Got a dud iPhone 4 or 4S home button? You can fix it yourself EASILY!

Isn’t this supposed to be the blog of a photographer?  Well, I’m straying off topic a bit but gadgets are dear to the hearts of many snappers out there so knowing how to fix something on the fly is a handy trick to have in your bag!

Whist I’m a convert to Android both my daughters have iPhones – one has my old iPhone 4 and the other a new iPhone 4S.  The old iPhone 4 (bought on launch day in Australia) has developed a very unresponsive home button which in turn has produced a quite unhappy daughter.  So…. Dad to the rescue!

After trawling the web for a few hours researching ways to fix the problem I have finally found what I am 99.999999% sure is the answer to most everyone’s problems.  Over time, oil and grime from your finger makes its way through the tiny gap between the body of your beloved iPhone and the home button causing a build-up on the contact under the button.  This in turn makes the button unresponsive to presses and you have to mash it just to get it to respond.

So…. how do I fix it you ask?














  1. Get some rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol).  I actually used an Aussie product called Isocol which worked like a charm.  Little sachets containing a moist isopropyl alcohol soaked towel are also good.  Aim for a 70% isopropyl alcohol if you can although straying either way a bit probably won’t hurt.
  2. Turn your phone completely off.
  3. Put a drop of the solution on your finger (if you use the moist towel you will have to squeeze a drop on your finger) and rub it quite firmly around the home button, making sure to press the button in and out as you go.  You aim is to let the liquid seep into the gap and down to the contact under the button.  The solution will clean the contact.  I repeated it three times to really get it in there.  Remember, unlike water, this solution will evaporate very quickly and not damage your phone.  It is commonly used by electrical technicians to clean circuit boards etc.
  4. Turn your phone over after working in each drop well and tap the phone reasonably firmly on a padded surface.  Something like a folded tea-towel on your benchtop will be just right (that’s what I did).  I found that a little bit of gunk actually came out on the gap between to button and the phone.
  5. Give your phone a good wipe clean and fire it up.
  6. Test it out.
  7. See?  Perfecto eh?
Now, what I have to point out is that there is probably some chance that you could destroy your phone.  I reckon the chance is so minute that only a real chicken wouldn’t be game to try it.  Anyway, if anything goes wrong don’t blame me.  I’m just telling you that it has worked faultlessly for me and from my research, a LOT of other people have had the same success and I haven’t read of a single problem.
Please let me know how you go, I’d love to know that I’ve helped someone fix their phone (or their pestering daughter’s!) :-)

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Great high iso full resolution sample image from the Canon 5DMkIII

Just what I’ve been waiting for, a good quality high iso sample image from the new Canon 5DMkIII.  This ‘setup’ wedding photo was sourced via Canon’s Japanese site and shot with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 as a JPG file at 1/80 sec @ f/7.1.  With this sample in mind I’m REALLY looking forward to getting my hands on a couple of these!

EOS 5DMkIII wedding sample at 3200iso

Like to full high resolution JPG image here – [link]

A couple of issues though – unless there is a major shift in pricing I really think that the rumoured AUS$490 for the battery grip is simply way too expensive.  And don’t get me started on the price of the WFT-E7 wireless file transmitter!

What I would like to see on a future body.

  1. Built-in Wifi with a FTP and mail server.  Along with this I’d like to see the camera link with an iOS/Android app to allow settings, custom functions and things like FTP server settings and emails be created and edited on your phone or tablet.  The camera would use a Wifi hotspot as the method of transmission.  An SMA antenna connector in with the camera ports would be a possible option to allow stronger signal tx and rx?
  2. A ‘tag to transmit’ feature that allows immediate transmission of ‘tagged’ images direct from the camera.
  3. Complex time lapse controls built into the firmware.  It really can’t be that difficult can it?  I’d like to see start time, interval, number of pictures, which days of the week as options.
  4. 720P at 120fps movie mode.  I’m actually only writing that because I hear so many people wanting it – I can’t really see myself using it however I can see where it would be really great!
Let me be sure to point out though that I REALLY love just about everything Canon has included in this newest shooter.  My desires were for much cleaner high iso, better focussing, dual card slots SD & CF, the same or better battery life & a better LCD display.  I got all these so I’m a pretty happy camper.
Now, to just get my hands on a couple and I’d be even happier!

