Tag Archives: apple

My review of the iPhone 6

  • iphone 6

    We now have the iPhone 6 and 6Plus to choose from along with the iPhone 5S. I must say I was reluctant to get an iPhone 6 since I find the camera sticking out the back of the phone to be crappy engineering or as Steve Jobs would say “Absolute SHIT!!”. Even after using it, I will still call it a crap design. That lens takes a lot of punishment unless you spend money to put the phone into a case of some kind.

    iPhone 6 back view

    For those of us with “older eyes” the bigger screen is a real treat. I shot with the 6 along with my Samsung S5 and the two were very comparable in overall size and general feel. The iPhone has a nicer feel and heft to it while the S5 feels a bit more “plastic”. I found the colors on the iPhone screen more true to what I uploaded to the computer.

    I actually did a color test of the screen using a Munsell color checker and photoshop. The iPhone screen is a true sRGB and comes very close out of the box to being on the money based on the Munsell color chart

    The feel of the screen is very good and I love that the rounded edges are back in fashion with Apple. I was never a fan of the harsh square angles of the 4, 4x and 5s. I was worried that I would have issues trying to use the phone one-handed but that has been an unfounded fear. The iPhone 6 is just narrow enough where I can use my thumb like I did on the 5S.

    I’m not a fan of the new side lock button, I find it awkward to use and still prefer it being on the top. And I stand by what I say from the beginning when they moved the earphone jack to the bottom of the phone. STUPID IDEA Apple..  when I pull the phone out of my pocket with the ear buds plugged in, I have to flip the damn phone over to use it. Stupid idea..I don’t care if it saved you a mm of room.

    My battery life has been very good, a bit better than my 5S actually. For the most part, iOS 8 has been pretty reliable on my 6. The email client has frozen a few times but over the past few months and few patches, it has not happened.

    I’ve dragged the iPhone 6 around to Disneyland a few times and all over town on various trips. It’s been pretty reliable on the ATT network. I had a Sprint iPhone 6 which lasted four weeks with me. The coverage of sprint was so bad that I gave the phone back. Often times I would have LTE coverage on my ATT phone and + or 1 bar of 3G on the sprint phone. And the phone itself was unreliable on wifi. I don’t know if that was sprint or not, but the ATT phone has not had the issues with 801.x authentication on my corporate wifi that the Sprint version did. Both are on the same iOS and the same patch level so draw your own conclusions.

    My Amazon basics lighting cable still work fine with the new 6 and are half the price of the Apple cable. Not to mention three times as long if I wanted and I did. It’s nice to have a very long cable at times.

