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Toronto’s Periscope Meetup

Toronto’s Periscope Meetup Is Here!

For those of you who are on Periscope and live in the Greater Toronto Area, this is your chance to come out and meet everybody else! I’m excited to announce that Saturday October 10, 2015 will be the Toronto Periscope Meetup day!

A meetup for Periscope users

A meetup for Periscope users

Read below for your two options in coming to Toronto’s First Periscope Meetup.

Meetup 1: #PeriLostInToronto

For those of you who want to have a little fun on the meetup day, Meetup 1 is for you!

As the title says, anybody participating in this meetup will be lost in Toronto. The goal of each scoper is to find another scoper with the help of their viewers. Viewers will be able to pop in and out of all of our scopes and guide us to other scopers.

As a scoper that is lost in Toronto, you are free to scope your surroundings and let people know where you are, and where you’re heading. You can’t go into another scoper’s scope to find out where they are. Well, you could, but that wouldn’t be fun now would it.

To participate in this meetup, here’s what you need to do:

  1. 11:00am, arrive anywhere within the boundaries. See the map below for the boundaries.
  2. Start your broadcast with #PeriLostInToronto somewhere in your title.
  3. Explain what you are doing to your fellow viewers so they know to help you out.
  4. Start walking and talking on the streets of Toronto and hope you’ll find someone!

Viewers can search for other participants on Twitter with the #PeriLostInToronto hashtag. Or, if they follow the participants, they will get the notifications in their feed.

I will create an ad with all of the participants usernames on them so we can tweet it out and share it on FB or wherever.

After everybody finds each other, we can walk for a bit and head on over to Meetup 2!

Peri Lost In Toronto

The boundaries of where we should be within for Meetup 1: South of Bloor, West of Yonge, North of Front, East of Spadina.

Please let me know in the comments below if you are interested in Meetup 1, as I will put your name on the ad to tweet out.

Meetup 2: Lunch

This meetup is for those of you who do not wish to participate in Meetup 1, but would still like to meet everybody.

I will reserve a table so we can have lunch, mingle with each other, and have a good time.

Here are the details for Meetup 2:

3 Brewers
275 Yonge St. (Just south of Yonge-Dundas Square)
12:45pm, reservation will be under “Periscope”

Google Map

I will need a headcount in order to reserve a table, so please comment below and let me know if you plan to have lunch with us.



A Toronto Periscope Meetup

A Toronto Periscope Meetup

Coloured messages

If you’re following me on Periscope, you would have seen this earlier today where I visited the Ontario’s Celebration Zone at harbourfront. It’s one of the main zones during the Pan Am Games and still is, even though the Pan Am Games has finished.

Nikon D800, 1/500 sec., f/6.3, ISO 200, 24mm

Nikon D800, 1/500 sec., f/6.3, ISO 200, 24mm

This great wall of tags is comprised of plastic tags with messages to the Pan American Games’ atheletes, written by fellow supporters. It’s a great way to support our local athletes, in addition to creating a colourful piece of artwork.

It also makes for a great photography backdrop, as you can see here. I love how there’s only one person here amongst the myriad of colours. It’s a fun place to photograph for sure no matter which angle you confront it from. A closeup angle will also produce some equally interesting results.

When you see unique things like this around you, don’t be shy and take lots of photos of it from different angles to get a feel for the subject matter. Typically if you include a person within the frame, it acts as a great reference to the subject, further adding interest to the photo.

Who I like to follow on Periscope

Periscope for Android devices just came out yesterday, so it’s only a matter of time that the app gets inundated with more broadcasters doing interesting (and not-so-interesting) things. This list was a long-time coming, and since I broadcasted it out yesterday, I’ve had some requests to put it online, so here it is! It’s changed considerably since my last followers post, which you can read here, so hopefully you’ll find more new people to follow here.

Who I follow on Periscope

Who I follow on Periscope

Keep in mind that these are people that I follow that broadcast on a regular basis. I did not include those that I follow that do not broadcast. Their usernames are written below, with their real names written in brackets if it’s hard to figure out.

To follow any one of these people, simply go to the Peoples tab (bottom right), then click on the magnifying glass (top left), and enter their usernames, and select the person that seems to be the most active amongst the list!

I may have inadvertently omitted users on this list, so feel free to comment below with your favourite Periscopers too!

