How I Instagram


(This is my daughter at Lake Naivasha at sunrise)

Enough people have asked me about how I Instagram that I thought it might be worth creating a post on it. I take a lot of pictures as I travel as it gives me something to do along the way, so there are a lot of pictures in my stream from all over the world. I’m a hobbyist, with no pretensions of being a pro.

You can find me at @White_African on Instagram.

I’m starting a tag game with this, now hitting @Truthslinger with #HowIInstagram to see how he does it.

Hardware

iPhone only (I’m on an iPhone 5 these days). I’d guess that 80% of my shots are taken with just the camera and no extra hardware. However, sometimes I mod it with the following items.

These are the hardware mods that I use for iPhone Instagramming: Olloclip + Lifeproof + Joby

These are the hardware mods that I use for iPhone Instagramming: Olloclip + Lifeproof + Joby

An Olloclip lens ($70): which gives me a wide-angle, fisheye and macro-lens all in a small form that I can fit in my pocket. It’s fantastic. Here are 3 examples of it.

Olloclip macro

Olloclip fisheye

Olloclip wide

Underwater Lifeproof case: I don’t have this on all the time, only when I’m specifically going out for underwater or am in a boat taking crazy angle shots. Another great add-on that let’s you take some cool shots.

Lifefproof underwater

Joby GripTight Microstand (Tripod) ($30): I hardly ever use it, but when taking some macro pictures it comes in very useful as I just can’t hold my hand steady enough to get the shot.

Something I’d like to get is a good telephoto lens for the iPhone.

Software

Camera+ ($1.99): This is my most basic quick-edit app, since I can do multiple shots quickly and it does a good job with clarity and quick filters. I tend to tone down most of the filter choices.

Snapseed (free): When I really want to edit an image, a special one that needs a lot of extra attention to detail, I use Snapseed. If you’re an Android user, they have it for you as well.

ProHDR ($1.99): I like color, so to really make colors pop I’ll use an ProHDR to do it properly. A lot of good in-app controls. My favorite picture from last year was taken with it:


(A tree in a park in Camden, Maine during the Fall)

Over ($1.99): If you like to put text over your images, there is no better iPhone app for it than Over. Many awards and also made by my friend @AaronMarshall.

Other apps that I use either randomly or rarely:

  • NoIMGdata ($0.99): wipe all the sensitive EXIF data from the picture for privacy
  • SlowShutter ($0.99): a great app for light trails or low light
  • Reduce ($1.99): for when the image size needs to be smaller

10 of my favorite shots


(Boats near the harbor in Camden, Maine)


(Making sun tea in Diani, Kenya coast)


(A quiet pool and shady trees in rural England)


(At Yale University, USA)


(Mark and Tosh relaxing on Diani Beach, Kenya)


(The iHub team at Diani Beach, Kenya)


(Satellite, the only way to get internet at a ranch near Tsavo, Kenya)


(Emmanuel doing a summersault off a dhow near Lamu, Kenya)


(Olloclip macro lens on a burning candle)


(Jumpshot at Strathmore high school, Kenya)

The Kenya365 Project

In September 2012, we started a #Kenya365 project for anyone in Kenya to take a picture a day and tag it with that hashtag. The amazing @Truthslinger runs it, and we have weekly themes that he sets up. Take a look to see some great shots from around Kenya, and join in. The only rule is that you can only tag one picture per day with #Kenya365 on it.

A Job Board Aimed at African Devs and Designers

This week I launched a little side project: JOBS.whiteafrican.com I think of it as a place to connect freelancers and small teams with gigs and project work in the African tech sphere.

I’ve been getting a number of emails lately asking me connect people in the US, Europe or large organizations in Africa with local (as in “in-Africa”) talent. They’re usually interested in finding a knowledgeable designer, a good blogger or editor, and I’ve had quite a few people ask me to put them in touch with programmers.

The White African Job Board

At this time, it’s a simple and free place to post jobs for African technology professionals. So, what I’m really looking forward to seeing are opportunities listed specifically for people in Africa. That last bit is important, it’s for African devs, designers and bloggers.

A lot of these might be for short-term gigs and volunteer opportunities, but who knows… It’s a little bit of an experiment, so no promises on my part. If it proves popular and useful I’ll keep it around. Oh, I have the final say on what jobs go live too, so be forewarned. Think of me as the curator and friendly job board dictator… :)

Make sure you grab the news feed, so you don’t have to keep coming back to see what’s new. Take a look at the tips page – think about how you’ll deal with project scope, as well as how to pay, or be paid.

Real Job Boards Around Africa

Unlike my little project solely focused on technologists, there are some real job boards around the continent that are worth keeping in mind. Here are a couple of them (leave links others that I missed in the comments area):

Kazinow
Find a Job in Africa
Job Space – South Africa
Best Jobs – South Africa
Zebra Jobs
Sama Source – Outsourcing to Africa

Further Thoughts on Outsourcing Tech Work to Africa

It’s an encouraging sign that there are a lot of people interested in finding local African talent. What I’ve found in my travels, and in talking to technologists around the continent, is that though there are more devs and designers each year, the number of top quality ones available for work are few.

One cautionary piece of advice though… and it pains me to say this. A few of the African developers that I have come across are not time-conscious and they can come across like their client/project is not as important to them as you would find in their counterparts in the West. Of course, this means if you are timely and fulfill your responsibilities you will find clients lined up 10 deep to get to you – you’re a rare commodity.

African developers are quickly going to learn that they’re on the global stage now, and there’s nothing stopping their clients from switching to someone more reliable, even if it’s a country or continent away.

The good news is that of the many devs I’ve met, many are as good as any you’ll find anywhere else in the world. A few of them are on par with the best I’ve come across anywhere.

A related initiative

There is also an initiative called Coded in Country focused on getting programming work done within the countries that the applications and products are meant for. Keep an eye on it, and pitch in as/where you can.