Supported By

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Photographer’s Thoughts on the iPad Pro

Faisal Yaqub’s review of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is short, sweet, and straight from the heart of a photographer yearning to use the iPad as their main photography tool.

But for me, this review is all about the two product photos at the beginning. There’s just something about the space gray iPad Pro that photographs better.

If you need me, I’ll be over here wondering if I should have chosen the other colour.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Matt Gemmell on Subscription Software


Do I want to subscribe to every app I have? No. Would I? No. Are subscriptions a general answer to the appalling App Store revenue model? No, because the concept just isn’t scaleable. The psychological barrier to a recurring financial commitment is too great, in the general case.

If an app I use switches to a subscription model, I ask myself:

  1. Do I use this at least a few times a week?
  2. Am I personally invested in its future?
  3. Is it indispensable somehow, maybe because of file-format lock-in, industry standard usage, or something like that?

If it’s something I rarely use, I’ll probably just pick another app. If I’m not invested in it (in terms of its specific workflow, features, user experience and such), it’s even easier for me to just move away.

The pros to subscription app pricing have been discussed — less expensive and longer “trial periods”, the ability to unsubscribe when no longer needed, multi-platform support, etc. — and the negatives have been ranted and spewed.

Both have merit.

For me, subscription apps have forced a re-evaluation of needs and wants. I purchased Byword, iA Writer, and Ulysses all at different points, and I use each of them differently (Byword for finding and replacing text, iA Writer for editing and previewing, and Ulysses for initial writing).

Now, with Ulysses going subscription-based and imagining Byword and iA Writer doing the same, I’d feel the need to commit to one. Ulysses is my favourite of the bunch, so I’m committing to it. It can also complete the largest part of my workflow and can fulfill the latter parts of the workflow — albeit, with less ease.

My current app subscriptions which yield a “yes” to Matt’s questionnaire:

When I think of apps I wouldn’t commit to on a subscription basis, Fantastical skyrockets to the top of the list. Fantastical is a fantastic app (ha!) with a set of features and a design other calendar apps can’t match. But it doesn’t answer “yes” to any of those above questions, so it won’t result in a subscription.

If Things goes subscription based, I’ll commit annually without blinking.

This isn’t me being a jerk. It’s just reality. App dollars are finite and the App Store is a competitive place. I suspect subscription revenue models will only make the App Store that much more competitive.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rebecca Lily’s August 2017 Spotlight

What an honour.

I discovered Rebecca Lily’s presets shortly after returning from our three-week Europe trip last summer. I had already edited most of our photos from the trip, yet returned to apply Rebecca’s Pro Set IV to all my favourites. I couldn’t believe the rush of inspiration her presets drove into my photography.

The photo Rebecca chose for her first photographer spotlight is my all-time favourite shot. Jaclyn and I unknowingly wandered into Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre one evening hoping to find a seat at the popular restaurant down by the water. The host up front kind of giggled and told us the restaurant had been booked solid for almost a week. We blushed in slight embarrassment and wandered through the rest of the town, hoping to find a meal.

I only packed the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II for the evening. We sat on those rocks for a little while, people-watching to our heart’s content. As the light started to come down and the sun’s rays began to dance off the sea, this heavenly photo appeared.

I’m not taking any credit for the image. We happened to be in the right place at the right time with a camera in hand. It was Jaclyn who pointed out the beautiful scene. If anything, she gets the credit.

Of course, Rebecca’s presets only brought out the deepest beauty of the image. In one way, I owe Rebecca for the shot as well.

The how-it’s-made story aside, it’s an honour to be put alongside some of the other photographers in Rebecca’s August spotlight. I’ve followed Ray Larose’s work for quite some time, and to be put up next to his work is humbling.

Every single photographer in Rebecca’s first spotlight is worth following through your RSS feed or through Instagram. The work here is simply stunning.

Monday, August 14, 2017

National Geographic’s 2017 Photographer of the Year Contest

I’ll take the National Geographic’s word that these photos are all real. The cover image of the volcano and lightning strike look like something out of a Star Wars cut scene.

That Stuttgart library shot is my favourite. Perfect symmetry. Yet, asymmetry.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mike Trout: Baseball’s Best, Without the Brand

Tyler Kepner for the New York Times:

Trout is everything good about his sport. He plays with a joyous abandon, explosively and elegantly. He is engaged to his high school sweetheart, Jessica Cox, and still lives in Millville, N.J., where he was raised. He signs lots of autographs and is unfailingly cordial. Fame does not faze him.

Trout is LeBron James in spikes, Tom Brady out of shoulder pads, minus their championship rings. Also missing is something that barely matters to Trout but is so important to other athletes in his echelon: a brand.

For all the products he endorses, Trout has passed on many other opportunities. For all his success in the All-Star Game (two M.V.P. awards), he has never taken part in a home run derby or a World Baseball Classic. For all his Twitter followers (more than any other baseball player has), he does not use the platform to pontificate on the issues of the day, beyond the doings of his beloved Philadelphia Eagles.

There are baseball fans. And then there are baseball fans. You know, fans of the sport of baseball.

Which is surely why Kepner stipulated Trout is everything good about the sport rather than the game you see on TV.

Mike Trout is exactly my age. Or rather, one day younger. His stats — less the missing championships — put him within an arm’s reach of legendary players.

And yet we know nothing about him.

Honestly, I’d prefer Trout works to keep it that way. His humility and privacy-seeking approach to the profession is a breath of fresh air — one which other professional players should adopt and now which young baseball players should work to emulate.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The "How to Hide $400 Million" Couple Is Selling Their $36 Million Penthouse in Toronto

Remember that lengthy feature from The New York Times regarding the Oesterlunds? The couple — well, husband — who warped his financial world with shell companies and trusts in the Cook Islands and swindled hard working people from their dollars?

Well Robert Oesterlund’s now-ex-wife Sarah Pursglove is selling one of their penthouses. The $36 million Toronto penthouse is a traditional-meets-modern style — perfect for my tastes.

When reading features like the one from The New York Times, it’s hard to imagine real people undertaking such actions. This penthouse serves as a reminder that Oesterlund and Pursglove are living, breathing people, despite their high-profile divorce.

Living, breathing people with surprisingly good decor tastes, I might add.