BarCamp Vancouver 2008

I spent most of yesterday on Granville Island at BarCamp 2008 and it was a blast.
Things actually started off Friday night at WorkSpace for the opening night party and then up bright and early for the actual ‘unconference’ on Saturday.

This year, I helped organize PhotoCamp which is one of the few pre-determined ‘tracks’ (the other being WordCamp). BarCamp is meant to be an adhoc-like conference where the sessions are proposed by whomever shows up on the day, not weeks in advance. Photo (and Word) Camps require a little more prep since it’s not just an open talk but the idea behind all of them is that the participants shape the conversations.

photo by Peter Andersen
Photo by Peter Andersen

I ended up giving a talk in the morning about jailbreaking the iPhone 3G (why you might want to do this, what’s involved, etc) which was well attended and seems to have been well received. You can get the apps to jailbreak your 3G here as well as to unlock your 1st gen iPhone.

Then I headed to check out the remaining portions of WordCamp and ended up giving a talk (more of an overview) of the FAlbum plugin I use on this site to share my Flickr photos.

Derek K. Miller started things off by explaining a number of digital photography concepts using his collection of film cameras and referencing his excellent cameraworks series of blog posts on the topic.

Next up was Tris Hussey who discussed some of the online photo editing services like Picnik.
New 35mm Holga & Ringflash
Another session I led was about plastic/toy cameras and Elizabeth showed some of her cameras and photos she took with them along with mine.

Then Cameron Cavers and I talked about lens adaptors and macro extension tubes. There seemed to be a lot of interest in these inexpensive addons and the conversation quickly turned to all kinds of cool hacks and things you can do to/with your camera.
PhotoCamp 2008
As we were quickly running out of time, our last discussion was around camera bags. There was just about every kind and style of ways to carry all that precious gear in the room and it ended up being a show and tell with everyone showing what they use and why.
Post PhotoCamp PhotoWalk
Unfortunately, there was a little confusion about the end time so when we finally cleared out of the space used for PhotoCamp, the other sessions had already finished but we did manage to meet up with a bunch of BarCampers, had dinner and then finished up with a short photowalk around Granville Island at dusk.
Strangely, I barely took any photos yesterday.

Thanks to everyone that helped make BarCamp happen as well as everyone that came out to hear what I had to talk to about – I hope it was as useful to you as it was fun for me to share. See you next year!

Update: Here’s Roland‘s Qik video of my iPhone session (shot with his Nokia):

Update #2: Here’s Warren’s interview video from my iPhone session:


  1. Tyler Ingram says:

    I really enjoyed the PhotoCamp and learned a bunch of stuff! Most interesting too!

    It was also cool meeting you as well! Now I have to go and get a 50mm 1.8 lens for my EOS 450D.

    Though me and another guy did notice we were the only ones with Canon cameras ;) lol

  2. John says:

    Thanks Tyler….great to finally meet you in person too.

    It was kind of strange for there to be so many Nikons for a change…usually it’s pretty much even or maybe even Canon heavy. Always an interesting barometer of an event…like PC vs Apple laptops….although now it’s probably iPhones vs Blackberries.

  3. Looks really great. Wish I was there!

  4. Mohan says:

    Hi John, I have a question related to FAlbum plugin. Which version of wordpress are you using? FAlbum plugin used to work on my site prior to wordpress 2.5, but now it is not working anymore. I am using a different plugin as of now. But I really like the FAlbum plugin. Can you help me to get this FAlbum plugin to work with wordpress 2.7 please?

  5. John says:

    Mohan: I just upgraded to WP 2.7 tonight and had no issues with the FAlbum plugin. I’d try reinstalling it and possibly re-authenticating it with Flickr. Let me know specifically what the issue you’re having is and I can try to help.

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