  • 10802894_771966789543646_771489160_n-c58.jpgA_3D_scan_then_made_into_led_lighting_hanging_free-c99..jpgA_Flo_Christmas_tree__disneyland__msmedia__iphoneography__flo-c95.jpgA_kiss_for_Aladdin__disneyland__aladdin__msmedia__stage__show__iphoneography-c35.jpgA_new_keyboard_for_Christmas-c3._We_will_see_who_has_the_interest_for_the_keyboard.__keyboard__msmedia__iphoneography.jpgAnother_gold_album_by_Flo_and_the_Motoramas__msmedia__iphone__iphoneography__disneyland__dca.jpgBreakfast_for_my_littlest_princess_on_her_birthday__msmedia__iphoneography__food__breakfast-c48.jpgChristmas_shapes__msmedia__christmas__mextures__iphoneography-c40.jpgContemplation_in_China__China__msmedia__manual__iphoneography__iphone6-c72.jpgContrail__iphoneography__skies__blue__msmedia-c66.jpgDisney_castle_with_my_daughters-c51._Taken_using_Manual_camera_app_and_the_built_in_flash.__msmedia__iphoneography__disneyland__castle.jpgDisney_go-juice__coffee__msmedia__disneyland__iphoneography-c66.jpgDisney_starbucks_on_thanksgiving_day__msmedia__iphone__starbucks__snacks-c89.jpgEvening_horse_play__msmedia__iphoneography__horse__hipstamatic-c10.jpgHahahaha-c36.__Fooled_you___The_cast_of_Aladdin_bows_out__iphoneography__aladdin__disneyland__stage__Hyperion.jpgHappy_drone_pilot_Olivia__with_new_hero_jersey____msmedia__drone__realmadrid__7__renaldo__iphoneography-c53.jpgInfinity__msmedia__iphoneography__fleet__sandiego-c74.jpgJazz_Kitchen_rocking_it__jazz__msmedia__iphoneography__disneyland__music-c75.jpgJust_another_Disney_day____iphoneography__hdr__disneyland-c9.jpgLeading_lines__msmedia__iphoneography__snapseed__manual-c84.jpgMusician_in_China__China__musician__msmedia__iphoneography__manual-c82.jpgMy_birthday_cake_at_paradise_pier_hotel____msmedia__birthday__iphoneography__chocolate__disneyland-c24.jpgOur_training_arena_and_stables-c47._I_was_amusing_myself_while_the_kids_were_having_their_lessons__horse__msmedia__stables__iphoneography__mextures.jpgPlaying_at_the_pet_store-c23._iPhone_using_Manual_focus_and_Pixlrexpress_for_post._DOF_was_set_in_camera__not_a_filter__msmedia__frog__iphoneography__manual__pixlrexpress.jpgPlaying_with_waterlogue_today____msmedia___paradise__iphoneography.jpgPrince_Ali_showing_off__aladdin__msmedia__disneyland__iphoneography-c42.jpgRainy_days_at_Disney__msmedia__disneyland__rain__night__iphoneography-c98.jpgSea_shell_by_the_sea_shore__shell__msmedia__iphoneography-c58.jpgSisters__msmedia__horse__msmedia__iphoneography-c16.jpgSo_December_13_and_we_are_playing_in_the_pool_and_sun_at_paradise_pier___we_have_the_entire_pool_and_slide_to_ourselves____pool__disneyland__msmedia__iphoneography__slide-c21.jpgSoccer_practice_using_the_iPhone__msmedia__soccer__iphoneography-c82.jpgSome_vintage_signage__msmedia__snapseed-c38.jpgSunrise_over_California_adventure__iphoneography__msmedia__sunrise__California__dca__disneyland-c73.jpgThe_entire_cast____aristocats__iphoneography__msmedia__stage-c30.jpgThis_is_what_California_Screaming_looks_like_underneath_while_screaming_past_my_iPhone__-c14.__msmedia__iphoneography__disneyland__Californiascreaming__dca.jpgWall_art_at_Paradise_Pier__art__disneyland__paradise__drawing__sketch__msmedia__iphoneography-c79.jpgWatching_the_kids_performing_Aristocats__iphoneography__play__aristocats__stage.jpgWhat_was_waiting_for_us_at_the_room_tonight__disneyland__paradise__msmedia__cookie-c84.jpg

  • Along with the iPhone 6, I use a selection of apps over and over again.Here is a partial list of my “go to” apps I use with iOS8 and my iPhone 6.

    • Instagram
    • Manual
    • Mextures
    • Snapseed
    • Squaresize
    • Manual Cam
    • Image Blender

    Each of these apps have their place and each need to be learned to get the most out of them. You cannot just load up the app expect to get awesome pictures, you need to practice with them to learn how they work, what they do best and what they cannot do.

    I’ve been having fun playing with Moju which is a cool app that gives almost a 3D effect to images. You take a dozen or so and then as you tilt the phone, the images are automatically blended side to side to give that animated 3D lo

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Shooting with the iphone IOS 6 Panaroma Tool

One of the features of IOS 6 I talk about in my book is the new Panorama tool. This is a tool that allows you to take the iPhone 4, 4S and 5, swing it in an arc and then have a gorgeous panorama image in just a few seconds. If you dont believe me, then take a look at this sample shot from a fundraiser I attended the other day. We had set up two jogging tracks for the kids to run around in two different fields. I wanted to get an image that really showed off both sides and my D700 with the 16mm was not able to get it. Nor did I relish the idea of taking several shots and then spending time in Photoshop stitching it all together. So out comes my iPhone 4S !!