@Smaku (that’s me—I Periscope photography tips and Toronto tours)

Information-Based Periscopers

@AlexPettitt

@CathyHackl

@Kayvon (Co-founder of Periscope)

@MarkShaw

@RobertCStern

@MarkKaye

@Sacca (Chris Sacca)

Happy People / Motivational Speakers

@1AlexKhan

@1Justice4All

@AlexaRoseCarlin

@Jaylives1 (Jay Howard)

Artists & Entertainers

@Alicyn (Voice over actress/singer)

@LovelyPrevin (Musician)

@AmandaOleander (Painter/illustrator)

@JasonStolken (Comedian)

@JonErlichman

@PeriscopePuppet

@Rajacenna (Illustrator)

@Skorstar

@TiffWidjaja (Musician)

@TomGreenLive

@Yonatanmonster (Musicians)

Photographers

@500px

@AmoreVitaPhotos (Julia Beckmann)

@AshleyGoodwin

@ChaseJarvis

@ColeRise

@CoffeeGatherings (Razlyn)

@DanRubin

@FireTheCanon (Amanda Stevens)

@FrameableFaces

@FStoppers

@HollyParkerrr

@JasmineStar

@JeremyCowart

@JoeMcNallyPhoto

@Joeyldotcom

@KatelynJames

@KelbyOne

@MDickensPhoto (Meredith)

@ScottKelby

@TreyRatcliff

@ZachandJody

City Tours

@BaseGiulioBase

@ChantalTV

@ClaireWad

@Euromaestro

@Kanji_k

@PenguinSix

@TigerwonNYC

Happy People

@AskTere (Teresa)

@BradmanTV

@Cmdr_Hadfield (Chris Hadfield)

@DavidJBushell

@FoodPr0n (Jen Chan)

@HelloColie (Ashley Nicole)

@IamDaniBeck

@JennValentyne

@KevinFrankish

@LisaAppleton76

@ReneRedzepiNoma

@Rssuen (Renée)

@ScopeForGood (doing some good deeds with Periscopes)

Harbourfront walk

I took a morning stroll today by the harbourfront, giving my Periscope viewers a small glimpse of Toronto. While I didn’t have a chance to take any pictures from the stroll, I leave you with these photos that I had taken and posted a while ago. These are taken from all the places that I walked to this morning, but were taken during the summer sunset hours.

You can see the Periscope broadcast until Saturday morning by downloading the Periscope app on your iOS device. If you missed it, here are some photos that I took in the past, that give you a good idea of what Toronto’s harbourfront is all about.

DSC_1904-Edit

The boardwalk

The multi-level boardwalk is a great playground for kids of all ages. No skateboarding or bikes allowed on the elevated areas as they are blocked off by the railing.

DSC_1927-Edit

The WestJet stage

This stage houses many concerts, film screenings, and other events during the busy summer weekends.

DSC_1934

The harbourfront marina

While empty during the winter months, the marina is packed with all the boats waiting to get out there on the weekends.

DSC_1911-Edit

The pedestrian bridge

The bridge connects Harbourfront Square to the other side, where Amsterdam Brewery is located.

Yellow Umbrella

I didn’t have a photo of the entire H20 Beach, which is where I went, so I will end off with a photo of the $11, 565 umbrellas that were scattered all over the beach. Yes, that’s how much each of these umbrellas cost!

5 Ways Instagram has taught me to be a better Periscope user

For those of you who have been following me, you may know that I have always been on Instagram from its early stages in life. I’m active on the app and enjoy the thriving community of like-minded individuals. It’s not only a great place to look at pretty pictures, but is also a great place to find inspiration and chat with other photographers.

Instagram Account @smaku

Instagram Account @smaku

Ever since Periscope came along on March 26, 2015, it has changed how much time I put into Instagram—and that’s saying a lot coming from a photographer! Although it took me an entire month to start broadcasting myself, I now enjoy a healthy list of loyal followers and new ones that pop in and out to see what I’m up to.

Periscope Account @smaku

Periscope Account @smaku

This blog post details some important points that I have used over on Instagram, to better myself as a user on Periscope. Keep in mind though, that these points are in no way limited to just these two outlets. If you incorporate these points to other social media outlets like Twitter or Pinterest, you will more than likely be able to enjoy the experience there more as well. For this post, however, I will compare these points as it relates to Instagram and Periscope.

Social media is based around a sense of global community amongst its users. If you play well within these communities, your experience will be that much more rewarding.

