A newbie’s impression of this unique blogging platform.

If you’re like me, you have an on-and-off relationship with blogging. I’ve been blogging since I first gained access to the internet when I was 17, but I’ve taken long breaks between. I’m hoping Medium is where I finally settle down.

I love the concept. It’s not about how many followers you have, like Instagram and Twitter, or how clickbaity you can be, like YouTube. You simply get rewarded for writing well. That’s what really grabbed me.

Medium makes me feel less like a blogger and more like a writer. I’m much more passionate about words than I’ve ever been…


How to organise your phone for productivity, not distraction.

Firstly, let me just say that phones are great. They get a bad wrap these days, but they’re crucial to digital productivity. It’s the swiss army knife of today’s world. The fact that you can have a computer in your pocket is amazing.

Of course, on the other side of that coin is the struggle of addiction. Maybe it’s time for you to have a spring clean and change your mobile habits.

Achieving minimalism on your phone has a bunch of benefits. The main one being you’re no longer a slave to it, scrolling and tapping like a zombie.

1. Bland Design

Make…


An inside look into the life of people who love to walk.

Image by author.

I’ve always grown up walking. Mum never learned how to drive, nor did we know anyone who owned a car. We walked anywhere and everywhere.

We walked to school and back each day. We walked to the supermarket and carried a full week’s shopping back up the hill we lived on top of. If we wanted to go to the local lighthouse, we had to walk hours through countryside lanes to get there.

During lunchtimes in high school, I would walk along the edge of the premises, circling the land. I felt restless and just had to move.

Now that…


Miranda 28mm 2.8, Yashinon-DS 50mm 1.9 and Vivitar 135mm 2.8. Image by author.

My mistake of thinking a £2,000 lens is better than a £20 one.

You may have already been in my position at some point. Or maybe you’re going through that stage right now.

You spend years saving up for a beast of a camera, like a Canon 5D Mark iii. Along with that, you must have a range of pro lenses, like the Canon L-series or Sigma Art lenses.

But the law of diminishing returns very much applies to camera gear. We spend a lot of money for just a small increase in quality.

I spent years saving up for all of this gear, thinking my photography would be so much better with…


I win most of my matches. Here’s my best advice.

Screenshot from a Battle Royale match.

I remember playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in high school. And since then, I haven’t stopped. You can imagine my excitement when they announced a mobile version.

Like many, I was skeptical; worried that it wouldn’t live up to the heist or be nowhere near as good as the console game. But it turned out to be a fantastic experience. I’ve played it nearly every day since the releases.

With that addiction came a lot of mistakes being made, and lessons learned. …


And why the rest of the British Isles hasn’t.

It was a regular morning. I hobbled down to the kitchen in my dressing gown and popped the kettle one. While it was boiling, I casually checked BBC News for any updates. Well, you’ll never guess what I read!

Isle of Man has decided to end their lockdown and go back to normal. Not a new normal: the old normal we all miss.

Face masks don’t have to be worn in public places. No more staying 2 metres apart. Households can mix. All shops are open for business. Madness.

This self-governing island has been a shining example for all of…


The mindset and strategies that give you the edge.

Pack of cards, spread out. Image by author.

My grandmother taught me how to play Gin when I was in high school. She taught me a lot of other card games too, but I always wanted to play Gin.

There’s a real thrill to it. Not knowing how far along your opponent is; deciding what cards to sacrifice; and, of course, deciding when to knock.

I don’t wish to brag, but I win almost all the games I play. I long for that excitement again. Here it is: my best advice.

Play the Player, Not the Game

This is what really separates the pros from the amateurs. If you know what type of player…


No-one is stealing your work. Stop putting your signature on it.

An old Fujifilm camera. Image by author.

Theft

Let’s address the elephant in the room. The most common reason I hear for people adding watermarks is that they’re scared others will steal their work.

I can understand that, but let’s be honest and rational about it. No-one’s stealing your photos. In the nicest way possible, you’re not special. You’re just one photographer amongst a million others. Get over yourself and stop defacing your images with watermarks.


Should you sell your work for small commissions?

A 2020 view of my Shutterstock earnings.

I’ve been submitting consistently to Shutterstock for a year now. Here are some of the stats:

Altogether, I’ve had 717 image sales and 1 video sale, making a total $307 (£224) so far. I have 815 images and 10 video clips in my portfolio.

YouTuber Andrew Balcome has been on Shutterstock for 4 years and has made a total of $3,440 (£2,509). Out of the 10 agencies he submits to, Shutterstock is by far his biggest earner.

I’m sure from those numbers alone, you’re able to make your own decision on whether Shutterstock is worth your time. …


There’s very little information out there about this lens. Forums seem to ask more questions than they answer, and I can’t find any sample photos.

It’s an unpopular focal length. Photographers typically either want the comfort of a 135mm or to make the ambitious jump to 300mm. The 200mm focal length can be seen as an awkward middle, like how the 85mm is awkwardly placed between the popular 50mm and 135mm.

This was actually an impulse purchase. I spotted it on eBay for just £20. At that price, the curiosity got the better of me. …

Gareth Willey

Optimist | Minimalist | Photographer | Walker

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