I did three different shots as I’m a firm believer in backup images even more so with this given all the variables such as kids walking by, lighting and so on.

Here is the normal blog image of the pano. The best I can really do is 1900 pixels or it scrolls off your screen.

Jog-a-thon Panorama IOS 6 iPhone 4S

But, with a built in feature of Photoshop, I can easily show you the high resolution image. I use a tool called Zoomify and now I can show off all the resolution I have. Or in this, as much as I grabbed. The original image was downloaded from my iPhone at a reduced size and even the, the image is over 9000 pixels long. All I did to the image was to sharpen it some and cropped it a bit. So for a iPhone stiched image, I think it looks pretty good!

Click here for the Zoomified Pano

As I say in my book, the iPhone is a very capable camera when used correctly. Have fun and go play with panoramic pictures! I am pretty sure you will be amazed and it wont cost you a penny since it’s built in. If you want extra features like a full 360 degrees or other items, buy my book 😀  or hit up the Apple App store and look around. 360 and Photosyth are two good apps for cheap prices.

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It’s done! My new iBook for iPhone Photography is done

Well, at least the PDF version of “How to Create Amazing iPhone Photographs” is done. The iBook version is waiting for Apple to bless it. But, in the meantime, you can buy and download the PDF which is exactly the same content as the iBook. You can download a free preview from Lulu Press who is my POD (print on demand) vendor.

Here is the description for my new book –

[blockquote]Your content here.The iPhone is an amazing tool. It is a phone, a database, a web browser, a camera, a video recorder and more. But this amazing array of features may overshadow the iPhone’s arguably greatest feature: its camera’s ability to capture a moment in time.  This book will teach you how to use the iPhone camera in ways you never dreamed, to fully capture the moment and to create amazing photographs.  You will learn about the basics of crafting images with the iPhone but also about interesting options such as infrared and underwater photography. You will see how to perform high-speed panning to capture a subject in motion and produce stunning images. I present a wide variety of apps, accessories and hardware, as well as tips and tricks, to aid you in creating your photographic art. I hope my sample images will inspire your creativity. When you have finished reading this book, you will know how to use your iPhone as a real camera to create amazing art and lasting memories.[/blockquote]

This book was a blast to write. Anytime I “need” to shoot pictures for a book is fun but this was great because all I needed was a small camera bag and my iPhone. It was liberating in a way to not have to carry around eight lbs of camera plus a big ol’ lens that bangs off things and people as I walk by.

iPhone camera bag contents

My bag has some interesting stuff. A ball bunji cord, a spare phone (my old blackberry), sync cable, Otterbox, Ultra Pod, spare power, MiFi, gaffers tape,  Glif, olloclip lens  and lens cleaner. All of this fits into a very small and light camera bag.  For really light days, I put the olloclip and glyph  into my coin pocket and the ultra pod in a back pocket.

Sample Page from iPhone Book

Here is a sample page from the book where I’m discussing converting the image to black-and-white. This is representative page of my book. I discuss how to shoot with the iPhone, how to add filters, lenses, using video light and more.

If you want to know how to creatively shoot awesome pictures with your iPhone even though it was not designed for it, buy this book 🙂

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So many words and a new book for iPhone photography

I’m in the last few laps of editing for my new iBook on Successful Iphone Photography. The writing of the book is easy, the editing will kill you. But I’m having a fun with this project. I’ve tried to put in imaginative images that I’ve taken with my iPhones and have gone outside the box to get some cool shots. This book is not a vanity project or an “art” project. God knows there are enough of those around. It’s just “here is how to get solid images from the iPhone”.

 

Here is a preview of some of the images being used in the book. None of these are traditional iPhone images but I have some of those too in the book. These are images to get you thinking about you can do with your own phone. The only limit is what you put on yourself.

