CCATP #437 Devin King on Photography

In this week’s episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond, we’re joined by Devin King, the first VP and Program Director for SMOG, the Southern California Macintosh Owners | Users Group ( He’s a photographer who converted from a giant Canon DSLR to carrying two mirrorless cameras, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Fuji X-T1.

We talk about what drove him to abandon the DSLR form factor and go to mirrorless cameras, and why he bought two of them, and the differences between them. We talk about applications for processing photos from Apple Photos to Lightroom and a whole lot of other editors:

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If you’re interested in chatting with Devin directly, you can contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @devinking

NC #560 Apple Rant, Facebook Group, PIQ Sports Sensor, Brydge Keyboards, Ring Video Doorbell, ALLie Spherical Camera, SureCall Cell Booster

We start with an Apple rant about some “interesting” tech support calls I endured. I explain how I gave in and created a Facebook Group after all, but please don’t judge me. We have four interviews: PIQ Sports sensor to help you analyze your game, adorable Brydge keyboards for your iPad, ALLie Spherical Camera and SureCall cell phone booster (I think I might buy one of these). I also did an in depth review of the Ring Video Doorbell.

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Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

EyeballWhen I had a giant digital SLR, I only used one lens. It was a terrific wide angle to big zoom (28-300 mm equivalent). It was so versatile I never took it off. I did buy other lenses, like a “nifty fifty”, or 50mm equivalent because all the cool kids had them. Photography is like that, you hear about a lens and then you need that lens. You may not know why but you do. I hardly ever used that lens. It took beautiful photos, and was super fast so I could take photos in low light but the focal length just didn’t work for me. I loved it for portraits but I had to be right in their faces to get a good shot so they usually had a look of horror on their face because I was so close to them!

When I got my mirrorless camera (the Olympus E-M10) I bought a lens much like it, the Tamron 28-300 equivalent. I love that lens, all the versatility of my old lens but at less than half the weight and about 40% of the volume. I didn’t need any other lenses.

But one day in a bored moment I went out looking at the Wirecutter to see what kind of lenses I might want. Continue reading “Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens”

NC #555 Black Screen of Death, Don’t Turn off SIP, Tenba Messenger Bag, Security Stuff

What would make not one but two Macs suddenly have their screens go black? We’ll unravel that mystery along with a Dumb Question from John Ornsby asking if it’s ok to partially turn off System Integrity Protection (SIP). I’ll give you a review of the Tenba DNA 8 Messenger Bag and then we’ll close out the show with Security Stuff from Bart Busschots.

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Tenba DNA 8 Messenger Bag – Perfect for Mirrorless Cameras

Tenba DNA 8 messenger bag closedI’ve sung the virtues of owning a mirrorless camera before with the major delight being that they are much smaller and lighter than digital SLR cameras, without sacrificing photographic quality. Traditional SLRs (single lens reflex) cameras, whether digital or analog, use a system of mirrors to provide the photographer with a view through the lens so that they can see the precise framing of the photo. The photographer is actually looking through the lens prior to hitting the shutter button.

When the shutter button is pressed, those mirrors flip up out of the way, which allows the sensor (or film) to now be able to “see” through the lens. After the sensor/film has been exposed for the chosen shutter speed, the mirrors flip back down and the photographer can see through the lens again. As you can imagine, the mirrors and the mechanical hinge that flips the mirrors up and down weigh a lot.

With these new, smaller cameras, there are no mirrors and of course no mechanical hinge. Instead of an optical viewfinder as on an SLR, the viewfinder is actually a tiny little digital screen that displays exactly what the sensor sees. Not only has the weight of the mirrors and hinge been removed, the volume required to flip that mirror out of the way has been eliminated.
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NC #554 Black & White with Red Filters, Everything is Fiddly, Taming the Drobos

Steve and Antonio had a great conversation about red filters on black and white photographs, I go on a rant about how every one of my Apple tech toys is fiddly. I tell a fun story about how I used what I learned in Taming the Terminal to finally tame my Drobos.

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CCATP #416 Antonio Rosario on Black & White Photography

Amrosario instagram page showing b/w photosThis week we’re joined by Antonio Rosario, a professional photographer and instructor based in Brooklyn, NY. He’s also a digital imaging and workflow consultant. In this conversation I attempt to learn the workflow he uses to make his iconic black and white street photography stand out. It takes a while for us to get to that point because we have a lot of fun talking about his progression from the early days of film processing up to today.

We talk about RAW vs JPG and why he actually uses the JPG files most of the time (spoiler, his Fuji X100T does an amazing job of creating great JPGs), we talk about how he uses social media to further his business (spoiler, Instagram for the win).

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You can find Antonio:

Click to view Antonio’s Moonrise over Brooklyn on Flickr (an homage to Ansel Adams referred to in the interview):

Moonrise over brooklyn

Will the Apple Pencil Make You an Artist?

Ipad pro pencilI was born with a really well developed left brain, the side associated with logic. Science and math came easily to me and it was natural that I went into engineering as a result. My three brothers were also reasonably bright boys, but they were gifted with artsy fartsy skills associated with a well developed right brain. My oldest brother is a musician who reads books on string theory if you can picture that! Alas, I was the only one not musically inclined (even after 6 years of playing the flute and picolo) and with zero artistic talent.

However, like many of you out there, I always wished I could draw and paint. When Apple announced the iPad Pro and the Pencil, I wondered whether I could become an artist?  If I just had the right technology, talent would suddenly exist in me, right?

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Star Trails with the Olympus E-M10

Star trails smallHave you ever seen those cool photos of the night sky where you can see the trails of the stars in arcs around the North Star? I love those shots and have always wanted to get one, and this week I succeeded. I’d like to back up and set the stage for you.

Steve and I drove to Julian, California this week with our good friends Diane & Bill to stay at a remarkable place called Observer’s Inn. Michael Leigh built Observer’s as a two room inn combined with an observatory. This sounds crazy and it kind of is, but Michael is a self-taught astronomer with research-grade telescopes and a passion for teaching people about the solar system. Continue reading “Star Trails with the Olympus E-M10”

Macphun & Trey Ratcliff Announce Aurora Pro HDR

Aurora logoWhen I was at the photowalk with Trey Ratcliff earlier this year in LA, he did a talk afterwards. He explained how he does his amazing HDR photography using Photomatix. He also said he hated the Photomatix interface so much that they should make prisoners use it! He told us that he was working with a company to use his knowledge to develop a better, more intuitive and capable HDR program. I should have put the pieces together when I met Maphun’s VP Kevin La Rue at Trey’s event, but I’m not that smart!

Today Macphun and Trey Ratcliff announced Aurora HDR Pro, available for pre-order today with a release date of November 19th.

If you pre-order for $89, Trey will give you:

  • Aurora HDR Pro for Mac (Available for download Nov 19th)
  • 20 minute Aurora HDR tutorial video by Trey
  • Bonus presets to get you started
  • 11 HD wallpapers Trey made with Aurora HDR
  • 11 sets of his bracketed images you can use for practice

I’ll be reviewing Aurora HDR Pro of course so stay tuned!

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