We spent four or five days away from home last week and in the comfort of close family. Three nights were spent in the comfort of a cabin — the first time I’ve ever had such an opportunity — and two days were spent day-camping (or “glamping” as I’ve been told, although there wasn’t anything too glamorous about our time away).
This introduction to lake-life and cabin-life was incredibly eye-opening and is sure to have a lasting impression. Owning a cottage has shot to the top of my bucket list and we’re currently looking at scheduling more weekends away, in the close comfort of friends and family, sitting on a dock with a glass of wine in hand. I can only imagine how much more fun it gets with a boat, some tubes, and some fishing rods.
Here are a few memories from our trip, and a bit of a peek into our earliest shots with our new Fujifilm X-T2. As we shot during the week, we discovered Fuji’s built-in film presets. Without hesitation, Jaclyn and I flipped back and forth between Classic Chrome and Acros, grinning from ear to ear with each shutter fire. It’s an entirely new experience being able to share a photo directly from the camera and straight to Instagram.
All this is to explain my recent purchase of a Fuji X-T2. There was no particular business reason I needed another camera. I absolutely love the image quality and features of my Nikon D850. The files are gorgeous. It provides the necessary resolution and sharpness my clients need to print at larger sizes or crop in and retain detail. The 4K video is amazing. And paired with the aforementioned 24-70mm f2.8, the autofocus is lightning fast. It is everything I need professionally from a camera and more. I love you, Nikon. Keep it going.
The Fuji XT2, on the other hand, is a crop sensor. It’s 24MP pale in comparison to the 46MP pumped out by my Nikon. And even tethering to Capture One, a necessity for my personal workflow in most situations, requires a workaround since Fuji is not natively supported on the platform.
So, on paper, there is absolutely no reason why I should buy a Fuji X-T2. Well, except for one somewhat less objective reason. The darn thing is just fun.
I couldn’t say it better myself.
I’ve had more fun shooting photos in the last three days than I did throughout my ownership of the Sony a7II. Nothing against the a7II, but I bought that camera for work purposes and it never graduated into the realm of fun photography.
The X-T2, on the other hand, was purchased for fun.
The latest Fuji X-T2 deals were too good to ignore this past week, so I pounced on the opportunity to downsize my kit. The Sony a7II served its purpose for my nearly three years of ownership and I still think the Sony system is where most professionals should focus their attention in the years to come. I, however, am no professional, so the latest offerings from Fuji will serve Jaclyn’s and my needs just fine.
First impressions are fleeting, but all we see in our first few hundred actuations is green. Those Fuji greens are a very real thing. I’m convinced the EVF and back LCD screen have a Fuji preset overlaid to make all greens seem more saturated than when they hit the MacBook Pro screen. Everything seems so wonderfully magical in the viewfinder, only to be somewhat of a letdown in Lightroom later on.
Whatever the case, I’m excited to embark on a new photographic journey. It’s been a blast shooting with the Fuji X-T2 and 23mm f/2 lens over the last three days — we’ve shot more photos in the last three days than we shot in the last six months.
No new Apple product has garnered as much conversation in my home as the HomePod. Whether this is due to its elegant, approachable design or its still-whimsical “Hey Siri” jump-off, HomePod has started more conversations and finished off with more “I want one of those!” than any Apple product I’ve previously purchased.
I imagine there’ll be a few “mehs” as this post rolls through RSS, for two reasons:
I don’t have anything majorly new to say.
The HomePod was launched in the United States back in 2017.
It’s the second point that is a particular sticking point; for every outspoken individual shouting for more government regulation is one soft-spoken individual who has to wait more than six months (or even years!) for the latest innovation to roll out in their home country. For whatever reason, HomePod only launched in Canada about a month ago.
That six months did more harm than good to the HomePod. Complaints roared about how poor Siri can’t keep up with relative conversations and how she can’t seem to keep two timers going at once. She also can’t distinguish two voices, thereby locking the HomePod into a single Apple ID from the start.
To an extent, these complaints are warranted.
But I’ll be darned if I didn’t think these folks were missing the point.
HomePod is a speaker. And a really, really good speaker at that. She plays music unlike any other device on Planet Earth, and her ground-breaking bass has ushered in new sounds to songs I’ve heard since I was five years old. I’ve listened to Streets probably three or four times a week for the last five straight years and there are certain parts of Adam Clayton’s bass guitar I didn’t know existed until about a month ago.