  1. Be consistent (with your content and across outlets)

    • Instagram: Posting a consistent type of photo plays to your advantage because people will know what your feed is all about. They will come back to your feed because they like what they see, and expect to see similar things in the future. If your photos are all over the place in terms of style and content (much like how mine was in my earlier years), it makes it harder for people to get to know you, and hence follow you.
    • Periscope: Similarly, people like to come back to your broadcasts because they enjoy and expect the same type of content from you. Why do we like Claire Waddington‘s (@clairewad) broadcasts? Because we enjoy her walking tours of Paris. Why do we like Mark Shaw (@markshaw)? Because we know every time he broadcasts, he will give us his straight-to-the-point, no fuss tips on how to better use Periscope and Twitter.
    • To even further your online brand, be consistent from one social media platform to the next, in terms of what you upload. All of these social media outlets build up to be your online image, so it is important that you get the right message across all mediums.
  2. Engage with followers

    • Instagram: Go on other people’s feeds, like their photos and comment on their photos to let them know you like what you see. Start conversations to build relationships with other users. This sense of community will make you feel more involved within the app itself and make for a more meaningful experience.
    • Periscope: Go on other people’s broadcasts and comment on what they are broadcasting about. Don’t just say “hello!” but bring in meaningful comments that add value to the broadcaster and other viewers. Broadcasters are waiting to “converse” with their viewers so take advantage of this. This will build better relationships with your followers and it will be much more meaningful for you as a broadcaster.
  3. Acknowledge people’s efforts

    • Instagram: Like other people’s photos to let them know you appreciate what they’re uploading. Going along with Point 2, when you engage with the uploader and like their photos, they may be more inclined to visit your stream and like yours too. This is all part of building relationships with your followers.
    • Periscope: Give the broadcaster hearts to let them know that you appreciate what they are broadcasting about. This is a great motivator for the broadcaster to continue doing what they are doing on their account. Sharing the broadcast is the one thing unique with Periscope, and is a great way to support the broadcaster by increasing their exposure to others who do not follow them.
  4. Upload on a consistent basis

    • Instagram: Upload on a regular basis so your followers don’t forget about you and your style of photography. This way, whenever they see your style, they will recognize it is from you. You’ll be more recognizable this way.
    • Periscope: Broadcasting on a regular basis allows you to have more exposure with your followers, keeping you at the top of their minds. Broadcasts on Periscope are only available for 24 hours after you save it. If you have nothing in your Recent tab in your account, non-followers who are curious about you will not have a chance to find out what you are all about. By broadcasting on a consistent basis, you’ll always have something in your Recent list, allowing that to market you while you’re offline from the app.
  5. Use hashtags

    • Instagram: Hashtags allow your photo to be seen by your non-followers by performing searches. This is a great way to gain more exposure with minimal amount of work.
    • Periscope: Use hashtags in your titles so your periscopes can be searchable on Twitter, and can be viewed by web-viewers. The key here is to attract as many web-viewers as possible. Why? Chances are, they are viewing this on the web because they don’t have the app on their mobile device. As soon as Periscope for Android comes out, who do you think these Android users will follow? They’ll no doubt search for people who they’ve been watching on the web!

There are no doubt other important lessons to be learned from Instagram and other social media platforms, but these are what I felt were the most transferable, and important for those that seek to get the best experience out of the apps.

If you have more suggestions, please feel free to let me know in the comments below!
You may also visit this center in Arizona if you want to get tips on how to cure and treat alcohol addiction.

Being at the right place at the right time

This is just a precursor of another post to come. I thought I’d share with you a glimpse of what I saw today just because I happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Being at the right place at the right time.

Being at the right place at the right time.

While wandering around the Scarborough Bluffs Park, I was Periscoping the view, showing the world the wonderful view that we have, when all of a sudden I hear loud noises coming from afar. I look to my right only to find a barrage of jet skiers making their way towards the beach area of the Scarborough Bluffs.

It was almost like something out of a movie, and I was in the front row watching everything unfold in front of my eyes. I managed to Periscope the entry, in addition to the jet skiers performing a little show for us above, as they swirled around and around in the waters, making waves and noise.

I managed to shoot many with my Nikon, but for this post, I leave you with one that I got with my iPhone 6 Plus. Another post will follow in the next few days, where I will show you the beauty of the Scarborough Bluffs (again), with all the jet skiers down below.

Checking your app usage on your iPhone

Check your app storage usage to save space

Check your app storage usage to save space

I was looking through my hard drive space usage on my iPhone and noticed something peculiar with one of my apps. Looking through my app listing and going to Periscope, I noticed it was occupying 1gb of space on my iPhone when the app itself is only a mere 14mb to download from the app store.

Periscope using 1GB of storage on my iPhone

Periscope using 1GB of storage on my iPhone

To check your app usage, go to Settings > General > Usage > Manage Storage

So what kind of information was the app saving on my phone? To find out if it saves any downloadable data or documents, I connected my iPhone to my iMac, started iTunes and looked at the Data and Documents section for Periscope, only to find it a blank slate. In other words, the app doesn’t store any downloadable content on your iPhone.