 

Double shot of coffee

Nothing like a cup of joe in the morning ?

iPhone 4S using a Hoya R72 IR filter for infrared

Who says you cant shoot IR on the iPhone

Half a Moon with the iPhone

I had several people call me out and say there was not any way this could have been an iPhone shot. I have the EXIF data and the original file. Go ahead, make my day

Using Movie Filmmaking rigging and a iPhone

This was taken using suction cup, ball heads and rigging that I normally attach movie cameras or DSLRs to cars and trucks. This was a fun shot complete with the gaffers tape holding the neutral filter stack over the olloclip lens on my iPhone

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Brave New World of iBook Publishing

This post is sort of about photography but it also is about Apple, it’s about iBooks and it is certainly about diversification.  One reason I have been very quiet of late is that I’ve been head down on learning how to use iBook Author to put together a new book called “How to be successful at iPhone Photography”. In a past life, I use to write very dry technical books on geeky things like network security, Linux and Cisco stuff. If you were a network geek, you probably read one but for the average Joe, not so much.

Now, with photography as my life, it came to me that I could recycle my writing skills into something more than just blog entries. I decided to write a book on using the iPhone since it would be somewhat more easy than writing for Android phones and I happen to own an iPhone. This made it even a more simpler choice on my part. The reason is in the past several months, I’ve become quite the enthusiastic shooter using the iPhone. I am always amazed at just how good it can be and what can be done with a smart phone and some clever apps.

The book will be finished in a few weeks and then submitted to the black hole of Apple approval which I’m told can take weeks and weeks if I’m not so lucky. The price will be very cheap, between 1.99 and 2.99, I have not made up my mind yet. The goal is to make it a good book and high value for less money than a decent latte would cost you.

Now, some of you might sneer at the idea of using a camera phone for anything other than quick and dirty snapshots. I mean, a real photographer uses a brand name DSLR with a five pound chunk of glass hanging off the end. A few years ago that was true and I would have said it myself. But, with the advent of the iPhone, in particular the iPhone 4, 4S and now the 5, the onboard cameras are very capable systems indeed.

I have exhibit A which is a photograph I took using my iPhone 4S and a cheap ETX telescope. I did upgrade the eyepiece from the OEM Mead ETX eye piece to a nicer but still inexpensive Parker Silver Series eye piece. Good glass is good glass whether it be a camera lens or a telescope. But, that was the extend of my “upgrades”. I did not use anything special on the phone and most of the post processing was actually done on the phone standing in the front yard using Snapseed and PhotoFX. I did load the image into CS5 for a high pass filter and resizing of the image. But this image looks better than many I’ve seen taken with much more expensive equipment.
New Quarter Moon September 23 2012 taken with iPhone and Mead ETX telescope

As you can see from the image, the quality is very good. And this was without any real magic or special tricks or high priced hardware. It’s this type of shooting my new book will show you how to do for cheap.

Here is another iPhone picture and this time, I broke a few hearts with it. It’s the expected “ring shot” but this time I used the Olloclip Macro lens on the iPhone 4S to take an ultra close up of the wedding ring. Then I processed it in CS6 just like I would any other deliverable image. There is virtually no difference in quality of using the iPhone vs. using a DLSR with the 800 dollar lens.

Wedding Ring Shot using iPhone 4S and olloclip macro lens

So here are a few samples from my upcoming book. You will get a sense of the book and how it’s going to look. And being an iBook, it will be interactive unlike traditional print books.

Chapter 1 of How to be a Successful iPhone Photographer

Sample Chapter Content of How to be a Successful iPhone Photographer

So stay tuned for my announcement of my booking being approved by Apple for sale in the iTunes catalog. It’s been alot of fun so far in writing it and I hope when I get it done, you will find it an enjoyable read and inspiration.

 

 

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The iPhone as a real camera

The iPhone burst onto the scene several years ago and the critics were vicious in their panning of the new and very expensive Apple phone. As time went on, it was clear who had the right idea and now Apple’s iPhone dominates the smart phone market from both numbers of phones and the overwhelming number of apps.

