10 Years of Lightroom

February 19, 2017 — Leave a comment

Lightroom 10 years

Ten years, man! Ten! Years!

Thanks to Victoria “The Lightroom Queen” Brampton’s newsletter, I learned that my photo organizer and editor of choice turned 10 this weekend. Unlike Victoria, I joined the Lightroom party late after starting off with Aperture, but it’s been the heart of my photo library for probably eight of those ten years. In a new blog post, Victoria runs down the history of Lightroom from the beginning, from the early betas to the latest mobile incarnations. It’s a good read if you’ve been using Lightroom for a while.

Speaking of Lightroom, the application features heavily into my own book, Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac. I’m almost done updating the manuscript for a new revision. Look for that soon!

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Mbp touchbar

When I was working on ideas for my latest Practical Mac column for The Seattle Times, I wanted to talk about my new MacBook Pro, but felt as if I’d already beat the subject into the ground. Turns out I hadn’t actually written about it since I received mine. (Maybe the readers are tired of it anyway.) So this week, I share some observations about actually using the new Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro on a daily basis. I also reflect on a couple of utilities—TextExpander and SoundSource—that have served me well running older versions, but which I’ve finally updated for good reasons.

Of particular note with the MacBook Pro, I’ve seen vastly improved battery life since updating to macOS Sierra 10.12.3, which fixed a bug that wasn’t allowing the graphics processors to switch the way they were supposed to. (In short: most of the time, the machine uses the Integrated graphics that are part of the main Intel Core i7 processor, which is highly battery efficient. Some apps, like Photoshop, take advantage of the discrete GPU for better and faster graphics processing, which burns through battery power faster. Instead of kicking back to the Integrated graphics when no longer using one of those apps, Sierra would continue to use the GPU.) This change has almost doubled my battery life in some cases.

Read it here: A new MacBook Pro, and dragging old applications into the future

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Rails

Looking through the monorail tracks to the Westin Hotel, downtown Seattle. (Click for larger view.)

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Foggy Morning Pajamas

A foggy morning provided a few minutes of good photography as my daughter and friends (here, her friend Ainsley) looked out our hotel room window at Great Wolf Lodge. Taking most pictures of these girls needs to be surreptitious these days, because they want to mug for the camera instead of pose. (Click the photo to view it larger.)

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Project phoenix

Twitterrific was the first Mac client for Twitter, and I’ve used it since almost the beginning—10 years ago! When the app developers, The Iconfactory, expanded to iOS, Twitterrific kept up with Twitter’s features on iOS, but not on the Mac. (That’s due to programming resources, but also a lot of dickish moves by Twitter to shut out developers for a while.)

And yet, I still use Twitterrific as my Twitter client on the Mac, even though it lacks a lot of modern Twitter features. I’ve tried others, and none of them stick.

Now, The Iconfactory is Kickstarting a push to revive Twitterrific on macOS with Project Phoenix. If they can raise $75,000, they’ll be able to finish development on a brand-new version of Twitterrific. If they go over that amount, that gives them the ability to add more features.

In general, I’m not a fan of established companies using Kickstarter to fund their products. I get PR emails from one company all the time advertising some new product that’s actually just a funding plea.

But I make exceptions for companies I respect and trust, and The Iconfactory is way up on that list. I’ve kicked a contribution to help this project get made. You can too.

Airpods coffee

When Apple announced AirPods, the wireless earbuds, I thought they looked cool, but they didn’t really catch my attention. I already owned a pair of Bluetooth headphones, and regular earbuds have generally worked just fine in my ears.

And then people started to rave about them. As I mention in this week’s Practical Mac column for The Seattle Times, “… I began to see something unusual for modern Apple, with its deep marketing prowess and industry clout: enthusiastic word-of-mouth.”

After using them for a few weeks, I’m sold. They’re great, even with a few limitations (no volume control except via Siri, no quick pairing with the Apple TV). And AirPods offer the best first-encounter experience of any Apple product in recent memory, hands down.

Read the entire review here: AirPods turn out to be rare product that lives up to the hype.

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I appeared on Clockwise again this week, a great 30-minute podcast where four people offer their opinions on four technology topics. I love Clockwise because it’s so easily digestible, and the topics are always interesting.

For this episode, 172: Serial iPhone Killer, we discussed the upcoming Nintendo Switch gaming platform, Twitter security challenges for the White House, the death of the Vine video service, and the changing face of Apple support. I was joined by hosts Jason Snell and Dan Moren, as well as the multi-talented Alex Cox. Go have a listen!

Soupzine

With the new year, I and many other people are trying to figure out ways we can help people and causes that need assistance. My friend Anne Livingston just created a great one: Soup Zine, a “hand-illustrated mini cookbook [that] shares easy recipes and pro tips for comforting soups to keep you warm all winter.” Anne is an amazing food photographer, professionally-trained cook, and writer who has also worked on Edible Seattle magazine, so right off you know the contents of Soup Zine are going to be good.

Even better: All proceeds from the sales of the $10 printed zine go to Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization working to combat climate change, advance clean energy, protect people’s health, and preserve natural wildlife.

I love this idea, both because it’s exciting to bring projects into the world, and because I can’t wait for the issue to arrive so I can cook up some soup.

Pudding Creek Trestle at Sunset

I love running across photos in my library that I’d forgotten about. I need to allocate more time to going through back albums. (Click the photo for a better, larger view.)

The Pudding Creek Trestle in Fort Bragg, California once carried lumber by train, and has since been refurbished as a walkway.

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Up Early for Snow in Seattle

After it snowed a few inches overnight, we were up early (thanks to the 8-year-old, very early) to go experience it. The people in this house were awake, too.

The cold weather today made me think of this photo from December when it snowed here in Seattle. It’s sunny and a brisk 31 degrees F outside now, but friends in Portland are digging out of a foot of snow from the last couple of days!

Stay warm.