Another potentially unpopular stance: I’m not sure why anyone would bother with the space grey HomePod. The cocoon-shaped mesh exterior of the white HomePod fits into 99% of today’s modern interior decorating, ensuring your speaker design will blend into the background as easily as its interaction method. Plus, Siri’s rainbow-dancing figurine in the invisible up-top display comes to life in a more vibrant way on the white HomePod. “White” is undoubtedly superior in this Apple arena.
That onboard touchscreen is something to behold (and something very difficult to photograph). The way the rainbow lights up when you address Siri is quite the sight, and putting your finger to Siri’s bellybutton ushers in an aura of technological personality we’ve only dreamed of. I particularly love the way that rainbow dances as Siri sends out a comical quip before her “Dance Party” playlist fires up.
The “+” and “-“ buttons are a tad boring to be the only interactive buttons to press when the music is playing — a circular rainbow grooving to the beat could be far more entertaining. I think it’d be cool if there was a setting inside the Home app that allowed Siri to dance to the music like everyone else in the house.
This is what everyone has been doing in my house since HomePod debuted a month ago: dancing. The ultimate litmus test in our house is whether Jaclyn ultimately falls prey to the allure of the latest Apple product. I figured it would take but a week for her to give in to temptation and ask Siri to tell her the weather, play her a chill song, or set a timer as she baked cookies in the afternoon. Like most things, I was right.1 Jaclyn had HomePod fired up the very first day after it was setup in the living room, and it played music throughout that evening as we sat on the deck drinking wine.
As the majority of folks who read The Newsprint are situated within the United States, there’s very little new here.
HomePod isn’t the greatest smart assistant.
HomePod has unbeatable sound.
HomePod has a great design.
In my eyes, these pitfalls are what makes the HomePod one of my favourite Apple products in the last few years. I feel the majority of these complaints are myopic — Apple has always excelled in the music industry, and HomePod is first and foremost a testament to this dominance.
But it was also myopic on Apple’s part to make HomePod a competitor with other, tinny-sounding smart assistants.
If HomePod stuck to its guns and focused on what it does best, it’d be a must-have product in every Apple guru’s home.
As it stands, that unbearable expectation gap will leave many thinking the HomePod is a jack of all trades and master of none.
Fortunately, the Jac in my house had very little in the way of expectations. Which means the HomePod has mastered music and found a permanent spot in our home.
Please, please, please sense the sarcasm in my prose! ↩
I was tasked with writing an article on how I use Day One to journal. As I brainstormed for a unique angle, I realized I use Day One in about as generic a way as possible: journal entries with attached photos of my six-month-old daughter, quick journal entries to capture my travels, or lengthier journal entries when inspiration really hits.
There’s nothing too exciting about my Day One usage.
So I figured it’d be more interesting to delve further into how Day One fits into my little “information workflow” instead. By and large, that workflow revolves around and within Bear. Day One is an end game for bits and pieces of the information I consume on a daily basis, but tons and tons of other stuff flows throw Bear to get to Day One.
Here’s the workflow:
Thanks to the wonderful implementation of URL schemes across the board for the most powerful apps on macOS and iOS, this entire workflow can be connected and quickly referenced, no matter the topic.
While you’re there, be sure to check out our revamped Day One in Depth course. Day One in Depth was originally an eBook, but Shawn and the rest of the team have rebuilt the eBook from the ground up as a course. The value in these courses — especially if you’re new to the app — is invaluable. Give it a quick peek if you’re looking to improve your journaling habit, looking for inspiration, or looking to get more out of one of the best apps in App Store history.
Here’s another recent Instagram post. I shared a photo or two of Little Venice in the past (like this one and this one), but I feel the latest edit is this landscape at its best. Little Venice was extremely windy when we visited, so the waves crashed up against these buildings pretty frequently throughout the evening. In many ways, I think Little Venice is more beautiful than the actual Venice.
If you’re lucky enough to have Mykonos as a pit stop on your itinerary this summer, be sure to check out the Petasos Beach Resort & Spa. It’s a lot more expensive today to stay at the resort than when we stayed, but it’s such a wonderful resort. Worth every penny.