I have had an iPhone since V1 thought it took me almost a year to give up my crackberry for the iPhone. But I have since embraced it even though as a phone I find it to average. Why do I embrace it? because it does so much more for me than just calls. And in one area, I’m not alone in my loving the iPhone and that is iPhonography. The art of taking photographs with the iPhone. From instagram, to camera apps, remote triggers, facebook camera apps, framers, watermarking apps and more, there is an amazing number of ways to use the iPhone as a camera. And it’s not just the apps, the sensor is pretty good for what it is. It can be reasonably sharp, it has built in HDR and one of the worst flashes I’ve ever had the misfortune to use.

I decided to put a few images to show what the iPhone can do with some imagination and a few apps.

The next two images were taken using the 4S with an inexpensive telescope using a normal viewfinder and a X2 barlow converter. Nothing very special. I used a spring clamp on the eye piece to provide a platform to snap from and I used a remote trigger by way of the + button on the mic cord the second time to get away from the shake and shudder caused by having to touch the phone.

September 4th Moonrise using iPhone 4S

Close up of the moon using iPhone 4S and a X2 Barlow converter

Then there is what we do when we play tourist. In this case, I was at Disneyland and while I had my G11 hanging around my neck, I opted to use my iPhone because I could snap it, process it and send it to my wife who was not able to be with us at the park. The social side of the smart is in many ways, more of  driver than anything technical. The tech is just the means to an end which is social interaction.

Snow White with kids on iPhone 4S

And lets not forget the geeking out side of life. I found an app called “360” which is a way cool automatically stitching panoramic app. You set it up and start taking shots. The app handles the overlap and blending and does a fair job of it. Not as nice as my DSLR but for 5 bucks or so, how can you possibly complain? It’s good enough and that is the idea here. The phone is “good enough” on alot of fronts and some of the apps make it “better” than my DSLR. In this shot, I have been to catch the complete rainbow end to end.
Partial pano of rainbow using iPhone 360 app

I’ve taken beautiful shots at events, weddings, documented shoots, tourist shots, work shots, printed images and processed images all on the iPhone. It’s a very capable device and when coupled with someone who knows photography, it’s astoundingly good at being a camera.

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A Scanners Tale

Fujitsu Logo
Image via Wikipedia

Paper is the bane of my office. I have magazines that I want to keep articles from, torn sheets from magazines that have ideas for shoots, bills, reference paperwork  such as maps from travels and more. All this information, no way to search it, no way to catalog it and no up to now, no way to digitize it quickly or easily.

Change is upon me in the form of a new scanner from Fujitsu called the Snapscan S1500M. This scanner comes in two flavors, Windows or Mac. And unlike many shops that claim Mac compatibility, this really IS compatible with the Mac. The software installs easily and has been absolutely reliable, not a single crash or hicup. The scanner is not cheap compared to others but 400 dollars for a scanner that does double sided scanning of 100 pages in less than five minutes is pretty cheap. The processing that takes the scan and makes it a searchable PDF only adds another five minutes to the time of scanning 100 pages.

So I have this PDf now on my computer,  just what can I do with it? Well, what I do is what I had told to me by XXX. I got a premium membership with Evernote and I sync this folder and files up with Evernote so now everything is in the “cloud” and available to all my devices. This includes:

  • iPhone/iPad/iTouch
  • Windows
  • OSX
  • Windows Mobil
  • Palm Pre
  • Blackberry
  • Android

It’s searchable so I can run a search on a topic and get just those matches. I do not have to thumb through old magazines guessing where I saw that article at. Or look for the sticky hanging off the outside with a scribble on it.

Here is the user interface for the OSX application. Clean and to the point.

Evernote OSX Application

Evernote OSX Application

And Evernote is not just for scanners, you can clip from the web or use your webcam to snap a picture. I love SOHO Notes but this might just replace it for me. You owe it to yourself to check it out even if you dont want to scan anything.

