Springtime in Japan Mug

I just broke my favorite coffee mug the other day[1]; none of the others I have are very big, and I like to drink a lot of coffee. Instead of ordering a new one from Amazon, I decided to design one at Zazzle with a few of my photos.

Looks pretty spiffy, huh? I thought some of you may enjoy it too, so I posted it to the store. I just ordered mine. If you think it looks good, you can order one yourself. Just 20 bucks.

  1. Note to self: Be more careful when removing the plunger from the Aeropress.  ↩

Watch How Common Photoshop Tricks Were Done In the Darkroom

Some of us remember these days well, but for the young’uns out there, this Lynda​.com demo shows just how photo editing went down in the film days.

I’m old enough to have worked in a darkroom, but I was young enough and didn’t do enough photography at the time to learn many of these tricks.

Very interesting video.

Free Calendar For March 2015

It’s March, which was once known as yayoi (弥生) in Japan, a name that means “new growth” or “new life”. Spring is in the air.

You can download the wallpaper here or buy a print to use as a real desktop calendar here. If you buy, use the coupon code yayoi at checkout to get 50% off.

From The Archives: Himeji Castle at Sunrise

I always get a kick out of checking page stats. I am always curious to see what old posts are getting views. Often it surprises me what is getting attention on any given day.

Today, this old post and photo of Himeji Castle is getting some attention.

I remember I took this on the morning of New Years Day. The castle always has free admission for the first or first few days of the year and I took full advantage of this. If I remember right, I stayed all day, exploring and photoing every nook and cranny of the castle.

This was only a few months before they closed the castle for renovation. It recently reopened and looks… well, almost completely different. When I took this shot I thought it looked amazingly beautiful, but now it looks dark and dirty to me. I need to find time to go down to Himeji and get some new photos of the post-​​restoration view.

Authenpic: Digital Disposable Camera

Relive the days of disposable glory with no more pressure on sharing the perfect picture.

It’s an interesting concept. You have 24 exposures to take. You can’t see, edit, or share what you’ve shot until the end of the ‘roll’. Once you shoot all 24, you can pay ten bucks to have them developed and mailed to you.

The Hipstamatic guys, Synthetic Corp, already tried this and it didn’t go so well (they eventually killed the app). Turns out people kind of like the ability to edit, delete, and share. I would venture a guess that the only people this kind of thing appeals to are guys like me who grew up on film. But I think anyone nostalgic for those days will go out and actually buy a film camera, leaving few to go for this app. But who knows — I could be wrong.

Let’s see if Authentic has better luck than Synthetic Corp did.

Initial Impressions of Photos for OS X Beta

Jason Snell has a nice look at the new Photos app for OS X. Overall, it sounds interesting, but far from ready for prime-​​time.

I long ago moved to Lightroom for storage and primary editing of my photos, but I still use Aperture to house all my published photos1 because of it’s wonderful support for metadata. I detailed my reasons for staying with Aperture a little here

While I am hopeful the new Photos app will include the reasons I still use Aperture, I am not optimistic for it.

Some aspects of iPhoto and Aperture won’t make the move to the new app. Photos replaces star ratings with favorites (indicated by a heart icon). Star ratings and flags from iPhoto and Aperture (as well as color labels from Aperture) will be mapped into keywords and assigned to each photo, so you can still search for images containing that information.

This confirms my fear that Apple is going to simplify Photos as much as they can, and let’s face it: managing metadata as you can in Aperture isn’t simple.

Either way, I am looking forward to seeing what is finally released in four months.

  1. Copies of them, anyway. The originals stay in Lightroom.