Why I like Flickr More Than Instagram

 

I recently started using Flickr after a long time of thinking it was bad and that it had a lot of improving to do. That “long time ago” was June of 2013.

One week ago I logged back into my account and I discovered something. Flickr is great now!

When you sign up you get 1TB of free space to store your pictures. Let me say that again, you get 1TB, for free. That is something I have not heard of being matched. The only downside to that is ads being displayed to you and in your slide shows when others scroll through your stuff. A small distraction for what you get in my opinion.

The Flickr app does everything that Instagram does and more. You can view your images up close in app and then select multiple shots to be uploaded. From there you can decide if you want the pictures to be public or just to friends and/or family. You can share the links to those pictures so people without Flickr accounts can view them on the website.

Now the shortfalls. I think that the web interface is a little lacking and hard to navigate in some areas. I also think that it is a bummer that you have to create an @yahoo.com mail/account to use the service. I personally do not puffer to use Yahoo and no not like being forced to have an account with them. However, you can sign in with Facebook or Google but the site warns you that you will have to sign in with a Yahoo account eventually.

So that’s my opinion on Flickr. I have now begun to move away from Instagram and switch fully to Flickr. The service works for my needs and I encourage you to at least try it out if you have a need to store and share your photo’s online. Obviously I will not be putting my entire library online but for the ones that I consider “artsy” I will upload and share.

Thanks for reading my opinion and I would like to hear yours. What do you think about Flickr?

 

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“Apple’s Event” And My Reaction

I’ll keep this brief and only about my opinions as I’m sure you can find the tech specs online. Also I apologize for the lateness, I meant to have this out directly after the live-stream but that did not happen.

iPhone 6

I’m pretty excited for the new iPhone. I like the size and the features it implements to deal with the new sizes. (double tap the home button and screen moves down) Improvements to battery life are always great as well. The main decision for me is whether to get a 6 or a 6 plus (yes I will be getting one but not right away, I’ll wait for the bugs to get worked out) I don’t know if I will like the bigger size of 5.5 inches. The only way I will be able to decide is to go to an apple store and hold the phone for myself. I’m not totally opposed to getting the plus if it feels good in my hand.

The new camera is what I paid a lot of attention too. A plus for the plus (see what I did there) is that is has the optical video stabilization which I would very much like to have. That will factor into my decision greatly.

Apple Pay

This way of paying may actually get me to use passbook. I’ve previously not used it much but with the ability to pay with NFC it would make my life easier and less of a hassle. The only problem I can see is if a store does not have an NFC capable way to pay which would be a bummer because then what is the point of inputting the card if you are going to carry around the cards anyway. You might as well get a coin and be done with it at that point.

Apple Watch

Now I have some mixed feelings about this product. It has everything I would like to see in a smart watch (except the one on one communication thing, what is that anyway?) and it seems to have the battery I would be okay with. However, I will only buy it if it is less than $150. I’m sure that apple could seek the watches at that price but early speculation that I’ve seen says that it will cost $350 which I am unwilling to pay. At that point it is more cost-effective to reach into my pocket and take out my phone to check the time.

Overall I was happy with the keynote, they poked fun at the early leaks and speculation being right and they gave a lot of information out. IOS 8 will be a great new update and I’ll be getting it the 17th I believe and then wait a month or so to get a 6.

So what do you think? Did you like the keynote? How much are you willing to pay for the watch? Will you even use the new features? Let me know.

The “Big Apple Announcement”

Now, many things can be said back an forth between mac’s and pc’s . . . I am a fan of apple stuff and that said I’m looking forward to the event at 10am PST today. Unfortunately I will probably not be able to watch the keynote live but when I am available later today I will write a summary post on what I thought was interesting.

I just wanted to convey me excitement for this announcement and I am hoping that the next iPhone will be announced along with the release date for the next round of software (Yosemite and IOS 8)

I don’t really care for the “iWatch” as speculators call it.

Whatever happens I’m excited!

The Lytro

Up until now, the standard process of taking a picture involved finding he correct lens for a situation, then the right aperture settings, then the right shutter speed, then the . . . it goes on. Then you would have to take the picture that you shot which was recorded on film and have it developed. That process changed slightly when digital photography burst onto the scene. Digital photography allows the viewing of a picture right after it was taken. Digital photography allowed many more people to take pictures inexpensively and share them with their friends and family.