Now I can either chop the spine of the magazine off and scan it all then clean it up with Acrobat or I can just razor out the pages I want and scan those. In the past day, I’ve cleaned out one year of Photoshop User magazines and a pile of razored clippings. I clean up my scans by deleting all the ads and stuff I dont want since there is a monthly limit to the uploading at Evernote of 500 meg. This sounds small but the typical razored article is about 3 pages cleaned and under a meg in size or a tad over if I keep the color images.

I just put the scanned files into one directory and I have that sync automatically with Evernote’s website and I’m good to go.

So in short:

  1. Razor articles
  2. Toss remains
  3. Scan articles
  4. Clean up ads
  5. Sync

So far so good, I can access my new files on my iPhone or iPad without any issues at all no matter where I am. I have copies locally on my MacPro and I have them in the cloud. I have pulled about 50lbs of magazines out of my office and more on the way. I can even find things now with Spotlight. This is a win all the way around as far as I’m concerned even more so at the modest cost involved.

  • Scanner = 450.00 from Amazon
  • Evernote = 50 dollars a year for the premium account, the entry level account is free
  • Supply of razors = 10 dollars

Optional cost would be a real nice guillotine cutter that can handle 200 pages at a whack to take care of the magazines but so far, the razor works fine.

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Call of the iPad

iPad with on display keyboard
Image via Wikipedia

Well, I’ve had my iPad for a few months now and my impressions are pretty much the same as they have been when I first got it. I still view it as a toy because of some limitations.  It has some outstanding features but the issues are important too.  I should preface this with the fact that I have about a dozen Macs around here and everyone in the family (the adults at least) all use iPhones and I have and love my AppleTV. So you might consider me something of a “fanboy” of Apple products. So when I complain about the iPad, it’s not a non-apple person whining, it’s a strong supporter of Apple products who feels that Apple seriously dropped the ball.

Good points of the iPad

  • It’s sexy.. oh so sexy. It has a nice feel and heft to it that has become the trademark of all things Apple of late.
  • Really nice screen (we will address a fault in a minute)
  • Long battery life
  • Stable IOS running it
  • Super easy user interface
  • Awesome way to show off pictures
  • Reasonably good e-reader
  • Works very well on WiFi
  • Snappy response to finger input
  • Never a crash of the IOS in the past three months

Now, the downside of the iPad

  • Zero expandability – no USB port (camera readers does NOT count) – no microSD – nothing
  • The screen shows every stinking fingerprint known to man. So showing pictures requires a cleaning each and every time
  • Useless is bright sunlight
  • Can not take decent notes on it with a finger tip and no provisions for a stylus. I dont know about you, but trying to write using my  finger tips is just about impossible.
  • Cost – The fully decked out 3G and Wifi with 64 Gig of memory is over 900 bucks. And since you can not expand it in any way, the 64 Gig is almost a requirement
  • Lack of native way to print (even the new wireless printing is going to be limited to the newest version of leopard)
  • Lack of any corporate account (according to AT/T)
  • A big fault to me is having to use iTunes to move things around and that the iPad is tied to a given copy of iTunes. So I sync at home but on the road, I can not sync something without wiping out everything already on the iPad or I can not given it to someone else to take on the road and they can not put anything on it unless a real computer where people can have their own accounts.

I know there are apps and hacks to get around some of these and I have used them but my point is that you should not have to hack your PDA to get what is considered to be basic functionality. I am serious considering moving to an Android based tablet with real hardware options such using a thumb drive and using microSD cards to shuffle files around. I’m thinking about some kind of screen protector that might still let me show off images but keep the finger prints to a minimum. The iTunes only management is a real pain in the butt. Since I’m allowed five computers on a given iTunes account, why can I not sync from ANY of the five systems without having to wipe the iPad?

Note: There is a HACK to get around this but we are back to my original point, you should NOT have to HACK your system just to do something as basic as syncing between the five authorized computers.

