The Collectives You Should Meet

My story about Sony Kando Trip 2.0 and the Alpha Collective I met there was just published on Digital Photo Pro. The collective is a group of immensely talented photographers playing the Instagram game just like us older players did with blogging.

Another fav photo from #SonyKandoTrip is me interviewing Aach Allia for DigitalPhotoPro on a low rent set, like where are the ferns?

I interviewed six collectives, two artisans, and one cyclist.  If you get the opportunity, I’d encourage you to hang out with them at a future event. At the least, follow them on Instagram. 

Sigma: The wait is over. Shop e-mount primes.

So what was it like hanging out with creatives half my age that are twice as talented and with seemingly endless resources available to them?

It was what Kando is all about, being wowed.

There’s much wow when you shoot with a 500mm f/4.

Seriously, this is the most energized group of creatives I’ve hung out with since the salad days of blogging and walked the halls of SXSW when Web 2.0 was a hot conference topic. 

What you need to know is, where GenX (me) hustled the web, blogging, and to some extent YouTube, these Instagrammers are hustling an algorithm and with great success. The collective (artisans too) are immensely talented photographers shooting with Sony kit.

And, while their means to success is different than ours was, they are doing great.

As a parent of a millennial I was worried that they were just couch surfing and not earning enough to pay a cell phone bill. I resisted offering any Dad advice and just listened to their take on a career.

They’re doing great.

I asked them:

  1. How did you get into photography?
  2. What’s your fav destination you’ve photographed?
  3. What’s something about you people don’t know?
  4. How has Sony wowed you?

For their responses, click through and I’ll write about Kamran on my cycling lifestyle outlet, Bike Hugger. He’s not a collective member or an artisan. Instead, a fascinating character who got a camera to take photos of his native Pakistan to show it to his classmates while studying in Berlin.

What he wanted me to know is he’s not an extraordinary person but someone in a pressure cooker for too long who had to get out.

So he decided to go on a bike journey and take a Sony camera with him.

I sit on the edge of a canyon under the moonlight and marvel at the twinkling stars. It is hard to believe that we all are made of stardust and long before we were born as humans, we existed as lifeless matter at the heart of a star. How long did it take for the stardust to eventually become an individual human being? Isn’t life a miracle? They say we are truly the children of stars. Perhaps that’s why we feel lost on earth and try to find clues about our origin and future in stars. Are we alone? Scientist say that the odds that we are the only advanced species in our Milky Way galaxy are one to 60 Billion. What would the other civilisations look like? Will love, hate, jealousy, greed, and ego exist everywhere else too? The moon shines on my tent and in silence, I try to listen to the breath of glowing stars far away as if I am making sure they are still alive. One day we might return and become stardust again and twinkle like one of those stars. So what can we do with this life while we are here on earth? Be happy? Achieve our potential? Fight and kill others to defend our ideologies? Or, just wait to be reunited with the sky? While I marvel at the sky, what are the odds that someone on a remote planet is camping under the stars and while looking at the sky wondering about the same questions? —— I took this picture an hour ago in the moonlight and I am posting it from my tent. EXIF: Sony Alpha 7sII with Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM. ISO 3200, f/4, 4 sec. #Desert #NightSky #MoonLight #Nevada #US #Cycling #Tent #SonyAlpha #SonyAlpha7sII #SonyAlphaMexico #Stars #StevensBikes #PinionDriveTechnology #GatesCarbonDrive #Ortlieb #bikewander #cycling #bicycletouring #worldontwowheels

A post shared by Kamran on Bike (@kamranonbike) on

That’s a relatable story.

My daily shooter is Sony a9 with a vertical grip and various Sigma lenses attached like the 14mm 1.4 Art. Find more gear recommendations in our shop.