were also vague hints at a Flickr revival: first it brought out the new Uploadr, then it announced that Aviary would be its new partner for editing, after Picnik was rained-off.


That potential Flickr revival continued with a few more tweaks that allowed for better control over sizing photos. Adobe Photoshop CS6 was made available, and its subscription service Creative Cloud came with it.

As for new cameras: Pentax's weather-sealed mid-range dSLR, the K-30; rugged cameras from both Olympus and Fujifilm; another SLT (the A37) and a mirror-less (the NEX-F3) from Sony; and some tasty treats from Leica including the M Moncohrom especially for black and white, the X2, and the V-LUX 40.


Argyll and Bute council showed themselves be, what I'm wont to describe as, camera-shy wimps who were intimidated by a nine year old who photographed her school meals. Martha Payne, who recorded her exploits in school lunches on her blog Never Seconds, was told that her behaviour was upsetting the kitchen staff, so she couldn't continue. When the rest of the world found out, there was a bit of a out-cry; Argyll and Bute backed down.

Oh, and Fujifilm announced some new lenses for its X-Pro 1, which given the limited offerings, was much-needed.


The Olympics began. There was an amazing opening ceremony. The world was focused on that, but it was at the end of the month. Before then Canon went through the mill with a sticky lens problem with the S100 and too much vulcanising agent in the grip on its 650D. However, a years of rumours (that's not an exaggeration), it also announced its mirror-less camera, the EOS M. Nikon brought out its huge 800mm lens and Fujifilm discontinued Velvia 100F and 50.

Flickr users banded together to ask new CEO Marissa Mayer to 'make Flickr awesome again,' and I wondered if there's an ugly truth lurking beneath our beautiful cameras.


I spent August glued to the Olympics and the wonderful images it produced. I could say that was all that interested me, but towards the end of the month, things started to ramp up in anticipation of Photokina. Nikon upgraded its 1 Series J1 to a J2, although I wasn't quite sure what the upgrade really comprised. Olympus announced that it was developing a new top-end camera, so the rumour mill started up almost immediately. There were more new camera announcements from Nikon, including the S800c, which is on an Android platform. There was also the C300 from Canon, the Pentax X-5 bridge camera, and the Sony NEX-5R.

Canon celebrated the production of 80 million EF lenses, Getty Images was sold to the Carlyle Group for $3.3 billion, and I took a look at the overall state of the camera market.


Ehm... Photokina, anyone? Four new cameras from Canon, including the full-frame 6D and the pocket-rocket S110; Fujifilm's gorgeous XF1 was star of the show; five new cameras from Leica; the new Spark from Lensbaby; the D600 from Nikon; four new lenses and three new cameras from Olympus; an update to the Pentax K-5; Panasonic's GH3; new lenses from Samsung, Samyang, Sigma, and Tamron; and from Sony the full-frame flagship translucent mirror SLT-A99, the full-frame compact the RX1, and the NEX-6.

Otherwise: Smugmug announced a huge subscription fee increase that left quite a few people a little bit upset.


Everyone took a breather after Photokina, except for Nikon that turned the V1 into the V2 and Joby, which warned consumers about the perils of fake Gorillapods.


Nikon brought out the D5200, Canon set free some new lenses, Adobe updated Photoshop Touch, Triggertrap Mobile was upgraded to allow wireless functionality, and Jordi Ruiz Cirera won the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.


Apart from a major update to Photoshop, including Retina display compatibility, December was entirely dominated by mobile photography news. There was the minor problem with the Instagram terms of service, awesome editing app Snapseed was made available for Android phones, Twitter and Instagram had a barney, and that Flickr renaissance continued with a much-needed new iOS app and free Pro-subscription for three months for all users.

And 2013?

We're going to be seeing more large-scale sensors in small-form cameras; there's going to be a concerted push towards social photography integration in 'traditional' camera devices; and there will be an increased delineation between dSLR manufacturers and mirror-less camera manufacturers.

Finally, I wish you a healthy, peaceful, and prosperous year ahead.

All images © Daniela Bowker 2012. (Yes, they're my favourites of 2012.)