I have found a few very useful apps for the iPad to help get around some of the issues. Dropbox is one of the biggies. I can move things around from all my computers and get PDFs and images onto the iPad without too much difficulty. Along with Dropbox, is a cool note app called “Elements” where as you write notes, they are put into Dropbox automatically. Since I’m on Facebook, the app called “Social” is perfect for me and lets me manage my Facebook presence very nicely. I use Wyse PocketCloud to remote desktop into a Windows server I have. My display app of choice is called “Foliobook” and does that job very well. For the printing, I use ACTprinter successfully.

So will I give up my iPad?, not yet. But, I see some serious competition on the near horizon that begs a close look. And when I find a tablet that offers real choice, I’ll drop the iPad faster than a hot match. For now, the iPad is the only real game in town but that certainly does not make it perfect by a long stretch.

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Photoshopworld 2010

So I survived Vegas with it’s 30 dollar lunches, 25 dollar shots of Scotch and my cheap room at Mandalay bay. I guess it all balances in the end since I did not give a nickel to the slots. The keynote was awesome, the Tweet up was alot of fun, the Expo was crazy good fun and I did sneak out early because of the holiday and trying to fly home on Friday.

I split my time with several class this time. I noticed that in 2007 which was the last time I was there at PSW, I saw 95% software based classes. This time, the tracks were split between real photography classes and software like Painter, Photoshop and such. I ended wishing I could attend them all but settled on a mix of classes

My preconference class was “The Art of the Digital Canvas” with Faye Sirkis and I had high hopes for the class since I really wanted to see how to make CS5 work with the new bristle brushes. But, the class fell short of my expectations between a lack of real meat in the class and technical issues with CS5. The good news is that was the only class that fell short in my opinion. The two classes I took with Joe McNally were awesome to be in and Joe has a very good sense of presentation with humor and solid information.  I took a Fashion Portrait class with David Cuerdon who I found relatively recently on Kelby’s training site and have decided that I really, really like his style and teaching methods.. The fashion class was a wealth of info on how to shoot and more importantly, retouch the shots effectively.

Zack Arias did a couple of classes but the one I went to was “Stuff you need to know to be a photographer” and as always, Zack did a bang up job of getting down to the nuts and bolts of being successful as a photographer and to figure out what is really important to you and and your craft. A hint, passion only gets you so far as a photographer.

I did the concert and event photographer on something of a lark and it was very interesting to hear how it works behind the scenes as it were. Also the choice of gear, how to get the pass and what to expect as a photographer at a concert. Alan Hess did a very good job at showing the class the real world of Concert photography and proving that yes, you can have fun while working for a living 🙂

Here are some random shots from the trip. I split my shooting between my Canon G11 and my D300. Both worked well but the Canon struggled with the low light in the classes. The D300 would work but only but shooting at 2.8 with ISO 3200 or 6400. I was really wishing for a FX camera and ISO 25,000 🙂 The NAPP Keynote was completely shot using the G11 and it did very well considering I had the zoom maxed out and the lighting was so bad. The class shots of Joe McNally were taken with the D300 at ISO 6400.

Zack Arias

Zack Arias

Mac Classic and Photoshop V1

Mac Classic and Photoshop V1

Metal prints were the hot item

Metal prints were the hot item

Scott giving away his Flying V to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen

Scott giving away his Flying V to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen

JohnnyL Adobe GM Digital Media

JohnnyL Adobe GM Digital Media

Photoshop Keynote

Photoshop Keynote

Scott Kelby and NAPP (KISS cover ala Spinal tap)

Scott Kelby and NAPP (KISS cover ala Spinal tap)

Scott Kelby and NAPP (KISS cover ala Spinal tap)

Scott Kelby and NAPP (KISS cover ala Spinal tap)

Scott Kelby and NAPP (KISS cover ala Spinal tap)

Scott Kelby and NAPP (KISS cover ala Spinal tap)

Home Base

Home Base

Mandalay Bay Lobby Entrance

Mandalay Bay Lobby Entrance

Photoshop TV LIVE

Photoshop TV LIVE

Joe McNally

Joe McNally

Small Flash Class by Joe McNally

Small Flash Class by Joe McNally

Joe McNally in action

Joe McNally in action

My view while blogging at Mandalay Bay

My view while blogging at Mandalay Bay

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Posted in commercial photography, event photography, photography, technique, training, Travel, venue Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

iPad, Love it and hate it

iPad 64 GB Wi-Fi with the case.
Image via Wikipedia

So I have my very own iPad with Wifi , 3G and 64 gig of RAM. Yep, I went for the gold when I got it. And now that I’ve had for several days and traveled with it via Southwest airlines, I have a few thoughts on it.

