The Sunday Post #107: iStuff
Back to back Sunday Posts? I know that’s never happened before and there is a very good reason for that. But first.
On iPhones and the Macbook Air
Recent addition to my quiver is the 13″ Macbook Air. I looked really hard at the 11″, aka the iPad Pro, but decided the larger screen and SD Card reader were a worthwhile $100 upgrade. Timing couldn’t have been better either as I picked it up barely 24 hours before I had an event to cover with a fair bit of travel. Here are a few quick notes.
Fast – Did I say fast? Yes, fast. The best way to describe how fast is by using iPhoto. On my 13″ Air, from click to fully loaded is less than 2 seconds. On a brand new 13″ Macbook Pro (with roughly the same number of photos) from click to to fully loaded was 12 seconds. The speed makes itself known everywhere too.
Battery life – I’m not sure about how long it will actually last, but I think the 7 hours claimed is pretty close to being accurate. Not to mention, when the lid is closed, this baby is sleeping and sleeping hard! Over night battery useage with the lid closed so far has been zero.
Portability – It’s not as light as the 11″, but close enough. And it’s thinner than my iPhone. Yet, it doesn’t feel flimsy or cheap.
The Screen – Something you don’t notice right away, but after you use it for a bit, you start to notice that the screen on this is pretty great.
Comments are open if you have any questions about the Air.
And, for the first time, really, I actually used my iPhone during an event. Now that I’ve had it for a few months and have my groove down, it’s the perfect device for that kind of work. I was able to do things mobile that I always had to rely on external devices to do. For the first time I went to an event with only 3 devices (and it could have been two); an iPhone, my Canon DSLR and Macbook Air.
I’m excited to see what I can really do with these in the field this year!
The Sunday Post #106: The Christmas Edition
This Christmas brings thoughts of good cheer and tiddings to all readers of donburnside.com, and maybe a little geekery about iPhone photography.
We all know that the iPhone is pretty amazing at taking photos. We also know that there are apps that improve the experience quite a bit, from cool effects and filters to ways that make sharing photos easy. Here are some of the things I’ve found so far, along with a couple new pieces of kit that I got for Christmas.
- Camera +. My favorite so far. It’s like photoshop for the iPhone with some great features that really make photos look awesome.
- Instagram. Or, what I’m learning, the new Flickr. I’m not a huge fan of the filters, but I am a huge fan of using Instagram to share my photos. 1 click sharing to all social media sites, plus a spiffy UI that makes it fun to discover new people to follow and see some great examples of iPhoneography!
- Diptic. It’s how the photo above was created. Very cool. Opt for the $.99 in app purchase for additional configuration options. Totally worth it.
- Flickr. It’s installed, but I rarely use it. More why shortly
I scored this Christmas! Check out these two great things Stella got me!
- The Gilf. I saw this when it first appeared on Kickstarter and I was sad I didn’t have an iPhone to use it with. The minute I got my iPhone, the first thing I wanted was this. Allows you to easily mount your iPhone to a tripod.
- Joby Gorillamobile. Said tripod. This one comes with a case to use but if you have any kind of screen or back protection like Ghost Armor or a MotoringBadges iPhone wrap, it’s not a great fit. The tripod does work fantastic with the Glif!
Online services While Instagram works great for sharing photos to all of your social media sites, the way it works with Facebook isn’t that hot. Same goes with Flickr to Facebook integration. I think many FB users have those services blocked, so a lot of the time the photos go without being seen.
Enter IfThisThenThat, a service that’s been around a while but I haven’t used. You use it to build your own programs that actually do stuff. I will probably do an entire post on it later. You can even create recipes that are shareable, which is what I have done.
This will take any photo that has been uploaded to Facebook and automatically move it to Flickr including a link back to the original photo in Facebook. And, it works!
I’m still on the hunt for photo apps, but slowly. I know that some of you have more than a few you would like to share, sound off in the comments below. I’m sure Hipstagram is a favorite out there, but I’m not really a fan yet. I would love to hear others!
The Sunday Post #105: Where it Started
Recently, I was turned on to a pretty keen app for the mac by Jason. It will let you download all of you flickr photos. Pretty keen, right? Not only will it let you download them all, it will let you download only those photos not in sets. Brilliant!
Photography over the years
From what I can tell, I started my Flickr account way back in 2005. I didn’t even own a digital camera at the time, but was using it to share photos that I took with my Motorola Razr and LG Env. Here comes the magic. Click any of the collages for a larger version.
The Sunday Post #104: Time for a Change
This one has been more than a long time coming. With Donburnside.com running a theme that I created back in 2008, it was getting a little long in tooth. So, I present to you, the fine readers of DonBurnside.com, db.com v3.0 (rev 0).
A New Layout
This is one that I have been wanting to do for quite some time, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. After I moved to Arizona, I got the opportunity to redesign the website for work and decided that this would be quite a bit like that. You know me, like to work with known good.
Which is exactly what I did!
Take a few minutes to look around. Somethings are still a little wonky, but I’ll be getting those taken care of in short order. The short list includes cleaning up the CSS, making comments look better and returning the sidebar on the blog to it’s former, kick-ass, glory. I have also updated my Portfolio if you would like to get more information about the sites that I have done.
The Sunday Post #103 : Something new
For the longest time I’ve wanted to do time-lapse photography. Not video sped up 800% in iMovie, but actual take-a-photograph-every-10-seconds time lapse. And since I’ve got a camera that is suited to doing that, I figured it was time.
A New Tool for my Bag
This week, I picked this up at Amazon, a Shoot remote timer that works with my camera. It allows for timing of the shutter release at just about any interval you can imagine. Set it to start shooting in X seconds or minutes and continue to shoot every X seconds or minutes until X photos have been shot. Or, shoot until you run out of space on your memory card or the battery in your camera dies. Automatically. As a bonus, this also works as a standard remote shutter release. Even without batteries, this feature works.
Then it was time to study up on best practices for doing time-lapse photography. For those of you that don’t know what time-lapse is:
Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than that which will be used to play the sequence back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. For example, an image of a scene may be captured once every second, and then played back at 30 frames per second; the result would be an apparent increase of speed by 30 times. Time-lapse photography can be considered to be the opposite of high speed photography.
History lesson out of the way, I started reading up on the best way to set up my camera. As you can see in the sample below, I still have some work to do, but I’m getting close.
This was shot over the course of about 90 minutes in the heat of the Arizona sun. The camera used was my Canon Rebel XT capturing the photos in jpeg. The timer was set for 20 second intervals which created 145 photographs.
I created a custom action in Photoshop to process the photos. It did some minor color correction (but not enough), image and canvas resizing and some cropping. I fired it up and about 10 minutes later I had a batch of photos ready to put into a time-lapse film.
I used iMovie ’11 this time, but I can tell you from previous experience that Picasa does a better job. Sure there are specialized apps that do this for you, quite nicely, but my budget doesn’t allow for such things.
In iMovie, the shortest interval I was able to set the photos to display at was .1 of a second. That is 10 frames per second. In Picasa, you can set it to pretty much any duration you want, and then import that into iMovie for further editing. We’ll talk more about Picasa later.
Next time I do this for a short interval like this I will be shooting in raw instead of jpeg so I can process the photos better if needed. I also need to pay better attention to the aperture and shutter speeds, which is to say that it’s time for me to become a real photographer, paying attention and learning what f-stops are and how to actually use my camera in full manual mode, not just aperture priority.