With that being covered, I simply deleted my app, and downloaded it again from the app store. As you can see from the screen cap below, the app now takes 14.8mb of space on my iPhone, as expected.

Periscope app taking only 14mb of storage after a fresh install.

Periscope app taking only 14mb of storage after a fresh install.

Next, I started the Periscope app and loaded all of its tabs to check if anything was astray. Everything looked normal. Looking at the screen cap below, you can now see the app has taken 30mb more space on my iPhone.

Periscope taking about 30mb more space with settings and graphics.

Periscope taking about 30mb more space with settings and graphics.

So what does this prove?

The Periscope app saves all your settings, and apparently lots of information from the saved broadcasts that you view. I remember some time ago that I was surprised I was able to watch saved broadcasts while underground in the Toronto subway system. This would indicate that the saved broadcasts you watch will eventually completely download to your iPhone if you give it enough time. This will inevitably take up some storage space. It just seems like these broadcasts do not delete themselves once you finish watching them.

It would also mean that if you don’t delete the app, it will just keep storing more and more broadcasts to your iPhone, eventually eating up all of your precious hard drive space!

I did this as an exercise to see what this app in particular saves on your iPhone. If you’re running out of space, it may be wise for you to delete and re-install the app to save some much needed space.

Moreover, it may be wise to take a look at your other apps to see whether they do the same thing. Just make sure that you don’t delete any Data and Documents from the apps that save information there, like VSCOcam and other photo editing apps. You can see if they do save data or documents by connecting your iPhone to a computer and looking at the App section within iTunes, and scrolling all the way down to the Data and Documents section.

Cherry Blossoms at High Park

Cherry blossom trees at High Park. (iPhone 6 Plus)

Cherry blossom trees at High Park. (iPhone 6 Plus)

It was an unexpected but pleasant visit today, as I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit the cherry blossoms at High Park today after work. I didn’t have my Nikon with me, so these photos are compliments of my iPhone 6 Plus, edited in Snapseed, and VSCOcam.

It had rained somewhat during the day, making it for a partly cloudy afternoon. I wasn’t sure what to expect and went with low expectations. The best part of going without expecting much is the fact that you’ll be pleasantly surprised no matter what you see.

The crowds were slim to none, which was excellent. People probably thought the same thing about the early afternoon rain and decided to opt out on this evening. Little did they know, the clouds moved away in time for the sun to peak out as it started sinking to the horizon.

To give some people around the world, a glimpse of cherry blossoms, I broadcasted my visit to the world, letting people as far away as Scotland and Columbia see the beauty of these cherry blossoms. Naturally, I gave some tips on how to best shoot these cherry blossom as well. You can read about those tips below.

Closeup of cherry blossoms (iPhone 6 Plus)

Closeup of cherry blossoms (iPhone 6 Plus)

To view the Periscope broadcast, which is only available until about 7pm EST tomorrow, click here! To all others, you’ll just have to admire the beauty of these trees with the iPhone photos I took during my visit.

Quick Tips On Taking Photos of Sakuras

Cherry blossoms only peak for a very short period of time. It is important to be able to catch these blossoms at their peak before the green leaves start to show up, overpowering the subtle beauty of the white and pink flowers.

Try and get up close and personal to get the details of the petals and flowers of the cherry blossoms. These details are attractive to the eye.

Conversely, you can also take an overview shot of the trees and surroundings to show how large the trees and blooming blossoms are. They make for more dramatic scenery, especially when the sakuras are at their full bloom.

These flowers are very fragile, so if precipitation is expected in the forecast, be sure to visit the cherry blossoms before rainfall.

The Ultimate iPhone Periscope Stand

Ever since Apple changed the location of their power input from the top of the iPhone to the bottom, I’ve always been annoyed with this decision. For my day job, I find myself in front of the computer for much of the day. As unhealthy as this may be, it’s what I have to do. Because of this, I’ve always had the tendency to prop my phone on my desk and lean it against the monitor so that I can see any notifications and have instant access to it should I need it. With the change in the input port, I can no longer do this, as the bottom is no longer flat.

As odd as it may seem, it wasn’t until Periscope came out that I found myself even more annoyed that I couldn’t easily prop my iPhone upright…until now, that is! I’ve created the best iPhone stand one could possibly want—especially if you’re an avid Periscope user.

For those of you who have asked me about which stand I use, I’ve created this blog post here to show you how you can have one for yourself too. Oh, did I mention this stand is free?