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A byline won’t pay for my groceries!

Note: Update to this blog post at the bottom…

A funny email exchange yesterday between a rural Australian newspaper and myself that I thought I’d share with anyone who may care to read.  If you’re a keen amateur photographer or a professional with no business sense be wary of newspapers offering a byline as payment on their belief that it will act as ‘publicity’ for you.

Hi Cameron 

Thanks again for your help. This is the url that I found the pic –

Like I mentioned it was taken in 2006 so if you happen to have a more updated one of him that we could use, that’d be great. If not this image where he’s playing for the East Tigers in Townsville Qld will be fine. And of course we will attribute the image to you.


Hi ———, 

Thanks for your email.  I didn’t realise that ————- was a Rural Press newspaper, a wholly owned part of Fairfax.  As of yesterday Fairfax (FXJ) had a market capitalisation of 1,790 million dollars.  That is a LOT, LOT, LOT more than mine and the only way I will ever get closer to that valuation is if I get paid for my photos. 

How about I give you a discount and sell you the photo for 1/10,000,000 of the value of Fairfax?  $179.00 (+GST).  My normal price is $250.00 (+GST) 

Thanks in advance, I’ll wait to hear back from you. 


Hi Cameron 

I totally understand your reasons and need to charge for the publication of your photos and I will put forward your request to my manager, however the problem is we need to photo today (for tomorrow’s paper) and the whole process of going through management may take too long. And I can’t promise anything – we don’t usually pay for photos but rather we give the photographer publicity. 

I’ll let you know if my manager gets back to me in time.

No problem ———, I’ve been working in the media industry for 15 years – I understand how slow the pencil pushers are.  ‘Publicity’ might be handy for budding amateur photographers in the —– area but as I’m a professional and about 3000km from you I can’t see what good ‘publicity’ in — —– ——- is for me. 

Here’s a tip that is always fun – Wander in to your COS or editor and say “I need to run a photo of Luke Branighan and a professional photographer from Townsville has a great one that he is willing to sell me for only $179 which is actually a good discount”.  I’m willing to bet his response will be something along the lines of “F*ck him, we don’t pay for photos” or “Tell him the most we’ll pay is $50”.  You can then respond with this – “He is willing to give us the photo for free if we give him a byline but it has to read – “We shafted Cameron Laird for this free photo” 

Let me know the response.



I didn’t hear back from her.


It appears that the newspaper didn’t use my photo which is both good and bad.  Good because they didn’t use a photo without permission and bad because it also means they didn’t use my suggested byline of  “We shafted Cameron Laird for this free photo”.  That would have been a real shining beacon in my career if they had! :-)

Whilst they didn’t use my photo without permission they have found another photo of Luke Branighan.  Interestingly though – it seems to have proof or copyright markings on the image.  I’m not accusing them of anything, just surprised that they would run a watermarked image when they have should have the rights to the unwatermarked image.

Here’s a screengrab from their site, no idea what ran in the actual hardcopy.. (click on the image for a fullsize version)


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Natural bodies on display at the 2011 INBA Tropix Titles

Yesterday I was commissioned to photograph the 2011 INBA Tropix Titles held at RSL Stadium in Townsville.  I’m not exactly a supremely fit specimen  so being around all those buff girls & guys made me realise that while I have been busy ‘body-building’ I must have gotten the architecture all wrong! 😀

18 September 2011 Townsville, Queensland - "Mens Overall" INBA Tropix Titles, RSL Stadium - Photo: Cameron Laird (Ph: 0418238811)

Overall mens winner Rob Schmidt with the 2011 INBA Mr Tropix trophy

Feel free to head over to my website gallery at to have a look at more than 1200 photos that will possibly and most probably make you feel like a fatty!



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A big beautiful Greek wedding

A wonderful Greek wedding on Sunday – it’s been many many years since I’ve photographed inside an orthodox church and I forgot just how great it was.  Truly stunning and very intimate.  Riss and Chuck (Marissa and Chris), my bride and groom, were the perfect wedding clients, very easy-going, great to photograph and best of all, a genuinely lovely couple.

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