However a new way to take pictures has now emerged. What if you didn’t have to worry about correctly focusing on the subject of the picture? What if all you had to do was push a button and go?

This is where I introduce the 1st edition of the Lytro camera.

Lytro_light_field_camera_-_front

It works by capturing the light field in front of the camera and saving that as the picture.

However, to view the picture you have to import it to your computer and then use the software that is provided to adjust the focus of the photo.

That’s right, you pick the subject that you want to focus on after you take the picture.

You may have noticed that I said 1st edition earlier. Well, this is because Lytro have just announced the second step in their “light field” sensing technology. The Lytro ILLUM camera.

LytroILLUM

This new camera has a full 40 Megaray’s of sensory quality. Lytro claims that this camera will be the next step in creating imagery that photographers will be able to “portray not just a cross-section of reality, but an authentic, interactive window into their world.”

Now this camera is available for pre-order right now but at a price tag of $1500 US it is not available to the average person as of yet.

So what does this mean for photography you might ask? Well there are benefits to the Lytro camera and there are negatives.

For the positives, this camera is very versatile. It is relatively small and all you have to do to take a picture is press one button, everything else can be dealt with in post. This means that you can spend more time in the moment when you are there and when you get home you can explore the moment you captured further as well. Because you can refocus on anything after the fact it is very fun to go around clicking new parts of the photo to focus on. It makes you really see what was going on when you took the picture. I also like the instant turn on and subsequent instant shutter feature that helps you to never miss a moment.

The con of using this camera is, most noticeably, the clarity. Because the technology has not been used before in other cameras and you are capturing the light for the scene in a different way, the quality is something to be desired, not terrible but not crystal clear either. However it seems that with their new camera, the ILLUM, Lytro is aiming to fix the issue with the resolution of their camera. Another issue with this camera is the lack of control that you have over the picture before you take it. While there are many things you can do with the picture in post, there is not much control over the settings before you take the picture. Everything (minus the shutter button to take the picture) is controlled though the small LCD touch screen on the camera. You have varying degrees of control over the various traditional settings but nothing like what you could come by from a mid-range tough high-end DSLR. Again however, it looks like their new camera will be making great strides in the right direction to appeal to the DSLR group.

My overall reaction to this camera is that it is fun to use but the novelty wears off. The biggest thing for me is the clarity of the photographs, (it could also be that I am just a bad photographer) I am also sorry to say that I do not own one of these camera but have used them on occasion and have had a moderate amount experience with them. However, if you have $200 bucks (US) to drop (for the 8GB model) and feel like having some fun with a novel concept then I say why not get one?

Despite my unease over this camera I am intently looking forward to the release of their next camera the ILLUM and I think that it has a great amount of potential. I will definitely have my eyes and ears open for the release of that camera.

Thanks for reading!

The Moto!

I’ve recently found out about this little gadget called the Moto.

The Moto is a bluetooth device that allows up to five people to connect to it. After they connect they can send their music from their device to it so everyone can play the music that they want to. It says the range is up to 300ft which I am skeptical of but I’ll have to get one and find out.

I mention this device because I think it is a good idea and because I am considering getting one. You could hook it up to my car stereo and whoever wants to play their music could connect to it and we could all listen to the songs that we want to.

If I end up purchasing the thing then I will let you all know how it works and if it is a worthwhile buy. Or, if any of you have bought one then maybe let me know in the comments below? Thanks for reading!

Let’s Try This Again

So I have purchased another headset that I will be testing out over the next few days. I decided to give Razor another chance after my first purchase with them and bought the Razor Carcharias.

I bought these hoping for comfort and so far they seem to be doing a pretty good job. I can wear them for long periods of time without and noticeable discomfort.

The audio quality is not bad either. It has a bass tuner so you can increase it to your liking. But I’m not one to listen to just bass heavy things. I’ve been testing classical, alternative, rock, metal, punk, and an odd assortment of other things as well. So far then are handling everything pretty well. You can find better quality in other headphones for sure but these have a lot of good things going for them.

I’m not sure if I’m going to keep it but so far there are many positives and not too many negatives so it’s looking good.

The Myo And Why I Want One

There has been a little invention that a team has been working on for the last few years call the Myo. It is a small band that you slip on to your arm and it allows your muscle movements to control your computer.

Myo sceenshot

They have started selling pre-orders and I am very excited to get one when they have finalized the design. I think that this concept has an amazing amount of potential and if I can code it to suit my specific needs then that’s even better.

