Camping Under Stars

We signed up for the Family Camp at Northwest Trek, which includes a single overnight camp, access to the park after-hours, a special tram tour to see the animals, and a hot breakfast the next morning.

I took advantage of the clear (and hot) weather to set up my tripod after everyone had gone to bed and attempt some starry sky shots. I have a lot of respect for people that do this well; it’s a great reminder that continued practice is always good. If nothing else, it’s a great way to spend some quiet time in the summer.

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Macvoices photos book2

Chuck Joiner invited me to talk about Apple’s Photos for OS X app and my new book, Photos for OS X and iOS. During a conversation where I think I forgot to give Chuck any chance to talk, we covered iCloud Photo Library, why it was time to move on from iPhoto, and how Aperture users can look forward to the next version of Photos that ships with OS X El Capitan.

Check it out here: MacVoices #15156: Jeff Carlson Discusses Photos for OS X and iOS.

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Traveldata 03 tripmode

When I was co-leading a photo workshop in May, we spent several days at a hotel that had meager (to be polite) Internet access. Fortunately, my cellular-equipped iPad picked up an LTE signal easily. So, using the iOS Personal Hotspot feature, I connected my MacBook Pro to the iPad…

…and swiftly burned through my cellular plan’s data allotment.

Twice.

At Lynda.com, I relate the sad tale and review a Mac app that would have saved me: TripMode. It’s a little menu bar item that lets you choose which applications connect to the Internet. (I suspect Photos for OS X was the bandwidth hog at the time.)

Read the article here: TripMode: Don’t Blow Through Your Allotted Data While Traveling.

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Photograph Elk in the Afternoon by Jeff Carlson on 500px

Click here to view larger: Elk in the Afternoon by Jeff Carlson on 500px

A herd of elk relax in the shade in the late afternoon. Shot at Northwest Trek in Washington State.

(Photographed using a Fujifilm X-T1 with a 55-200mm lens.)

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Calendars duped watch2

Yesterday my Apple Watch started showing duplicate events in the Calendar app and on the watch face (when events overlap, an exclamation point icon appears before the next event on the face). I’m not sure what spurred the issue, but for some reason this week my iPhone stopped updating iCloud information until I re-entered my password in the iCloud settings.

The duplicates didn’t appear in the Calendar app on the iPhone, nor in my iOS calendar of choice, Fantastical. In fact, Fantastical on the watch also didn’t show duplicate events.

This looks like a bug somewhere in iOS or watchOS related to having an alternate calendar app installed on the iPhone. In theory, all calendars use the same underlying database, but that’s not happening in this case. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix:

  1. On the iPhone, open the Calendars app (Apple’s built-in one, not a third-party one).
  2. Tap Calendars at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the “All iCloud” button to toggle all calendars’ visibility from on to off.
  4. Tap Done.

Calendar app iphone2

The duplicates are hidden on the watch. Your events still appear in the third-party calendar you use.

Calendars duped fixed

Although I prefer the Fantastical app on the watch, I usually find myself in the built-in Calendar app because I tap the notification on the watch face for quick reference. watchOS 2, available in a few months, supports custom watch face complications, so hopefully I’ll be able to launch whichever app I want then.

applewatch_cc_150pxWant to know more about the Apple Watch and how best to take advantage of it? Buy my book! Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course, is just $10 and an immediate download.

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I like the new Photos for OS X application on the Mac (I just finished writing a book about it!), but not everyone is ready to switch from iPhoto or Aperture. However, Apple is certainly ready, because it opens Photos automatically whenever you connect a camera or a memory card.

In my most recent column for The Seattle Times, I explain how to make Photos take the hint if you’re not ready to use it yet: Apple dumps iPhoto and Aperture, but you don’t have to.

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Macvoices watch

This week I had an excellent talk with Chuck Joiner for his MacVoices podcast about the Apple Watch and my new book Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course. We discussed several topics in the interview, but one of the most interesting was how continued use of the Apple Watch shaped how we treat our devices and the flood of incoming data, and also how that affected the way I wrote the book. I think we covered some great ground.

Watch or listen to the episode here: MacVoices #15153: Jeff Carlson Talks Apple Watch and His Take Control Crash Course.

Sunset Dog and Owner

Photographing a sunset in Fort Bragg, California, I was pleasantly surprised when a dog and its owner wandered along the cliff edge. Thank you, mystery dog-walker!

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Cal hammock

When I saw the headline that Apple Watch sales were “down 90% from launch,” I assumed it was a poorly-researched attempt to grab attention. And guess what: it is. (Eye roll. I’m also not going to encourage their traffic with a link.)

First, Apple hasn’t released any numbers for the Watch, at all. And if Apple doesn’t release numbers, they don’t share that info with anyone—especially a company you’ve never heard of. So at best this is a guess.

Second, all sales numbers go down after a big splashy launch, particularly for a product with a lot of pent-up demand.

I like my Apple Watch, I’ve written a lot about it (including a new book, Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course), but I don’t expect the watch to be as big as the iPhone or iPad. The Watch is brand new, and a lot of people are waiting to see how it will shape up before they commit to buying one.

When analysts (headline-grabbers) try to spin it as some great failure, you know they’re blowing smoke out of certain orifices and calling it wisdom.

The Macalope at Macworld and Rene Ritchie at iMore explain specifically why this report is a crock.

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For the Fourth of July this year, our neighbors invited us to join them at an office overlooking Lake Union here in Seattle. At first I wasn’t going to bring a camera. I’ve just finished six weeks of constant work to deliver back-to-back book manuscripts, and toting a camera with me felt like work. My lovely wife suggested I bring it along anyway—I’m glad she did.

The office we went to had a great view of the lake, with the launch barge to our left and the Seattle skyline behind us on a gorgeous, hot day. There was a lot of good food, plenty of desserts, and the chance to just hang out and socialize with good people.

   
 
Lacking the traditional July 4 cloud cover, it didn’t get dark until past 10 p.m. But when darkness came, the sky lit up. We didn’t have access to the soundtrack accompanying the show, so we got to watch it old-school. And like every year, I found myself whooping occasionally at the display. Big fireworks displays are awesome.

Photographing the show was fun, too. It mostly involved setting up my camera on a tripod and anticipating where the explosions were going to be. The hardest part is setting manual focus, because you don’t want the camera hunting for focus on things that disappear quickly. So that took some trial and error. I set my aperture to f/5.6, which lets in a decent amount of light without working with a shallow depth of field. The last key element is attaching a cable release and setting the shutter speed to Bulb mode: when the fireworks happen, you want long exposures to catch the trails of light. With a cable release, you can press and hold for anywhere between 2 to 8 or 9 seconds to leave the shutter open.

Then it’s a matter of enjoying the show and attempting to anticipate when the big bursts will happen. I ended up with plenty of so-so shots, but also a few satisfactory ones, too.

 

  

 

  

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