I have always wanted to take photos of pro surfers at close range so it was great to be able to get a press pass to the Australian Open of Surfing 2012 at Manly Beach in mid February via event sponsors RIM (Blackberry).
In late February I was on holiday for a week in the small NSW northern coastal town of Lennox Head. Walking back to shore after standing waist deep in the surf taking photos I found a facebook message on my smartphone from an acquaintance asking if I knew anyone who had a particular set of skills for a contract work role.
Since I had those skills I put my name forward and found myself working for the next 4 months as the CEBIT Australia 2012 Writer/Social Media Manager/Photographer. Highlights included being able to interview quite a few interesting CeBIT speakers such as Manuela Davidson (ABC Mobile), Paul De Martini (Newport Consulting Group), Jane Huxley (Fairfax Media at the time, now Pandora radio), Denis Tebbutt (NEHTA advisor) and Professor Paddy Nixon (UTAS).
The second half of the year was dominated by writing feature stories for Technology Spectator, election campaigning and a long planned one month holiday/work research trip to the USA.
At the end of August I visited Victoria to write about The future of Australia’s car manufacturing industry for Technology Spectator. This photo (courtesy of my friend Leigh Stark) is of me sitting in Ford Australia’s Virtual Reality 3D Car Simulator, viewing *inside* the car door lock.
I campaigned as a candidate for Leichhardt Council at the 2012 Local government election in early September but was unfortunately 497 votes short of being elected.
My trip to the USA was up the west coast from San Francisco, Amtrak Coast Starlight train to Seattle, Alaska: Marine Highway to Juneau, Alaska Railroad Aurora Winter train Fairbanks to Anchorage and 24 hours in Santa Monica.
— US Embassy Canberra (@USAembassyinOZ) September 27, 2012
During November I visited Hong Kong to take photos and research an aviation story for Technology Spectator.
Towards the end of 2012 I attended a few end of year events so I could chat with friends in the media in a relaxed environment compared to the many hectic press events we met at during the year.
The print media is dying and internet media is struggling to generate more articles each year from an ever smaller pool of journalists. Inevitably this means more errors are made, higher stress for the “content creators” and no doubt there are important public interest issues getting much less coverage than they deserve.
My Favourite Freelance Photo/Journalism Stories/Work
These are my favourite Photo/Journalism stories for each publication I worked for this year:
Technology Spectator: EXCLUSIVE on 20th January 2012 re draconian rules that ban social media photo sharing, in place to protect sporting event media broadcast partners.
ABC Drum Unleashed on 24th January 2012. Digital purchases: nothing to hold, nothing to keep.
ABC Radio NSW and ACT Evenings with Dominic Knight on March 7 2012 regarding the latest news about broadcast and streaming Digital Radio.
YHA Backpacker Essentials Magazine March 2012 – feature story and photos about visiting Canberra.
ABC Tech and Games on 30th April 2012. Levelling Up In Life, Avoiding Complacency, retitled to: I just passed 100,000 dollars in Google earnings. But unlike Nokia, I’m not resting on my laurels
GEARE Magazine June 2012 – feature story “Australia’s NASA HQ” about my visit to the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. Sadly this was the last issue of GEARE, it was shutdown a few months later 🙁
BBC World Service interviewed me on 17th July 2012 about My Thoughts on BBC World Service: Media Coverage of Sydney 2000 Olympics.
— Neerav Bhatt (@neerav) July 17, 2012
— World Have Your Say (@BBC_WHYS) July 17, 2012
Be Ready (Traders Hotels) on 22nd November 2012. How To: Get Compensation for Being Bumped from a Flight.
BBC World Service interviewed me on December 13 2012 re Weak ACMA Australian Media Regulation.
Technology Spectator on 19th December 2012. The future of flying. Airlines are looking at a wide range of technology and alternative fuels to lower costs and improve efficiency.
What will I do in 2013? No idea but one thing is certain … it won’t be boring.