It’s pretty affordable right now at a $150 US so it’s not an out of the question buy. They’ve been in development for a while now and have switched the overall look to what they say is now the finalized look. I’ll wait a bit until they have finalized it further but I am definitely going to get one.

Imagine being able to open your browser with a  flick of the wrist. Or maybe you have a workflow that opens up the applications you want to start off your day? Then you could just program a movement that would run the workflow and bam, everything turned on when you make a thumbs up! The future is now :)

If you want more information about the device, I’ll provide a link here that will take you to the developer’s website.

 

 

Wacom Tablet Review

wacom-tablet

 

I’ve spent the last few weeks with this tablet so I think that I can give a decent review now.

I purchased the lowest model of the Intuos series for 80 US dollars, a pretty affordable price I thought, and so far have had only a few complaints.

I think that the nib gets used up too fast, only after 6 drawings did I have to replace the first one. I expected the to last longer. The other is the lightness of the pad itself. I feel that it is too weak. Although that could just be that I like devices to be mainly metal.

However those are the only grievances I have with the pad. After getting this I have been able to use Photoshop much faster than before and have learned more about Photoshop by using the pad. The sensitivity is great and the pen feels good in my hand as I write. The note keys I have learned not to use after becoming more familiar with the shortcuts on the keyboard but that is just my preference. I can see how using the hotkeys on the pad would be beneficial but for my purposes I have not used them in a while.

The pen, while not an danced one, works great for me. There are two buttons on the pen itself and those I use often as they are easier to get to then the hotkeys on the pad. I am thinking about upgrading pens in the future just for the increased functionality that the higher level pens have but as of right now I am perfectly capable of doing anything in my skill level with the current tools I have.

Buy buying this pad I have been able to grow in my abilities and while developing without the pad would have been possible, I think that the pad made it a lot easier and quicker.

Those are my thoughts on the Wacom Intuos Graphics Tablet. I hope that this helped you in making a decision and if you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to ask :)

The Importance Of Power

This video informed me about Thorium. Personally I like the idea of it and I think it is a worth while investment. Power is one of the most important things that we have in our world. Right after the basic necessities of life. You would not be reading this without power. Let me clarify, I mean electrical power. I recently heard a story about a Thorium reactor that was going to be built soon, I can’t remember where exactly. In any case, watch the video and I would love to hear what you think about this form of power generation or the way we generate power in general.

How Much I Love . . .

Blog Post-Pictures

GoPro’s!!!!! Seriously, those things are awesome. Let me backtrack. For those of you who do not know what a GoPro is, a GoPro is a very small camera/video recorder. It is called an action camera as it can go places and into positions that most normal cameras can not. It is waterproof, can handle large falls (reasonably) and is mountable in almost any place imaginable. I recently (about 5 months ago) acquired a GoPro after much deliberation and have not regretted it. I am by no means a professional or someone who records everything all the time but when I do something that I can’t take a regular camera with me but I still want to record whatever it is I’m doing I use my GoPro. I can go kayaking with it, do a bit of Golfing and no one will yell at me when I record so I can get cool shots on the course, Taking time lapses on the sunrise and sunset or just getting some random cool angles/video by placing a camera you would not normal put it. GoPro and many other 3rd party manufacturers make accessories for the GoPro so that you can mount it in different way or get extra battery life out of the camera. I myself only have a few more things to get for it and then I will be set. All of this hype results and helps drive my belief that more things should be recorded. For personal use at least. We are at a point in history where it is easier than ever to record in video or pictures everything in our life. Wether it be the food we eat or the plane we jump out of, everything can be recorded. I am of the belief that this is a good thing because even if it may not be used or ever seen again, it is there so that you can rematch it. How many times have you thought “man, I wish I could have been recording that” or “I wish someone was recording that” or “If only I had a camera then.” I try to take pictures regularly, even if it is not stuff that is super important now, In 20 years I may want to look back and think, “So that’s what color that was” or “wow that is so old-looking!” I think that kind of stuff is important and a GoPro allows me to capture even more. More and more camera companies are starting to enter the action camera business but GoPro still controls a vast majority of the market. Action camera in general are a great advent in the tech world because how many other high-quality cambric can you jump off of a diving board with and record an underwater scene and then immediately go mountain biking and capture the moment you fall off and still work another day? Not many. I’m not saying go our and buy and action camera, I’m just telling you the different it has made in my ability to record. Thanks for reading!