The Ultimate iPhone Periscope Stand

The Ultimate iPhone Periscope Stand

iPhone Periscope Stand

I’ve always been a fan for great design, so when I took it upon myself to create an iPhone stand, I knew it had to match the pleasing aesthetics of the iPhone itself. With my stand’s sexy curves and sleek, minimalist design, it’s bound to be a hit amongst Apple fans.

Features

  • Weighs a mere 2 grams
  • Made with razor thin 1mm tough industrial-strength paper
  • Comes in two different colours
  • Ideal angle for Periscope viewing and broadcasting
  • Discrete cable cover allowing you to charge as you broadcast
  • Works in both portrait and landscape mode (future-proofing for when Periscope adds this feature)
Stand in action

Stand in action

Instructions

Follow these instructions for your very own iPhone Periscope Stand.

What you will need:

  • Toilet paper roll
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissor

Step 1:

Obtain a toilet paper roll of the colour of your choosing.

Step 2:

Looking at the roll straight on, mark a small tick at the base of the roll. This will act as your centre point, as seen from the profile view. We’ll call this view the Profile Centred View (PCV).

Step 1: Mark the Profile Centred View

Step 2: Mark the Profile Centred View

Drawing the cut lines in profile view

Step 3:

From the PCV, go to the right edge of the roll, measure 1cm inward, and 4.5cm upward from the base of the roll, and place a tick mark there with your pencil. Draw a horizontal line from this tick mark to the right edge of the roll, as you see it from the PCV. This 4.5cm height is the ideal height to prevent the cable from bending and possibly breaking internal wires.

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4:

From that tick mark, draw a 1cm straight line downward.

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5:

From that point, draw a 1cm horizontal line inward. Note, this 1cm will determine how snug you would like your iPhone to fit in the stand. With my current case, the 1cm is a nice fit to keep my iPhone from moving around. If you don’t have a case on your iPhone, a snug fit will be:

  • 6.9mm for the iPhone 6
  • 7.1mm for the iPhone 6 plus
  • 7.6mm for the iPhone 5/5s
Step 4

Step 5

Step 6:

From the last point, measure 1.5cm further inward. Then move up all the way to the top of the roll, and place a tick mark.

Step 5: Mark the top

Step 6: Mark the top

Step 7:

From this tick mark on top, draw a diagonal line to the last point you marked in Step 5, the depth of your iPhone. This line indicates the angle at which your iPhone will be perched on your stand.

Step 6

Step 7

This marks the completion of the profile cut lines as you see from the PCV.

Step 8:

Using scissors, cut along the lines that you drew. When you come to the far right edge of the roll, stop cutting once you hit the edge, as you see it from the PCV. One half of your roll should now be cut.

Step 8

Step 8

Cutting the other side of the roll

Step 9:

Still looking from the PCV, turn the roll 90 degrees so that the top of the roll is now facing you. Mirror the cutting point on the bottom half of the roll, on to the top side of the roll and place a small cut to mark its location.

Step 9

Step 9

Step 10:

Turn the roll back to PCV. Continuing from the cut you made at the far right edge of the roll in Step 8, cut along straight to the same point on the other side, as you see it from the PCV. This is why the centre mark you created in Step 2 is so important. Now just follow along the profile view cut lines, and as your last step, cut diagonally to the small tick mark you made at the top of the roll in Step 9.

iPhone Periscope Stand

Step 10

Cutting the cord outlet

Step 11:

Starting from the PCV, turn the roll 90 degrees to the right to face the back of your stand. Make sure your view is now centred from the back of the stand.

Step 12:

The cord cover is 1cm wide, at the base of the roll, at the centre, measure out 0.5cm on either side, and cut 1cm upward.

Step 11

Step 12

Congratulations, you now have your very own iPhone Periscope Stand!

Additional Notes

When the stand is not in use, it can also act as a cable wrapper so you don’t have cables cluttering your desk.

Stand acts as a handy cable wrapper

Stand acts as a handy cable wrapper

The iPhone Periscope Stand is also future-proof, as it can also be used in landscape mode, for when this functionality is implemented.

Also compatible in landscape mode!

Also compatible in landscape mode!


If you like this stand, please feel free to comment below and let me know. If you think you can improve upon it, feel free to let me know as well.

iPhone 6 Plus without case on an upgraded model with home button clearance

iPhone 6 Plus without case on an upgraded model with home button clearance

Back of stand with discrete cable cover

Back of stand with discrete cable cover

Profile view showing ideal Periscoping angle

Profile view showing ideal Periscoping angle

Stand in action

Stand in action