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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Snow Day

Southern Manitoba is under three to four feet of snow today. I currently can’t open our patio door and haven’t bothered trying to get out the front door. Schools are already cancelling tomorrow’s classes1 and I’m pondering taking a second snow day from work.

So here’s a quick photo to brighten our day.

I also found this photo recently, which may fit as a desktop wallpaper. Feel free to grab the best quality image and use to your heart’s content.

For the full quality wallpaper, click here.

Winter is officially here.

  1. The way I look at it, if a Canadian school division is going to cancel school 24 hours in advance, it’s safe to say there’s an incredible storm outside.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Harry Potter: The Financial Wizard

Sticking with the movie theme today, it turns out Daniel Radcliffe hasn’t spent a single dollar of his Harry Potter earnings:

“I’m very grateful for it, because having money means you don’t have to worry about it, which is a very lovely freedom to have,” Radcliffe said. “It also gives me immense freedom, career-wise … For all the people who’ve followed my career, I want to give them something to be interested in, rather than them just watch me make loads of money on crap films for the rest of my life.”

I haven’t watched any of Radcliffe’s post-Harry Potter films, so I can’t comment on whether or not he’s succeeding.

What I can comment on is the financial advice randomly thrown in at the end of this article. In the top four ways for you to save money, Jeanine Skowronski recommends you:

  1. Automate your savings. (Such a great idea.)
  2. Improve your credit. (Also good.)
  3. Scrutinize your budget. (Good, but common sense.)
  4. Find ways to generate more income.

Number four could be rephrased as “getting a second job”.

This isn’t a method to save money — it’s a method to earn more money. In my experience, earning more more often leads to spending more, not saving more.

And take this from the guy whose hobby has turned into a second job, which has turned into something he’d consider taking full-time: Turning a hobby into a second job isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities to earn money doing this, and I absolutely love the freedom to create new things each week. But there are days where inspiration is low, motivation is low, and you have a deadline the next day. Those days can suck.

Hobbies start off as fun. They’re allowed to remain fun. And they’re allowed to remain hobbies, too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

“My feet are kept, very much, firmly, firmly on the ground.”

Dave Itzkoff, writing for The New York Times about Felicity Jones, Star Wars’ newest star:

The filmmakers and co-stars who have worked with her over the years say this is typical of Ms. Jones, who would rather keep her head down and work than look up and see where her accomplishments are taking her.

“When you meet Felicity, it doesn’t really add up,” said Gareth Edwards, the “Rogue One” director. “She’s incredibly — and I mean this in a positive way — incredibly normal. None of this, so far at least, has in any way affected her. It’s kind of remarkable.”

Perhaps my favourite line from Jones herself:

“It was a fusion of studying English at university and being a fan of Jane Austen, as all English women should be,” she said wryly.

I’m sure the world will get tired of Star Wars every year for the next decade. But whoever the lead, I’ll be sitting there at midnight with popcorn in hand.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Jordan Steele’s Sony Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 vs. Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Comparison

Steele’s word is the best in the photography review business:

In all, one thing is clear: the 50mm f/1.4 is an optical powerhouse. It’s exceptionally sharp while maintaining very good bokeh. Sony and Zeiss have done something truly special, managing to best their already outstanding 55mm f/1.8. That said, the question of which you should buy is much harder to answer. The 50mm f/1.4 is the choice for uncompromising optical quality, but the much smaller size and lower weight, combined with very similar light transmission at the widest apertures makes the 55mm f/1.8 still an outstanding choice for a lot of shooters. Whichever you choose, you’ll gain a great lens.

It’s hard to believe the f/1.4 bests the f/1.8. The f/1.8 is my most used lens, bar none.

After a full year of shooting with the Sony a7II and the Sony FE system, I have my sights set on the newest full-frame Sony camera (presumably coming in 2017). As a whole, I’m disappointed in the camera body. The a7II’s button layout and shooting experience is poor in comparison to competing brands and I think the EVF, SD card slot, and battery life could all use some improvement.

I’ve said it countless times, though: The Sony a7II’s image quality is breathtaking. I love how the files work and I love the overall look and feel of the images. I chalk this up to the a7II’s sensor and, perhaps just as importantly, (Sony) Zeiss lenses. Both Batis primes and the 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar are fantastic lenses and have somehow found a way to silence most of my gear lust.

Except for this 50mm f/1.4. I want this lens more than any other.

The 50mm is an expensive lens and I’m not sure I’d see between $750 and $1,000 of improvement. But to know the 50mm is actually superior to the 55mm in almost every aspect (except size) means Sony has its head screwed on straight.

If you need more 50mm goodness, Steele’s review is great, as usual.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brooke Holm on Minimalissimo

Brooke’s work takes “minimal” to a whole new level. It’s hard to believe some of these photos are real.

You can either click through to Brooke’s personal website and portfolio, or you can click here to check out more of her stunning landscapes and interiors.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Perlin's Peak Design Everyday Backpack Review

Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack was another major Kickstarter success and many of the original backers are currently receiving their Backpacks, Slings, and Totes. I’ve been scouring Youtube for the best video overviews of the Everyday Backpack over the last few days. Overall, Perlin’s video is my favourite.

Of note: The 30L Everyday Backpack is quite large. The Cote&Ciel Isar Rucksack, in comparison, has around 35 litres of volume. The Isar is a big backpack — I’m not sure I have enough photography kit to properly fill the 30L Backpack.