Format Archives: Link

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. 

Photo App Review: Hydra 1.0.1

Mel Martin, writing for Life in Lofi, has a great review of Hydra for iOS. iOS has no shortage of HDR apps and, honestly, most of them are crap. Hydra looks different, beginning with how it creates the HDR image.

Rather than take 2 – 3 exposures and tone mapping them, Hydra can take up to 20. When you point the camera, the app software will figure out how many exposures to take and then fire away.

I just bought it and am looking forward to testing it. I will post my thoughts later.

Drive (2011) - The Quadrant System

Tony Zhou:

One of the many pleasures of Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” (2011) is that the shots feel both tightly composed and weirdly unpredictable. Even though most of the images follow a simple quadrant system, Refn puts plenty of subtle touches within the frame. Let’s take a look.

A nice look at this simple technique that can help your photography.

Fox News Guest Crashes Drone While Talking About Drone Safety

Another day, another drone crash. This is like something you would see on the Simpsons.

In a rather ironic segment of FOX & Friends last week, Dave Mosher from Popular Science was on to talk about the use of drones and the FAA’s recent actions regarding licensing requirements for certain drone operations. Unfortunately, he crashed the drone he was flying in the studio on live TV.

At least it wasn’t a photographer who crashed it this time, so we’ve got that going for us.

Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens for iPhone 6 Review

Charlie Sorrel:

There’s another welcome change. Because the iPhones 6 have their power switches on the side instead of the top, you can sleep the phone without removing the Olloclip. On the iPhones 4 – 5s, you had to slide the Olloclip out of the way to access the switch. Now you can leave it on all day if you like, although it does hide a sliver of screen on the iPhone 6.

I love my Olloclip, but the power switch being under it is the single biggest annoyance. I decided to skip the iPhone 6, but as soon as I buy the 6S I am ordering the new Olloclip.