For photographers and that is my viewpoint here, the iPad offers some tantalizing possibilities. Some of these possibilities apply to other folks as well and some of my observations are a more “corporate” viewpoint. The iPad is very well made with some excellent controls and one or two glaring omissions. The slide switch to lock the display is brilliant. The lack of a switch to shutoff the 3G is stupid. Why do I have to drill through several menus to turn of the battery sucking 3G?

The iPad displays pictures really well.. better than alot of other devices I’ve seen and that I can show off pictures even with the screen locked is an excellent idea. The built in photo support is OK.. nothing to really get excited about but there are other apps that really amp up showing off your images.

Speed is life

When the 3G is enabled, it is slow. The app store will barely function and that is within a 20 miles radius of my home off at different locations. Even the WiFi is slower than I expected. I run my Macpro daily off wifi and will get a full 10Mbps download/1Mbps upload. On the same wifi connection, the iPad barely ekks out 3Mbps download and about 900Kbps on the upload side.

Speed Test Results iPad

Speed Test Results - iPad

Casing the joint

Lets talk about cases shall we? I got the Apple case when I ordered up the iPad, I mean, how bad could it be? Turns out it can be pretty bad. The case is junk.  The only thing going for it is that it’s none slip but it literally hurts to hold it since the hot sealed edges are rigid stick out a 1/8 inch and then cut into your hand. You can charge the iPad but not dock it when it’s in the case and the case is a pain in the butt to get on and off so doing this daily is a non-starter. And did I mention the really flimsy “stand” on the back? the one they show int he picture that rocks back and forth with threats of leaving your pretty iPad laying face down on the tabletop? There are two settings, low and high and neither is useful. the low is a about 1″ off the table and the high rocks like it’s ready to fall down at the slightest breath. This was a wasted 20 bucks.

App here, App there

One app that really brings the iPad into the realm of being useful is from Wyse and is called “Pocket CLoud“. This is one of the nicest RDP clients I have used to push a windows desktop out to the iPad. A second really useful app is called “Print Central” and lets you print from the iPad via WiFI. 3G or other. It does require a free piece to be installed on the PC/Mac sharing printers called “WePrint“. You might wonder why I’m suggesting apps that do not look like “Photography” apps? Well, to run a business, it’s more than showing off pictures and listening to music. You have to do WORK and things like remote desk and printing allow you to WORK and be productive with the iPad. Another very useful app is Keynote for the iPad. You can make some amazing slide shows with Keynote and the price in the app store is pretty reasonable. Another slide app is “slide Show Builder Lite” and I found a cool tutorial on it at Granny Joans blog. I will add that it’s nice but you can not share the slide show unlike Keynote.

Alot of apps say they are “iPad” compatible and they are but they are not. What they mean is that they RUN on the iPad but not necessarily take advantage of the large screen etc. Some apps are so useful, that does not really matter but on some it is a pain in the butt so be warned that all iPad apps are not created equal.

You need some kind of cover for the iPad, it’s just too thin and slick to hold on to. Sexy but dangerous to use unprotected. Like I said earlier on, the Apple cover stinks. I have not found a replacement for it but I’m looking.

One thing the iPad excels at is playing back podcasts/videos for training. My lunch times are now “training” sessions where I prop up the iPad and watch it while I eat. I’ve used podcasts, MPEG files and ripped DVDs to play and it’s all good. I have watched movies solid for over four hours and still have over 60% battery life left. That is pretty amazing no matter the rest of my complaints.

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Posted in Business Aids, equipment, photography, reviews, Travel Also tagged , , , , , , , , |