Since WatchOS 3 came out, it’s made the original Apple Watch so much better. I’m still tempted by the series 2 though. In this post, I thought I’d share what’s on my Apple Watch. Some apps I’ve had for a while, some more recently and one this morning.
A Foray into 4KBlog, Personal, Technology
This week I’ve been creating and uploading 4K video. I say video… I, like many other people don’t yet own a device capable of recording 4K video so that is a little misleading. No, what I’m actually creating are photo slideshows in 4K.
A decent DSLR can take images with enough megapixels to cover the 3840×2160 dimensions found in this new Ultra-High Definition video format. Unfortunately, Aperture for Mac has very poor support for 4K video exports so I’ve resorted to Final Cut Pro instead. My poor MacBook Pro loses about 60GB of space every time I create a 2-3 minute video in 4K. When exporting, the fans go into overdrive and my work-horse laptop suddenly finds out what hard work really is.
My New Favourite Website is about DesksBlog, Personal
Okay, prepare yourself for a DEFCON 3 level of nerd.
A few months ago I came across David Wu’s website with pictures and a detailed explanation of how he transformed his study into a room that looks much like the inside of an Apple Store.
I Found My School Report from 1999Blog, Personal
Do you have a box that you put letters and important documents in? I do. It’s was so full up it was about to burst. It was one of those portable filing boxes with segments for bills, finance, receipts etc. Trouble is someone in the past convinced me to keep all this paperwork because if I didn’t I would get in trouble somehow. I’m not entirely sure how but I’m sure I’ve heard in the past you must keep important documents for SEVEN YEARS.
The Most Important Albums I’ve HeardMusic, Personal
During many people’s lifetimes, they often come across certain albums of importance for many reasons. It could be an album that introduced them to a now favourite genre of music, something that opened their eyes or found inspirational or something that brings a deep emotional attachment.
Photos from Verulamium ParkBlog, Personal
Last weekend I went to Verulamium Park in St. Albans. It’s a nice place to go to, even at the weekends – there’s loads of people around, but because it is so big there is so much space. It was also a good opportunity to take some photos. For late September, it was a hot day which meant lots of ducks!
Storify: Do you keep a diary?Blog, Personal
After reading through my diary last night, I started talking about it on Twitter. What followed on was a really interesting conversation with people across the world about how they keep diaries and what they put in them. I decided to keep all of the tweets on Storify and have posted them below.
The iPad Has Made Me Love Photography AgainBlog, Personal, Technology
I’ve been taking photos on a fairly regular basis since I got a half decent camera in about 2006. Since then, I upgraded to my first DSLR in late 2011 – a Canon 600D.
Whilst I’ve always been keen to take photos when I’m out and about, being bothered to go out and explore has always been an issue. I therefore ended up only using the camera about once a month or so, when an opportunity came to go somewhere interesting.
I live in the countryside and there are endless walks and interesting places to visit and photograph, but I’ve never taken the time to explore them properly. I think part of the issue is what I do with the photographs after I took them.
Recently however, I can’t stop taking photos. I can’t wait to go to the next place on my list and take some more shots and share them on my online gallery. There are two reasons for this sudden desire to take more photos again.
The first is the excellent redesign of Flickr. I love the way the photos are now displayed with and an endless scrolling gallery and thumbnails that support retina display devices. On these devices the galleries look stunning.
The second and most important factor however, is incorporating my iPad into my workflow. Since buying a lightning to SD card connection kit, I’ve used the iPad as my sole tool for editing and sharing my photos online. I find it so much easier and quicker than firing up the computer and having to sit at a desk. With the iPad, I can edit and upload wherever, whenever, even having the photos being uploaded within minutes of them being taken. Certain apps make things a lot more fun and easier too, such as Snapseed for editing the photos and using the iPhone/iPad app GeoTagr to geotag my photo’s exact location. Flickrstackr also allows me to upload my photos to Flickr, adding them to different galleries and organising them efficiently.
I’ll be off on a short holiday soon, knowing that the days of waiting to get home to edit and share my photos are long gone.
I think I’ll start blogging about some of the places I go to as well as some posts about my kit and the apps I use in my workflow. Taking photos has never been so much fun.
Splosh: Environmentally-Friendly CleaningBlog, Personal, Reviews
It’s the kind of thing you’d see on TV show ‘Dragons Den’. An environmentally-friendly company selling mail order cleaning products. What makes the products environmentally-friendly? Well, the fact that you only get the bottles on your first order. After that you just order sachets of concentrated liquid that you mix with water and add them to the bottles you keep.
The idea is that you no longer buy endless containers that you then throw away or recycle, thus being a bit more greener. Apparently the sachets you order will fit through the letter box making it a bit easier too.
The products available are kitchen, bathroom and floor cleaners, washing up liquid, laundry detergent and hand soap.
Our first order arrived a few days ago and we’ve been trying them out. The bottles are good quality so will definitely last a while. They are also a decent size. The hand soap we ordered seems to be getting used up quite quickly so if that’s one of the products you order, it’s likely you’ll be buying refills on a regular basis. Overall though, so far so good.
In terms of price, I would say you probably won’t save much money than if you bought the cleaning products in the shops. I think the main selling point is that you won’t be throwing away bottles every week and having the sachets delivered to your home is easier than carrying all this stuff back from the supermarket. Definitely worth trying out. Visit their website at www.splosh.com
I Wish I Took My Scales More SeriouslyBlog, Music, Personal
I’m sitting at the piano, currently trying to learn the third movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. For those who don’t know it, watch the video below. For those who do know it, you’ll likely know how insanely hard it is.
Rewind 10, 11 or 12 years ago to when I was having piano lessons in my long suffering teacher’s home. I enjoyed playing the piano, I liked starting a new grade book and seeing what pieces of music I would be working on for the coming months. The sight reading and singing part of the exam I was terrible at of course, but I wasn’t bothered about that.
The other part of the exam is scales and arpeggios. I was generally okay with these, although I practiced with reluctance. I mean, they’re pretty boring aren’t they? Going up and down the piano in different positions (that’s what she said) and getting arm ache before you’ve even started practicing your pieces.
The trouble is, as I have recently learnt, they’re bloody important. You see, when it comes to playing insanely difficult pieces like the third movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, scales and arpeggios give you the workout you need in order to be able to tackle them. And the thing about the third movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, is that it consists largely of scales and arpeggios.
Maybe I’d find it easier if I had some sort of practice regime for this over the last few years. Maybe if I could borrow Peter Capaldi’s newly acquired time machine, I could travel back in time and tell my 15 year old self that if I didn’t practice my scales more, then in 13 years time, I’d be sitting at a piano, periodically swearing at it when I keep messing up the first page of a piano sonata.