Archives For Articles and Books


With so much focus on the iPhone 7, which started trickling into customers’ hands today, more people are thinking about mobile photography. Jill Waterman at B&H Photo wrote an article containing tips that go beyond the typical rules of composition and lighting. I’m quoted talking about the software behind the lens (a topic I’ve found myself discussing in a few situations this week), and two of my mobile photos are included. Read it here: 8 Tips from Mobile Photography Professionals, plus their Favorite Apps.

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Seattle Skyline Dusk v2

The great folks at Macphun are currently including a short ebook I wrote for them with every Aurora HDR purchase: 10 Simple Steps to Make Amazing HDR Photos…but anyone can get it for free! It covers a few fundamentals, like tips for capturing good brackets in the first place, and points to features in Aurora HDR that give you more control over your HDR compositions.

If you already own my Aurora HDR Photoversity Guide, you likely know all the information in this new ebook (it also include several new photos by me)—but you could send it to a photo-loving friend who’s looking to bump up their HDR game. And if you don’t yet own the Photoversity guide, there’s a special offer at the end to get 40% off the guide.

To get it, go to the Aurora HDR Free Stuff page, enter your email address, and download the book (plus other goodies, too). Macphun designed the book to be read in the iBooks app on OS X or any iOS device. Take a look at some sample pages below:


Take Control Books is having a 50%-off sale through March 21! This is a great opportunity to pick up my latest Take Control books as well as titles from some of the best writers covering the Apple and technology fields. Select any of the titles below, and then browse the Take Control catalog for more:

Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac, Second Edition, by Jeff Carlson

Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course, by Jeff Carlson

Take Control of 1Password, by Joe Kissell

Take Control of Dropbox, by Joe Kissell

Take Control of iCloud, by Joe Kissell

Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course, by Jason Snell

Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network, by Glenn Fleishman

Take Control of iTunes 12: The FAQ, by Kirk McElhearn

El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course, by Scholle McFarland

And many more!

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

For many years, Glenn Fleishman and I shared office space in a handful of locations, with a handful of other writers, editors, and artists. He would often step into my office to chat about something going on in tech, or in the news, or just to release the pressure valve that is a writer’s brain after you’ve been starting at words on a computer screen for too long.

And I remember one day, I think it was 1999, when Glenn walked into my office and said, “I’m going to be the world’s expert on Wi-Fi.”

And then he did.

We take wireless networking for granted now, but instead of it fading into the background, it’s actually now more important than ever. “Networking” isn’t merely transporting files from one computer to another, it’s how our mobile and wearable devices communicate with each other and receive information from the rest of the world.

Now Glenn has updated his best-selling book on the topic: Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network. I admit it sounds like a dry topic, but when something goes screwy…when your devices can’t connect even though everything looks right…when you need to transfer information easily…and when you need to make sure that the network traffic is actually secure…that’s when you’ll be happy this ebook is right there on your iPad, iPhone, or Mac.

That’s really just a long way of saying: Buy Glenn’s book! It’s good!


Chris Breen at Macworld posted a useful article about how to remove duplicates and get rid of bad photos from an out of control iPhoto library. With the Photos for OS X app expected sometime this year, now’s a good a time as any to clean up before the transition.

Read it here: Cull iPhoto library of duplicates and bad photos (Macworld)

Macvoices family

Last week I appeared on Chuck Joiner’s excellent MacVoices podcast to talk about my latest book, co-written with Dan Moren, The Connected Apple Home: Discover the Rich Apple Ecosystem of the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and AppleTV. As always it was fun to be on Chuck’s show, and we talked about how Apple’s devices are converging with the latest releases of iOS and OS X.

I’ll have more to say about the book soon, but for a glimpse at what you’ll find, this podcast episode is a great introduction. Watch it here: MacVoices #14230: Jeff Carlson and Dan Moren Discuss The Connected Apple Family

WdfMP Wireless

Ever since I started writing the first edition of The iPad for Photographers, one aspect of the process has been a sticking point: image backup. I know, that sounds like the most boring part of being a photographer, but it’s also vitally important.

Importing photos onto the iPad for review is one option, but it takes up valuable storage (and digital camera files aren’t getting any smaller). That also means you have just one set of image files, unless you use the SD memory cards you originally captured the photos onto as backup (which is also a good idea).

A number of companies have made hard disks that incorporate Wi-Fi radios, primarily as a means of storing lots of media (movies, mostly) and stream them to the iPad and not take up the device’s storage. The Seagate Wireless Plus also added the ability to copy photos from the iPad to the drive, but its implementation is pretty basic and time-consuming: You need to import photos to the iPad, and then copy them to the drive.

All this is lead-up to a new product that makes the whole problem less thorny. The WD My Passport Wireless is a portable, battery-powered hard disk that adds one crucial element: an SD card reader. With this addition, you can dump the contents of a memory card while you’re shooting with another card, then connect to the drive on your iPad and review your work.

The drive is available in two configurations: 1 TB for $175 and 2 TB for $219. (Those are the current prices at Amazon as I write this; clicking either link earns me an affiliate percentage and helps support the work I do.)

My full review at is here: Review: My Passport Wireless for the Traveling Photographer.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

FiLMiC Pro

One promise of the video-capture capabilities of the iPhone and iPad is being able to create movies without a lot of other expensive hardware. That can be shooting short movies, action clips, interviews, or even news segments. But when you need more than just the basics, turn to the app FiLMiC Pro. I write about this $7.99 gem at and explain why it’s essential for anyone who needs manual control over the video they capture, from locking focus and exposure independently to capturing video at a resolution higher than the built-in Camera app does.

Read about it here: iPhone Video Beyond Basic: Shooting with FiLMiC Pro.

iPad and iPhone VideoI also cover FiLMiC Pro in my book iPad and iPhone Video: Film, Edit, and Share the Apple Way. (Hint: It makes a great gift for the budding director in your family or circle of friends!)

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

Print gifts finished book2

Still looking for holiday gift ideas? Start with the photos in your iPhone or iPad! Over at, I’ve written about methods for making photo gifts without requiring a trip to your computer. Apps and services can make prints, photo books, and other creations while you wait in line to see Santa.

I also spotlight a couple of interesting photo book options: Chatbooks and Groovebook are designed to make small books out of all of your mobile photos (with the ability to skip shots you don’t like, of course) inexpensively. Chatbooks charges $6 for a 60-page book, while Groovebook works as a subscription that costs $2.99 per month for a book of 40 to 100 pages.

This was a fun article to research. Check it out here: Make Photo Gifts Right from Your iPhone or iPad.

In my latest Seattle Times Practical Mac column, I take in the beautiful screen of the new 5K iMac and wonder: Have we reached a Retina tipping point? Not all of Apple’s products offer Retina screens (the MacBook Air is the last holdout, and you can still buy non-Retina iMac, MacBook Pro, and iPad models), but they’re now in the minority.

Personally, I’m thrilled that the best improvement to computing is something that benefits the thing we look at all the time. (And personally I’m a little jealous, since I’m still soldiering on with a non-Retina 2010 MacBook Pro as my main Mac. My wife bought a 13-inch MacBook Pro last year, and I try my best to avoid it for fear that my li’l workhorse laptop will seem rough in comparison.)

Do you agree? Check out the article here: Retina 5K display a gorgeous sight worth its price.