Beyond The Lens: Colby Brown


This past weekend, in between our busy schedules some how me and Colby Brown where able to sit down together for another interview. He was the first Photographer I’ve interviewed for Beyond The Lens so our talks are a little more interesting. For those of you who have been living under a rock Colby pretty much is the ambassador on Google+ for both Photography as well as Android. He spear headed Behind The Lens Critique a group in which Photographers put their work on the “Chopping Block” and ask for critique. He also is the man behind the Android Photography page as well.


For what turned out to be yet another great interview, here you go.


1. So last time we did this interview couple months ago, you where around 15k followers on Google+ now you are north of 1,333,000 at the time of writing this, how does it feel to just blow up like that, and what do you think it was from?



It is amazing what can happen in five months isn’t it? Haha. The majority of those followers came after Google recognized the hard work I was putting into helping to develop the photography community on the network which came way of being added to the Suggested User List. On top of that I have have been a vocal advocate for Android (A rarity in the Photography world) as well as spearheaded a few large G+ groups like the Behind the Lens: Photo Critiquing Group, which you are a part of. When you mix these factors together you begin to understand my growth on Google+.






2. Doing so many things like your project The Given Lens and a newish born, besides your photography you are already doing, how are you able to juggle it all and still stay so active on Google+ ?



Time management is always a challenge with any entrepreneur. Currently I run three photography business that are growing at massive rates and as you said, have an 8 month old. The biggest key to managing all this is having a loving and supporting wife. Without Sarah, I don’t think I would be able to make all this happen.






3.Also, do you mind talking a little about how The Given Lens got started, and about it so more people can know about it



I originally came up with the idea of The Giving Lens three years ago. However at the time it was simply the plan to find a way for photographers to give back in meaningful ways to the communities we work in around the world. However it wasn’t until nearly 12 months ago that TGL came into its own in its current state, which is a blend of photo education and supporting sustainable development initiatives all over the globe. This year we are hosting five photography trips in various countries around the globe (Peru, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Jordan and Israel/Palestine). Each trip is supporting a NGO organization in each respective country that deal with a variety of causes. This year we are fighting for child education, women’s rights, youth development programs and cultural understanding. In 2013 we are expanding into another 8 locations. Our trips give people the opportunity to expanding their knowledge of photography while giving back in meaningful ways to those in need. 60%-70% of the proceeds of each trip is given to the NGO’s we connect with, allowing us to effectively fundraise on a large scale for each of these causes.


I am stoked to see TGL take off as quickly and dramatically as it has. By 2014 we will have grown by nearly 400%, which will give us the opportunity to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for various causes around the world.






4. Last time you also had a Droid 3 that was freshly rooted, you are now rocking a Galaxy Nexus and Transformer Prime if I’m correct, how are you liking them. Seeing how you left the iPhone because you couldn’t use it how you’d like, this why you didn’t get the iPhone4s on Verizon?



You are right, currently I am using the Galaxy Nexus and the Transformer Prime tablet. While I enjoy Apple laptops and desktop systems, I was never a huge fan of IOS…mostly because of its limitations of expandable storage and USB host support. I am a guy that likes to tinker with my gadgets and I never felt I had much power to do so with my iphone or ipad. These days Android fits my needs as a professional photographer.






5. You started the Android Photograph page on Google+ how do you think that’s going, from both the photos and participation from the start to now. And yet again more projects you are working on.



I think the group has a lot of potential. I originally created the page in an attempt to give Android users a voice to offer feedback to Google. In the past I have worked work the Android team to help them improve their photography and camera applications and I saw this as an opportunity to bridge those two together. I haven’t had much time to run the page, but hopefully soon that will change and I will be able to rally the Android photo community to play a role in helping to improve the camera apps we all enjoy.





6. With the recent upgrade to the iPad and the ability to edit photos a lot more, have you edit any photos yet on your tablet, if so what program as well as the pros/cons of the app(s)



I have been very happy with the Asus Transformer Prime. In general I think we are still a few years away from a tablet offering any serious editing capabilities. I currently own an 11″ Macbook Air that I bought with the intention of photo editing on the road, but usually never get around to actually editing while traveling. I typically leave any serious editing to my system at home with two color calibrated 24″ IPS monitors. I do however do a few basic edits of my images in order to share some of my images on the various social networks I have a presence on, in an effort to stay connected to my followers. For that, Photoshop Touch has been great and I am eagerly awaiting the release of Nik Software’s Snapspeed. With the amazing battery life of the Transformer Prime (4x that of my MBA) and the fact that it has USB host support so I can back up my images to a HD while on the road, it is the perfect travel tool.






7. You and Scott Jarvie months ago where going at it during a Hangout on Google+ about followers where he mentioned since he was at 35k at the time, you around 20 that you’ll never catch him, how do you think he feels now about that statement?



Haha. Well Scott Jarvie has done a pretty good job of building a solid following on the network himself. The fact that I am on the SUL or that the SUL exists at all is always a hot topic for some. Regardless of me being on t


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